Episode 6: Hallowen
Episode 7: Menzies
By: Carlos Uribe
New Girl is a show about Jess and her three best friends (Winston, Nick, and Schmidt)
It makes perfect sense that the Jess and Sam relationship was doomed. The two were just trying to keep it casual but Jess was bound to develop feelings. A large portion of the charater is that she's emotional and trying to keep her from having feelings will ultimately fail. The relationship between the two is dead the moment that she goes to his workplace and discovers that he's a pediatrician. He's not just a doctor for kids but a great one. Considering how Jess loves teaching children, this is a huge moment where she can't help but start to fall for the guy. Sam's life outside of their relationship makes him out to be a really great guy. Jess realizes that she can't keep things casual with him because she wants something more. She forces herself to be honest with him but Sam can't be in a serious relationship with her. He's just not interested in that right now. The two break up. It's interesting that Jess was able to stop herself from attaching feelings to Sam until the moment she knew more about him. Jess is perfectly capable of having a casual relationship with a stranger but not with someone whom she actually knows. The relationship between the two thus ended because of who Jess really is but it also lasted this long because of how she's grown. The series was able to use this relationship to show how much Jess has changed but it ends it in a way to show just how much has stayed the same.
Jess and Sam might be over now but Schmidt refuses to accept that it's over between him and Cece. He spends most of the episode trying his best to break up Cece and Robby. His attempts at undermining them are largely thwarted and this frustrates him. It does get to the point where Robby decides that he'll have a moment of truth with Schmidt. Robby lays out that he isn't going to go anywhere and if Schmidt can't accept that then that's just too bad. Schmidt agrees that he'll give them some space when he fails at headbutting him. This is symbolized when Schmidt gives part of his costume to Robby. That's because whenever Schmidt was next to Cece, it made them inadvertently two look like they were bride and groom. It was Schmidt's way of stating that he will no longer be trying to get between them. It is in this action that Cece seems to indicate that she might still have burried feelings for Schmidt. This love triangle is far from over. This feud between Schmidt and Robby over Cece led to the best laughs of the night and it's the only relationship aspect that the show handles that this epsiode doesn't completely end.
It does end with Winston and Shelby. The two had developed a relationship over the first season of New Girl but they really haven't been in a good place in a while. The two have stopped having sex. This has frustrated Winston. Shelby doesn't seem to realize that this is driving a wedge between the two. The two show up at a Halloween event dressed differently. Winston comes as a sexy cop because he thinks that sexy costumes are the best way to rekindle the passion. Shelby misses the message and comes as a punny costume. Winston realizes that the relationship between the two must end because they aren't going to get the passion back. He breaks up with her after an entire episode making him realize that the two have been in a dead relationship. It's a sad note for Winston but it allows the writers to finally write him new storylines. Shelby was fine in the first season but she has long served her use. The writers can now develop Winston in new and different ways without having to worry about his girlfriend.
New Girl delivered a Halloween episode that was built around character relationships and it worked in every way but one: it tried to give Nick an old crush that he finally gets with but it feels forced when every other relationship covered on the show have had multiple episodes to develop.
Jessica Day lost her job at the beginning of the season. It came as a huge shock for the character and she's been trying to find her way since. She's dated a few guys, tried a few jobs, but she hasn't really gotten herself back on her feet. This is an epsidoe that brings this entire arc to the forefront as Jess is being pressured into getting a real job by her roomates. This is shown at the beginning of the episode when Schmidt is collecting money in order to pay their bills and rent. The only person who has any trouble paying her share of the bill is Jess. Even Nick is able to provide every dolllar and cent that he owes. The pressure to get a source of income by the group is made worse since she is currently PMSing. This means that she bombs all of her job interviews because she gets too emotional. It isn't until Nick finds the underlying problem: Jess has been doubting herself ever since she got fired. Nick is able to her to stand up when he fails misreably at giving Jess a water massage. In his failure, he is able to get at the root of the problem and threaten Jess with another water massage if she doesn't stand up for herself. Jess is seen going back to a place where she had a terrible interview and the episode ends with her getting the job. She will now be teaching adults who have gone back to school. Jess might no longer be teaching children but at least she is a teacher once again.
That was all great but the best part of the episode has got to go to Winston. Jess might be PMSing for real, but Winston pretends that he has something called sympathy PMS. He acts all fragile and angry but he's really faking the entire time. He's actually trying to get over his loss of Sheldby. He might have broken up with her in the previous episode but she had still meant something for him. He's been grieving the loss of the relationship but he didn't want to admit it. He pretended to join Jess along her emotional cycle so that he would have an excuse to cry. It's a great plot that is rooted not only in character but it allows him to have Shelby's break-up affect him in an original manner. That he wants to be sad about the break-up but that he doesn't want the world to know speaks a lot about the kind of character Winston is. The only reason this plot really made any sense is because of the break-up. It would have been random without this recent event. Once his friends learn what's really bothering him, it leads to an end tag where Nick tries to give Winston a water massage but failing even worse than with Jess.
Why does Nick keep trying to give water massages to people? When his friends make him realize that he has an anger issue, he leaves the apartment because he needs to walk. He sits down on a bench and meets a silent Asian man. This man is able to become a therapist for Nick. Nick tells the man his problems and is able to realize just how ridicilous they are because the Asian man says nothing. He is forced to listen to his own ramblings and realize that he really does get angry over every tine little thing. It isn't until Nick asks the silent Asian man why he's always smiling that Nick is given his own water massage. Nick is willing to play along but he's not entirely convinced until the anger does seem to leave his body. This doesn't mean it actually has since that would be a massive character development that would change Nick too much for the comedy to work. That he can't, at the end of the episode, help but yell at Winston that he's a man is a clear sign that Nick still gets angry easily. It's just that now he's slightly less angry.
Schmidt has his own story as well. His boss at his workplace is hitting on him but he's surprised when she hands him a contact that relieves her of all responsibilty that might occur from their sexual activity. A contract that includes the clause that Schmidt will get mercury poisoning. He isn't sure whether or not he'll accept the contract until Cece meets with him. Cece is having her own crisis when Robby thinks she's a nice girl. Cece has always presented herself as a bad girl and this creates an internal conflict within herself. Cece and Schmidt sell a weird scene where they kiss and realizes that she can't cheat on Robby. She has evolved from a bad guy to at least a decent one. Schmidt decides that he's a monster so he'll accept the contract only to discover that his boss hasn't completely explored her kinky side. Of course, when Shmidt is calling himself a monster he's also referencing how he's been trying to break Robby and Cece apart.
Menzies managed to work on every single level. Nick is made to realize that he has anger issues, Jess gets back on her feet and finds a new teaching job, Winston deals with breaking up with Shelby, Cece faces a crisis of the person she's been and the person she's become, while Schmidt tries to decide whether he's willing to sign a contract with some pretty odd clauses. This led to a hilarious episode that had some character growth.