“New Girl”: Do sex to the lunch lady

During the last overlaid snapshots of New Girl‘s fourth Thanksgiving, show runner Elizabeth Meriwether closes one chapter and begins another. She introduces three new characters, solidifies the role of another and sets the course for the next however many episodes of the show’s fourth season.

The first nine episodes of the fall were fantastic, but were primarily just the first group after Nick and Jess ended their relationship. An imaginary cloud hung over the loft as the closure the exes needed went largely unresolved, though situations like Nick pretending to be gay so Jess’ date wouldn’t be uncomfortable showed a willingness for both to move on. But it never really happened — take what’s been happening between Jess and Ryan. The business ethics stance against their relationship is only a smoke screen to bury her real fears.

She’s terrified of putting herself out there and getting hurt, although she’s at least in a much better place than Nick, who’s sleeping with terrible women who he knows he won’t develop a connection to. So it’s important they talked this week to be honest with each other and most importantly themselves because it wasn’t their star-crossed past that’s keeping them from pursuing other avenues. I think they each needed to know they have a friend who understands how they feel.

Or maybe Nick just really hadn’t met the girl-version of Tran yet … until the end of “Thanksgiving IV” when the beautiful Greta Lee shows up on his doorstep to pickup her grandpapi. How perfect? Their instant love connection could mean heavy doses of Greta Lee on screen and more Tran. What’s not good about that sentence?

But their interactions are quickly glossed over at the end, after Nick talks to Jess and gives her the “Life moves pretty fast” speech. What’s more interesting is the relationships that develop elsewhere. Pepper, the police officer, appears to be Coach’s physical match, an attractive feature even he’s surprised to like. Pearl, the lunch monitor, might be the role playing, fetish partner Winston’s always wanted.

More interesting is Schmidt and Cece undefinable bond. Besides the interesting fact that Cece has been the moderator/wise woman of the first nine episodes for flushing out what really needed to happen between Nick and Jess, she’s quietly tried to figure out Schmidt’s angle. He surprises her once again, actually delivering Geoff when she thinks the whole idea of Bangsgiving is a big scheme to reel her back in. Whether he realizes it or not, he’s impressing her with his charm. This will be an interesting story to follow — it feels like it’s going in one direction.

The great takeaway, however, is Jess chasing after Ryan and thrusting herself into a serious relationship. She thinks it’s going to be something big and she might be right. She’s immensely attracted to him — can’t look at him without getting pregnant — and she constantly romanticizes about him — pretends Oasis love ballads were inspired by his love for her.

All of the other relationships in bloom could die and I wouldn’t bat an eye, but there’s a real emphasis to get Jess attached to someone. I honestly think Meriwether and her team understand that Nick and Jess’ relationship didn’t work, but they aren’t going to stop trying to find Jess’ love match. My read on it could be completely wrong, but she and Ryan, as she says, feels like something big.

MY FAVORITE THING: Nick picked himself … so he brought Tran … and Tran brought Thailand Monopoly. “All the squares are jail except one piece of property we all have to fight for, but don’t get caught in the red light district!”

Also, Tran fought in Korea but we don’t know for which side. Plus a bonus, Nick’s dream girl: “I’d like to meet a girl like you Tran. Your face, your brain, oh Daddy I’d be with her forever.”

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