New Girl Post-Super Bowl Recap: When Loves Try

New Girl Season 3 RecapDearly beloved, we have gathered here today to get through this thing called the post-Super Bowl-party Buffalo-wing coma. Whether you’re whooping your way through a victory lap or dabbing your tears with your team jersey – depending on how your team fared – let’s review Sunday’s special New Girl episode, dominated by recording star Prince.

ROYAL INVITE | While the guys are sitting at home debating who’ll move Jess’ undies from the dryer – and saying the word “panties” far too many times in a 90-second span – Ms. Day and Cece nearly get run over by a black SUV. But the almost-accident turns out to be a boon: The car is driven by one of Prince’s employees, who apologizes by inviting the ladies to the Purple One’s party that evening.

The boys are bummed that they can’t go; Nick, for one, was obsessed with Prince in high school (Jake Johnson, every second of that awesomely coiffed throwaway flashback was worth the time you sat in hair and makeup), and Schmidt thinks the fete might be a good place to find cooler friends. (Harsh even for him, no?)

Just before the limo pulls away, Nick bares his heart to Jess… who has a surprising reaction. “Did Nick just tell me he loved me for the first time?” Jess asks Cece as the car speeds toward the event. “And did I do ‘finger guns’ back?” To her chagrin, the answer to both questions is yes.

At the same time, Nick laments that he’s gotten too serious too soon, and he wants to take the sentiment back. So the male roomies take the natural next step: They crash the party so Nick can un-say he loves Jess.

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NOTHING TO FEAR BUT PRINCE HIMSELF | Through various means that aren’t that funny, the men eke their way into the fiesta. But when Nick finds Jess – who’s very happy to see him – she has a panic attack and passes out before she can voice her feelings. They’re trying to work it out when Prince shows up, declares they need his help and then tells Nick to scram so he can inform Jess that she’s scared to voice her feelings. The Artist Formerly Known as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince then realizes he’s got his work cut out for him.

That work includes, in this order: pancakes, various wardrobe changes, ping-pong, butterfly charming and aversion therapy. It’s exactly as odd as it sounds. Jess’ tutelage is capped with some Prince-whispering that’s straight out of a Saturday Night Live sketch, then she’s running back into the party and declaring her love for her very inebriated boyfriend. (Speaking of SNL, didn’t Nick’s anti-Victoria’s Secret-model rant smack of Bobby Moynihan’s Drunken Uncle?) The lovebirds’ relationship patched, Prince calls his student up to the stage, where she croons “Don’t you wanna fall in love tonight?” beside the pop star. Everyone, including a Schmidt newly recommitted to his pals, dances along.

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BUT DID IT REALLY HAPPEN? | Back at the loft, the gang sits in happy shock and wonders how Jess knew the words to the song. “I think Prince is magic,” is all she can offer. But wait, where’s Cece? Don’t worry – she’s back at the mansion, kicking Prince’s purple behind at ping-pong.

The installment is not New Girl‘s sharpest, though Prince’s willingness to poke fun at his eccentric image is a fun surprise. Still, I didn’t laugh out loud once during the half hour. Throughout, I wondered what The Mindy Project would’ve/could’ve done with such a powerful time slot at its disposal.

But now we want to hear what you thought. Grade the episode via the poll below, then explain yourself in the comments!