New Girl Review: "Cabin" (Episode 2.12)
If in the early part of season one of New Girl you would have said there would be an episode of the show in which guns are shot widely into the air, an entire bottle of absinthe is consumed and an attempted purchase of crack occurs AND it all works plot-wise, I wouldn’t have believed you. But “Cabin” is an example of how New Girl has evolved, allowing itself to put its characters in some weird positions, all while reinforcing the idea that this group of friends are so close, know each other so well and love each other to the point that they are willing to help each other through any circumstance.
Take, for example, that Schmidt feels like maybe living with three white people has held back Winston in being as black as he wants to be. Schmidt walks an incredibly fine line between hilarious and borderline racist here, but at his core, Schmidt is just trying to do what is best for his friend. The B story this week at least gives Winston one of his best episodes, even if it is quite low on actual story. Schmidt wants Winston to feel fine with engaging in his culture, and he wants to help him with that. It starts with eating ribs with Winston, then escalates into trying to buy crack cocaine from street youths once Winston finds out what is really going on. Watching Schmidt play his role completely seriously the entire episode is brilliant, and teaming him up with Winston is a dynamic that needs to be exploited even more throughout this second season.
But “Cabin” isn’t all stereotypes, as Jess, Sam, Nick and Angie all go on a vacation to a cabin together. Nick is still excited about dating Angie, even if he is living in a relationship of fear that involves shooting guns and riding on motorcycles without helmets. Similarly, Jess is uncomfortable being alone with Sam, as she wants the vacation to be perfect, since this is their first romantic getaway together.
Nick and Jess understand each other perfectly while they struggle with their own significant others. But once the four of them crack out the absinthe, they each see their true selves. Angie tries to couple-swap with Sam, but Sam only has eyes for Jess. When Nick finally stands up to Angie stating that he wants to be exclusive with her and that he is afraid of the things she gets him into, Angie quickly leaves the next morning, with some of Nick’s stuff.
Nick has been down this road before. He hasn’t been comfortable with certain relationships in the past and yet went through the motions. Here, he finally speaks his mind, then is left because of it. Nick did the right thing, yet it didn’t pan out for him, which is a completely different level of pain for Nick, even if he doesn’t show it right away.
New Girl has found that perfect way to bring insane comedy ideas into an episode that makes sense for its characters, while playing with the bond that these four people have. As Nick has his heart broken and Jess seems to be in one of her strongest relationships so far, it’ll be great to see how these dynamics play out in this final half of season two. And maybe, just maybe, we can have an episode where Winston and Schmidt finally smoke crack together. One can hope.