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New Girl 3×20 “Mars Landing” Recap



…I’m not sure what just happened on New Girl, actually.

Okay, scratch that, I know exactly what just happened; I just have no idea how to feel about it.

Invoking scenes from so many momentous New Girl episodes – “Cooler” and its time-stopping Nick & Jess kiss, and “Table 34” where the couple can’t help but build something unbreakable, for starters – “Mars Landing” cracks all of that work, and all of season two’s build, and all of season three’s change, too.

New Girl just smashed its key couple in half, and I… don’t know how to feel about it.

We knew something was coming, FOX advertising ridiculous promos telling us that “nothing would ever be the same again.” And in a way, I suppose they’re right.

But I don’t want to think of this as Nick and Jess breaking up because they’re wrong for each other. I don’t want it to be because of what Jess says, that the only thing they have in common is that they love each other. And I don’t think that’s why they broke up either. I think it’s because this morning, deeply hungover after a game of True American, Nick and Jess’s perspectives shifted.

This season has been written around and about change, and in “Mars Landing” New Girl does it again, changing the views of Nick and Jess:  on each other, and how they work together.

It’s completely heartbreaking, both understandable, but also nonsensical. They yell and laugh and hug, and when they break up you just want them to kiss each other, because how can a couple with that much emotion so clearly written on each other’s faces want to end this thing that they’re doing?

But they do, because in “Mars Landing” Nick and Jess decide that everything is too hard. They can’t share a room. They can’t build the toy for Sadie’s child’s birthday party. What they can do is set their room on fire, and fight.

Jess can’t ever tell Nick the truth, because when she does they can never agree, and although that’s been fine, and been fun, it’s not OK for this week’s Nick and Jess.

But relationships are different day-by-day, and for Jess to say that this is too hard, when she broke up with fancyman because she wanted passion- even after he told her about how exhausted he was by his previous relationship like that…

We know this can’t last.

But then again, Nick and Jess as a couple… What they say isn’t wrong. They want different things, and they just happened to have this argument on the kind of morning that Jess had no more optimism left to scatter over the ashes.

So, in “Mars Landing,” Nick and Jess burn.

Grade: B

Memorable Quotes

  • Schmidt, Winston and Coach busy themselves with new neighbours this episode. Schmidt’s opening line? “I’m Jewish.”
  • Schmidt and Coach talking down to Winnie Bish: “Honey, honey, honey, just listen to Coach.” “Baby, let us handle this.”
  • This episode was difficult to digest, but god, it started off so goddamn funny: “Why would I spend my hard-earned truck money on an earth house!” “You make up so much science fiction but know nothing about science!” “Science is more about belief than anything!” You’re so wrong, Nick Miller. About everything.
  • Nick lost a bet with Schmidt and as such his firstborn already has a name: “Me and Reginald will start a newsletter! Lake father, lake son!”
  • And finally: “I love you!” “I love you too!” “More than I’ve ever loved anyone.” “…But what if that’s the only thing we have in common?” Ouch.