New Girl S03E07 Recap: 'Coach'

New Girl is a very different show now than it was in the pilot that Damon Wayans Jr. shot before he opted to stick with Happy Endings instead. The show that was once conceived with Wayans as "the black roommate" has moved on. Whether or not it's moved to greener pastures is questionable, but the facts are that New Girl is still around, and generally one of our favorite sitcoms on TV. and Happy Endings, while a cult hit and gif-generation, met its untimely demise after ABC cancelled it at the end of its last season.

However you may feel about that, it's given those cast members to move on. Wayans' castmate Adam Pally has already found a cushy job on The Mindy Project, and now, Wayans himself is joining him on Fox by reprising his role as "Coach", in an episode sharing his character's name.

And while his return early on felt a bit rocky, by the end of this half hour, Coach was fitting right into the gang, despite certain conflicts still let unresolved with Schmidt, still loving across the hall.

Coach returns to the gang after breaking up with his girlfriend of two years, and instantly wants the guys to go out for a night at the strip club. But Schmidt, Winston, and especially Nick all have their reservations. Nick is in a relationship with Jess, and being around Coach changes him, which quickly creates conflict between the couple, as Nick questions, well, whether they really are a couple, because they simply haven't had "the conversation". Schmidt has a presentation in the morning, or something, and Winston accidentally exchanges $2000 real dollars for the club's "bunny money".

It's a clever way to deal with the concept of a dormant character suddenly returning to a heavily evolved show. The situations the four loftmates find themselves in are entirely different than what they were in episode one. Coach doesn't even represent, necessarily, a different era of the show, seeing as he was only around for the pilot. He more represents someone who hasn't been through the things these other four (five, counting Cece) people have gone through together, and steps had to be taken in order to get him there, if he was going to come back to the loft.

That's probably why Coach seemed like such a douche early on, but it was justifiable. As it turns out, he didn't break up with his girlfriend, she broke up with him, leaving him for some cop, a cop who the four soon taunt, in a drunken stupor and in a couple of fantastic scenes. It's a moment of catharsis that's needed to bring Coach to where the show needs him to be.

Through this, we also get the latest conflict for Nick and Jess. As mentioned, Nick becomes a different man in front of Coach, as a lot of men do around bros. He drops a bomb on Jess, claiming they've never actually referred to each other as boyfriend/girlfriend. Nick digs his hole a bit before they leave, so Jess decides to go out with Cece, and soon enough, they're joined by Artie, a local cafe owner who Jess swoons over.

But a small crush turns into a situation, as Artie soon finds himself in the loft with the two drunken girls, naked, and in Jess's bed. Nick returns and turns into a veritable boyfriend, punching Artie out with one blow and fixing things with his girlfriend, and yes, they've now labeled it.

I'm not sure I was as big a fan of Nick and Jess's latest conflict. It mostly worked, and it helped them deal with that "label", although I don't think anyone was questioning it beforehand. It was really just kind of more of the same between the two as they continue to try and find the ebb and flow of their relationship. There wasn't anything particularly wrong with it, and we got another classic set of revelations, as we've been getting in recent weeks. But I guess in the grand scheme of themes it was more contrived as a conflict than anything else.

And there's still the fact that nothing was really done to deal with Schmidt's conflict with Nick and Jess. They sort of hate each other and had a lot of tension at the beginning of the episode, but the show doesn't allow them to spent any time apart. Sure, they're still technically friends and nothing is ever going to stop Nick and Schmidt from caring about each other, but it's just sort of hanging over them the entire episode and ignored by the end. I'm sure they'll deal with this more directly over the rest of the season, but the episode didn't do this arc any favors.

"Coach" had to overcome a few obstacles to get to where it needed to be, but it was mostly a good episode, and I think that Damon Wayans Jr. will be a welcome addition to the dynamic of the group. Coach gets 8 long hot conversations out of 10.

Notes & Quotes:

  • I actually really liked Winston's little subplot here. I'm sure a lot of people will complain about him being marginalized into these ridiculous little escapades, but I also totally buy Winston getting scammed into $2000 worth of fake money. And I really hope they keep with this gag for a while.
  • I almost feel like the inclusion of Artie in this episode was some elaborate joke about how people confused Winston with Coach early in the series. Either that or I'm being racist right now. But it was kind of interesting to see Coach go from douche to nice, and Artie go from nice to douche in the span of 20 minutes.
  • Revelations: Nick throws pizza at seagulls and questions whether he should put on pants. Winston can't palm a basketball for very long. Schmidt probably hasn't seen Raiders of the Lost Ark, or at least thinks that it's "Nazi propaganda".
  • Between this and the revelation that Indiana Jones was entirely pointless to the proceedings of the movie, Raiders is getting a lot of hate from sitcoms this season.
  • Line Of The Night:


    "I'm just telling her what kind of cake to bake me, son."

  • "Should I close the door, or should we just do it quietly?"
  • "It has like, a lot of 4s in it. You know what I mean?"
  • "I call it a Temple Grandin, because it makes me friendly and compassionate."
  • "Is that an aftertaste?" "Probably baby formula."
  • "Say rubber baby buggy bumpers."
  • "Your bar for having it together is set pretty low."
  • "It's embarrassing, he just cried in a strip club."
  • "I've got bunny money coming out of my pockets!"
  • "Hey driver let me ask you something. Do you like strippers? Do you also like the deal of a lifetime?"
  • "Look, if you can pee in Brazil, he can pee in my house."
  • Revelations: "I once found a note he wrote to himself, written 'put on pants', followed by a question mark."

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Comment 1
Tylerr Rietze's picture

"It has like, a lot of 4s in it. You know what I mean?" That quote made the episode for me. I lied, it was the cake one