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

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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.


NOTES


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?