New Girl Review: "All In" (Episode 3.01)
When it comes to comedies, most of the time you’re jumping into a group of friends or family that already know each other and love each other. Though with New Girl, we’ve watched these four people—Nick, Winston, Schmidt and Jess—go from strangers in the first season to a close group with a possibility of romance in the second. As we get into the third season, we’re now into full-on loving family mode.
With “All In,” a wonderful way to get back to these characters and a great way to start the third season, it’s clear that every member of this group needs the others. After driving away from Cece’s ruined wedding, Jess and Nick are afraid to return to apartment 4D together for the first time as a couple. Once they open that door to the tirades and problems of Schmidt and Winston, it all becomes real. So Nick does what he does best: he runs. But this time, he’s got a partner-in-crime with his new girlfriend Jess.
But back in 4D, Schmidt and Winston are falling apart without the other half of their group. Schmidt still can’t decide between Elizabeth and Cece, and when he goes to confront each of them, he can’t break up with either. Meanwhile Winston is in a puzzle mood, which means lots of humming, nakedness and downright confusion, as Winston clearly doesn’t know how to put a puzzle together.
Nick and Jess’ Mexican paradise can’t last forever, as they’re living out of a car on the beach for days. When Nick tries to relax at a beachside resort, he’s arrested, leaving Jess to return to 4D to get their friends and bail Nick out.
Unlike one of Winston’s puzzles, “All In” shows that these four fit perfectly together, each with their own purpose in the others’ lives. Nick is terrified of returning to the apartment because he knows that living with his new girlfriend could now cause some big problems that they may not be ready for. Nick is used to running, but now he has Jess to pull him back when he strays too far.
Even though Nick clearly doesn’t have his life together, Winston and Schmidt need him to be their best friend. Schmidt needs him to talk through his lady problems and Winston needs Nick to corroborate Schmidt’s claim that he can’t put a puzzle together because clearly he’s colorblind.
Now that they are officially an item, Nick and Jess have to deal with living together and sort of with their two roommates who basically act like they could be their kids. But it’s going to work out. After three years, these four people are inseparable and they need each other. They’d have a much harder time making it without Schmidt and Winston than they would in their own private beach paradise.
“All In” is a fantastic entrance into New Girl’s third season, with all the hilarious and touching moments that have made New Girl one of the best comedies on TV, as we get right back into the romance and challenges of Nick and Jess’ relationship, the douchey behaviors of Schmidt and the strange quirks of Winston. But now, there aren’t just four friends; this is one family, and it’s great to have the family back.