New Girl Season 5 Episode 6 Review: “Reagan”

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New Girl Season 5 Episode 6 Review: “Reagan”

New Girl

The first two Jess-less episodes of New Girl were both strong installments of the FOX comedy, as a combination of the talented series regular cast and strong guest stars worked well enough together to help fill the vacancy left by Zooey Deschanel’s absence. However, “Reagan” is different, because instead of simply relying on the show’s major players and various guest stars, this is New Girl taking a character and putting her in Jess’ place. She’s moving into the loft and living in Jess’ room, and Nick is even attracted to her; Fox’s character is checking all those boxes for the show. But instead of trying to make Reagan into anything like a Jess clone, the New Girl writers have smartly capitalized on Fox’s talents and crafted a much different character than we’re used to seeing on this show, and throughout this first episode, it works pretty darn well.

So what’s so different about Reagan? Unlike the goofy, neurotic, and sometimes downright manic loft group, she’s calm and cool and doesn’t take any crap from anyone. There’s a hardness to her that’s the complete opposite of Jess (and even different from Cece’s more reserved behavior in the show’s earlier seasons), but that doesn’t stop her from being kind or helpful or funny. In fact, the new energy that Fox brings to the character of Reagan and to New Girl as a whole leads to many of the episode’s funniest moments.

Still though, what Reagan’s introduction mainly does is cause a conflict that had been boiling beneath the surface between Schmidt and Cece to finally erupt, as it’s revealed that she and Cece hooked up once ten years ago. Why does this matter to Schmidt and Cece now? Does Schmidt actually think that his fiancé would leave him?

The answer to the question above is, of course, no. However, Reagan’s presence does bring Schmidt’s insecurities to the surface, his worries that Cece has always been better to him and that she just hasn’t realized it yet. Is it a little nonsensical for Schmidt to think that way given the fact that she agreed to marry him? Yes, but it also speaks to something very real and true about relationships and the different stages of them.

As you fall deeper and deeper in love with someone and things become more and more serious (and things can’t get any more serious for Schmidt and Cece than marriage), it’s easy to question whether you deserve something this great, or if the person you love is feeling this strongly, too. Given Schmidt’s history with his weight and his constant need to please people, it makes sense that he would question whether he really deserves Cece (hell, Reagan even jokes in this episode about how she can’t believe the two of them are engaged). But in order to truly move forward with someone else, you need to fully give yourself over to them and trust them completely; you have to give them the ability to break your heart but have faith that they won’t. That’s why, as cheesy as it is, Schmidt giving Cece his trust at the end of the episode, placing it on her finger as if it was an engagement ring, works so well, because it’s not only an earned moment between these two characters but an emotionally authentic one, a scene that many people out there can relate to.

The fact that Reagan can help usher in a solid Schmidt and Cece story that doesn’t feel like contrived drama is a strong sign that Fox’s character could work very well during her time on New Girl. Even though the chemistry between her and Nick is somewhat lacking (there’s a little bit of a spark missing between Fox and Jake Johnson), it still allows for Johnson to ramble out nonsense and for Nick to be his goofiest self; it might not be A+ New Girl material, but it’s still very entertaining and really funny. And as long as Reagan’s presence doesn’t sidetrack Nick’s character too much from the journey of growth we’ve seen from him throughout Season 5 so far, she’ll will serve as a welcome addition to the loft while Jess is gone.

Other thoughts:

  • I’ve never been a huge fan of Megan Fox in the past, but that’s probably more about the movies she’s been in rather than her as an actress. Reagan is definitely one of the better characters she’s been given to play during her career, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed her. here
  • Schmidt’s reaction to finding out that Reagan and Cece hooked up was great, but him seeing them in the shower together at the end of the episode might have been even funnier. Also great: Schmidt with the uterus-shaped stress toy.
  • Nick believing that Sex in the City is actually Sax in the City might be my favorite Nick Miller thing ever.
  • More Nasim Pedrad as Aly, please! So happy she was back in this episode.
  • Nick breaks down his chances with Reagan after learning she’s bisexual: “I can’t compete with that, Winston. That’s too many people. That’s all the people.”
  • “Thank you for the swift kick to the face. Perhaps you wanna live in our place. Genuinely didn’t rhyme on purpose.”
  • “Don’t be embarrassed, man. I want magic, too. I want her to have a metal bra, and then I got a sword in my hand. And guess what? We both wearing skirts, and we’re riding flying horses.”

What did you think of tonight’s episode of New Girl? Did you enjoy Megan Fox as Reagan? Comment below and let me know.

[Photo credit: Ray Mickshaw/FOX]

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