New Girl "Sister III" Review: Shacking Up and Going Home
What a shockingly uneventful conclusion to Linda Cardellini's New Girl trilogy. While "Sister" and "Sister II" mostly effortlessly introduced and acclimated Abby to the loft, "Sister III" fumbled when it came time to kick her out, with an episode that was more about Nick and Jess's co-habitation hang-ups. The situation ultimately inspired Abby to move back in with her mom so that she could be... more independent? Okay.
If we look at Nessy's story purely as a Nessy story, the rocky road to their sharing a bedroom was fraught with the usual hilarity and weirdly accurate observations about mundane crap—thanks, Nick.
It's easy to shrug off Jess and Nick's concerns about condensing their living arrangements into a single bedroom. At first protest, I totally did. After all, they're already living together. They're already sharing one bed or the other on a probable nightly basis. If anything, it makes more sense for them to combine rooms than not to.
Personal space is a strange beast, though. We all need it, and if people find themselves craving it in the midst of a committed relationship, guarding what little "me" space is left, it doesn't mean that their relationship is damaged or anything, but it does require having one of those oh-so-awkward let's-sit-down-and-talk-about-our-commitment-to-Sparkle-Motion talks. Most of the time, the issues are more mentally driven than anything else, and they don't even have to make a ton of sense. My handsomer and more manly half travels a lot for his job and more often than not, it sucks, but every now and then, I sit in our empty apartment and practically vibrate with excitement because I can do whatever I want.
It's completely irrational. I can do whatever I want any other time too. I'm an adult. I'm on the lease. We're gettin' hitched and he knows I'm a weirdo. There's nothing left to hide—not even gross, dirty feet OMG Nick Miller WASH THAT SHIT—and yet, the urge to go all Jessica Day in a swanky hotel room occasionally rises to the surface... and that's okay.
Jess and Nick are still at the stage where any sort of perceived weakness in their relationship damns the whole thing, and given Nick's legendary resistance to change, it's no surprise that the idea of sharing a bedroom full-time resulted in instant terror and initiated a full-blown contemplation of the seaworthiness of the S.S. Nessy. By holding on to their solo bedrooms, Jess and Nick maintained a protective barrier against either one of them appearing too flawed or too weird, even in minor ways, i.e. Jess's book light or Nick's
nightgown long shirt. The details of the conflict were silly, yes, but they were also the sort of romance-killers that can easily crack a former perception of idealized perfection. For as much progress as Nick and Jess have made since THE KISS, in some ways, they're still enamored with their illusions of each other, rather than the gross human reality of each other. They even seem to be aware of that habit, and opted to keep their separate bedrooms at the end of "Sister III," only to be forced back into sharing when Schmidt decided to move back in. Oops.
This shacking-up business, of course, was only initiated in response to Abby moving in with Schmidt so suddenly. Cece's quest to expose Abby for the serial-people-user that she is appeared to backfire when an apparent drug run was revealed to be more of a craft supply run, and even a B&E over at Schmidt's loft turned up nothing but some curious housekeeping/garbage-tending habits from Schmidtty. Cece ultimately apologized, but then Abby had to go have a heart-to-heart with Jess and decide on her own that she's an awful person who uses other people to fuel her adventures, prompting the tail-between-her-legs return to her mom's house in Portland.
To be fair, Abby's story was never going to end a different way. From the minute she showed up, she was always going to return home eventually. I'm just disappointed by the big reveal that yes, Abby is every bit the sad, broken trainwreck that her sister and her sister's friends believed her to be. New Girl has turned reworking tropes and screwing with our expectations into an artform, but this time around, the show put so much effort into building Abby Day up, implying that there was more to her than met the eye, only to drop everything at the last moment. Abby ended up being exactly who Cece and Jess spent two weeks telling us she was.
On that note, I guess if we ignore the Abby stuff, "Sister III" was a relatively solid ensemble episode, with not-entirely-filler appearances from Coach (bemoaning his relationship with Cece) and Winston (training for the police academy exam and totally tattling on Jess's hotel stay). The problem with ignoring the Abby stuff for the sake of saying nice things about everything else is that, well, the episode was called "Sister III." The conclusion to Abby's story was the entire point. Oh well, it's generally the last part in any trilogy that tends to be the weakest.
– One-liner of the week! "When you're naked, you're powerful and it's glorious. When you're changing, you're hunched over and covering, like an animal." —Nick
– Honorable mention goes to Schmidt with "Expose your crack and love will fill it."
– OMG FERGUSON LIIIIIVES!
– What are your thoughts on Schmidt's impending returning to the loft?
– What are your thoughts on Abby's departure?
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