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New Girl 3×21 “Big News” Recap

“You and Jess broke up. It was not a dream.” Nick wrote this on his hand before going to sleep, but it can apply to all of the viewers tonight, watching Nick and Jess trying to hide their break up for Winston’s sake after he finally passes his LAPD entrance exam.

The pair are still sharing a room, struggling to figure out where their new boundaries lie – something that’s made all the more hard as they both pretend that they’re OK with this break up when really, neither of them are.

The two put off telling the gang because this is supposed to be Winston’s day, not theirs, Nick going so far as to distract himself with celebrations for Winnie’s achievement. And what exactly is it that Winston wants? A honey roast. (Like a regular roast, but actually the exact opposite.) Winston wants to hear about how cute he is. Also, he would like a throne to sit on for the proceedings. And for Nick to MC. And if she’d really like to help, Jess could dress up as Furguson.  (Winston’s brain works in strange, wonderful ways.)

So Nick makes it happen, doped up on Schmidt’s anti-anxiety medication, while Jess chooses wine as her coping mechanism of choice (licking the wine like a cat in spots: “I’m drinking a cat-bernet“), as they both try to pretend that this is working. Obviously, it’s not, but how do you admit to that?

Cece, meanwhile, is studying for her GED behind the bar… Until Schmidt catches her, and appoints himself tutor, something that I assume will come back into focus a little later.  By the time the honey roast begins (Winston making his entrance dressed head to toe in glorious, glorious white), everyone besides him knows about Nick and Jess; Coach, Cece and Schmidt sitting tensely, just waiting for this to blow up in their faces. As, of course, it does.

Jess takes over Nick’s mic, turning the honey roast into a normal roast, and dishing out insults- of sorts- most of which are directed at Nick. The best thing, though, is anxiety-medicated Nick laughing at all of Jess’s terrible jokes. They say they don’t have anything in common, but really, they do: Nick and Jess are both heartbroken.

The two laugh at each other, happy that they’re both as miserable as each other. There’s a joy that exists between Nick and Jess, even at their most unhappy, and so as Winston’s celebrations pack up for the night, the episode ends sweetly, with Jess watching Dirty Dancing while Nick listens in from their room. They’re broken up, but they still have all of the components for couple-hood, Nick telling Jess that he’s here for her, as he throws her out more tissues.

It’s Nick’s fault that she’s crying on the couch, and Jess’s in turn that he’s getting drunk in their bed. But at the same time, they’re still there for each other through it all. And there’s something beautiful in that, I think.

Grade: A-

Memorable Quotes

  • Winnie passed! “Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do; whatcha gonna do when I come for you.”
  • “You don’t even have to love him, honey; you just have to get that sperm cooking!” Jaime-Lee Curtis continues to kill it in her cameos as Jess’s mother.
  • Nick confides in Tran, getting advice on how to deal with his break-up, along with a new idea for a novel (Nick and Tran in the war, forming an alliance, despite their apparent enemy status.)
  • “This just in: the dress code for Winston’s banquet tonight is… optional? The dress code is optional. Why would he write optional?”
  • And what exactly is the cutest thing about Winston? Coach tells us: “If anything’s cute about Winston, it’s his yawn.” And Jess agrees: “He’s happier than me watching Coach watching Winston yawn!”