New Girl "The Captain" Review: Fifty Shades of Jessica Day

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Oct 09, 2013

New Girl S03E04: "The Captain"


Arr, mateys! In the wake of his dual break-up with Elizabeth and Cece, Schmidt vowed to exact revenge on Nick and Jess and returned to his nefarious douchebag ways (teach me, oh great one!) with the very best and brutal kind of TV warfare: psychological. An innocent one-month anniversary cake was designed to send Nick into a doubt spirals, frustrating Jess and forcing her to turn to Dr. Schmidtty, who claimed to have a PhD in Nick Miller. Despite the initial unfortunate results of Jess's collaboration with the not-so-good doctor, let it not be said that Schmidt isn't an expert in all things Nick. And that was the problem—for his poor victims, anyway. 


It seems New Girl has made it a priority, and a sort of twisted game, to see how many tired, old, eye-roll-inducing sitcom tropes it can cram into an episode that still manages to be AMAZING. From Schmidt's love triangle to this week's blender-omits-valuable-information schtick—these aren't antics that we've never seen before somewhere else. The blender's role in the mis-education of Jessica Day could easily have been replaced by a bad phone connection, a noisy construction site, a stereo, whatever. The manner in which information was kept from the audience with regard to exactly what the Captain is didn't really matter, although Schmidt's slightly unhinged smoothie offering to Jess was a perfect encapsulation of the domesticated terror that Schmidt does so well. Very Mommie Dearest. Very nice. 


New Girl has proven time and time again that at its core, it's about more than just the laughs. Douchebag Schmidt returned and Douchebag Schmidt was amazing, but Douchebag Schmidt was a defense mechanism that was engaged in order to hide how truly hurt Schmidt was by the messy endings to his relationships with Cece and Elizabeth. We've all been there: sad and single and surrounded by roommates in lurve. Even if the significant others don't officially share a lease, like Nessy does, it sure feels like it, right? And you desperately want to set the happy couple on fire, right? No? Just me? Okay. 

So much of New Girl's humor hinges on absurdity: Winston and his cat brothel, Nick and Jess's Mexico adventures, Schmidt and... well, Schmidt. But New Girl's absurdity is a weirdly—and delightfully—relatable, and it prevents the show from falling into the trap of being too crazy, too random, too bizarre. New Girl isn't about Jess's quirkiness or Nick's weirdness or Winston's increasing creepiness—it's about these fully realized characters who happen to be quirky, weird and creepy. They're people. I'm a freaking weirdo and so are you and New Girl knows it and uses it against us to get the lulz. 


...except for when there are no lulz. Like when Schmidt left what we can assume was some kind of apology letter to Cece and she used it to dispose of her gum. I guess he didn't send one to Elizabeth. I guess that "OMG WHICH ONE???" decision wasn't so hard after all. 

Schmidt's plan to destroy Jess and Nick by exploiting their inability to communicate also backfired when they sucked it up and figured out how to talk about their relationship like adults. What was meant to tear them apart inadvertently strengthened their bond—except that now, the roles have been reversed, and sometimes even the touchy-feeling chatty Jess just wants to shut up and have the sex. 

And sometimes Winston just wants everyone to shut up and let his cat have the sex. His heart was in the right place, but I think someone needs to stage an intervention. 

What did you think of "The Captain?"



NOTES FROM THE DOUCHEBAG JAR

– One-liner of the night: "Well, at least the sun managed to get up." That was cruel, Jess. And filthy. <3 

– Schmidt WOULD have founded a Billy Zane fan club in the '90s. Zaniacs!

– Lol @ "Groundhog Day situation." 

– "I've never seen this sober before." We've all had those moments, Jess. It's okay. 

– Winston's Nessy survival kit was pretty great—based on what we saw. What else do you think was in there? 


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  • vcivi Oct 10, 2013

    Bad bad Schmidt, he was terrible...first nice and then BAM...
    Loved how Nick was all expressing feelings in the end with the bra...was so funny..
    Still i love Winston the most, with ferguson made me laugh so hard...!!

  • giraffee Oct 10, 2013

    I LOVED Nick going all mush and talking about his feelings - it was so sweet at first and then it just got funnier as he went on and on, until Jess actually wanted him to stop, THAT was the highlight for me.
    All up I thought it was an awesome episode, laughs all the way through and character development. Nice!

  • AndreaMcCooey Oct 09, 2013

    awful episode. worst one so far.
    Winston is not funny.
    Nessy is just not good. I dont know how, but they've been ruined.
    Even Schmidt, who is normally a goldmine for lols let me down this week.
    I am so disappoint!

  • pa-tan Oct 09, 2013

    Creepy Winston is awesome no question about it BUT the guys needs an intervention or better friends cause he needs a life that doesn't revolve around Ferguson.
    The whole sequence where Jess tries to stop the groundhog day situation cracked me up.
    Sooo what now? Schmidt actually made a decision an loves Cece? agh sorry but hate it when one character is obsessed with another (my only exception is Luke from Gilmore Girls) No sorry what I really can't stand is the whole "I love her but we don't work out together" I know I know I shouldn't watch romantic comedies, but I'm seriously starting to think I am masochistic when it comes to television.

  • snakegriffin Oct 09, 2013

    Winston is definitely making up for lost screen time this season! :P love it hahah

  • radiumgirl Oct 09, 2013

    Yes! So pumped! And he's so FUNNY!

  • greygirl1404 Oct 09, 2013

    I love Winston. And I adored them showing both his complete craziness with the Fancy Feast fest, but I'm mostly really happy that we as an audience got a reminder that he's also super level-headed. His calling for a roommate's meeting was fantastic as was his facilitation ("I can't have a cat brothel in my bedroom and be the most normal one here.") HOWEVER, I found it completely absurd that Jess would listen to Schmidt. I get that sex makes you dumb sometimes, and also that she wants it work with Nick, but after Schmidt telling them he was on a mission to break them up...?! I know it was a month later but still. Why, oh, why would she even try to entertain that garbage? And for me, that one detail significantly diminished my enjoyment of the episode (at least the Schmidt/Jess/Nick stuff - Winston and Ferguson rocked!).

  • safibwana Oct 10, 2013

    Horses. Outerspace. Jess is not a smart person.

  • radiumgirl Oct 09, 2013

    Honestly, I questioned Jess' decision to trust Schmidt too. It's not like he was even trying to be secretive about his plan to break them up. I chalked it up to her desperation, but still. I feel ya there.

  • Zelli42 Oct 09, 2013

    What happened with this show?
    It was supposed to be a deschanel-sexy show and it is just going incredibly weird and I love it. Even the hole schmidt thing. On how many drugs do u have to be, to think.... you know what? lets schmidt try to break up jess and nick with weird sex to express his sadness and everything ends well...

  • PsicNina Oct 09, 2013

    To me, this isn't the Douchebag Schmidt, the Douchebag Schmidt was funny and always made a trip to "jarland"; this Schmidt is mean Schmidt, and I think they should stop with that, cause it's not good; I love Schmidt, but not this one. This one is evil and gratuitously a jerk to his best friend and his girlfriend. Not good, guys, not good!

  • ludoTV Oct 09, 2013

    So far this season I am surprised by the stuff that is great & awful because it was not at all what I expected.

    • I am liking A LOT Jess & Nick while I was dreading how their being a couple was going to be handled. So good, fantastic, cute and funny, often absurd.
    • I am loving Winston and his becoming a cat gentleman (I assume this is the equivalent to the cat lady cliche) who doesn't even notice the hot blonde hitting on him (implausible but so genius).
    • And biggest surprise of all, I can't stand this Schmidt. Douche Schmidt i can deal with but this petty, hateful, cowardly Schmidt who two-timed CeCe & Elizabeth because a long time ago he was fat. Nope, it is neither funny nor clever, IMO.

  • RaveIle Oct 09, 2013

    Douche schmidt was great, I'm sure he'll goes back to normal soon, if not next episode because I think he knows it now.

  • Grumpyclown Oct 09, 2013

    Good episode, but i think the potential evil Schmidt from the last episode did not live up to the hype.
    Judging by the subtle way Winston has been going loopy this season, i was hoping for a slower build with evil Schmidt - drawing it out a bit longer and building it up.
    Nick and Jess were a bit annoying to me - especially outside the bedroom.

    MVP was Winston and his whole situation this week was summed up by his delivery of "So how often do you groom your cat" = totally oblivious

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