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‘New Girl’ Season 3 Episode 10 Recap: “Thanksgiving III”

new girl thanksgiving iii

“…Is this all because I teased you about the invites?”

“Yes it is! No regrets!”

It was kind of inevitable, with a newly-minted fourth male cast member, that New Girl would talk about manliness at some point. I just didn’t expect to not care so much.

It’s Thanksgiving for the gang this week, and after Coach tells Nick that he’s losing his manhood, one pair of Jess’s pyjama pants at a time, a camping trip – full of hunting for the men and foraging for the ladies (…and Winston) – is proposed. The whole thing would be completely archaic if it weren’t for the few spots of light that have prevailed this season: Cece (when she’s not dealing with Schmidt), Winston, and Jess.

Schmidt and Coach, however, I’m really starting to loose my patience with.

I said last week that the one of the best bits of “Longest Night Ever”, was Coach failing miserably on his date. And it was, because seeing Damon Wayans Jr. pretend to be Mr. Macho, full of voice-breaks and texts to his mom, was great. But this week, when he accuses Nick of losing his manliness the more time he spends with Jess… well, it’s just a bit dumb, really.

I can understand the uneasiness that he’s feeling, returning to the loft to find that it and Nick have completely changed around him, but the way that he seems to attack Nick for it… It just seems sort of stupid after the writers made a point of showing us how ridiculous he was on that date with Cece – which is why Coach, Schmidt and Nick hunting in the wilderness this week is the weakest plot line of them all. Funny, sure – especially when Schmidt injures himself in his squirrel trap – but slightly frustrating nonetheless.

Cece and Winston, however, are probably the most fun. They do not want to be camping, and so they don’t, standing back to Google bed and breakfast places in the nearby vicinity. Winston wanted to stay home, drink beer and watch football. Something that, in the end, makes him come out of this wilderness experiment as the man most comfortable with his masculinity.

This season – and one and two, if we’re being honest – Cece has been brought into the loft as a love interest. And yeah, it’s been fun, but now I’m just a little bit over it. Her best moments this episode aren’t in the sparse few seconds she spares for the two dummies of the fourth floor, but when she’s being greeted so delightedly by Jess, and when her and Winston commiserate over how much they do not want to be in the middle of nowhere.

So, when at the end of the episode, Schmidt gives Coach “advice” about Cece, I didn’t want it. I didn’t care, and I don’t really want to see it progress, to be honest. Sure, I want to see her and Schmidt explore that painful space between the two of them, but as for Coach being the one to make her step in there? I would just rather not.

For once this season, I’d like to make Jess the reason that Cece is involved with the plot, especially after seeing her and Winston interact so well – and just as friends. New Girl has always been a show about friendships – about how Schmidt and Nick work (and sort of don’t), and about how Jess and Nick have walked across that line into something more – and this season I’d like to see more of a focus on that again.

In the end, Jess ends up in the hospital. She eats the dead fish that Nick caught with his bare hands to appease him, and Nick sees, in consequence, just how ridiculous he’s been. Coach, however, doesn’t get the same knock on the head. But maybe it was just me looking for that. The gang sit around her bed and eat food, fulfilling the only wish that Jess had for this Thanksgiving – for everyone to be together.

New Girl has grown – and rightly so – from a show that centered solely around Jess. But sometimes, like in tonight’s episode, I almost wish they would make her the axis of the cast again. If only to obliterate the screen time that was wasted this week on Schmidt and Coach, and their endless circles of pointless conversation about Cece.

Rating: B

Memorable Quotes

  • “You’re the laziest man I know! Jess, be honest with me. Has he ever been on top?” “Real men are on the bottom!”
  • Winston (thank god for Winston) on Nick’s man vs. wild plan: “I’m not hunting, the only hunt I want is Bonnie, or Helen.”
  • And then again: “I got us all passes to a pottery seminar!” “WINSTON!” “GET OUT OF HERE, MAN!”
  • And just to show that Nick Miller is (mostly) still on form: “Do you think George Washington had a pet cat? No! He hunted them!”