All things considered, Jess and Nick’s relationship hasn’t exactly been a bumpy ride. In fact, every major problem that they’ve ever had has been solved within a half hour in television time. With “Sister II,” Abby caused a ruckus in everyone’s lives, and in “Sister III,” she inadvertently causes the next step in advancing Nick and Jess’ relationship. These two started as roommates, shared a kiss, became lovers, then a couple, yet they’re still roommates, not technically living together. This step, which doesn’t sound like a big step, causes Nick and Jess’ first real issue in their relationship. They’ve only known each other as roommates, but now that they’re sharing a room together, the issues don’t seem to end when the episode does.
It’s weird how big the difference between spending the night with someone, even if it’s every night, and living with them can change things. When you actually live with a person, you spend all your time with him or her and learn about all those weird quirks each of you have kept personal/secret. You might not realize that the other person usually goes to bed in a shirt that makes them look like John from Peter Pan or has feet that are black with a spot of yellow on the bottom.
In “Sister III,” Nick and Jess try out cohabitation and find it not to be their thing, but with Schmidt moving back into the apartment and room at a premium, the couple is now forced to spend all their time together in one tiny room. It’s one thing to see each other whenever you feel like it, but being forced to spend all your free time together can cause a relationship to crumble.
Schmidt’s new apartment in vacated due to Abby moving out and seeking her independence. One of my biggest gripes about New Girl in general has been how it gets rid of its guest stars uneventfully. Linda Cardellini’s disappearance is no different, as she leaves off screen, saying goodbye to no one. It’s a little disappointing, but considering she is Jess’ sister, it’s incredibly unlikely that this is the last we shall see of her.
Abby’s appearance in this trilogy of episodes has also helped move Cece even closer to returning to Schmidt. Cece and Coach have decided to just remain friends, making Coach act like one of Cece’s girlfriends. It’s exciting seeing Damon Wayans Jr. act very similarly to his Happy Endings character Brad around Cece, since it is so different than the Coach we’re used to. Abby moving in with Schmidt leads Cece to try to figure out how she’s using Schmidt. It’s clear from the beginning that this is about more than Cece trying to protect a friend, but possibly about her wanting Schmidt back. Being shortchanged in the story department once again is Winston, who does have an important impact in Jess and Nick’s arc, yet he mostly spends the episode working out on playground rings to train for his police academy exam and is worried he will be pantsed and show his dingaling. But at least Ferguson returns to be by his side.
As far as guest stars go, Abby is definitely one of the better ones New Girl has brought in. She caused some havoc, changed some character dynamics and motivated almost everyone to take the next step, for better or for worse. Here’s hoping we see you again soon, Abby.
Ross Bonaime is a D.C.-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow him on Twitter. Sometimes he looks like a little match girl wandering around Victorian England selling matches for a penny.