New Girl "Sister" Review: Jess and the Art of Miscommunication

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Feb 12, 2014

New Girl S03E16: "Sister"

Wow, who knew Don Draper's sappy squeeze had it in her? Well, maybe you Freaks and Geeks fans did, but regardless, Linda Cardellini added a new a screw-up to a show full of screw-ups. Abby Day's antics were less zany and more zany-with-a-side-of-angst; no one thought her drinking, scamming, and prison stint were cute... and Abby knew it. Her genuinely heartbroken and then angry response to Cece's text—"So has Abby ruined everything yet?"—instantly elevated Abby beyond typical "crappy relatives" territory. Tossing Jess a sister this late in the game could have backfired REALLY badly, but New Girl navigated the wide-open waters just fine.

Jess had a lot on her plate this week, between retrieving her wayward sister—twice—and fielding miscommunication both to and from Nick. She didn't want Nick to meet Abby because she thought Nick would judge Abby's trashiness because I guess she forgot about Nick's father. Nick, of course, noticed Jess's reluctance to initiate introductions and immediately assumed the worst—that she was embarrassed by him. (I don't really blame him.)

New Girl resisted the urge to turn Jess and Nick's momentary mix-up into a THING and honestly, their resolution was a simple matter of just using their words. Now, Nick's apprehension about Abby staying for a "week, a month tops, six months super tops" etc. was obvious—and again, who can blame him?—and there's plenty of potential for disagreement and disaster when New Girl returns on February 25. 

It's hard to say how long Abby will be sticking around. The next episode is called "Sister II"—so she's at least got that ahead of her—and given that Damon Wayans Jr.'s triumphant return as Coach was never billed as anything more than a "stint," one never knows. Coach has already exceeded my expectations about four times over; this week, he was pining for Cece and everything! Coach's own hang-ups, on display week in and week out, have also managed to paint the potentially one-dimensional Coach as a screwball with a soul. After having the briefest of brief flings with Cece a few weeks back, Coach was smitten—or at the very least, lustful—with regard to Jess's bestie, and when Cece failed to romantically reciprocate via text, he was torn apart like a seventh-grader with some seriously misdirected affections on V-Day .

While I would never advocate the taking of hostages for any reason, romantic or otherwise (especially not romantic), Winston's forced double date with Bertie might just have been the best thing to happen for Cece and Coach, forcing them to confront their lingering feelings about sexy wall time and accept that they're just not THAT into each other...and that's okay. They can just be friends and neither party is torn up about that. I'm really starting to appreciate how much effort New Girl puts into highlighting non-romantic friendships among its characters. 

Elsewhere, Schmidt went to a Bar Mitzvah to pick up Jon Lovitz's daughter and get his groove back. But he didn't get his groove back, and IDK, for the like, the first time ever, I thought everyone else was doing way more interesting stuff than Schmidt. Sorry, Schmidt. Better luck next week in two weeks! 


– "Have you seen a girl who looks like me but with chaos in her eyes?" Lol @ Jess and everything with Outside Dave.

– Jon Lovitz and Jamie Lee Curtis—man, this episode had some sweet, sweet cameos.

– Any predictions regarding the tenure and tone of Abby's stay in Chez Loft?

– Cece and Coach agreed to just be friends. That means Cece and Schmidt are going to get back together soon right? RIGHT?

What'd you think of "Sister"?

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  • tctems Feb 16, 2014

    This was such a boring episode. In fact the most boring New Girl episode I have ever watched. I don't know why I do it to myself.

  • streetsahead Feb 14, 2014

    This episode was just off. The future of New Girl isn't looking bright for me. Idk when is it gonna get its mojo back or is it at all.

  • AndreaMcCooey Feb 13, 2014

    I actually skipped some parts of this episode it was so dull.
    "Abby ruins everything". Yeah, so you said, but I really saw no evidence of that. Bit of a waste of a guest star if she hadn't been staying around.
    Also, since when does Jess have a sister?

  • vcivi Feb 13, 2014

    To be honest, i didn't care for the sister at she is ALSO living there..
    It seems like New Girl is adding more people so it will be more funny orso..
    But i liked it much better, when it was just the 5 of them...Now we are up to 7/8 people...

    Loved the whole Coach and Cece thing going on...
    Winstond with his soups hahahahaha
    Schmidt and Nick scene was also pretty funny...that girl..
    I like sex, he wants to have sex with me...hahahahahaha so funny...

  • alyxkay Feb 13, 2014

    Oh god GOD is that a common barber's comb?

    Also, Outside Daaaaaave you are perfect.

  • MollyPoppy Feb 14, 2014

    I loved the barber's comb comment! Glad you mentioned it.

  • PhoenixTremayne Feb 13, 2014

    I thought there were too many characters when they added Coach again, The struggle shows, most of the time either we're going to get more Winston or more Coach but not really both at the same time, but even Schmidt gets less screen time, the only two that seem to be consistent now is Nick and Jess, but Abby is just one character too many unless this show is going to switch to an hour format. It's just too many characters.

  • blackbond21 Feb 13, 2014

    Decent episode dialogue of the night for me:

    Abby: Mom was right he has an uptown butt

    Jess: What!

    Abby: An uptown butt in ski pants

    Jess: What does that mean?

    Abby: Everything

    Nick: (scared and slightly flattered look on his face)

  • LuzAguirre Feb 12, 2014

    I didn't enjoy this episode as much as the previous ones, but that's fine, it wasn't as boring as the episodes from the beginning of the season.
    It was kind of cute how worried was Nick about Jess being ashamed of him, poor thing, but it was great how sure Jess was of him.
    Yay! Jess mom was back!
    I'm a little worried about Abby crashing at the loft, we have Coach now, do we really need another character? Mmmm, only time w'll tell.
    Also Linda Cardellini was on ER!!!! Nobody seems to remember that! Sam (her character) was quite great, why no one remember ER? I'm sad :(

  • FoxZerro Feb 12, 2014

    My favorite bit in the entire episode was when Abby summed up the sexual tension between Coach and Cece and ended it with "If she won't put out, I will." It was just perfect delivery, and a great set up for Cabby in the next episode now that the business of Cece has been cleaned up.

    Coach and Abby getting together makes sense for two reasons. First because Coach's whole argument against Jess moving in was that a roommate will eventually sleep with her and as teh only single roommate he's primed to fulfill that prophecy. Plus as they are both guest stars its almost written in the stars for them to canoodle.

  • LydiaWilson1 Feb 12, 2014

    The addition of Abby has forced Jess to give up her room and move in with Nick. So that should be interesting when the realise the are actually living together now

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