It was one of the most anticipated episodes of the series and for one enormous reason: Prince. All right, maybe two: the “l word” was in there as well. The episode started out strong, laughs right from the get go before Jess and Cece regaled the boys with a curious anecdote, ending in an invitation to a party at Prince’s house (Prince!). At first, it seemed this was to be the main storyline until the real crux came out, just as a limo was about to whisk the girls away – Nick’s sudden, “I love you”. Jess’ reaction to this? Finger guns. Not entirely the reply Nick was hoping for, and thus, something must be amended.
This, of course, means Nick must find a way into the party to correct what he feels was a bad move, and the guys join him, because… well, it’s Prince’s house. It was great to see the childish, almost sibling-like rivalry between Coach and Winston being put to rest for an episode as the two teamed up as “Fire and Ice”, their old college trick for getting into parties. Throw in some bad acting and a ridiculous sob story and these two created the perfect formula for getting their way, even when it came to the ladies. Schmidt, meanwhile, had a touch more trouble getting into the party and ends up climbing through a hedge, somehow. This means that he must avoid the security guard, which sends him straight into the arms of – you guessed it – Cece. A touching moment, perhaps, but it just had me shaking my head. Already, New Girl? Seriously? It seems their relationship has reverted back to the beginning and the thought is mildly distressing in terms of their future.
Moving along to Nick, who found Jess, stumbled over whether to take his words back or not, and then, the moment we were all waiting for. “Hi, I’m Prince. So what seems to be the problem?” Cue freak-out, Jess needing some one-on-one chat time with Prince, and one of the greatest montages seen on television set to Prince’s 1980 hit, “When You Were Mine”. I’ve no idea how he did it, but somehow the ping pong and watching butterflies really inspired Jess, who was at last emboldened enough to shout those words back to Nick in the middle of a busy room. Was this the big finale? No, Jess was then called to sing up on stage, with Prince, while her friends danced around her. By the end of the episode, the gang were reeling just as much as the audience was. “Did… that happen?” Yes, Coach. It really did.
Wrapping up: I loved this episode, as my review score will reflect, but I do have some concerns for the future of the show. Mainly for Schmidt and Cece’s storyline, as was mentioned, but also for the fact that a large chunk of their budget would have gone into this episode which means no more rabbits out of the hat for a while now. It’s left me wondering if they’ll ever be able to top what was, for me, a fantastic episode.
Review Score: FIVE STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
New Girl airs in Australia on Channel Ten.