New Girl 3.17 “Sister II” Review: The Ballad of Winston Bishop

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I’m not sure how to feel about last night’s episode of New Girl. “Sister II” was pretty hysterical, definitely one of the funniest episodes of New Girl this season, but as a whole, it still felt a little muddled, a little lacking, specifically in the role that Jess’s sister, Abby, plays in the story of New Girl moving forward.

We saw two weeks ago in the first “Sister” installment that both Jess and Abby were going to attempt to make changes when it came to their relationship. However, for much of “Sister II” we watch as the two of them fall into the same old patterns: Abby as the impulsive, reckless, mayhem maker, and Jess as the sneaky, determined fixer, who believes that she can trick her sister into moving out of the loft.

By pressing the reset button and restoring the sisters to their default settings, the New Girl writers essentially nullify the ending of “Sister” and squander interesting possibilities, such as Abby attempting to be more responsible to impress Jess, or Jess embracing her more “wild child” side. Watching the two Days clash, bicker, and throw knives at each other (both figuratively and, in the case of Sky Knife, also literally) is fun and results in a great amount of laughs, but it falls short of the stronger, more powerful character work that New Girl has done in the past.

Along with Jess and Abby, another character that gets a lot of focus throughout “Sister II” is Winston, who discovers, after countless attempts to delay looking at the results, that he failed his exam to get into the police academy. This revelation leads to a lot of well-acted scenes featuring Lamorne Morris and Damon Wayans Jr., who have great chemistry together as Winston and Coach, playing off each other’s comedic abilities better than almost anyone else on the show right now.

However, despite the numerous hilarious lines that Winston lets fly during the episode, I wonder what New Girl really plans to do with his character as the final episodes of this season come together. Winston as a cop seemed like an incredibly fun and intriguing avenue for New Girl to explore, but the show seems to want to put that storyline on the back burner for right now, as it has Coach tell Winston near the episode’s end that he has hit “rock bottom,” leading him to go and retake the test.

Does New Girl simply plan to just have Winston be the weird, unfortunate punching bag of the group for the rest of the season? While this has yielded some fantastic comedic moments throughout season three, as the writers and Lamorne Morris have really gotten in synch with what they want Winston to be, I wonder if that is not limiting the character. Similar Jess and Abby’s relationship, I think New Girl still has a lot more interesting and fulfilling places that it can take Winston’s character. I just hope they don’t pull a “Winston” and mess it all up.

Other thoughts:

– I didn’t really mention Nick or Schmidt in my review, but both Jake Johnson and Max Greenfield, as usual, came to play and brought the biggest laughs of the episode. Standout moments for each of them: Nick’s belief that the “k” in “Nick” makes a sound difference, and Schmidt telling Nick to “look away, or look right at me” when he was receiving a “special” at dinner.

– Apparently, Abby’s wanted in Canada. “Canada! No one’s wanted in Canada!”

– Abby’s living with Schmidt now, so Linda Cardellini is going to be around for at least one more episode. This pleases me.

– “Girl, I got an obligation at a sandwich meeting to go to.”

– “You know I can’t work here, man. They never have any cookies.”

What did everyone else think of last night’s episode of New Girl

[Photo via Adam Taylor/FOX]

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