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New Girl S03E20: "Mars Landing"


New Girl, what have you done

What started off as a crazy round of True American followed the game's tried-and-true pattern of insanity and borderline alcohol poisoning before thrusting its players into some awkward positions—hangovers, mostly. The thing is, the hangover is almost always worse than the drunken antics that caused it, and that was absolutely the case in "Mars Landing." Hangovers make people weepy and irritable. They lower inhibitions, but not in the fun way, because they encourage honesty without the understanding that sometimes, people say silly things after crushing a bottle of gin in ten seconds flat (it occurred to me this week that True American must be really freaking expensive to play). 

Nick and Jess felt the first sparks of their relationship during the drunken haze of a game of True American, and while the blissful ease of a shiny new pairing has kept them drunk and happy for the better part of New Girl's third season, they've been slowly sobering up in recent weeks, finally reaching for the Advil in "Mars Landing" when Jess soberly announced that if she was always honest with Nick, they'd never stop fighting. 


Even in the face of new love, it took a lot of effort for Nick and Jess to lower their inhibitions enough to fully embrace their budding relationship, and while I'm personally not looking forward to the impending cycle of on-again-off-again this break-up will almost certainly start, I'll concede that New Girl is certainly taking a realistic path. Relationships are hard. Nick and Jess haven't exactly had it easy in the early months of their coupledom, but their problem-solving methods have occasionally been unhealthy, particularly with regard to Jess's occasional quests to change Nick and his own willingness to let her.

It was inevitably going to blow up once the buzz wore off, and New Girl opted to let that happen in both the literal and figurative sense. Jess's hungover status, paired with the stress of sleeping through her godson's birthday party and Nick's documented resistance to change, created the perfect storm for the S.S. Nessy to take on water and sink. 


Fantasies for the future are often a touchy subject in a relationship, even when both parties agree on what the future should look like; having such a detailed and specific image of what your shared life should look like in three, five, 10, or 20 years can become quite the stressor. What if things don't work out? In "Mars Landing," the weird wisdom of Nick Miller countered Jess's idealistic vision when they argued about their future, covering everything from Nick's career goal of becoming a long-haul space trucker to the merits of building on Earth versus Mars to Nick and Jess's differing philosophies on education to the question of whether Nick and Jess are actually obligated to name their first-born Reginald Veljohnson after the actor who played the dad on Family Matters because Nick once made the mistake of betting he could flip a giant pancake. And when Jess freaked out because Nick didn't have a plan (let along a plan that lined up with her's), Nick countered with, "You create a plan for your life and then crazy things get thrown at you and that is the closest thing I have to a plan." 

Between the two of them, that's actually probably the healthier approach, but Jess's take is also understandable. It can be worrisome when you find yourself in a relationship that you can actually see tearing at the weak spots. New Girl did a great job of illustrating that Nick and Jess's break-up was a shared responsibility, and that it came about due to a mutual feeling of incompatibility. Jess is allowed to have her fantasies, and Nick is allowed to have different ones, or none at all. The strength of a relationship is rooted in how those differences are handled. Right now, Jess and Nick just don't have the strength to deal; it's easier just to be friends with awkward sexual tension. 


Elsewhere, some hot chicks moved into the building and Coach, Winston, and Schmidt dragged themselves out of their hungover stupors to schmooze and help the ladies schlep their stuff with the understanding that their good deed would be reciprocated in the form of at least one one-night-stand apiece. The situation didn't end well for anyone, but there was a great moment when Winston saw that Schmidt and Coach had smashed some of the women's belongings out of frustration and irritability (which seemed a little extreme and out-of-character for them, but okay) and totally threw them under the bus, while somehow also managing to be the bigger person. Basically, he brought out the brutal honesty and told their new neighbors that yes, he was also totally just helping in order to get into one of their pants, but even when the likelihood of that happening seemed low, he was going to help anyway because he was just a nice guy like that. Aww. Winnie. (Of course, I'm not going to argue that his confession may've also been a calculated effort to further elevate himself above the competition.)

Cece also drunk-texted her "child bride," Buster, and while I'm admittedly amused that her errant messages were actually the least-traumatic aspect of the gang's night of binge-drinking, but that's just the way these things pan out sometimes. In the meantime, what do you think the future holds for Nessy? And how is that whole sharing-a-room-but-not-being-a-couple thing going to pan out?



NOTES


– "Drink up, Checkers, forget what you saw." —Winston as Richard NIxon.

– Are the Ellis Island rounds of True American new? I don't recall them from previous games. 

– I'm so glad Nick and Jess's break-up wasn't bitter or anything. They presented some hard criticisms of one another, and the fact that they didn't get defensive and mean says a lot about the potential for their relationship to work... eventually. 


What'd you think of "Mars Landing"? Do you think New Girl's decision to break up Nick and Jess was a good one? 


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 5/10/2016

Season 5 : Episode 22

42 Comments
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This show has gone to the dogs.
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They broke up...finally....!! They are indeed better if they are friends...even that is going to be ackward from now on i guess..
Loved how the other guys, tried to help out the new neigbors..who moved in the old house of Schmidt..Winstond ruled this episode with that part...he was so funny...how he slapped the other two...
I finally started to like New Girl again..
I have to say, the new hubby of Cece, is soooo cute with his accent and all..and sweet.after receiving all those weird messages..hahahahaaha
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It's a testament to the writers and the actors that Nick & Jess are so lovable, batsh*t crazy, but relatable. We saw that they would have a volatile relationship from the beginning (kissing on a dare and running away to Mexico are not great coping skills) and that a breakup was inevitable; and I thought I would hate it, but for some reason... it's OK. No one is leaving the show (so far as I know), so we're not throwing in the towel yet, and New Girl has a great way of taking sitcom stereotypes and turning them on it's head.

I'm not in a hurry to make Nick & Jess something they're not yet, I'll just enjoy the ride. Plus I love Nick's face, especially next to a baby with his mouth open.
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Saddest result of a game of True American ever. :(

I had hoped that the writers wouldn't go this route, but it looks like they have. Sure they've found ways to put a spin on some common sitcom tropes, but I didn't want them to touch this one.

That being said, I also think the breakup was realistic. Sometimes love just isn't enough of a reason for 2 people to stay together. Nick and Jess have amazing chemistry but their views for the future are vastly different, especially on a lot of the important matters. What I do think is important here is that they mutually realized that at this point in their lives, they're not 100% compatible. Even though Jess can sometimes meddle, neither she nor Nick wants the other to change who they are. This will allow them to continue to grow on their own and maybe eventually find their way back to each other. I just don't want to see a constant back-and-forth thing.

I'm glad they thought about Ferguson and saved him. I'm sure he would have been ok on his own, but it's nice to know they remembered he existed.

I'm still not sure if I enjoyed this episode, if I'm royally pissed at it or what... My feels are still too tied up in knots.
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I'm sad because I honestly thought the show was trying to make a statement by having the main couple get together relatively soon, and be in a happy relationship until the very end, without any unnecessary drama, as per the usual sitcom standards.

But I'm not TOO sad because we all know this is just a temporary low point in the rollercoaster that is Nick and Jess. I have no doubt they'll end season 4 as a couple again, and who knows if we get more than that.
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Also, that breakup played on every fear I've ever had in my own relationships, "What if I love you is all we have in common"

RIP sanity at this point.

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It's funny cuz HIMYM used the exact same reason for a relationship to stay together...
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But then they broke up anyway... nevermind.
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This isn't a text message, it's a freaking Russian novel!
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I will be amazed if the writers can believably end the show with Nick and Jess together. I say that because Nick is straight up insane. They've wrote him that way to make him as funny as he is; however, it really hurts the romantic premise of the show, because there's no way Nick will every compromise or change, to the extent Jess needs, for them to be together.

I mean, it's one thing to change your mind about children or marriage for the sake of someone else. It's another thing entirely to change someone's mind about the type of bat-shit insane stuff Nick is all about.
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This episode was amazing and very funny.
the funniest part was Nick and Jess waking up.
but about thier break up it is true what they said if Jess was honest with Nick they would never stop fighting (Meat Bucket) but i think this gives them the chance to grow and maybe later they would get back together.
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Noooo! This episode made me lose my faith in love! Nick and Jess are such an awesome couple, and I was so hoping that "New Girl" wouldn't do this! I really thought that they would steer clear of that Ross and Rachel crap, but now it looks like they're headed right for it, especially because Nick and Jess are now forced to share a room. Come on, "New Girl", you're better than that!
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Really? Your faith in love is based on a sitcom?
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It was an exaggeration. I relate with the characters and their problems, but no, my values and beliefs are not based on a sitcom.
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I'm glad to hear that ;)
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YEEESSSS. Maybe the show can rise again and be as funny as season 2?
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Thank you for explaining Nick drinking out of Winston's hands, I absolutely missed the Nixon reference. I am not saying I understand the rules of Real American, but at least I usually get the puns, and without getting the Checkers connection, that was just creepy.
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Ugh. I love New Girl, but I called in Season 1 that Nick and Jess would get together and the end of Season 2, and break up at the end of Season 3. It's what Friends did and they're sticking to the formula. I don't really want to see this play out. This show is best when it's just friends hanging out and we know they're gonna end up together eventually.
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And CeCe is running around with a guy she will never end up with, ala the Italian neighbor. The big romance on this show isn't Nick and Jess, its Schmidt and Cece.
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I'm not sure how I'm feeling about this at the moment. I'll get back to you in the morning.
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Who do we have to bribe to get Brooklyn Nine-Nine reviews on the site? You're wasting your time; there are better comedies than this on Tuesday nights now.
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for some shows they need a minimum number of viewers before they will use a paid reviewer. So you can start a B99 review, and if it reaches a level they feel requires a reviewer, they will then assign one. BUt if it doesn't sustain that level it won't be a weekly thing. trust me, I went through it with Elementary.
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So I was rolling my eyes at their fight basically because I recall hearing fights like that up in my sister's room when I was home from school. Where you kind of want to knock heads together. I imagine there will be one more drunken reunion but they won't get back together until at least next season. And I mean the hug at the end...be serious. Winston is going to yell at them.
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Accidental sudden breakup are stupid. If a single conversation can make you end a relationship, you're overthinking it.
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Jess is pretty much the Queen of overthinking
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well I just unintentionally really spoiled this episode for myself *face palm*. Since New Girl hasn't been super consistent in the funny department I decided "whats the worst that can happen if I just read the final paragraph in the review to see if its worth watching?" Man I really should have known better. ANYWAYS.... Darn they split up? I guess that could be ok as long as they don't do the typical constant on again off again thing that other sitcoms/shows in general tend to do. Then again I found them funnier when they weren't together so maybe its a good thing?
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{Spoilers kill}
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off to actually watch the episode
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The show needs to get rid of two characters.
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Can't believe they broke up!Thought they'd be together a long time!Makes me very sad:(:(:(:(
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TRUE AMERICAN!!!! Still the best game on TV. And if anyone ever figures out the rules please let me know.
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CharDee MacDennis: The Game of Games has some words for you!
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