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New Girl S03E08 "Menus"


I didn't hate "Menus."

I feel like I needed to start with that because I'm sitting here thinking about how I didn't hate the episode, or even dislike it, but I can't think of anything terribly nice to say about it. However, I don't have any hate-rage to spew either, because it wasn't a bad episode of New Girl by any means. It was an okay episode. There were zany shenanigans and a few telling character moments. There was also quite a bit of laughter, which is probably the most important indicator of whether or not an episode of New Girl did what it was supposed to do. 


So far, Season 3 has been a series of weekly quests and missions for Jess—from making Schmidt be honest with Cece to helping Nick come to terms with being a mostly functional adult to taking a bunch of her students on a field trip so that many of them could see the ocean for the first time. She's been a busy woman, that Jess, but tellingly, most of her Season 3 machinations have had little to do with herself and everything to do with the world around her. 

After Principal Booger vetoed her field trip plans, Jess's personal mission in "Menus" was two-fold: She still wanted to find a way to take her students to the beach, but a pile of tree-killin' menus at her front door every single day kicked that Conservation Day enthusiasm into deranged overdrive, and Jess may or may not have threatened to burn down a local businessman's establishment if he didn't knock it off with the Hop Foo propaganda. Oops. 

Whatever, she took it back. We've all threatened to arson up a local business at one time or another, right?


Jess's perseverance paid off, and in the end (after the poor menu guy got fired, aww), it was Hop Foo's delivery vans ferrying Jess's students to the seashore, with hot dog hats in tow.

Unfortunately, the perseverance didn't pay off—or stick—for everyone in the loft. I'm so torn on Coach, you guys. I was so excited to have him back, but now I kind of just want him to go away. He's a douche—which isn't a problem in and of itself—but we already have a dedicated douche in Schmidt. We already have a meathead parody in Nick, and we already have a weirdo in Winston. Coach isn't exactly essential to the larger story of the season (as far as we know), and I just feel like his continued presence is sort of gimmicky. "Hey there, TV viewers! Remember Coach? We brought back Coach. You LOVE Coach! Remember?"

Honestly? We never had time to grow to love Coach, and unless we're going to spend a bunch of episodes making up for lost time and building him up to the level that the rest of our core characters are at, his continued presence just feels intrusive and off. 


Case in point? Coach's entire fitness-is-good storyline with Nick. With his established background, there's really no reason why Winston couldn't have been the one to shame Nick into doing some hilarious-and-sad push-ups, and then we'd have had the added bonus of skipping all of the awkward and alarming stuff where Coach mocked Winston and he spent the rest of the episode being a prop for Jess. We've seen so much awesome from Winston this season, New Girl! Don't undo it all! Also, where is Ferguson? 


Perseverance is important, though. Nick may have given up on being anything more than a dumpling-man, but it was his good thinking that resulted in Hop Foo chauffeuring Jess's young'uns to the ocean. And through his persistent stalker behavior and the introduction of a nanny-cam hidden in the loft, Schmidt began the process of returning to his friends. He may still be living across the hall, but he's admitted to missing their shenanigans and Jess returned his key so he can pop in anytime he wants—even though he admitted that he has like fifty copies hoarded in his sad-pad across the hall. 

I know it's only a matter of time before Schmidtty returns to us full-time and with that in mind, I guess I'm just bothered by the water-treading of the last few episodes—which could be a larger issue with the Schmidt/Cece story overall. We just haven't seen much of them lately, either in terms of their moving on from one another or getting back together. So I guess what I'm saying is "less Coach, more of everyone else" and maybe even a pinch of "less Nessy for now, too."

What say you?



NOTES FROM THE DOUCHEBAG JAR

– One liner o' the night: "You're my girlfriend now, you're not supposed to judge anything I do!" Do you really believe that, Nick? Really?

– "Remember when you sat out the game because you were sad?" YOU LEAVE MY WINNIE ALONE, COACH.

– "Oh Krystal, you're not legally allowed to touch me." Wait, so is this an actual thing? It's been in my local news a lot (this past week, actually!) but I didn't realize it was a thing, like, in parts of the world where it hasn't already been snowing for a month. 

– Boyfriend 15. 

– No but really, where's Ferguson? You can't air commercials lauding your cleverness for introducing Ferguson to the cast when you haven't actually SHOWN Ferguson in like, three weeks (four if you count that bye week after Halloween).

– What are your Coach thoughts?

– How long 'til Schmidt caves and moves back in? 

– "OCD Rules!"


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 5/10/2016

Season 5 : Episode 22

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I think I may be in the minority, but I am really enjoying the presence of Coach., I weirdly don't feel him to be shoe-horned in, as much as he has slotted right in with the group almost like he was always there. This seemed especially prevalent when they had dinner together in the episode he returned. In both that episode and this one, I really don't get the sense of douche-bagginess that you and others do, MaryAnn. He merely teases Winston, no more than Nick and Schmidt have done in their time. That is the nature of close, long-term friends, in my experience. But, like them (even to more of a point that Schmidt and Winston, whom I really hated and thought was an actually cruel douchebag in season one), he shows actual caring for him alongside it. In this episode alone, he was the one constantly asking if Winston was okay and encouraging him NOT to keep trying to train with an injury.

That coupled with his recurring mention of the hurt stemming from his recent break-up (and bigger man moment he shared with the cop from his return episode) have blessed the character with a heart beyond his quirks and flaws, which New Girl is so good at conveying, as previously demonstrated with all the other guys. Plus, I am a huge fan of Damon, so he is welcome on my screen anywhere and anytime.
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The fact that Coach was a vehicle for me to see Nick working out to BRITNEY SPEARS has me on his side. This week.
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I just finished watching the latest two episodes and so far... not a fan of Coach. I loved him in the pilot episode, but now, not so much. I hope he gets some character growth or something that gets him back to old Coach, cause right now, bleh, they should have kept him off the show.
On to the latest episode, I thought it was really cute, and it had a good message at the end. I also really liked Nick in this episode. For once he actually did something useful and not something completely idiotic. Keep it up Nick!
Looking forward to the next episode. I miss Furguson
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The only parts of this episode that were funny were Schmidt dancing, and Schmidt shooing the children off Winston.
Winston is a terrible character, I'm glad Coach being back gives him less screen time. I just hope they get Coach's character back to a good level.
More CeCe!
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I really did like Coach in the pilot, but for some reason they changed the character. He was nice in the pilot, just a bit awkward with feelings. I don't understand why they turned him into a dill-hole.
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Coah must leave...i really hate his character and it felt like because of him now in the show..Winston role is pushed back to the backside...while Winston is soooo funny, especially this season, with his cat ferguson....where is that animal by the way...

Loved Schmidt do this episode, he really didn't want to move out, now he misses it...I started to like Jess again, this episode, she was her own weirdness again, with the flyers....

Send COACH AWAY PLEASE!!!
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wow! I really agree with you! I hate Coach since the pilot! I hated the pilot, btw, mostly because of him. a friend had to convince me to give the show another chance and now it is one of my favorites. but now coach is back and not only is he awful, but this also means less Winston, especially now that he was finally getting stories of his own! GO AWAY, COACH!!! and bring back the cat!

Also loved Schmidt, he was the best thing in this episode, even though his was the smallest part. the best part was when he started shooing the kids. lol
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Someone needs to tell FOX that Happy Endings failed on ABC due to low ratings, so bringing in one of its stars in Damon Wayans Jr. will not help New Girl in any way.
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Let's give Coach the 4 episode test please, before we start passing judgement

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– "Oh Krystal, you're not legally allowed to touch me." Wait, so is this an actual thing? It's been in my local news a lot (this past week, actually!) but I didn't realize it was a thing, like, in parts of the world where it hasn't already been snowing for a month.

Is that really a thing? I think she got it wrong. I think it's like strippers. They can touch you but you can't touch them. Also Krystal with a K. And Brandi with an i.

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– One liner o' the night: "You're my girlfriend now, you're not supposed to judge anything I do!" Do you really believe that, Nick? Really?

Preach it, brother. Damned women need to be supportive if they want us to tell them their asses don't look fat in that. That's the deal.

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– What are your Coach thoughts?

Coach isn't working. He's shoehorned in to a show that was already having trouble covering the existing characters (Cece, Winston). The characters were in their roles and there was no compelling reason to add another. Also, he's not written very well. We've seen Wayans do better with better material. Could he be brought up to the level of the other characters? Sure, but should he be? No, also, at what cost? Cece and Winston.
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Don't Write-Off Winston!! Or I'll Burn This Establishment Down!! No, wait sorry I didn't mean that
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We don't really know Coach so I think he needs more time with the guys and also he needs to leave Winston alone I love Winnie he is awesome when he is creepy and wise Winston.
Ok, probably the writers forgot about Ferguson or Winston killed him... God I hope it is the first option.
It is creepy-cute how much Schmidt misses his friends and also doesn't bother him to have all his stuff in boxes? He is supposed to be a neat freak.
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I need more long term storyline....ugh.... I want weird Winston back too(and Ferguson). Not to be mean, I mean I thought it was an enjoyable half-an-hour of TV but I am craving some more depth.
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I like having Coach back and I want Cece to become important again !
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I thought it was an improvement on recent episodes, but still below par.
Coach needs a bit more development, but its a step in the right direction
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I thought the episode was ok. I think Wayans will be able to fit in perfectly once they find a mold for him. And the whole thing with the owner of the Chinese restaurant was pretty funny too.
I really hope we get to see a bit more about the Cece/Schmidt character development. I want to know how she is doing and I want to see more friendship moments between her and Jess.
Also, I'm still waiting for some better Winston storylines.
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The biggest problem here is that we all miss BRAD, not Coach. Coach was funny in the pilot, but there wasn't a lot to him. I'm excited to have Wayans back on TV, because the man is comic gold, but without the rest of the Happy Endings crew around him, he's just a guy that's been tacked on to a show he doesn't really fit in to.
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I liked Coach more this week than last week, although I liked him in both. It made sense since his job is coaching/training to be the one to try to whip Nick into shape. Also, they have him a purpose for this mission. Schmidt if anyone over Winston would be the one to try to help Nick since they explained that he's been trying to for years plus he cares about appearances. We do have to get use to him since Damon Wayans Jr. has signed on for the rest of the season.
Cece is the least developed character right now. She doesn't have anything to do so I hope they give her more storyline. Ferguson (or at least a mention) comes in the next episode.
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I don't have a problem with coach. I do hope that they develop his character some more so that, as you've said, he can reach the same level as our core characters and I have faith that the writers are planning something for him.

However I do feel like they had trouble juggling both Coach and Winston at the same time. I mean was Winston even on screen for more than a minute at a time this episode? I feel like every time he was on screen it was only for a quick joke (at his expense) and then he would just sadly walk away muttering to himself about his foot, or you know get attacked by children lol.

More importantly though, WHERE IS FERGUSON? Did Winston forget about him? Is he even alive anymore? Personally I like to believe he's off in the corner somewhere plotting to take over the world with his ninja cats.
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Did anybody else think that some of the plot was going to be dedicated to the fact that Jess's shirt said "OCD Rules!"? I really expected to be mix-ups, confusions and shenanigans (love that word) because of it.
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I actually enjoyed Coach in this episode. It's nice to have a new character, and I think he's likable. I didn't like him in the episode before this one but he's cool now.
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I don't know that I agree about Coach. I thought last week's return was incredibly douche-y and one-note, but this week his act was a lot more toned down and showed a little more character to it. The fact that his story came at the expense of Winston is a problem the show will need to address, but I think that if developed he can add to the show in a positive way.
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Well I was very pleased with the episode, there were many laugh out loud moments for me this week, so it was a welcome return to form.

The problem I've had with majority of the previous episodes this season was the focus on drama, particularly as it was a detriment to pretty much all the characters on the sense none of them were praised in a good light. Don't get me wrong, I like a good drama, and my lengthy complaints about the show this season demonstrate that I've very much invested in these characters, but I think overall New Girl is best doing quirky comedy, not relationship drama.

This episode did exactly that, while still highlighting important issues/ ideas in Jess' environmental and emotional difficulties no less, so here's hoping this episode is the first of many like it.
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"Principal Booger" - ha, ha. I will eternally relate to him as that character. I love New Girl. It is still my favorite show on TV by far. I was on the floor laughing through most of the episode. I agree that it is dragging a bit when compared to last season but, I think that is expected. New Girl has taken some chances by having its characters move into adulthood. I love it but, that will also create adult issues that may not be as fun as a bunch of thirty somethings acting like college students. There is always a growing period when adding a character to a beloved ensemble. I love Wayans - he has some serious comedic chops and I think he could be fantastic with some time and development. Loved how he was so awkward with CC - so funny.
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Keeping Coach means less time for the other characters. I like Winston! I'm sad Happy Endings didn't last, but Damon made his bet and lost.
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He didn't make any bets... Happy Endings had already aired its first season and Wayans was contractually bound to it if it got picked up for a second. It did, therefore he had to stay. New Girl was his "in case of cancellation" show. But you're right - Winston is the greatest.
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Coach had a lot of potential in the beginning, but New Girl evolved without Coach and his character is just like/almost the same as in Happy Endings, we don't need that in New Girl. Just as Max from happy endings moved on to the Mindy Project (in which he's basically just being Max.)
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Your so wrong about Coach being the same as Brad, they as so different; firstly Brad was an out and proud metro-sexual who was the 'gayest' character of the show aside from penny and coach is more masculine and one of the boys.

And in happy endings max was a lazy, gay (not that you would have guessed that) , slob who could barely go his unlicensed limo tours of chicago, and turned into a bear during winter. in mindy project peter is a doctor who went to university and was in a fraterity and is a jock. there are small similarities but they are not the same!
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the way they act the character is not that different. you're just summing up the role-differences but character-wise they don't feel significantly different to me.
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I totally agree with you, Coach was really funny in the pilot. Now he's a douche, but a boring one, not like Schmidt.
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The guy playing Coach was hilarious on Happy Endings. I feel like maybe he just hasn't hit a groove with Coach as a character like he did on Happy Endings. I am willing to give it more time.
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I think it makes sense for Coach more than Winston, I think, to be the one to force/encourage Nick to get in shape. Wasn't he an obsessive, angry personal trainer in the pilot? That's what I remember, and that he takes responsibility for Schmidt's current muscular form. Given that, I can sort of see why he would make a project of Nick. Whereas Winston, sage and wise as he is beneath all the craziness, is more accepting of his friends---flaws as all, as evidenced time and time again with Schmidt. I don't think trying to change Nick physically would fit with his character, so much as trying to help them emotionally.
(Wow, I think way too much and too deeply about sit-coms!)
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I don't think it's Coach's fault that the episodes have been kinda mediocre. IMO this season has yet to reach the quality of the two first seasons. I think Coach re-appearing has been smoother than expected and I actually like the small rivalry between him and Winston. The line "Remember when you sat out the game because you were sad?" was typical friendly banter. Nothing to take too seriously. My friends and I talk to each other like that all the time.

The only problem I have is the fact that Coach seems like a douche. Not in a bad way. It seems like he feels superior to Winston and Nick and I kinda feel like that's Schmidt's thing. I'd like to see Coach wooing a girl as he might be the polar opposite of a douche and that might develop the character a bit.
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Well did you see how he tried to woo Cece? It was hilarious, I'll give you that, but it was probably the epitome of his douche-bag behavior during the episode.
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Yeah, haha. Well maybe he's different once he's in a committed relationship or something. I just want some development before saying do I enjoy the character as much as the rest.
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I don't know, I really dislike Coach being back on the show. I didn't miss him before, and now it just seems like he takes time away from all the other characters because they have to work so hard to justify him being there in the plot. Also, when Coach left after the pilot Winston was sort of an obvious pseudo-Coach replacement. They have similar builds, they're the same ethnicity, they both had athletic careers. Which is fine, but that means that there is not much that Coach contributes to the plot that Winston couldn't have. Especially with the working out plotline!
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I'm in the same boat. I liked the episode but I didn't love it and I think it's because of Coach. I want to love him. But he's a supremo douche and not in the lovable way that Schmidt is. Plus he's mean to my BFF so that automatically puts him on my shit list.

I miss Ferguson. :( I almost want to watch those down ad things so I can see him....
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Coach is going nowhere, hes signed up for the rest of the season, we are only up to ep 8, there is 20+ eps a season for this show. I'm going to give him a chance, I didn't like Winston immediately at first either, so I have to give coach a chance, I have to forget happy endings and not expect him to act that way. I do want Winston to stop being the guy they pick on, hopefully the writers start to steer clear from that.
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I wasn't a fan of the episode. I feel like bringing Coach back just gives less space to Winston (wasn't he a basketball player? I'm so confused by the fact that he's basically a weak link now). I enjoyed everything the restaurant owner did, what a BAMF. And I was hungry for dumplings (which aren't that fat) afterwards.
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First Feruguson, so it has been colder where I live (it did snow yesterday) and only once the general temperature drops below 60 degrees do I regularly see my cat. In fact, even yesterday (I think), she was out of my sight for like an hour. She wasn't in her usual haunts, she wasn't buried in my bed. I have no idea where she was. There are two rooms. I also sometimes stop by my apartment during the day, and while she will come see sometimes, I don't have a clue where it is she stays during the day.

The episode was actually weirdly spaced out for me, I think it was the first or second commercial break, I was finding it really funny and laughing. Then, it was just mildly entertaining.

I don't mind the idea of Coach, I presume his actual profession is a personal trainer, I'm honestly not sure (but yes the Winston stuff related to sports is kind of silly, but it could be that in comparison to Jake Johnson and Max Greenfield, yes, Lamone Morris could be viewed as athletic, but Damon Wayans, Jr.? I choose more to view it as sort of a version of Schmidt's version of jealously and insecurity when Nick and Winston are being super BFFs, Winston is weirdly jealous of Coach. I could even see that Schmidt wouldn't find Coach threatening at all. I mean, there is also the point that Jess and Winston probably couldn't afford this loft without a consistent third non bartender income. I think he just needs to either totally disrupt the environment (and I think that might happen via CeCe) or something.

I actually found Jess' whole thing this week to totally be line with the character development that we saw happen last season.
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Nick's speech was hilarious.
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This was my favourite New Girl episode of all time. Just my opinion, now. The lines and the zaniness were just outstanding.

"I'll tip you over." What the hell does that even mean!?

My favourite line came from Schmidt. "I'm glad I was here to see that."

So am I.
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Best episode of the season so far, and one of the best ever. Loved it :)
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Stronger ep than last week but mainly thanks to Schmidt who was back in great form and adorably so... The Jess-is-an-idealist vs. the world story felt like it's been done before in the show but it was cute to see it with Nick as boyfriend
I am not sure if the guy playing Coach is normally funny or what but so far I find him underwhelming at best. Not a problem with the actor but he just doesn't fit very naturally with the dynamic between the existing characters... If I could choose I'd rather see more Cece or even her crazy Russian model friend.
And just because The Mindy Project doesn't get a lot of press, another great ep this week and I will say it again Chris Messina is just phenomenal.
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I really liked the chemistry in the scenes with Nick, Coach and Winston. Up until now Nick and Winston's childhood has been the fountain for so many jokes, but clearly with Coach there the possibilities are endless. I know Cece isn't dating Schmidt and that their feelings are supposed to be a big part of the story this season. But shouldn't she be in the episode as something more than a cameo as a delivery girl?? She's Jess's best friend, should have opinions about how Jess and Nick's dating life is, should be talking to Jess about ...I don't know... Anything. She needs to be in there more. I know Damon Wayans is making a guest appearance, but I don't know for how long, so either commit to him as a regular cast member or not, but don't exclude CeCe while you play around. There is room enough in the "two apartments" for everyone. Especially CeCe.
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Yeah I miss CeCe. I loved her "WTF are you seriously tipping me?" face this episode though.
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I love New Girl, and I love Damon Wayans Jr., but two episodes in I'm not loving the marriage of the two. Hopefully Coach's presence feels more natural from this point forward.
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Yeah he just needs a bit more character development. He'll be great.
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I don't know if it was intentional, but Winston kinda felt like the 5th wheel (his character was like all "look at me"), even though Schmidt moved out. He was really funny though with the MSG and the wheel chair. I liked the ending very much. It was so sweet seeing those kids in the beach and Jess being able to do something for them. Regardless of all the hilarity of the show, Jess is such a super nice, "makes you feel good" kind of character.

So is Schmidt back? 5 people in the apartment?
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Schmidt will still be in his apartment across the hall, they just gave him back the key to pop in whenever he wants (though he said he had like 50 made lol)
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Schmidt is the new Kramer.
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New girl needs this..
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