Two-Sentence Summary The return of Coach leads Nick, Schmidt, and Winston to a Tuesday night at a strip club, a drunken showdown with a police officer, and a few realizations about growing up. One of those realizations involves Nick finally beginning to call Jess his girlfriend after an attempt to make him jealous goes awry.
Schmidt: Let me tell you something—when I’m done with you, you’re face is going to look all melted like the president at the end of Raiders [of the Lost Ark].
Nick: He wasn’t a president! You saw a different movie than everybody else in the world!
Episode M.V.P. In a season that has struggled sometimes to find strong comedic moments for all of its characters on a consistent basis, I was incredibly impressed with the way “Coach” gave every main character (and two additional characters) at least one scene that had me laughing out loud. The eponymous lost roommate was different than I remembered (Coach was intense in the pilot, but he didn’t seem as immature as this episode made him out to be—then again, New Girl often shows the ways breakups change people, and Coach was dealing with a major breakup here.), but he still made me laugh thanks to Damon Wayans Jr.’s line delivery (“Notorious N.A.G.”) and perfectly hilarious execution of an emotional breakdown in a strip club. Lamorne Morris also killed me with Winston’s storyline (in the A-plot, nonetheless!); the spending of the bunny money was a great running joke throughout the episode. And Max Greenfield absolutely aced his drunk fighting with Nick. I’m also pretty sure I cried from laughing so hard at his completely incorrect interpretation of Raiders of the Lost Ark, and I was so happy they went back to that later in the episode. (See my favorite lines.)
Jess and Cece also had plenty to do in this episode, which was nice to see. Cece’s complete failure to keep Nick out of Jess’s room at the end was awesome, and I will always love the way Zooey Deschanel plays drunk Jess. Her rambling is never funnier or more oddly adorable (see the moment she tries to re-enact Nick’s “Put on pants?” note to himself). But of course, their storyline was made even more wonderful by the presence of Taye Diggs. I love that the writers/director knew what a good thing they had on their hands and ran with it. From his pronunciation of “Brazil” to his leg extension in bed, Diggs completely committed to this ridiculous part, and we all reaped the benefits. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who was like Jess throughout “Coach,” dissolving into a giggling mess every time Diggs was onscreen.
But even the presence of Taye Diggs couldn’t keep me from seeing just how excellent Jake Johnson was in “Coach.” This episode featured all of the best sides of Nick Miller: flustered Nick (the scene with him talking to Jess and Coach about the strip club), angry-at-Schmidt Nick (again, see my favorite lines), panicked Nick (“Serpentine!”), drunk Nick (that scene in the cab was great work from all four guys), romantic Nick (“I believe you.”), and perfect-kisser Nick. Johnson transitioned in between each of these facets of his character with ease, with humor, and with sincerity. He was funny, weird, and heartwarming—and that’s exactly how I like my Nick Miller.
Favorite Scene There were so many great scenes to choose from in this episode—from the police-station fighting to Nick and Jess’s fantastic last kiss. However, my favorite moment came when Nick discovered Artie in Jess’s bed. This scene balanced broad comedy and sincerity in a way that gets to the heart of New Girl’s appeal. First of all, this scene wins based solely on the fact that it features a naked Taye Diggs. But it has plenty of other appealing moments, too. Take for example, Nick’s complete faith in Jess. What could have been a clichéd sitcom moment of conflict was instead handled with maturity and a refreshing sense of staying true to these characters. Instead of using this moment to create angst, the writers used it to show just how right these characters are for each other. And I loved how Nick calls Jess his girlfriend without making a big deal about it at first. It’s simple and in-the-moment, and it works so well for them. It also helps that it’s followed by a fantastic sequence involving tear-away pants, awkward bed-sharing, and a punch to the face. This scene could have been tense, cheesy, or a thousand other adjectives that have been used a thousand times in fictional representations of relationships. But this scene felt—like all the best New Girl scenes—fresh.
A New Girl GIF* For My New Girl Feelings
Taye Diggs + sincere Nick + another great Nick/Jess kiss = lots of giddy giggles from this girl.
*I have no talent for GIF-making. Thankfully, I am highly skilled at searching Tumblr for the best GIFs. I take no credit for this beauty.