New Girl Season 5 Episode 9 Review: “Heat Wave”

New Girl Season 5 Episode 9 Review: “Heat Wave”

New Girl

“Heat Wave” is a fun episode of New Girl. That’s not a knock against tonight’s installment, which I still enjoyed very much; there are plenty of hilarious and heartfelt moments in this episode, especially between Nick and Reagan.  However, compared to last week’s episode, which was the best one yet of Season 5, or even another strong installment like “Nick & Schmidt & Bob & Carol,” “Heat Wave” is a little lacking, mainly because it tries to force an emotional story instead of giving us an authentic one.

And where that slight bit of forcing comes in is during Schmidt and Cece’s storyline, which provides Max Greenfield, Hannah Simone, and Lamorne Morris with some terrific opportunities for comedy that they all nail, but ultimately fails to convincingly deliver a rich and heartfelt story about everyone’s favorite New Girl couple. A major reason for why Schmidt and Cece’s storyline doesn’t work all that well in “Heat Wave” is because Cece’s desire to become a news anchor feels rushed and manufactured. It doesn’t really connect with anything we know about Cece, particularly the fact that she’s back in college, which she would still be in right now.

So much of Cece’s storyline in Season 4 was about her bettering herself for herself, and returning to school was a major part of that. If it had been mentioned before that she was studying journalism or wanted to work in news, her trying to be a broadcaster would make much more sense. However, in “Heat Wave,” it simply feels like the New Girl writers needed to have Schmidt and Cece deal with yet another obstacle together, and while I appreciate the idea of the two of them working with one another and continuing to help each other face their fears, another, more organic story would have been better suited for them.

Still though, even with that major complaint, there’s still a lot to love about Schmidt, Cece, and Winston in this episode. Everything involving Winston and his cop voice and Schmidt’s impressions of famous TV cops (“I can’t really do a Mariska”) was hilarious. Furthermore, Cece’s terrible audition was fantastically funny, and even though those laughs aren’t worth New Girl sacrificing good character moments, it does make up slightly for the disappointing story.

Where “Heat Wave” doesn’t disappoint at all, though, is with Nick and Reagan. I’ve mentioned in past reviews about how pleased I’ve been with Megan Fox’s work so far on New Girl, but tonight’s episode may have been her best one yet, as Reagan is allowed to be a little goofier, funnier, and more romantic. Part of the reason for Reagan being a lighter, more fun character than usual is probably her constant interaction with Nick in this episode. All the standout moments during “Heat Wave” happen when Fox and Jake Johnson share the screen together, and that’s not only because the two of them have solid chemistry together but also because Reagan and Nick are so different and yet so similar, as we see with their stubbornness throughout tonight’s episode.

Even though it’s clear where everything between Nick and Reagan is headed, that doesn’t stop it from being incredibly entertaining and charming. Their relationship, both good and bad, has been developed really well throughout Fox’s time on New Girl; the growth of their bond has felt real and organic, and over the course of Nick and Reagan’s four episodes together, the writers have earned that kiss that the two of them share at the end of “Heat Wave.”

When Nick first met Reagan in the hospital during “Reagan,” he fixated on her as if she was a dream girl, a person that was beautiful, angelic, and so different from him that he had absolutely no shot of dating her. As he and Reagan both confirm in this week’s episode, it was crush. However, throughout “The Decision” and now in “Heat Wave,” we’ve seen Nick’s crush on Reagan blossom into something more, a true connection between the two roommates. Is it love? Is it meant to be something big and grand and life-changing? No, but it’s still much more than Nick expected when he first saw Reagan that day in the hospital, and that’s because he took the time to get to know the real her and be honest with her and not just concoct some fantasy in his head.

Many writers struggle to create a romance between two characters and make it both fun and believable in a 90-minute film. With Reagan and Nick, the New Girl writing staff has been able to successfully do that in roughly the same amount of time. This relationship has been one of the best parts of the show’s terrific fifth season, and it’s easily the best part of “Heat Wave.” I can’t wait to see where it goes next.

Other thoughts:

  • It’s such a small, stupid scene, but I absolutely love Schmidt, Cece, and Winston’s entire “Gstaad” exchange.
  • Reagan’s rat voice for Jeremiah may have been my favorite moment of the entire episode. It shows such a playful side to her that we haven’t seen before. Also, Nick suggesting that the rat’s name should be Sushi or McCushi is fantastic.
  • The sound effects used for Nick’s frozen underwear were a really nice touch.
  • Winston loves gas station TV: “It is the intersection between information and also gas.”
  • Nick Miller is so smooth: “Why don’t you tell that to the judge in your pants? Verdict’s in: you’re guilty.”
  • “It’s like a Jewfro apocalypse in here. I look like a ‘70s attorney.”
  • “Go play softball against the fire department, or whatever it is you do.” “That’s not till Wednesday.”
  • “I hope the Chicago Cubs win the World Series while you’re in a coma.” “That’s one of the meanest things anyone has ever said to me.”

What did everyone else think about tonight’s episode of New Girl? Are you liking Nick and Reagan together? Comment below and let me know.

[Photo credit: Ray Mickshaw/FOX]

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