Two-Sentence Summary Winston’s attempt to bring everyone to Bertie’s apartment for a dinner party falls apart when Schmidt needs Nick to be his wingman and Jess has to deal with her sister, Abby, after she was sent to jail. The lone dinner party attendees are Coach and Cece, who are forced to deal with the fact that they made out and then never discussed it again.
Favorite Line “It takes two wings…for a bird to dance.” (Schmidt)
Episode M.V.P. Sometimes giving every character something to do in a half-hour episode of television results in an episode that feels too crowded for any one story to be given enough time to develop and stick with the audience. I think that’s what happened with “Sister.” It was admirable to try to use every member of this ever-expanding ensemble, but I’m not so sure it worked exceptionally well this week. Putting groups of characters into completely separate storylines meant that no one group of characters was really given enough time to shine. The episode was entertaining enough, but I think it could have been much better if it would have revolved around one (or maybe two) stories instead of three.
However, in an episode where it seemed that no actor was given enough time to make a memorable impression, Jake Johnson somehow managed to once again steal the show. His sincere concern that Jess was embarrassed to introduce him to her sister was balanced with his insane attempts to be Schmidt’s wingman. “Sister” did have some great standalone moments, and most of them involved Nick—rambling, strangely hitting on (all-too-willing) old ladies, calling Schmidt out for monologuing. It’s rare when an actor can make me cringe and laugh at the same time, but Johnson is proving himself to be a rare actor. And that fact that he can make me believe that a guy like Nick genuinely loves a guy like Schmidt only further highlights his talents.
Favorite Moment I don’t often love the media cliché of the “complete opposite sisters” (probably because my sister and I are different in a lot of ways but very similar in who we are at our core), and I was a little worried that New Girl was going to only play into that with Jess and Abby. But the scene where the two sisters talked about their mother and her denim backpack alleviated a lot of my concerns about the tone of their relationship. Like so many relationships on New Girl, Jess and Abby’s dynamic in this scene felt real. It felt like these two women had a shared history and a relationship that—while complicated—wasn’t completely devoid of love and warmth. It felt like a genuine moment between sisters, bonding over how embarrassing their mother is in the way only a sister could understand. With Jess and Cece and Nick and Schmidt, New Girl has shown real understanding of the intricacies of friendship, and now it’s shown that it can have that same realistic touch when it comes to the relationship between sisters.
I have to say, though, a close runner-up was the attempt to re-create Coach and Cece’s first kiss. It was funny, but, even more that that, it felt very real. Sometimes lightning doesn’t strike twice, and I love that the show acknowledged that not every couple are Nick and Jess when it comes to having perfect kiss after perfect kiss.
Question of the Week Did we ever hear about Abby before? I honestly can’t remember the show ever stating that Jess had a sister. It made all the talk at the beginning of the episode about Abby come off as stilted exposition, and I think things would have flowed more smoothly had Abby and her differences from Jess been mentioned before.
A New Girl GIF* For My New Girl Feelings
I’m trying to think of more things to say about this episode, but I keep coming up short. It was fun, and it was funny. But I do think it was probably the weakest episode in what’s been a strong post-Christmas string of New Girl episodes. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. I’m at a loss for words, like Nick when Abby started talking about ski pants.
*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.