New Girl Season 4 Episode 14 Review: “Swuit”

New Girl

Maybe it was because I really missed New Girl over the past few weeks, or maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for any episode that focuses on Nick and Schmidt’s always weird but consistently entertaining friendship, but I had a blast watching “Swuit” last night. Almost every single joke or awkward situation had me roaring with laughter throughout the whole half-an-hour, and that’s a credit to both the New Girl writing staff and the dynamic duo of Jake Johnson and Max Greenfield.

It’s true that “Swuit” is a familiar episode of New Girl. In its three-plus seasons, the series has done many versions of the “Nick and Schmidt get into a fight” story, but what makes this one stand out from other, similar episodes is the fact that this isn’t just about the two of them being friends–it’s also about them being business partners.

We first got to see the team of Nick and Schmidt work together back in Season 1, when they tried to pitch “Real Appz” (pretty sure that’s how it was spelled) to Jess’s boyfriend at the time, Russell, but Season 4 of New Girl appears to be taking this one-time joke and using it as a real, actual storyline. And while that may seem like a flimsy idea at first, it turns out not to be, because Nick and Schmidt working together as business partners doesn’t just produce great comedy; it’s also continuing the ongoing evolution of Nick Miller.

Nick’s maturation is a story that New Girl has been telling since last season, and although Nick’s failure to become a more stable, mature adult is part of why we love him, it’s also one of the main reasons why things between him and Jess imploded near the end of Season 3. For much of New Girl‘s fourth season, we’ve seen Nick fall into familiar and old habits, such as smoking weed and one-night-stands, but with his newfound partnership with Schmidt, he regains the focus he had previously lost and continues his journey of maturation, a journey that Kai decides she can no longer be part of, causing her to break up with Nick at the end of “Swuit.”

Even though Jess’s line about this being the first time someone has broken up with Nick because he works too hard is played for laughs, it’s also her (and the show’s) recognition of a change in his character. Nick, who was so lost earlier this season that he decided that he would be the loft’s secretary just because it made him feel important, is slowly starting to find passion in his life again, and through that passion, he’s beginning to grow up.

Are his and Schmidt’s inventions the type of useless crap that absolutely no one would buy? Of course, they are–this is Nick Miller we’re talking about. However, it’s satisfying to watch Nick discover who he is again after spending much of Season 4 as the laziest and most unproductive version of himself, especially when this growth is not only recognized but encouraged by his friends.

Other thoughts:

– I get that Coach and Winston helping Cece pay for her tuition was supposed to kind of mirror Schmidt and Jess’s faith and encouragement of Nick, but that storyline didn’t really have too much viable material to really work. However, it did afford both Winston and Coach quite a lot of opportunities to make me laugh, and they were incredibly successful.

– Whether it’s through flashbacks or not, New Girl is so good at providing visual gags. Last night it was Jess telling Nick and Schmidt to “stop fighting! You’re upsetting Winston,” followed by the camera cutting to Lamorne Morris giving the most cheesy, goofy grin ever.

– I wonder if and when the New Girl writers can’t think of a funny line or joke, they just have Jake Johnson mumble and yell random things. It always makes me laugh, and the pitch in last night’s episode was no exception.

– Nick and Schmidt’s discussion of their “man problems” was great. “Gooey’s not the worst. I’ve had gooey.” “Oh good god, what!” “I just ignored it. It went away.”

– Also, the way that Max Greenfield said “The Wet Tuesdays” had me crying I was laughing so hard.

– Loved the ending of this episode so much. All the guys ragging on “Taking Care of Business” before finding themselves singing along was so much fun to watch.

– “I was just telling my friend here that you can’t make a lot of money in art history.” “That’s not true. Last year I made almost $22,000 and my life is very hard.”

– “I thought you might not show up.” “I drove you here, Nicholas.”

– “Hey check it out. I’m a campus cutie.”

– “I now pronounce me comfortable.”

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

[Photo via FOX]

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