'New Girl': Group hang the Saturday before Christmas
The gang party-hops and that age-old chaos ensues
The holiday episode of "New Girl" began with Nick decorating the tree in the apartment while Schmidt, Jess, and an increasingly neurotic (and hilariously so) Winston looked on. Various party invitations have been extended to them all and a group hang is suggested, the vote being unanimous and celebrated via pelting Winston with cranberries, one of which he is convinced gets stuck in his ear.
By the time Saturday night rolls around Winston couldn’t possibly be talking any louder, thanks to said cranberry, and Schmidt is ticked that Cece has been invited along, fresh from rebuffing his "I love you" from last week. Snapping that he’d "rather be making it with a fatty in a Santa costume" (his party invitation), he begrudgingly goes through with "the lesbian cookie party" they are at first (Jess’s party invitation). As luck would have it, however, Jess’s on-again/off-again boyfriend Sam, who did some rebuffing of his own a few episodes back, is in attendance, prompting the gang to bolt.
Sam is intent on tracking Jess down, though, wanting a second chance, while Nick and his new girlfriend Angie (a recurring Olivia Munn) are intent on having sex for the first time, and a holiday party seems the perfect place. To Angie anyway. The decorative sleigh they choose, sadly, isn’t, and Nick is humiliated in front of everyone, which leads to a fight between him and Angie. It is an episode chock full of arguments and make-ups.
Schmidt and Cece’s make-up, of course, is a holdover from last week, but Schmidt isn’t having it. Cece tries to give him a gift, to no avail; he tosses it, assuring her he has no interest in what he refers to as "white Anglo-Saxon Winter privilege night." Sam’s apology, too, falls on deaf ears at party #2 and for Winston that couldn’t be more the case. He can’t hear a thing. After Jess tells Sam she doesn’t accept it, she adds that she and Winston are now dating and storms off. Sam then removes the cranberry from Winston’s ear, tells Winston he’s a lucky guy, which takes Winston a moment to make sense of. He then stages a break-up with Jess, shouting "be gone, honky!"
The most touching moment of the episode (and there were a few) comes when Nick and Jess find each other in the deejay booth of the party. After she admits to wondering if Sam is for real, Nick sweetly tells her that he thinks she’s the kind of girl a guy comes back for. She returns the favor by saying Angie might be good for him, get him to let loose a bit and be more adventurous. Next thing you know he’s on the microphone, telling Angie in front of every partygoer exactly why he is afraid ... and then some. Yes, he adds many other things about himself, such as that he’s a slow runner and obsessed with karate. They make-up and swap lap dances, but for only so long before Schmidt cuts in and gives Nick a deadly serious one, which can only result in a slap-fight.
Fleeing the party, they are pulled over by a police officer who quickly, kindly lets Jess off, wishing her a happy holiday. He is black and has a beard and is immediately dubbed not only "Black Santa," but a miracle as well. What else can Jess do but track Sam down at the hospital with everyone and give him that second chance? Forced to pretend they are carolers, they break into song in the corridor and, while it is a comically clumsy rendition of a classic, diehard Zooey Deschanel fans can only be reminded of her hit CD full of classics from two years ago. Even while going way over the top here as Jess, the girl kills it.
As they leave Sam and Jess to their reunion, Nick and Angie find somewhere in the children’s hospital to get busy, Winston readies himself for the next party, Schmidt shows Cece that he didn’t get rid of the present she gave him after all, and they all disappear until January 5th. Which can’t come soon enough.
"New Girl" airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.