The seventh and final season only gave us eight episodes and a time jump that made us miss a few episodic worthy moments: Ruth’s birth, Winston’s wedding, and Jess’ role in bringing down her own school, Banyon Canyon. Although fans were excited for an actual final season, some felt the limited episodes and focus – Did we really need an entire episode devoted to finding Ruth a preschool? – didn’t give New Girl the sendoff it deserved.
While some of the final episodes were less memorable and some questions still remain, season seven did give us many adorkable moments that make this farewell bittersweet.
Warning! Spoilers ahead!
Jess’ Lean In
While we’ll never know why Jess had to testify against her former school, she isn’t wallowing in unemployment or forced to work at the Casserole Shack when her former fancy man Russell offers her a job at his company.
Although she’s doing what she loves – working for a non-profit education program – her talents are under appreciated as she spends a majority of her day filing and making phone calls. When she’s not invited to Russell’s “Tuesday Meeting,” Jess becomes tired of fighting for her role in the workplace.
The episode brilliantly attacked with humor what many of us experience in our own professional lives: workplace discrimination. Like Jess, we have sat in meetings where we are the outsider to the “good old boys club,” where our ideas are both ignored and even stolen. Her frustration mirrors our own frustration, and the need to quit and walk away is understandably tempting. What Jess discovers, however, is that quitting doesn’t solve the problem.
Rather than kowtow to Russell, Jess (aided by a day drunk Cece) barges in on her boss’ Tuesday meeting, which she believes pertains to the company and that she has every right to attend. Unfortunately, the meeting is a divorced fathers support group, but it does make Jess confront Russell and demand that her role grow in the company. Her confidence and skills prove to be valuable and Jess breaks the glass ceiling, giving all of us the confidence to take our place in our own Tuesday meetings.
Schmidt and Cece Get Real
Halfway through this brief season, we all mourned the loss of one of the loft’s greatest beings: Ferguson Michael Jordan Bishop.
Sure, on the surface this was an entire episode devoted to a cat’s funeral and elaborate memorial service, and also gave us the opportunity to see Coach one last time.
However, “Where the Road Goes” was really about couples. For Winston and Aly, it was about her unyielding support for her husband and his grief. For Nick and Jess, it was about how much they’ve grown as a couple since their first relationship in season three. Gone are the days where Jess tries to change Nick, and Nick refuses to compromise. They accept each other’s flaws and speak openly about their own shortcomings – like Nick letting Coach borrow a large sum of cash for his failed restaurant (perfectly named Coach’s Jim like Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse) or Jess supposedly killing Ferguson (She didn’t).
But this episode really belonged to Schmidt and Cece.
For the past six seasons, we’ve watched their relationship grow from a hookup to a breakup, from an engagement to a new marriage. The death of Ferguson leads Schmidt and Cece to contemplate what all couples must face someday: a future without the other person. Where as younger Schmidt would have wanted Cece to be alone forever rather than be without him, the older Schmidt selflessly puts aside his ego and encourages his wife to find someone if he should die. Their sweet exchange reminds us that love comes with great sacrifice, but in the end, it’s totally worth it.
In the past seven seasons, Winston Bishop accomplished many goals: reading a ruler, becoming a cop, making someone cry over him rather than the other way around, taking awkwardly awesome pregnancy photos. The one goal Winston never accomplished? Meeting his father (and successfully finishing a puzzle).
That all changed in this season when through Jessica Day’s internet sleuthing, Winston finally met his daddy, or so we thought.
Turns out, the Los Angeles Van Bishop wasn’t Winston’s Van Bishop. In fact, the series ended with the viewer, and possibly Winston, never meeting the real Mr. Bishop. That’s what I love about this show: although the moments may be over exaggerated for comic effect, the show is still rooted in reality where sometimes, we don’t get what we want.
But it’s Jess’ apology that hits Winston, and the fans, with all the feels:
“For what it’s worth, you’re more prepared to be a father more than anyone I know, and that includes Schmidt. And look, you’ll have good days and bad days, but you’ll never be alone. Just remember: you don’t have to have had a dad to be a great dad.”
Whether it’s for a cat or for a child, Winston Bishop is a great dad.
Happily Ever After
They gave us television’s hottest kiss, a sex move called “The Captain,” a bittersweet breakup, and an anticipated reconciliation. In season seven, we finally got the proposal and a wedding.
Sure, it took almost the entire short season for Nick to propose to Jess, and his proposal and their wedding – complete with High Jess sporting a pirate patch, bird shit, Russell’s declaration of love, a brawl, and Aly’s labor – didn’t go as planned. But for Jess and Nick, it was never about having the right proposal or picturesque wedding; it was about just wanting to be together.
In the end, Nick’s proposal and their hospital waiting room wedding were absolutely perfect because it was about Jess and Nick simply just wanting to say “I do.”
Hat tip to the writers of the proposal scene for making Jess’ go-to breakup comfort film, Dirty Dancing, the backdrop to Nick’s proposal.
The Future of True American
The series finale ended with one final True American. However, in the most perfect 39 seconds in the finale if not the whole series, we flash-forwarded to another round True American. This time, the gang had some new players join them: their children.
This glimpse was the closure we needed, and made me a complete weeping mess. Nick and Jess had a son, Cece and Schmidt made two caramel miracles, and Winston was a great father to not just one but five kids. In that moment, we didn’t need to know whether Nick got another publisher or if Jess got another job. It was about how these five people continued to be a real family, no matter what life threw at them.
Also, did anyone else notice Jess and Nick’s son’s name?
Someone knows how to honor a bet.
It’s Prank Sinatra, Baby!
The final season premiere ended with an eviction notice sliding under 4D’s door. If you didn’t pause your screen and attempt to read the fine print for any clues or New Girl easter eggs, you’re not a fan and definitely not my people. The final episode revolved around packing up and saying a final farewell to apartment 4D.
The twist? The eviction was Prank Sinatra’s swan song. It took him only seven seasons, but Winston Bishop finally found his pranking sweet spot.
Fingers crossed for a reboot and Winston finally finishing a puzzle.
*Photos courtesy of Fox Broadcasting Co.
To creator Liz Meriwether and the entire New Girl cast, thank you for a fantastic seven years that gave us the gift of Schmidtisms, one-liners, douchebag jars, and GIFs for all occasions.