New Girl Season 5 Finale

New Girl Finale Recap: Leaving on a Jet Plane — Plus: Grade the Wedding!

We have a feeling onetime Weekend Update” correspondent Stefon would have liked Tuesday’s New Girl finale — because, man, it had everything.

A wedding. An engagement. A break-up. An exchange of “I love you”s that was rudely interrupted by food poisoning. A conga line in the aisle of an airplane. Winston in the buff.

Over the course of two episodes, the Fox comedy brought each one of its central relationships into new, somewhat terrifying territory, before wrapping things up on a bittersweet note (thanks to an ill-timed hora). Herewith are the highlights from Tuesday’s two-part Season 5 sendoff:

* When a tiny velvet box containing a massive engagement ring falls out of Sam’s jacket, Jess goes into panic mode at the idea of her beau proposing… but she can’t put her finger on the reason for the freak-out, and she’s a little indignant that Cece would even suggest she doesn’t want to marry Sam. But later that night, when Sam pulls Jess aside for a serious conversation and seems on the verge of popping the question, Jess loses her marbles and decides to stall by playing several rounds of True American with everyone in the loft. (Someone, anyone, type up an official rule book for this game, won’t you?)

Naturally, Sam picks up on Jess’ evasion tactics, and when he finally gets a moment alone with her, he at last tells her… that he wants to break up. (Oh.) As it turns out, Sam is in love with med school pal Diane — how very Cheers-y! — and although he cares for Jess deeply, he wants to pursue a relationship with The One That Almost Got Away. But he does leave Jess with a parting gift as he exits her loft, and her life: a moment of brutal honesty in which he informs her she’s still in love with Nick.

* Oh, and that engagement ring Jess found? It really belongs to Schmidt’s mom, Louise, who had planned to propose to longtime girlfriend Susan that weekend. Thanks to Jess, the surprise doesn’t play out quite the way Louise had anticipated, but the engagement is tooth-achingly sweet, regardless.

New Girl Season 5 Finale* After telling new girlfriend Aly that, much like Cece, she’ll make a beautiful bride someday — which caused Aly to abruptly run out of the loft — Winston spends the first half-hour agonizing over whether he came on too strong with his lady. But when he goes to Aly’s apartment later that night and clarifies that he doesn’t intend to propose anytime soon, Aly reveals that she only ran out of the apartment because she came down with food poisoning. She’s not mad at Winston at all — in fact, she loves him! (And also needs to get to a toilet, stat.)

* On the morning of the wedding, Schmidt decides to take an impromptu flight to Portland, in an effort to convince Cece’s mom to come to the ceremony. (Despite the decent poker face she’s maintained all season, Cece is devastated by the knowledge that Schmidt will have two moms at the wedding, while she’ll have none.) But because this is New Girl — and, more importantly, because this is Schmidt — his travel plans get derailed by faulty landing gear on the plane, which leaves him stranded on the tarmac for hours.

But all of Schmidt’s efforts haven’t been in vain. It turns out that Cece’s fiancé has been leaving her mom quirky voicemails every week for a year, describing how much he loves Cece (and even though most of the messages aren’t well-executed, they’re crazy-romantic nonetheless). Cece’s mom finally admits, “I am delighted for you to marry this man,” and Schmidt, overcome with emotion, tells Cece that they can have the reception without him, even if that means getting married at city hall later in the week. But rather than let Schmidt miss his own wedding, Jess & Co. give him an adorable front-row seat to the party via video chat. (It pained me to watch Cece smash a piece of wedding cake onto her iPad, but who am I to kill the buzz?)

Later that night — much later — when Schmidt finally returns home from his air-travel saga, he finds that his roommates waited up all night for him to get back. With the help of a cello player, a ton of rose petals and the trusty Douchebag Jar, Cece and Schmidt have their lovely wedding ceremony in the middle of the loft — but we still don’t learn Schmidt’s first name. Rude.

* That only leaves us with the unresolved matter of Nick and Jess. Though she tries to deny that she’s got any lingering interest in her ex, Jess is forced to confront her feelings when Reagan shows up at the loft, having hopped a last-minute flight to attend the wedding with Nick. At the reception that evening, Reagan asks Jess why she and Nick went their separate ways, romantically — and even as Jess is explaining the fundamental differences that derailed her relationship with Nick, it’s clear that she’s willing to put those disparities aside if it means getting a second chance with the guy.

But it’s too late (to apologiiiiize). Before Jess can do anything about her unresolved feelings for Nick, Reagan makes her move, opting to take a chance on a full-blown relationship with him, even from a distance. (In the episode’s most heartbreaking moment, Cece sits down next to a crestfallen Jess, who communicates her Nick-related heartache by simply saying, “I…” and trailing off.)

The final minutes of Season 5 find Jess and Nick getting a moment alone, at which point Nick explains that he’ll be spending three months in New Orleans with Reagan as she adjusts to her new job. (How convenient — that’s exactly how long TV’s summer hiatus lasts!) He thanks Jess for convincing Reagan to take a gamble on dating him, and Jess, frustrated with Nick always putting himself down, yells at him to recognize how incredible he is. But before either of them can say another word, the rest of the wedding party bursts into the room and sweeps both of them up in the hora. Don’t you just hate that?

Your turn, New Girl fans! What did you think of the Season 5 finale? Grade it in our poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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31 Comments
  1. Megan says:

    I… Don’t know how to feel. The entire episode was AWESOME but the ending ruined it a little for me. Nick going away with Reagan for 3 months? So much is wrong about this, so much is unbelieavable and badly built. I could spend all day here saying all the reasons why this felt incredibly wrong. Other than that, AMAZING episode! For real!!

  2. JP says:

    This wedding, for a tv show, kept it as close and awesome as the characters we’ve grown to watch over the past couple of years. Love the douchebag jar was crushed. And not so unhappy that Nick left with Reagan… Jess got to see the other side with Sam.. Now it’s Nicks turn to see something else… They will end together. Love Winston and his girlfriend

    • tyranthraxus says:

      I must admit, I didnt know what to make of Reagan at the start. But when Jess came back I realised.. I hadnt really missed her. Reagan was a great and different replacement and had chemistry with Nick. And they didnt get together quickly.

      Now there are many reasons why Nick and Jess didnt work. You look back over those episodes and I realise .. they were just better as friends. Nick and Reagan seems like it could be something better for Nick. I hope he dosnt come back disappointed or on the outs with her.. because that would be a bad way for that storyline to end.

      I dont think Jess and Nick will get back together. I think it was an idea, everyone embraced and then after it happened and then fell apart most people were okay with.

      • A fan of TV says:

        I wasnt. I am all about Nick and Jess and didn’t see this supposed no chemistry at all. Thought the break up came outta nowhere (they broke up because he didn’t build a toy in one episode. At least Ross and Rachel broke up after weeks of jealousy, a break, and a copy girl!) and that if anything the New Girl writers did the angsty will-they-won’t-they better than writing them together. Even though I personally wasn’t complaining. Now it’s like they’re rewriting the same arc, almost from scratch, which annoys me more than when they were together, personally.

      • lorna says:

        Disagree completely. Nick never feels good enough for Reagan, she is not much help in that department. Plus Megan Fox not even trying to act doesn’t help. I like her but Team Jess and Nick. They’ve both grown.

        • Don’t care about Nick and Jess being lovers or just friends. All I know is that Nick has never been funnier than he has been this season, so as long as he continues to get such good writing to play, it doesn’t matter who he is canoodling with. And as CeCe and the rest of us already know, Nick and Schmidt are in love, so all other relationships pale in comparison.

  3. James D says:

    I hesitate to say this because this show burned me before, but is the old New Girl back? Such a great and sweet episode i loved it it like the show was for its first 2.5 seasons. I don’t mind Nick going with Reagan because it felt organic to me and we all know that Nick and Jess are going to wind up together. Hopefully they don’t (looking at you Meriweather) mess it up again.

    • jerrired says:

      Agree. I really enjoyed this season. I was actually going to stop watching the series because the last few seasons haven’t been the best, but this season was so good that I’m glad I gave it another chance. I’m actually excited about next season.

  4. The Kaibosh says:

    umm… somebody on the production team has a thing for the cleavage because iPad Schmidt sitting next to CeCe was um..distracting….and Jess looked like she was going to explode out of her dress the whole night. They’re both lovely so I’m not complaining but just sayin.

    • M says:

      I literally came here to say the same thing. Not sure if since technically Jess and Reagan were “competing” with each other for Nick, they were trying to get Jess somewhat on Reagan’s level looks-wise, but it was noticeable. And yes I know Zooey had a kid recently so that adds to it, but it wasn’t an issue in the preceding episodes. Anyway, I hope Megan Fox sticks around. I like her in this show.

  5. I’ve been really impressed with this season of New Girl. It’s the best it’s ever been- each episode has been fantastic, and the characters’ growth has been so well done. Fantastic ending to an incredible season.

  6. Teddy says:

    Loved that last moment between Nick and Jess…. I must’ve watched it 10 times already.

    • I didn’t get to watch it because of storms can’t watch them on YouTube only music… Nick and Jess all the way… Jake and Zooey are a perfect acting match.. Love all the characters…..

  7. annna says:

    Great ending to a great season! Nick and Jess will get back together eventually, si I don’t mind his detour with Regan.

  8. Boiler says:

    These episodes were great and the season was a lot of fun to watch. Hopefully it continues in to the next season.

  9. Lauren says:

    These were some sweet and lovely episodes. I have to say, if New Girl hadn’t been renewed and this ended up being the finale for the series, I would have been good with it. Even with the Jess/Nick cliffhanger. Some of the best finales are the ones that don’t have everything wrapped up. This is just on my brain because of all the chatter about the Good Wife.

  10. I watched the entire episode twice because I thought I missed Schmidt’s name.

    • Erica Benes says:

      It wasn’t said, right? I turned to my husband and said, we were supposed to find out his name?!?! Did we miss it?

      • I really thought I heard that, not as a rumor, but as a fact. It was just left in the air as to how we would find out, and everyone assumed it would be the vows.

        • Agnes says:

          Actually, Liz Meriweather said in a recent interview that they decided to keep Schmidt’s first name a secret for a little longer, since “it would be too much for the audience to handle”, with all the other big things happening in the last episode. She said they do know his first name though, and that we’ll probably find out next season :D

  11. JL says:

    It’s not just “a cello player”, she’s Coach’s girlfriend and the reason he moved out of the loft!

  12. Sarah says:

    I absolutely loved this finale! So much about it was perfect. It was sweet and emotional and absolutely hilarious. Plus Coach! The Winston moments were especially great. I literally guffawed at his honeymoon prank at the end. And Nick’s best man speech-omg. Nick Miller is a national treasure.

    • Patrick says:

      No offense to Winston or his portrayer, but Coach’s presence from the outset would have turned this show into a monster hit. His interaction would have made this series. Winston would have been a great recurring character.

  13. Ana says:

    The finale was wonderful!
    When Sam told Jess “it’s Nick”, I got up and started screaming “IT’S NICK, IT’S NICK, IT’S NIIIIIIIIICK!!!!”, I was so freaking happy.
    And then I screamed “Noooooooooooo!” when Reagan walked through the loft’s door.
    The wedding was lovely and did justice to the rare unicorn that is Schmidt – and his love.
    But the moment that had me crying most was when Jess yelled at Nick telling him he’s the only person who doesn’t know how incredible he is. My heart just melted in that moment because that’s something I’ve been craving to hear Jess say to Nick. Those two have owned my heart from the very beginning and they always will. To best friends who are in love!

    • Agnes says:

      OMG I literally agree with everything you just said, I reacted in the exact same way at the same points, haha! So excited to see how they will move on with Nick and Jess this time!!!

      • Ana says:

        Oh, I’m so excited, too. I have a very good feeling when it comes to Nick and Jess after this finale. Hopefully it will be as amazing as the finale going forward :)

  14. Ana says:

    And I’m very happy Winston finally has a lady who appreciates him. I hope this one will last.
    And the douchebag-jar moment was absolutely beautiful. Such a lovely reward for all of us who’ve been watchig from day one.

  15. Astrat911 says:

    Did anyone else find it strange that Ally (Winston’s girlfriend) was the only one who got food poisoning from the rehearsal dinner? It immediately made me think pregnancy… Hope not, but it was the first thing I thought of when everyone else seemed fine.

  16. HA says:

    Amazing season ! Great finale. Jake Johnson is a genius. I adore Nick in the same way I did back in the first season. True American is always welcome. Loved this installment so much I replayed it immediately. The Nick and Jess part was heartbreaking. It is the main reason I can’t wait to see the next season. I would like some resolution even though I know I won’t get it. As for Megan Fox, I am indifferent bordering on resentful of Reagan after the finale. Jess looked wretched at the end. For me, Deschanel’s absence was not acutely felt thanks to the rest of the cast and some good writing. Megan Fox was just there to deliver the lines.

    Overall impressive season. Hope the next one is as good,