‘New Girl’ recap: Season 3, Episode 4, ‘The Captain’

 

Zooey Deschanel new girl captain
‘The Captain’ is the sex move that Shall Not Be Named.

So far this season, Nick and Jess are officially in a relationship, Schmidt has broken the hearts of CeCe and Elizabeth (not to mention his own) and Winston has become lonelier than ever. So as we start Episode Four, ‘The Captain,’ it stands to reason that the natural course of action is for Schmidt to go after Nick and Jess’s relationship and for Winston to get even more deeply involved with his cat, Ferguson.

Winston is, once again, on his own in this one — a dynamic that is getting old. The Winston Problem is the most notable and talked about issue that New Girl faces and, third season in, it’s still not solved. It’s clear the writers decided to embrace Winston’s “Cheese Stands Alone” status in the loft (and thus, the show), but I’m not sure that was the best route to take. Episode after episode, we find the same dynamic — everyone is involved in the larger plot but Winston. That being said, Lamorne Morris has done a good job so far, and his storyline this week (trying to get his cat laid) made for a number of easy but satisfying laughs. (“Guys, come on, our cats were just about to have sex,” being one of his best of the night.)

But even with The Winston Problem, “The Captain” is a stellar episode. It has all the things you need to swoon and laugh. And since swooning and laughing is all I want to do for the rest of my life, I’d call this a job well done.

Schmidt tries to break Nick and Jess up by playing on Nick’s discomfort with feelings and Jess’s naivete about sex. It works at first — Nick can’t get it up and Jess thinks the only way to turn him on is by performing a so-horrifying-we-don’t-know-what-it-is sex move called The Captain. But his dabbling only proves to bring them closer together as they realize what he is trying to do. It all ends in Nick beginning to indulge his feelings — and Jess learning to shut up for once.

Last season, Schmidt seemed to be growing into a mature and complicated person but this season, at least temporarily, he’s back to being a douchebag. While this does make him a bit harder to root for, it’s also a situation rife with Schmidt-isms:

“You know, my diploma says that I majored in Communications, but my heart says I majored in Nicholas Studies.”

“For a man whose midsection is basically mush, Nick has had a lot of sex. He’s pushed that mush all over town.”

“If someone were to blow on my nipples, I would positively scream.”

If Schmidt continues being Schmidt, there’s not much behavior we won’t accept from him.

As for Nick and Jess: Were they hotter last season when we all were rooting for them to just do it already? Absolutely. But are they still pretty great now? Yeah. Things have cooled down but, c’mon, they were never going to be able to maintain the sheer, unadulterated, so-hot-I-watched-it-on-repeat-at-least-17-times chemistry of their first stolen kiss in the hallway.

Instead, what we have is a storyline where Nick and Jess are in a healthy, sweet, adorable relationship that appears to make each of them a better person. And the writers do a good job of making it bizarre as hell, which is crucial to “New Girl” in general, and Nick and Jess in particular. Whereas most couples might go out to dinner and a movie, Jess tries to spice things up by reading an Indian Restaurant Menu in whispered tones, painting her face blue like Papa Smurf, and punching Nick in the face.

This is a quirky, crazy weird, super lovable couple and… I’m into it.

Bigs ups go to Jake Johnson for managing to make Nick’s emotional maturing not only un-cheesy but laugh-out-loud funny. (“I really like the instrument of the cello.”) Also, when he says things like, “I really like you, Jess,” I basically melt into a puddle on the goddamn floor. So bravo, “New Girl.” My husband will never live up to Nick Miller. Are you happy now?

What do you guys think? Am I the only one still bothered by The Winston Problem?

Grade: A- (under the condition that in future episodes they stop treating Winston like he’s a ghost that only animals can see)

Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author and essayist living in Los Angeles. Her first book, Forever, Interrupted, came out this summer. Follow her on Twitter @tjenkinsreid



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…