“Five Stars For Beezus” is technically a season finale, but it sure does feel like a series finale for New Girl throughout its 20 minute-plus running time, as each of the show’s five main characters gets one last big moment. There are confrontations (Winston calls his dad, Van, although he’s forced to leave a message), surprises (Cece is pregnant), and reunions (Jess and Nick finally confess their feelings for each other and end up making out in the elevator). It’s grand and romantic and emotional, particularly because, even though our five principal characters aren’t all in the same place at any point during the finale, you can still feel that bond between them through the interactions they do have, whether it’s Jess confirming for Schmidt that Cece is pregnant or Winston showing Jess how to be brave so that she’ll actually tell Nick how she truly feels.
Although Season 6 certainly hasn’t been my favorite New Girl season, it has properly built up to all these major emotional moments, and it’s so satisfying to watch them play out on screen. Aly being the one that gives Winston his dad’s phone number perfectly sums up their relationship in one small scene: they encourage each other and make one another better. Winston actually calling his dad also nicely follows up the conversation he had with his mom about him in “Misery.” In that episode, we saw that Winston might have an even more complicated relationship with his dad than either Nick or Schmidt did with their own fathers, and by reaching out to talk with his dad, Winston takes the final step he needs in order to become the best possible version of himself, a version that Aly has inspired and nurtured since the two of them first met back in Season 4. Plus, Winston trying to re-connect with his dad provides him with a very strong storyline for a potential Season 7; I would love to see how New Girl explores their relationship and how it differs from what the show has done with Nick and Schmidt and their fathers.
While Winston spends a good portion of “Five Stars For Beezus” reflecting on the past, Schmidt and Cece look toward the future after hearing the big news about her pregnancy. The reveal of Cece being pregnant isn’t a huge surprise, but it’s a very welcome one, not only for what it means for Schmidt and Cece as a couple but also for the wonderfully sweet sequence in which the news is revealed, as Jess answers Sadie’s first call before Aly answers the second one, leading to Winston unintentionally breaking the news to Schmidt which Jess then confirms. As I mentioned above, the wacky comedic nature of that sequence ensures that the news about Cece packs the same emotional punch that it would have if all five of the show’s main characters were in the same room together.
That sequence is only topped by the lovely scene that follows it in which Schmidt, surrounded by a room full of flowers (because he couldn’t decide which ones to buy Cece), gets to tell his wife, the woman that he’s loved for the past six years, that they’re going to be parents. The entire scene features amazing work from both Max Greenfield and Hannah Simone, and it’s also beautifully written, as it has a tremendously funny and sweet callback to the pregnancy scare that Schmidt and Cece had in Season 1, as he refers to their unborn child as a “caramel miracle.” Even more powerful than that, though, is when Cece admits to Schmidt that she didn’t think having a child was going to happen for them, a small but important line that references the worries Cece had about ever getting pregnant back in New Girl Season 2, when she almost left Schmidt behind for good and rushed into an arranged marriage. The line she delivers in this finale showcases how monumental of a moment this is for her: she is finally going to be able to have a child, and she’s going to be able to have him or her with the man that she loves.
And then, of course, there’s Jess and Nick, whose relationship has been at the center of everything happening in New Girl Season 6, even when it has seemingly pushed into the background in favor of Jess and Robby or Nick and Reagan. This entire season has been building to Jess and Nick’s romantic reunion, but what the New Girl writers have smartly done is not try to force the two of them back together; instead, throughout this season and even Season 5 as well, the show’s creative team has proven in small and big ways just how the two of them have evolved and matured as people to the point that it makes sense that they would get back together. Unlike the versions of them that we saw in Season 3, these new, older, and wiser versions of Jess and Nick understand each other better than they did before, and more importantly, they understand and love themselves more than they did three years ago–they’re no longer afraid.
Throughout “Five Stars For Beezus,” New Girl also does a fantastic job of illustrating the little moments that have made Jess and Nick fall for each other. Just look at the pride and love on Jess’s face as she watches Nick during his reading at the beginning of the episode, or pay attention to the expression on Nick’s face as he looks down from the loft and sees Jess out on the street trying to get into the building, a nearly identical situation to the first time he ever saw her, a memory which he shares with Schmidt earlier on in the finale. And then, of course, there’s the moment when “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” begins to play on the radio, the song that plays at the end of Dirty Dancing, the song that Nick got Schmidt and Coach to sing to Jess after she got stood up by her date at the end of the show’s pilot, and the song that prompts Jess to run back to the loft, “be brave” like Winston said, and be honest with Nick about how she feels. It’s such an incredible sequence, and it had me smiling and nearly crying from the moment Jess leaves the moving van to the final shot of her and Nick kissing while in the elevator.
So where does that ending leave us for a potential Season 7 of New Girl? Despite how satisfying of a conclusion “Five Stars For Beezus” is for the series, I’d argue that it does an even better job at setting up a shortened final season, one that allows for Winston to form a relationship with his dad (and marry Aly), Schmidt and Cece to go through the ups an downs of pregnancy together before their child is born (more than likely in the series finale,), and Jess and Nick to continue to grow as individuals and as a couple (Maybe Nick does get his book published? Maybe Jess continues to struggle with being a principal or maybe she thrives? Maybe the two of them get engaged?). There are so many exciting possibilities for where New Girl can go in a formally announced and planned final season, so many stories still left to tell, and I want to see them all.
But if this is the end for the series, it’s pretty much a perfect ending. Sure, I would have liked to have seen the whole loft gang together on screen a little bit more, and I would have been so happy to get one final game of True American. But not every series finale gives fans exactly what they want, and tonight’s New Girl provided me with everything I needed from the show, even if I will always be wanting and asking for more because I just never want this show to end.
New Girl has been my favorite comedy on television since it first premiered in 2011, and I’ve been writing about the series since I first started here at TVOvermind in 2012. If this really is the end, I’ll miss the laughs and the tears and the characters and the crazy world in which they all behave so wacky and weirdly. But I’ll also take with me the joy that this show has given me for the past six years and leave feeling just as happy, elated, and fulfilled as Jess and Nick feel in the finale’s final scene.
- That’s Lorde’s “Green Light” playing in the final scene with Jess and Nick, and it fits perfectly.
- Fred Willard shows up in a great one-scene guest spot as Schmidt’s favorite Uber driver, Beezus, who drives Nick back to the loft and whose name helps give the finale its title.
- I love how the finale has both Schmidt and Winston play major roles in Jess and Nick finally stepping up to confess their feelings for reach other. It’s a very smart, clever way to connect all the episode’s stories together.
- I also appreciated all the callbacks to the New Girl pilot, from the more overt references like “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” playing to the more subtle ones, such as the episode kicking off with Jess riding in a car and talking to Cece about a grand romantic gesture she has planned (and just like in the pilot, of course it has to involve songs. Come on now, Cece).
- The Pepperwood Chronicles has a major impact on the Jess/Nick storyline in this episode, as Nick telling his readers that Pepperwood and Jessica Night will never get together makes Jess go into full-blown panic mode and move out of the loft. Then, later, Nick’s potential publisher tells him that he wants to kill off Jessica Night in the next book, which triggers Nick’s realization about how much he loves Jess.
- Schmidt tells Nick that he’s never seen him look at anyone else the way he looks at Jess, except for maybe, on a few occasions, him. Nick tells Schmidt that he’s never looked at him that way. “You looked at Coach maybe one or twice like that,” Schmidt tells him. “Me: several times. Winston: never. Let’s table it.”
- Schmidt’s description of Nick to Cece is hysterical: “He’s always dumb. He’s the dumbest boy in school.”
- Schmidt is just as invested in Jess and Nick’s romance as the New Girl fans are: “How could I not have been watching these idiots do this dance for the last six years? He’s rough and tumble, she’s sweet and sassy. It’s the moon and the tides, the push and the pull.”
- Winston shares some information on Steve, the guy who apparently lived in Jess’s room before she moved in. He was a night screamer, meaning that he “couldn’t sleep unless he was screaming a whole bunch,” and like Jess, he also loved Nick but was too afraid to tell him. “That sweet, gay coward,” Winston says.
- “Children’s literature just got a brand new daddy.”
- And that will do it for Season 6 of New Girl. Thank you so much to everyone who has read and shared these reviews, not only this year but throughout the five years I’ve been writing about the show. I published my very first New Girl review for TVOvermind back in October 2012, and I never imagined that this show (and its fans) would become such a huge part of my life. If this really is the end, thank you for taking this ride with me. It means more than I could ever say.
What did everyone else think about tonight’s New Girl finale, and if this does end up being the final episode of the series, are you satisfied with it? Comment below and let me know.
[Photo credit: Ray Mickshaw/FOX]
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