TV Review: New Girl 5×05 “Bob & Carol & Nick & Schmidt”

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Welcome back to my weekly New Girl recap/review! To catch up on last week’s episode, check out my previous coverage here.

There are more spoilers in this week’s coverage than usual, so proceed with caution.

In “Bob & Carol & Nick & Schmidt,” Nick’s cousin Bob (Bill Burr) and his wife Carol (Lennon Parham) are coming to town, and Nick makes a hasty judgment on the motivation behind their trip: they want his money. While Nick isn’t the wealthiest man in the world, he is the wealthiest man in the Miller family and that’s saying something. Nick is seriously bugging about their arrival, frantically racing about the apartment, yelling, “Hide your jewelry! All the jewelry!” Schmidt, the man of suggestions in this episode, offers that Nick should put his foot down and insist he cannot give his cousins any money. “Set boundaries!” he says.

Much to Nick’s relief, the other Millers don’t want any cold, hard cash. But much to Schmidt’s dismay, they do still want something valuable: Nick’s sperm. After an unfortunate consecutive, quintuple bee sting incident, cousin Bobby’s basement is in need of a renovation, if you catch my drift.


The fact that Nick is becoming more self-aware, understanding that meeting and falling in love with a woman and having a child with her likely won’t happen for a “very, very, very, very” long time, is crucial to his development. Though it might not have happened in the way he – or Schmidt – had envisioned it would, Nick realizes this may be his only chance to have a child and he wants to do it. He fully understands the implications and the restrictions that come with being a sperm donor, but eventually has second thoughts due to his cousins’ poor financial planning. Schmidt asks them, “You guys flew across the country. You didn’t think about any of this before?” Adding the fact that they had done little, if any, research on intrauterine insemination. The situation turns slightly absurd, as the cousins suggest going back to basics to conceive a mini Nick Miller, making a few Christmas-related jokes along the way. No amount of psyching himself up can convince Nick to follow through, and so he settles back into his original life plan, which Schmidt has mapped out via spreadsheets on his laptop.

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I’m proud of this Nick. I like this Nick. I want to see this Nick succeed. He wants more responsibility, he doesn’t buckle under pressure as easily, he’s more emotionally vulnerable and he’s looking out on the world and in on himself to better understand things. It’s not as if I wasn’t proud of, didn’t like or didn’t want the “old” Nick to find happiness and prosperity, but this newer and maturing Nick is so wonderful. While he doesn’t do a full 180 degree transformation in the span of an episode (which would be unrealistic)  or lose any of his Nick-isms (like faux fist fighting with Schmidt about the fundamentals of romantics), the gradual growth makes me love his character more and more. Keeping an audience attached to a character for five seasons is no easy task, but New Girl has succeeded thus far. In steering Nick into the direction I – and I feel many other fans – have wanted him to go for so long ensures that connection will remain. I can’t help but adore Nick Miller along his journey to “advanced adulthood,” and I wouldn’t want to see it happen any other way.

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New Girl continues to make true my wishes for season five through Cece and Winston in an extension of the dynamic duo’s devious clowning we saw in last week’s episode. Cece has booked a wedding dress shopping appointment, and Winston declares that he will be present. Off Cece’s troubled look, Schmidt suggests that she cancel the appointment and wait until Jess comes back. However, there’s a six month waitlist which interferes with the couple’s want for a blissful June wedding. Though Cece is reluctant to accept Winston’s presence, she has a change of heart when he takes charge in the appointment, having done extensive wedding dress research. Cue the hilarious champagne swigging, goofy dancing shopping montage set to “New Attitude” by Patti LaBelle. In a truly inspired moment, the pair settles on “the most perfect dress” and leaves with their treasure in hand. However, upon donning the nuptial duds back at the loft, Cece and Winston soon realize they made a harrowing mistake. They were incredibly drunk in the bridal salon and purchased what is possibly the worst wedding dress in history. Instead of it being a gown fit for royalty, the pair’s pick is covered in tiny mirrors meant to light up if you put batteries in the designated area. Agreeing that it makes Cece look like a “prostitute for wizards,” a “bullfighter in space” and a member of The Hunger Games’s Capital district, the bride-to-be and her partner in crime seek out Jess (remember her?) for help.

The relationship between Cece and Winston allows for two very important opportunities: 1) Cece’s comedic nature shines and 2) Winston becomes more than just a secondary, in-the-background character. The fact that we’ve been able to see this type of development two weeks in a row has me so excited for the future. Onward and upward!

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Additionally, I made a realization this week. I don’t watch New Girl for the original new girl. For me, Jess is no longer what makes the show special. She’s not what I’ve stuck around for or why I continue to watch and love the quirky comedy. It’s the “everyone else” that keeps me coming back for more. While this makes me feel slightly like the Brutus to her Caesar (though Jess is nowhere near that horrible), I don’t feel too guilty. I know I will enjoy her return. I know she is such an important character and in many ways, holds the group together. Having her back will only bring more laughs and heartfelt moments, but for now, I’m happy basking in the goofy greatness that is Cece and Winston and Nick and Schmidt.

I’m half convinced there is a fairy writing down a list of the things I wanted for these characters this season and making sure they all come true. Continue working your magic, New Girl gods. I’ll catch you next week.

Highlights: “Oh, no. I wanna get married in August so I can walk down the aisle covered in flies.” Schmidt’s Boston accent — “Matt Damon in The Mah-tian.” “Mi leche es su leche.” “Just last week you were very romantic to me!” “My school is the streets but my other school is… school.” “We die on the same day in 2098?!”

Rating: 8.5/10

AJ Caulfield is a 22-year-old writer, massive goofball, and quite possibly Leslie Knope's long-lost twin. She's a big fan of 80's rock music, female-directed films, and Mad Men.