We're moving Forums to the Community pages. Click here for more information and updates.

A New Girl Community
Tuesday 9:00 PM on FOX

New Girl S03E17: "Sister II"

I don't think I was able to fully appreciate the chaos that Abby Day brings to her sister's life when she made her debut two weeks ago. Neither Jess nor Abby are clearly defined good girls or bad girls, and "Sister" made it clear that while Abby is definitely the "bad" Day girl, she's also the troubled one and she's certainly not hopeless. She's flawed, but so is Jess, and if anything, "Sister II"—this week's follow-up episode to Abby's whirlwind introduction—made a conscious effort to highlight Jess's own special brand of chaos.

"You think you're better than everyone and you're always trying to fix people." Whether Abby was trying to be hurtful or just to shift some of the negative attention away from herself is debatable, but with those words, she very succinctly summed up what is probably Jess's most glaring fault. Abby certainly isn't wrong. Jess is constantly trying to fix everyone—Nick, Schmidt, Cece, Coach, Abby, they've all come under Jess's well-intentioned scrutiny at one point or another. More often than not, Jess is just trying to help, but on a few separate occasions, she's crossed some very serious boundaries when it comes to her people projects, like when she stole Nick's money because he was spending it wrong. I mean, he was, but that's not the point. It's absolutely Jess's "thing" to come up with solutions for people, but it's not enough for her to simply present the options and step aside. If her subjects don't cooperate, she'll make them cooperate. SHE'S GOING TO FIX YOU, DAMMIT.

And that's not really cool. 


It's not entirely clear what New Girl's angle with Abby is just yet, but one thing is certain: Abby isn't meant to simply pop in for a handful of zany and probably illegal adventures and then just go away until Jess's life needs shaking up again. In just two episodes, Abby's proven herself to be surprisingly deep. I don't know if Abby wants to stop vandalizing museum property or teaching the guys the dangerous delights of Sky Knife just yet, but I think she does want to stop disappointing her family. Problem is, she doesn't know how to do that without giving up who she is. The hurt she feels over their rejection manifests in the way she terrorizes everyone around her by playing on their own insecurities—Winston's inability to follow through, his fears about his future; Schmidt's loneliness and recent relationship woes; Nick's fear that he isn't good enough for Jess, that their entire relationship hinges on the smallest of details and one wrong move could derail the whole thing; and finally, Jess's satisfaction in knowing that she's the "good" sister. Jess helps people. Jess cares about people. 

That's all true, but then there's this argument: Way way back in the day, when I was but a wee first-semester freshman undergraduate at a dinky state university known more for the legendary exploits of its alcoholic student population than for any actual contribution to anything, I took an ethics class. I don't remember why. I think I had to. ANYWAY, first day of class, the prof opens with this, the first of many endless debates: If you are a person who is really into charity work, social service, that whole scene, and you do it because it "makes you feel good," have you inadvertently taken what is widely regarded as a selfless act and turned it into something selfish? 

We basically broke it down to where the selfishness level depends on why you feel good. If it's the attention that you get from hanging out at a soup kitchen that makes you "feel good" and not so much the actual work, then yeah, that's problematic. If it's that working with underprivileged people reaffirms how privileged you are, and it's the comfort of knowing how much better you have it, then yeah, also problematic. 


Sometimes, honestly, Jess falls into those two groups. That does not make Jess a bad person. That does not mean Jess should stop helping. At the end of the selfish/selfless debate, our class pretty much agreed that if someone is making a positive contribution to the world, the why doesn't really matter.

But the thing about "Sister II" was that the argument was reduced to a real personal grievance between a very small, very close group of friends and family. When you're talking abstracts in a room full of 40 people who barely recognize one another outside of a classroom, it's easy to handwave and be all "Hey man, just do good. Who cares how or why?" Abby has seen Jess be elevated because of her goodness for years. For Abby, the why matters a lot. It's a situation where a bit of backstory could go a long way toward explaining the hows and whys of Abby and Jess. So far, Abby's antics have been cheekily dangerous, but generally without malice. She likes to pick at people, to push them, but at no point has Abby appeared to direct actual ill will toward anyone in the loft, Jess included. Maybe somewhere in the Day sisters' past there's some very real hurt, some actual wrong inflicted on one by the other that drove them apart, but right now, we just don't know. What we do know is that despite appearances, the "good" and "bad" labels applied to Jess and Abby respectively are anything but clear-cut.


Elsewhere, while the drama between Jess and Abby stole most of "Sister II," Winston and Coach also managed some quality screen time when it was revealed that Winston did NOT pass the police academy entrance exam, dashing his hopes (momentarily, at least) of having a puppy partner, Turner & Hooch-style. Coach, well, Coach coached Winston with varying levels of success to get back on the job hunt. That's rough, and Winston's disappointment at learning he failed actually made me choke up. 

BUT, Winnie's taking the exam again, which is actually quite a high note to end on for an episode that, if you peel away the lulz and the bound-and-gagged Schmidt, was actually pretty solemn. 



NOTES

– One-liner o' the night: "Can I borrow your glasses? We're gonna roleplay as you two." —Schmidt, who was going to be Jess

– Thoughts on Schmabby?

– Winston sincerely believes that women shouldn't handle money. I feel like I should be mad, but really I'm just amused because it's Winston. IDK.

– If you've been keeping score at home, you may have noticed that with Glee's return, my Tuesday nights have gotten a little cray with Supernatural, Glee, and New Girl all airing on the same night and two of them even airing at the same time. The sad reality between my schedule and seemingly declining reader interest in the adventures of Jess and the gang, we might have to cut some coverage. I feel sucky, but I just want to forewarn y'all that after the Abby arc wraps up next week, New Girl reviews might take a bit of a break.


What'd you think of "Sister II"? What's your current take on Abby?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 4/26/2016

Season 5 : Episode 18

Next Episode

AIRS ON 5/3/2016

Season 5 : Episode 19

53 Comments
Comments (53)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
Don't cut New Girl! It's so much better than Glee, which I stopped watching midway through last season.
Reply
Flag
Not a fan of Abby, I'm glad her run is over, I haven't watched the newest episode yet mind you. This episode seemed to have alot of the levity drained out of it, New Girl has always been about the quirky characters and the funny strange lines, and when there's too much drama they pull back on that so the lighter the better when it comes to this show.
Reply
Flag
Nope.
Reply
Flag
I thought Coach's addition to New Girl was bad news but he seems OK now that Abby is here... She is awful, not funny and makes every other character behave in unlikeable and awfully stupid ways... Ugh... I won't blame you if you dump New Girl honestly... No wonder the ratings have gone to hell...
1
Reply
Flag
Abby will be the death of "New Girl". Dump her.
4
Reply
Flag
So true - it is cringe worthy to see that Abby and every other character reaction
1
Reply
Flag
No way! I love your reviews! You've already "abandoned" BBT :(

Keep the New Girl reviews, please! :)
1
Reply
Flag
I am honestly not enjoy Abby presence on the show, it's not Linda Cardellini, it's just that Coach just returned and I was just getting used to having him around, I wasn't ready for another character.

Speaking of Couch, I am really happy with him in the last few episodes, his new friendship with Winston is great.

2
Reply
Flag
Glee wins over New Girl? How long has that show been on, and has been truly awful after Season 2? Do only 12 yr old girls live on this website? Booooooo.
1
Reply
Flag
I don't like Abby, to be honest...

Oh, you should put New Girl waaaay over Glee
2
Reply
Flag
But, how will I know if I liked the episode or not? Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously, that sucks, especially considering the other shows.
7
Reply
Flag
Again this was a boring episode....new Girl is so not what it was..
hate the sister. hate Coach...hate the fact that Nick and Jess are together..
the only positive thing about this series is Winston..love keep watching him...he really should get his own spinn off...!
If this keeps up, then it is bye bye New girl....
Reply
Flag
Glee reviews are hilarious (I read them even though I haven't watched for seasons now), but do we have to do a trade off? :(
1
Reply
Flag
Staff
We're going to try to do them on a case-by-case basis, I think. Big storylines will definitely get coverage!
1
Reply
Flag
Booo! Do people actually read Glee reviews? How deep can karaoke be? I realize New Girl is just a half hour comedy but I like the weekly review! And the one liners!
12
Reply
Flag
They do. And they comment. And they are emotionally invested. And/or damaged.
5
Reply
Flag
Staff
Yes.
Reply
Flag
Oh don't ditch us for Glee of all things. The indignity of it!
I love Linda Cardelini she'll have to stay for the next eighteen seasons or so.
2
Reply
Flag
Staff
So much indignity. Lol.
1
Reply
Flag
No more New Girls reviews? *sad face*
Yes I do like Abby and how fast she has integrated in the group and for some reason I want to play Sky knife even though I have a healthy respect for sharp objects above my head.
Schmidt and Abby kinda makes sense but for a while.
Winston is awesome and I need him as a cop and I must reaaaaally like him because I didn't get offended when he said that women shouldn't handle money... but I'm getting a little tiny bit mad now.
2
Reply
Flag
Great episode for Winston. Love the Winston and Coach dynamic and everything Winston in this ep was fantastic. Though the relationship between Jess and Abby is interesting and all, not loving Abby messing with Jess's life and just dropping herself in the middle of it.
Reply
Flag
Do you guys really prioritize your reviews that much based on clicks? It's always felt like the site just covers the writers' favorite shows at the expense of covering the most popular shows. I rarely see a Big Bang Theory review around here for for instance, but Community gets a review every episode. Not that I'm complaining, just wondering...
6
Reply
Flag
They recently answered which show gets reviewed and why.

http://www.tv.com/news/tvcom-mailbag-139249691423/
2
Reply
Flag
Loved my Winnie the Bish. I felt so bad for him that he didn't pass. However, I did NOT like Abby messing with him. She loses points for that one.

You analysis of the Jess/Abby relationship is absolutely spot on. I would definitely like to see a bit more of the backstory for these two. It could be something as simple as Jess being the baby and getting away with more. But it could always be something more. Regardless, it has lead to a really interesting dynamic between the two.

As someone that watches and reads your reviews for both Glee and New Girl, I'm gonna rest firmly in the stay here and screw Glee camp. :)
1
Reply
Flag
My favorite part was Coach's face when he found out that Winston used a computer for the police test. Lol! It was a pretty funny episode considering previous episode from the season.
1
Reply
Flag
So I don't comment very often, but MaryAnn, I just wanted to let you know that I would miss reading your New Girl reviews! Don't get me wrong, I enjoy reading your other pieces as well, but I love your look on New Girl and the way you are able to read between the lines when it comes to this show. More often than not you have changed my view of an episode with your almost in-depth analysis-like look on the show. So I just wanted to thank you for all of your thoughts on New Girl and I look forward to next week's last review.
7
Reply
Flag
Staff
Aww, thank you! One semester of literary theory completely damaged by ability to ignore the space between the lines. Glad it's coming in handy! We're definitely going to try our best to cover as much of New Girl as we can. There are just so many variables at play on Tuesday nights. :/
Reply
Flag
Yeah, I would not have looked as closely at Abby beyond the good sis/bad sis dynamic on my own. The character is funny, I hope they add more depth to her. Looking forward to how she'll 'wreck' Schmidt next week.
1
Reply
Flag
Winston was hilarious!

And that is my biggest weakness, you bitch.
- I'm so sorry, dude.
I'm so sorry, dude.
- Yeah, that was bad.
- Man, I didn't even mean that.
4
Reply
Flag
If anything, all the evidence in my life suggests men shouldn't handle money.
5
Reply
Flag
Did anyone else catch Winston using his name like the Community gang uses Britta's name? I couldn't stop laughing.

"I just Winstoned that interview." -Winston (I'm paraphrasing, because I don't remember what conversation he used it in, but he did use it in that context)
9
Reply
Flag
Like, seriously, it's like the Winston of pep talks.
7
Reply
Flag
This comment has been removed.
Reply
Flag
Loved everything Winston did in this episode... Of course he doesn't look at the back of a page when filling things out! That's such a Winston thing to do! I also really enjoyed Abby this episode. Her whole weird and kinky thing with Schmidt has so many hilarious possibilities!!!! I'm definitely intrigued... However, if Abby keeps picking on my boy Winston we gonna have a problem.

I'm also diggin the Winston/Coach bromance going on. Those two play really well off of each other! So points for that, but they're losing points every time they forget to utilize Cece.... She's Jess's best friend and has first hand experience with Jess's relationship with her sister I feel like they could've found a way to include her in this episode and the Abby arc entirely!
3
Reply
Flag
Also, don't leave us (especially for Glee)! I love these reviews.
6
Reply
Flag
I can't tell if I liked or was bored by this episode because I ended up laughing a lot.

Regardless, I liked the Abby/Schmidt mashup, I only wish she will go quietly into the night.

New favorite insult: "You're a garbage person and you should live in a dumpster with rotten snails."
3
Reply
Flag
My favorite moment was when Schmidt was getting the handy at the table he told Nick to either look away completely or look straight at him. So either one helps him finish. hilarious
1
Reply
Flag
WTF is with Abby ruining things for Winston?! Thats kind of a b**** move... though omg my jaw dropped when she was getting kinky with Schmidt, especially under the table....who wouldn't want to know a girl that nuts? Way to go Linda Cardellini, you've tapped into many guys fantasies! But I gotta say I feel bad that she kind of had to sell her body to get a place, though Schmidt sounds like he'll be having quite an experience for a little bit, (the way shows go though I have a feeling she's gonna really hurt him somehow or renege on her part of the agreement and just screw him over, either way: WATCH OUT SCHMIDT!)

2
Reply
Flag
So....jake and Gina have a past? Who knew?

Oh right, wrong talkback. Wait, there isn't one!
5
Reply
Flag
I no longer like Abby. How dare she scare winston
3
Reply
Flag
Jess was a little off in this episode and the show clearly doesn't know what to do with Cece anymore, but Winston was killing it.
Winston: This pep talk sucks. It's like the Winston of pep talks.
Also,
Winston: Nobody's going to stop me. Not you, not him.
Coach: Hey, I was helping!
5
Reply
Flag
LOVED WINSTON!!!
1
Reply
Flag
He was so funny, but HE'S SUCH A C**K BLOCK! That's totally against the bro code...
2
Reply
Flag
Follow this Show
Members
9,662