New Girl Season 5 Episode 8 Review: “The Decision”

New Girl

The titular decision in this week’s New Girl refers to the difficult choice that Nick and Winston have to make about which of them will sleep with Reagan. However, the title for this week’s episode really works for any of the characters, as all of them make important, if not difficult, decisions in their lives.

There is, of course, the decision that Nick and Winston make regarding Reagan, but that really just serves as a launching pad for Winston’s true realization: he likes Aly. It’s not an unexpected or wholly original avenue to explore (this development was predictable from the moment Nasim Pedrad’s character first appeared on New Girl and told Winston not to fall in love with her), but the fact that the show’s writers complicate the situation further, with Aly having a boyfriend, and don’t just give Winston what he wants immediately is promising. So many of Winston’s past relationships have felt like last-minute add-ons to episode, barely though-out suggestions for what the C-story should be that week; however, with Aly, who is a character we’ve known for a while now, a new, potential romance for Winston is an exciting prospect, a storyline that I’m looking forward to watching unfold in the coming weeks.

In addition to Winston’s decision, you also have the choice that Schmidt and Cece make, as they try to find the best possible venue for their wedding. After Schmidt surprises Cece with an appointment at The Lisbon, the two of them run into Schmidt’s old college friend Benjamin, who is still as big of a jerk as he was when we first met him in Season 1, and his soon-to-be wife, Mimi.

Again, the conflict here is pretty predictable, as both couples want to reserve the venue for the one date that is open in April, but New Girl doesn’t follow the typical storytelling route here. Sure, it’s not all that shocking when Schmidt tells Cece that he doesn’t need The Lisbon because she’s his dream, but what is a pleasant surprise is that the two of them don’t somehow end up reserving the spot anyway. The venue booker doesn’t suddenly realize that Schmidt and Cece’s love is something special, and the two of them are happy with the warehouse that they agree to get married in. While most sitcoms would have rewarded Schmidt for his ability to stifle his ego and Cece for her devotion to Schmidt’s “dream,” New Girl doesn’t fall into that sitcom pitfall, and it’s a better show for it, giving real meaning to Schmidt and Cece’s words. The couple say that all they need for their wedding day to be perfect is to be with each other, and that’s what they (and we as viewers) are going to get.

Lastly, we have Nick and Reagan’s decisions, which both come near the end of “The Decision,” as Nick tells Reagan that he won’t go through with sleeping with her as part of some bet or agreement, and Reagan agrees to go with him to the bar to get a drink, with both of them wearing the most unflattering outfits that they own. Nick’s choice to not try to sleep with Reagan is very reminiscent of his reaction to Jess when she tries to kiss him in “Cooler,” when he tells her that he doesn’t what it to happen as a part of True American; similarly, in “The Decision,” Nick doesn’t want Reagan to sleep with him just because he proved her wrong.

Nick’s actions here are less indicative of deeper feelings for Reagan (his crush may be starting to become something more, but he doesn’t care about her in the same way that he did and still does for Jess) and are more reflective of the type of person that he is. Despite his “grumpy old man” exterior, Nick Miller is, when it comes down to it, a romantic; when he’s with someone or wants to be with someone, he wants whatever happens between them to be as special as it can be. His choice surprises and impresses Reagan, which is what leads her to make her decision of the episode and join him at the bar for drinks.

Where will things between Nick and Reagan go? It’s unclear, especially with Jess’s return on the horizon, and Megan Fox departing the series in just a couple of episodes. However, after back-to-back weeks where it seemed like Nick was devolving from the more mature version of himself that we’ve seen throughout Season 5, “The Decision” is a nice reminder that Nick Miller has always done some things right. Isn’t that why we love him?

Other thoughts:

  • Megan Fox continued to do really solid work throughout “The Decision.” It’s only been three episodes, but Reagan already feels like a real, vibrant person in the wacky world that New Girl takes place in.
  • Everything about Nick and Winston’s “gentleman’s debate” was fantastic, as was Nick’s reaction to Reagan’s “presentation.”
  • Nick calling “dibs” just a singular “dib” is such a Nick Miller thing to do, and I love it.
  • The story of how Benjamin and Mimi met is called “Lovestruck.” “It has a title?” Schmidt asks.
  • Speaking of Schmidt, his reaction to learning about Aly’s boyfriend was perfect: “Well, maybe he’ll die. Everybody dies.”
  • Jake Johnson’s line delivery can make the simplest of lines hilarious: “You got freaking cologne all over me. I smell fantastic!”
  • “Officer down to meet your boyfriend. I realize those were a poor choice of words for a station.” Never change, Winston. Never change.
  • “Of course we make decisions. How do you think I’m wearing clothes right now?” “I laid those out for you, Nick.”
  • “And you would be there?” “Yes.” “You would physically be there?” “Yes.”
  • “Well, get ready for the skin circus, you little peanut.”

What did you think of this week’s episode of New Girl? Comment below and let me know. 

[Photo credit: Patrick McElhenney/FOX]

New Girl Season 5 Episode 8 Review:
5

Summary

Reagan forces Nick and Winston to make some tough choices in a great episode of New Girl.

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