New Girl "Halloween" Review: Dawn of the Dead-end Relationships

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Oct 31, 2012

New Girl S02E06: “Halloween”

Goodbye, Sexy Sam. We barely knew ye. In fact, we found out more about ye during New Girl’s Halloween costume extravaganza than we did during your entire no-strings-attached relationship with Jess, only to have you banished in what was actually kind of an okay exit.

According to Nick, relationships are like haunted houses—you rarely get what you expect. Sexy Sam tried to avoid that horror by being pretty upfront about what he wanted from Jess: namely, sex. Jess accepted his honesty and they got on quite well until Sam left his wallet behind after a hook-up. In tracking Sam down at work to give it back, Jess learned that he was a pediatrician and his knack for dealing with children set her heart all aflutter. Sam was quick to point out that his awesomeness with children did NOT mean that he was a big softie looking for the love of his life. He’s just here for the free candy, man. But it was too late—Jess thought she'd gotten a glimpse beneath the mask.

And maybe she did. Sam really was awesome with his wee patients and we had no reason to believe he was anything less than a good doctor. Maybe when Sam decides he wants to have a full-blown boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, he’ll be a great boyfriend. It’s easy to condemn him for breaking Jess’s heart, but honestly, he was a pretty good friend-with-benefits too. When Jess asked him to be her boyfriend-for-real, Sam could've easily taken advantage of Jess’s feelings, but he didn’t. The man just didn’t want a girlfriend and he stood by his decision. It’s not his fault that Jess mistook him for something he wasn’t.

Jess’s most recent awful job as a seasonal spook in a haunted house (which is actually an AWESOME job) led the gang to her workplace to hammer out their relationship woes. Jess wasn’t the only one having perception issues this week. Winston was disappointed when Shelby showed up in a cutesy joke costume instead of a suitably sexy counterpart to his cop getup. The apprehension between the couple over something so minor as Halloween costumes led to a blow-up in the haunted house where they honestly addressed the fact that they are, and pretty much always have been, a terrible match for one another.

Nick spent half of the episode in bed with college crush Amelia, who was in town for a visit. He planned to ask her out on a date like he had always wanted to in college, but after spending time with her, realized that she was no longer the person he idealized back them... or possibly never was. Important lesson, that. Also this, from Amelia herself: “I’m not an idea of a person, I’m an actual person.” Preach it, lady.

While the treatment of Sam and his rejection of Jess were delightfully accurate and mature, this week's biggest surprise and character growth spurt came from Schmidt, with his acceptance of the Cece situation. In typical Schmidt fashion, he managed to obligate Cece to attend some social function he would be at—Jess’s haunted house. He then continued his campaign of misguidedly shoehorning himself into social situations between Cece and her boyfriend, Rob, trying desperately and unsuccessfully to be Rob’s superior. This week, he resorted to head-butting, but Rob even bested him there. Poor Schmidt, he just wants to be better than everyone, or rather, have everyone acknowledge that he’s better than them.

Rob isn’t dumb, though, and I appreciate that even though he’s ultimately just the guy Cece is dating before she inevitably goes back to Schmidt, he’s not a joke. He’s nerdy, sure, and a little awkward, but he’s not a cardboard placeholder of a character. Cece will get back with Schmidt eventually—maybe even sooner rather than later, based on her thoughtful appreciation of Schmidt’s nice-guy moment—but in the meantime, I don’t feel bad that she’s dating Rob. Rob is alright. Rob called Schmidt out on his shenanigans and the two rivals ended up bonding over deep-fried dinner. At the end of the night, Schmidt even handed over (most of) his prized Abe Lincoln costume because everyone kept mistaking him and Cece for a bride and groom and he figured that if the general public was going to get his costume wrong, they could at least get it wrong with the right couple. It was a big moment for Schmidt, though I can’t help but wonder if he was also just looking for an excuse to strut around in his bright-red man-panties in his Plan B costume, Matthew McConaughey from Magic Mike. Dayam, Max Greenfield is JACKED.


1. One-liner of the night: “I’m gonna kick him to the curb once I use his body like a moisturizer sample.” Eew Jess, that’s just gross.

2. Honorable Mention: Winston’s “You don’t see the Queen of England wearing a cape with British people stapled to it!” Just because of the visual it created.

3. Nick accidentally punched Jess during his terror in the haunted house. Her retaliation was glorious.

4. I appreciated the accurate depiction of how to hold a conversation with your co-workers while working in an attraction like Jess’s haunted house. It’s a handy skill, and the day you and your co-workers realize you've mastered it is both amusing and depressing. Former seasonal flunkies represent!

5. Do you think Sexy Sam is really gone for good?

6. How long will Rob and Schmidt’s truce last?

7. Who wins the New Girl Halloween costume extravaganza?

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  • un0rmal Nov 02, 2012

    I love Rob. I'm almost sad that we know he's gonna leave the show pretty soon.

  • jmur Nov 01, 2012

    nick screaming was pure laughter. loved loved loved it. this show just keeps getting better and better every if only modern family could follow suit...

  • Devon39219 Nov 01, 2012

    haha loved winstons comment, love that they are making all the male characters evenly interesting to watch. I was invested in all their stories. This show is getting better and better. Loved jess' outfit, and actually had a lump in my throat when she was rejected, great acting too.

  • poetgirl925 Nov 01, 2012

    I really think this is a sitcom for people who don't like sitcoms. I rarely watch them because of lame comic tropes and jokes that I just don't find very funny. Generally I just stick with dramas that have some humor. But New Girl? I love it! I find the writing really sharp and insightful in surprisingly amusing ways, and the actors really embody the characters. I mean, Zooey Deschanel really has to commit to her role to pull off a costume like Zombie Woody Allen lol. I think I'd watch her in anything now. Max Greenfield too - Schmidt is the douchebag character who could come off completely ridiculous, but MG keeps him real. I think I'd watch any of these guys in something else.

    Fave cotume - definitely Zombie Woody Allen! Favorite scenes were - Nick screaming at the clown (that would SO be me since I hate clowns lol) and Schmidt and Rob working things out. I also loved Jess's chat with her co-workers in the haunted house. I think Sexy Sam might make one more appearance later on - they really developed his character here, so it would make sense for him to reappear at a time when he felt like he was ready for a relationship. Either way, his character made a realistic and graceful exit here, and I can't hate him. I actually like him better than some of the others Jess has dated for longer and whom we got to know more about. As for Schmidt and Rob, I think Schmidt will behave himself and they'll get along fine. I also think it's what will lead to Cece breaking things off with Rob eventually - no friction means more time spent around Schmidt and the gang, and we already saw her cracking a bit in this episode.

  • quasar9 Nov 01, 2012

    Haha I LOVE this show; it never lets me down.

  • rishabhpb Nov 01, 2012

    I loved the three-way convo between Winston, Shelby and the haunted house employee. Whoever that unnamed actress was, she had good delivery.

  • KelseyLeClair Nov 01, 2012

    Best costume goes to Schmidt for Matthew McConaughey in Magic Mike. And I am the same as Nick when it comes to haunted houses. Don't like 'em!

    This episode was really funny! And i hope that Nick and Jess are becoming something now! (they had that moment at the end - fingers crossed!)

  • nnvvaa Nov 01, 2012

    are nick and jess becoming a thing? the episode before this they shared a moment and I think it happened again this time...

  • dandush33 Nov 01, 2012

    I liked that both Sexy Sam and Nerdy Rob are real rounded characters that are honest and good and kinda normal. I have nothing against Sam- he was honest and yet kind and caring and Rob is a nerd but not dumb and I'm glad for Cece for having found him (beneath the exterior)

    I LOVED Nick screaming at the Clown So funny!

  • TrueTvWatcher Nov 01, 2012

    What an awesome episode! This show is more realistic and homegrown than most others I've seen and that is why we love it! The characters are phenomenal and the acting superb. The jokes are great too! I look forward to more episodes!!!

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