New Girl season finale recap: Time To Make This Horse into a Unicorn

Nick's freak-out over moving with Caroline makes for roommate bonding in the desert, a coyote confrontation, a fight-or-flight reaction from Winston, and a turning point for Schmidt and Cece
Ep. 24 | Aired May 8, 2012

GET RIGHT BACK TO WHERE WE STARTED FROM Is anyone else sad Dirty Dancing wasn't playing when this scene happened?

Patrick McElhenney/Fox

As I'm sure you gathered last week, I was as anti-Nick moving out as any one of you, but I have to admit that this story arc brought not only a Remy sighting(!)... not only an excellent momentary replacement roommate in the form of That Guy from All the Movies (And Reno 911!) Thomas Lennon... but also what I would argue was the best New Girl episode yet. It was cohesive, funny, touching, and chockablock with '90s songs! Get out your tissues and brace your sides, Newbies. This one was a keeper.

We picked up where we left off: Nick was discussing his defection with the roommates. And it was a tough crowd. Even Schmidt had joined Jess in opposing Nick's move. He was particularly virulent as he rejected -- nay, hurled! -- the cookies Caroline had baked as a peace offering. (To be fair, they were carob chip cookies, a.k.a. "hippy chocolate." Uncool, Caroline, uncool.) Jess summed up the underlying problem best: "You're making a huge, life-ruining mistake by moving in with a woman who turned you into an agoraphobic, turtle-faced borderline alcoholic." That said, no one would miss Nick's DIY handymannery, particularly a hammer-wielding ventriloquist's dummy (who looked like Nick in 40 years, if you ask me) he had positioned next to the loft's mouse hole. (Jess: "He's not fooling anyone. Just because he's a snappy dresser, you think the mice don't see the hammer? Mice come from all over the building to laugh.")

Nick wouldn't back down, so it was time to find a new roomie. Predictably, Winston and Schmidt were prepared to dedicate as much time to selecting a New Guy as Coach and Schmidt did in picking the New Girl. Enter Neil (Lennon), the recently divorced HR drone who had to lay off himself and who was "kind of a troubadour"... definitely a crazypants. Jess hypocritically was the only roommate to fight Neil's acceptance tooth and nail, and I'm sure many of you will agree her reluctance was more about her own bubbling-up feelings for Nick than about Neil himself. Which is not to say Neil wasn't fairly ridiculous as a human being. Oh yes, my friend, he was ridiculous. Anyhow, in honor of Jess's resistance (and a classic Schmidt quote), I nearly named this recap "Pounding the Drum of War." Other strong contenders included "A Jew in the Desert," "Goggles McHardbody," and "I Don't Want Your Dirty Lolli,"  but we'll get to those later. Long story short, the roommates pointed out that Jess might never have been allowed in if they'd known about her kooky behavior (playing the triangle to alert the roommates when she was in the bathroom, for example), and so she was overruled, and Neil was in!

Speaking of which, Neil had a special moving day song: "I like to move in, move in -- MOVE IN!" Ironically, Jess didn't care for a musically inclined roommate. (Speaking of which, when did Jess stop singing? Am I the only one who misses it?) Cece was equally dubious: "I rode up in the elevator with that guy, and something growled in that box."

NEXT: Schmidt's recovery doesn't go as planned

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