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'New Girl' Recap: Episode 'The Captain'

Alyssa Landau Alyssa Landau
October 9th, 2013 8:59am EDT

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The more we get into season three, the more blatant the major problem with the series gets. The show’s writers are brilliant when it comes to funny one-liners, montages, and character moments. However, save for Nick and Jess, the characters barely have a defined direction.

Winston has always been stuck in no man’s land. If you added up the plots where Winston is by himself doing something ridiculous and compared it to the ones where he’s interacting with his roommates, there’d be a huge discrepancy. This week his plot once again surrounded the cat (who is still alive!) and Winston’s inept loneliness. Upset that Ferguson the cat is going to be neutered, he sets out to get him laid. At the pet store he meets a very pretty, very dumb girl who’s interested in him, despite Winston giving off major serial killer vibes. However, he’s oblivious and ends the episode alone once again. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if Winston moved out and his roommates found dead bodies under his floorboards.

Even if the show wants to alienate Winston from the major storylines, he could still interact with other human characters. He could have been drafted into Schmidt’s schemes or spent time creeping out CeCe instead of being alone.

Speaking of CeCe, she only got a very brief moment in the episode. She’s always been a very secondary character, despite being part of much of the promotional material. If she’s not with Schmidt, does that mean she can’t be on the show?

Schmidt, who usually eats up a lot of screen time, is the perfect example of a character gone wrong. We’ve always known that he’s a douchebag. A majority of his dialogue has always been tinged with bro-ness. But this season highlights that the show can’t think of him as much more than that. After two complete seasons, he should have grown upwards, not into this monster that won’t allow anybody else to be happy if he’s not. It’s villainous, something you’d expect from some sort of new slimy character introduced solely to break a couple up and then disappear after a few episodes. This is not how the Schmidt of the past, whose obsession with Nick borders on romantic, would have behaved. Where can this story go? Can Jess forget that Schmidt hurt her best friend badly? Can Nick forget that his best friend tried to destroy his happiness? These characters are going to need a lobotomy when the writer’s finally decide to move past Schmidt’s wretchedness.

All character complaints aside, this episode still managed to be one of the funniest to date. Nick and Jess are clearly going to be the center of the season, which on paper sounds like it could be trouble. For years television experts have espoused the thought that the main couple getting together means disaster for the show. However, “The Captain” is the perfect example of how a couple can be together and still interesting and funny.

The montage of Jess trying to arouse Nick was so funny that I had to watch it twice. Everything after the couple try The Captain sex move, suggested by Schmidt, that fills them with disgust was also gold.

New Girl is still funny, in fact maybe funnier than ever. But without a huge change in the character dynamics, there’s a chance it may wear out its welcome.

Other Musings:

  • Nick: “That is how you have sex, America.”
  • Schmidt: “Nick’s body is so soft. It should absorb sound.”
  • Schmidt completely changed his motives for breaking up Nick and Jess this week. Last week he was vengeful because he blamed them for his breakups. This week he just doesn’t enjoy their happiness within close proximity.
  • After seeing Titanic, Schmidt started the Billy Zane fan club. Jess: “Why does that make me angrier than anything he’s ever done?”
  • Schmidt:“Cool as a cucumber. Obama on the ski slopes.”
  • Things Jess does to arouse Nick: read a takeout menu, use reverse psychology (“I’m not attracted to you, I don’ think you’re sexy… I think you’re a fat, fat, fat…”), put on blue face makeup like Papa Smurf, and slaps him.
  • Jess: “Well, at least the sun managed to get up.”
  • Schmidt’s explanation of The Captain is another joke like True American where less is more. We know little about it, thanks to a blender, so we can use our horrified imaginations.
  • Things we know about The Captain: clean yourself off immediately, be comfortable with racial jokes, make dolphin sounds.
  • “This is a real bummer,” says Schmidt after taking one look at Winston’s wasted potential.
  • Nick: “Let sleeping birds die.”
  • Jess: “That’s degrading to not only women but all of mankind.”
  • Things Nick feels: He didn’t like the captain, Jess talks to much, he really likes the instrument of the cello, he cried hysterically when seeing a giraffe give birth, when he lost the stretched out penny about it he cried again, he say his mom naked, he likes rap songs with a choir, and he REALLY likes Jess.
  • Winston: “Ain’t no way in hell I’ve got a cat brothel in my room and I’m the only normal one in this loft.”
  • Nick: “It’s like there’s been this fog around my life but with you it’s gone.”
Photo Credits: Fox Broadcasting Company


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