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New Girl “Mars Landing” Review (3×20)

25 Mar

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Nick and Jess first kissed back in “Cooler”, and that began an excellently handled relationship arc that brought us laughs, tears, and full-on awkwardness. Yet, all good things are bound to come to an end sometime.

It’d be easy to categorize this episode as emotionally manipulative or rushed, but I wouldn’t say it’s either. There were definitely a number of signs leading up to this point, and the way the situation is handled in this episode is realistic and compelling; that’s largely in part to the fantastic work by Deschanel and Johnson. This is a mutual decision and a mutual responsibility, and the two actors convey that perfectly; in particular, the evolution of the big fight in this episode is beautifully handled.

As for the future, we’ll have to wait and see, but this isn’t just a reset; they’re at the point in their relationship in which they just can’t handle it, and you know what? I understand that. I understand why Nick’s idealism might clash with Jess’s outlook on life, and I understand why Nick might not take kindly to her continuing to attempt to fix him. He’s the kind of guy who’s spent his whole life closed off from opportunities because he simply didn’t want to take them, and society therefore slapped labels on him. He’s a smart and a capable guy, and he just wants his girlfriend to believe in him; she just wants a boyfriend who seems like he has a plan. They both have valid points.

The dynamic going forward should be interesting to see play out, and not just a rehash of old plots. I trust the writers with this, as it’s a complicated situation that’s sure to bring about some compelling developments. Jess and Nick might just be friends now, but that spark will always be there.

GRADE: A-

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-True American, I love you. We apparently now have Ellis Island stuff and, as always, some nice presidential chants.

-I half expected Marty Hart to break into the loft and beat everyone up.

-I really like the moment Winston has in which he admits that he’s been trying to get into Michelle’s/Laurie’s pants, then proceeds to still try his hardest to break his back by carrying a huge load.

-I kind of wish Alex Daddario and Stevie Nelson were given better roles. Then again, I certainly don’t mind more of Daddario in that pink tank top.

-“Science is more of a belief than anything else.” -Nick Miller, Intergalactic Truck Driver

-“I put the swastika in the…guillotine.”

-I’d watch the loft members hung over all day. Also, going off that, it seems as if alcohol is constantly being used to pave the way for emotional developments, which certainly rings true in some cases.

-Three more episodes left this season, doled out over the next seven weeks. Ah, scheduling.

-“Drink up, Checkers, forget what you saw.”

Photo credit: FOX, New Girl

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