New Girl Season 4 Episode 13 Review: “Coming Out”

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New Girl Season 4 Episode 13 Review: “Coming Out”

New Girl

In my review of last week’s episode of New Girl, I complained that while “Shark” gave viewers two very enjoyable storylines, they lacked thematic compatibility. In other words, they felt like two separate parts of different episodes instead of one cohesive whole.

For much of its running time, I thought the same problem plagued “Coming Out,” but then something happened. New Girl, in one quick scene, with Jess standing up and talking to her fellow teachers in the lounge, puts everything into focus and ties its two main storylines together perfectly. “Coming Out” isn’t about Jess and Ryan’s relationship woes now that their romance is out in public, or another fight between Schmidt and Nick–it’s all about having the courage to take action.

Aside from Winston, who after becoming an official police officer last week, gets sidelined for most of “Coming Out,” only appearing to deliver some of the episode’s best one-liners, New Girl‘s other characters have spent most of Season 4 just letting things happen to them, or not going after what they want in the fullest way possible. This episode addresses that problem by making Jess, Nick, and Schmidt all tackle their issues head on and move forward in their lives.

For Jess, this growth is both professional and personal. After a disastrous field trip, planned by Lorenzo the biology teacher, she understands that she cannot allow for her colleagues to pressure her into making decisions, even if they do accuse her of favoritism; she’s vice principal, and whatever she believes is best, they should and will support.

However, while making this impassioned speech to the school’s teacher, Jess also lets it slip out that she’s fallen for Ryan, words that seem to come out much easier here than in any other relationship we’ve seen her in before (including hers and Nick’s). And Jess’s movement in her romantic life isn’t simply one-sided either, as Ryan reciprocates her feelings, telling her that he loves her, too–ensuring that the two of them can move forward together.

Similarly, Nick and Schmidt only take action after they each share a confession with the other, although the truths that they reveal are much harsher than Jess and Ryan’s professions of love. Schmidt points out how lazy Nick is, not only calling out his physical sloth (which has only been reinforced by the presence of Tran’s granddaughter, Kai) but his lack of mental ingenuity as well. Nick then responds by explaining how Schmidt has become a corporate drone–he’s no longer the creative guy that once lived by his own rules.

Ultimately, the two of them realize that they don’t want to be passive passengers while someone else controls their lives–they, like Jess, need to take action. And what type of action do Nick and Schmidt take? They decide to go into business together, and from the few ideas we heard in this episode (like “Black Robot” and a water bottle without the top–yes, that is just a cup), plus what Nick and Schmidt have come up with in the past (remember when they tried to pitch Russell “Real Apps” back in Season 1?), I’m very excited to see what this new partnership brings both in terms of comedy and character growth.

And, really, that’s what makes “Coming Out” such a solid episode of New Girl. Like the show’s characters, it decides it wants to do things a little differently and actually does. “Coming Out” takes risks, and we’ll have to wait and see if they pay off and that’s a very good thing. For New Girl Season 4 to become more than just a rebound season for the show, for it to become the series’ best season to date, it needs to always be moving forward, consistently trying to prove itself and constantly taking action.

Other thoughts:

– Everything about Winston wearing the crystal around his neck was absolute comedy gold, and Lamorne Morris made the most out of his limited screen time, especially when he was given the opportunity to rhyme.“I got this crystal to help me on the streets but I think it’s going to help me in the sheets.”

– The episode-ending tag, with Coach borrowing the crystal in order to country-line dance, was one of the best final scenes that New Girl has done in a while. Although, as much as I loved seeing Nick, Jess, Winston, and Schmidt dancing with him, why didn’t Cece also join them?

– Speaking of Cece, this show needs more Hannah Simone. Give us more Hannah Simone in the next few episodes, please, New Girl writers.

– Curtis Armstrong as Dr. Foster just fits so perfectly into this weird and wacky world that New Girl has created. “They’re going to tear you apart like a beautiful baguette!”

– Last week, Jess talked about “Evil Winston,” and now, in this episode, Winston mentions “Sleepwalk Nick,” who apparently pays back all the money he owes people. Can we please get an episode where the two of them interact with each other?

–  Coach’s quick (and hilarious) evaluation of Ryan: “The boy looks like he was raised in a muffin.”

– “Black Robot: the blackest robot in town. That robot’s so black, it’s the blackest!” “I feel like marketing is going to be a nightmare on that one.”

What did everyone else think of tonight’s episode of New Girl?

[Photo via FOX]

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