★★★★½

Have I mentioned before how much I love it when there’s a “viewers advisory” before an upcoming episode of New Girl? Because I do, it means they’re getting naughty and the loft group is at their utmost sexy behavior possible, delivering the most laughs whenever those quirks are brought to the surface.

And they do that with “The Captain” being easily the funniest episode of season three thus far.

We’ve regained focus on our main couple, Nick and Jess, at the start of the episode as we see them laying in post-coital bliss and decide that rather than talk to each other they should instead forgo emotions for more sex.

At least they have a plan to act on.

Schmidt is disgusted by all of the affection taking place in his apartment and Winston informs him that this is how it’s been for a while but Schmidt hasn’t been around to notice. Schmidt is mad that he can hear them.

“Nick’s body is so soft it should absorb sound.”

Schmidt’s dissatisfaction with Nick’s body may be one of my favorite running gags of the show.

Schmidt wants to tear them apart and says it won’t be difficult, all the while Winston is sitting in his little corner with a survival kit, his cat Ferguson, and magic tricks.

“Winston is insane” drinking game anyone?

Later that night we see Jess and Nick being grossly cute with the whole spoon feeding each other shtick that drives me up the wall when anyone does it. Winston makes a noise of complaint but quickly dismisses it saying that it’s Ferguson who’s upset, not him, about their honeymoon stage spectacle. Ferguson is upset because he has to be neutered and he wants to get laid before he looses that opportunity.

This is about a cat.

Jess and Nick play along saying that they should come up with a scheme to allow Ferguson one final hurrah but obviously it’s in jest, to everyone but Winston who takes it very seriously.

Schmidt lays into the destroy Nick and Jess relationship plan firstly by getting into Nick’s head by talking to him about how he’s only had one other relationship that’s lasted longer than a month and that was Caroline, a relationship that crippled him. He manages to weasel inside Nick’s brain to make him overthink everything which later affects him and Jess getting it on.

They don’t, which leads to a fantastic montage of Jess doing things to try and turn him on which results in massages, interpretative dancing and painting herself blue like a Smurf. Welcome to Nick Miller’s brain.

By the time morning hits nothing has been accomplished even after a night of trying to make things happen (that’s determination) however we do get this wonderful gem of a line from Jess:

“Well at least the sun got up.”

It really is fantastic to see the progress of Jess’s sexual evolution. When we were first introduced to the character she was written to have a mentality about the subject that was entirely inept and disconcerting. Throughout the seasons though the writers have managed to hone the characteristic so that she’s still easily swayed about things concerning the topic, but she enjoys it, even claims to be having a sexual awakening, and can hold a conversation about it.

So when she’s worried she’s not satisfying Nick’s wants, she’s all ears when Schmidt tells her about Nick’s love for something called “The Captain.”

What the captain is we’ll never know since the writers strategically drowned out the descriptions to leave up to our own imaginations, only giving us bits and pieces of what’s going to take place in the bedroom.

The outcome is all the more satisfactory—after Jess barges into their bedroom and turns off the lights there’s a jump cut to the aftermath, both of them naked in bed, both looking very confused.

Jess tries asking Nick if everything was okay and how she wasn’t entirely comfortable with what took place between them and obviously Nick feels the same, only able to mutter in response to her questioning. Jess quickly puts two and two together and they realize they’ve been screwed over by Schmidt and go out to confront him.

Schmidt tells them that they’re never going to work because Jess never wants to stop talking about her feelings and Nick can’t stand it. Nick, however, proves him wrong and begins telling Jess every little thing about him until landing on his feelings for her and he tells her that they’ve been together for a month and he really likes her and he’s not afraid.

Progess is made emotionally so it only makes sense that it would sexually as well and as the couple makes their way into the bedroom, Schmidt—out of desperation—runs interference and jumps between them to try and stop any love from happening.

He then resorts to cutting up Nick’s condoms and then downing Jess’s birth control.

Jokes on you Schmidt, just wait for that bout of estrogen to hit you.

Nick makes a solid point in asking him why on earth he didn’t just dump it down the sink and Jess yells that he better hope it was a placebo week.

Winston who’s been hosting a cat brothel (with a woman who believed that he was trying to pick her up not her cat) is angry that his magical night is being disturbed and finds his roommates in the bathroom and tells them that they’re going to have a loft meeting in twenty minutes.

When they all gather—after successfully scaring away Winston’s lady friend—Winston lays down the house rules and problems that have been going on as Schmidt sit’s forlornly, believing the effects of the estrogen have already hit him as he says he’s now acutely aware of his nipples.

Winston tells them that there is a line between public space and personal space and Nick and Jess have been crossing it. They don’t all need to hear about their sex life, they don’t need to witness the lovey dovey act they’ve got going on, and while they’re happy for the two they need to keep some of the personal moments private.

Schmidt needs to stop taking his anger out on Jess and Nick: he messed up, royally, he needs to deal with the bad thing that he did and then move on. Winston is astounded by how he is the one walking around seemingly the sane one out of the group while running a cat brothel out of his bedroom.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Winston?

Jess and Nick clear up their issues and Nick tries to soundproof their room with egg cartons and Jess tells him that while it’s good that he can now talk about his feelings he doesn’t have to do it all the time.

Because Jess wants to get laid dammit!

Schmidt meanwhile goes to Cece’s to try and somewhat right the wrong he’s done by what appears to be a note of apology pushed under her door.

For the last three episodes, I was hesitant to believe that this season could be as fantastic as season two managed to be and for one reason: Schmidt. I was concerned over how the show was seemingly determined to make me hate the character which was I just didn’t understand. Why? Why, why, why would that seem like a smart narrative choice for the show that initially benefitted so strongly from a mixture of Schmidt’s characterization and the way Max Greenfield played him? Sure, he was sometimes worthy of the douche jar, but there was an endearing and earnest energy to him that made the audience, and his roommates put up with it.

This season it seemed that his character was devalued into playing plain evil, devising methods to break his friends up out of a happy and new relationship and screwing over two other women who loved him.

It’s safe to say that after this episode my concerns are being lain to rest. Schmidt was shown to be projecting his animosity towards himself against others and Jess called him out on it just as Winston was projecting his loneliness towards his cat.

So when Schmidt is seen going to Cece’s to make amends and harshly rejected it’s a sad scene to watch because we’re allowed to like him again and it must be said that Max Greenfield—despite my recent dislike of the character—has been hitting it out of the park. He really does a lot with the material he’s given and the image of him sitting alone on the couch after taking birth control hits just the right notes of funny and sad.

It was the strongest episode of the season mainly due to how consistently funny it was but also because of these character wrap ups. New Girl is a show that thrives on group dynamics and the relationship that grows between the four characters. Having a rift is fine, but having it there and then justifying why is the better move.

And they did!

Who else is still wondering about what acts were partaken in The Captain? Who is trying to not imagine it?

About The Author

Ally Johnson is a Blast correspondent

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