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April 30, 2014 at 04:40 AM EDT

Did the latest New Girl feel like the penultimate episode of a season? Nope. Did I enjoy it? Absolutely. I’ve gotten some heat (not of the Winston variety) this year for being a demanding recapper. Apparently wanting forward momentum from a sitcom is too much to ask. Well, “Dance” didn’t really advance the plot, but I still found it charming. It had solid one-liners and independent, yet appropriate antics for each character. All that plus a song about eatin’ ‘nanas in the dark and plenty of dance-ready tunes. That’s enough for me! But was it enough for you? Read on…

It all started because Jess — against all wiser instincts, the limitations of the school’s budget, and any apparent interest from her students or colleagues — insisted on planning a school dance. The theme? “Love Is Forever and Ever…” I put in the ellipsis there because there were 12(!) “and Ever”s. To no one’s surprise, Jess recalled with Cece how she’d been an odd girl out at her own school dances and was using this dance to make good, pay it forward, and all that malarkey. Schmidt stumbled upon this scene and, after seeing the “Forever and Ever…” banner, pulled Jess into a death-grip hug in an attempt to assuage her obvious sadness. Like the rest of us, he knew she was trying to keep her mind off breaking up with Nick… by planning a dance themed around everlasting love. Who’s that girl? It’s Jess!

Nick was also trying to keep busy post-break-up — by doing lots of push-ups (he claimed) and eating “salads” (for the record, a Nick salad is a bunch of chunks of ham). Additionally, Nick would only be in a room with Jess if Winston was also there because Winston had an unparalleled ability to zap any room of its sexual tension. That room could be the kitchen or the loft’s “steam room” — a.k.a. their high-school-gym-style bathroom he and Schmidt had hot boxed with shower vapors (see Dotables).

Also taking the sexual tension out of any room was Coach, who was Jess’s only willing volunteer to chaperon the dance. His motto? “If they want to bang, they’re going to have to bang through me!” (And, no, that unfortunate motto didn’t get any less icky the more he said it.) Before the dance even started, though, it became abundantly clear these youths would not be doing much banging. Witness: The primary dance attendees were a bunch of giggling girls who instantly became obsessed with Winston, a high-strung tween boy named Todd who wore his best raw denim under a turquoise gingham button-down and a coordinating tie adorned with hipster mustaches (a.k.a. the boy I would have crushed on hard back in the day), some girl nicknamed Diabetic Amy, and an awkward girl named Wendy on whom Jess glommed because she related to her entirely too much. (ASIDE: Wendy, I learned after some research, was played by Mary-Charles Jones, the sister of We Bought a Zoo and Ben and Kate‘s Maggie Elizabeth Jones; turns out they have a third sister named Lillian Ellen Jones, and knowing there are three of these cherubs is very nearly too much for me to handle. I mean look at them. END OF ASIDE.)

NEXT: A lady needs help… and that’s a job for a man (or at least a job for The Dumbest Boys in School)

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Zooey Deschanel plays lovable Jess, who is plodding through life with a good group of friends.
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