Two-Sentence Summary Nick and Jess debate the validity of friendships between exes after Nick runs into Caroline and Jess reveals she’s still close with her ex-boyfriend Berkeley. Meanwhile, Schmidt’s attempt to get his mojo back is thwarted by Winston and Coach.
Nick: She cut off the power!
Berkeley: No, Nick, that was you. You turned off the light. All the other lights are still on.
Nick: My bad. Thank you.
Episode M.V.P. This episode had a lot of fun moments for all of the actors, including its guest stars. (Well hello there, Adam Brody, it’s nice to see you again after you stole my heart all those years ago as Seth Cohen.) But “Exes” was at its best when the focus was on Jake Johnson. It’s no surprise that the best New Girl episodes of this uneven season have done the best job balancing Nick’s more broadly comedic character traits with his surprising depth, and that happened again in this episode. All of Nick’s moments of panic over interacting with Caroline again were phenomenal—What if she hurts me physically? What if she hurts me with words? I especially loved his increasing paranoia over her texts.
But where Johnson really shone in this episode was in yet another moment that had me wondering if Nick Miller really is the most realistically romantic character on television. Nick telling Caroline and Jess that he loved Jess from the moment she walked in the door could have been cheesy, but Johnson’s sincerity (and the way he’s always played Nick with this belief in mind) made it believable. I loved the little moment after Jess asks him “Really?”, when he smiled and nodded with such a proud, content look on his face. With just that little nod, Johnson conveyed a sense that Nick was happy to finally be able to say how long he’s loved Jess, and he’s not scared of it, which is a huge step for Nick’s character development. The end of the episode was another great moment for Johnson’s highlight reel. His chemistry with Zooey Deschanel in that scene was even better than usual, which is saying something. The whole scene had a playful, easy energy, which heated up quickly when Johnson went in to kiss her. His voice when he told her “Come here already,” was ridiculously hot, and that last kiss was another entry into the already packed “Nick Miller Kissing Hall of Fame.”
Favorite Scene “Exes” achieved a great balance between zany comedy and real romance, so I chose two scenes for my favorites of the episode—one to represent each aspect of this very successful episode. In terms of comedy, it doesn’t get much better than the “Frank Skaboloplus” scene. The name itself was hilarious, but what made the scene even better was the total conviction each character had while saying such an absurd name. When Winston emerged from the guest room with his emphatic “I am Frank Skabopolus,” I laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe. And if you’re looking for a great representation of New Girl as a love story, look no further than Nick confessing that he’s loved Jess since the beginning. In the same vein as “Not like this!” from “Cooler,” and “It was me!” from “Parking Spot,” this one revelation let us—and let Jess—see just how long Nick has been pining for her, just how deep his feelings are. This is new territory for Nick Miller, but it’s territory he’s surprisingly comfortable in. Loving Jess has made him a braver, better Nick since the start, and it’s important for Nick to say that to both Caroline and Jess. The fact that he said it with such simple honesty only made it even better.
Question of the Week When do you think Jess fell in love with Nick? We know now that Nick loved Jess from the start, but when do you think Jess started to entertain the idea that she might be in love with Nick? Personally, I think she’d been attracted to him almost from the start as well, but it took until he came back to the loft after nearly moving in with Caroline for her to think that the two of them could ever really have a chance.
A New Girl GIF* For My New Girl Feelings
“Exes” was yet another strong New Girl episode. This show has really been firing on all cylinders again since coming back from its holiday hiatus. And if that’s not a reason to dance, then I don’t know what is.
*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.