Warning: This story contains major spoilers from the New Girl finale. Read at your own risk!
With Coach (Damon Wayans Jr.) on his way out of town, those left behind seized the moment in the New Girl finale. For one couple, that meant taking a giant leap to the next step in their relationship.
After realizing that Cece (Hannah Simone) reciprocated his feelings, Schmidt (Max Greenfield) set out to find his lady love, only to discover she had returned to town for him. Schmidt decided to never let her go again and proposed. Yes, he asked for her hand in marriage. Seriously. Even though they weren’t even dating.
But that wasn’t the only good news on the couple front as Nick (Jake Johnson) and Jess (Zooey Deschanel) admitted they still have feelings for one another. What does this all mean for next season, especially since Deschanel is taking some time off to give birth to a tiny human? EW caught up with executive producer Liz Meriwether to find out:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Are you going to pick up in the immediate aftermath of the proposal next season?
LIZ MERIWETHER: We’ve actually shot the first four episodes of season 5 because of Zooey’s pregnancy, so I actually know exactly where the next season picks up. Season 5 starts a couple days after the engagement and then inside the episode we jump forward a couple months. The premiere is an engagement party that Jess is throwing for Cece and Schmidt.
Now that Cece and Schmidt are engaged, how does that change the show next season?
I actually think it doesn’t change it, it only deepens what’s already there. In the first four episodes that we’ve shot, I haven’t felt like there’s a big change. It’s allowed us to bring Cece into the group a little more. I’m looking forward to season 5 getting into her character a little more and explore what it’s like to live with Cece and things like that that we’ve never really gotten into. It’s definitely an impulsive moment on Schmidt’s part to ask her to marry him. They haven’t been dating. So there are a lot of questions that in season 5 will come up for them: What are we like as a couple? What will a life together look like between us? It doesn’t feel like this massive change in the dynamic of the show, but an opportunity to explore the characters a little bit more.
Are we going to see Schmidt and Cece move in together?
They have to pay for the wedding themselves, so they’re saving money. Cece doesn’t move into the loft, but she’s there all the time at the beginning of the year. They’ll obviously move out at some point in season 5 and get their own place. It definitely creates problems. She’s there all the time. The first episode of season 5 is Nick realizing that Cece is a slob. She’s a hot girl who has never had to pick up after herself. People have let her get away with everything, so Nick is losing his mind because she’s there all the time. I felt like we had never dealt with what Cece is like as a roommate and it felt like a really funny new area.
Is there any chance Coach would return next season for the wedding episode?
There’s a little shoutout to him in the premiere. We obviously love Damon and would love to have him back at any point. I would hope he would come back to do the wedding episode, whenever that is—if there’s a wedding episode. Dun. Dun. Duuuuuun.
Winston had a big season this year, so what can we expect for him next season?
It was a big season for him with graduating from the police academy. He genuinely wants to be this great cop. We’ll just keep telling that story. The engagement, in a good way, affects everybody. Winston also tells Jess that he feels like he’s ready to have a relationship. I know we say that every year, [Laughs] but we want to really have him try to find a relationship next season.
Are you planning anything big for your 100th episode?
I hope so. I think so. We only did through episode 4 of season 5, so we haven’t even begun to tackle the 100th episode—or I could just say that it’s so amazing that I can’t tell you about it. [Laughs] It’s interesting because I feel like I’m going to have to watch other shows’ 100th episode and think about it. Maybe we’ll try to figure out something explosively exciting.