Jess is stoked on jury duty, that is until a potential work promotion pops up
Credit: Ray Mickshaw/Fox
S5 E3
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Ahh, jury duty. Many of us don’t look forward to it, and some even try to get out of it — but not Jessica Day.

In tonight’s episode, Jess looks forward to perform what she calls a “privilege,” that is until a potential opportunity to fill in as acting principal pops up, causing her to make all kinds of last ditch efforts to fly the courtroom (more on that later).

But Jess, being Jess, can’t go through with it. Her conscious prevails and she tells a lawyer named Daniel, played by guest star John Cho, that she would make a great juror, which leads to some major shake ups at the loft — as does the contentious roommateship of Nick and Cece.

Here are the “loft”-iest moments from “Jury Duty.”

Nick and Cece fighting. Nick and Cece might work well as friends, but as roommates? Not so much, as seen when Cece basically moves in with fiancé Schmidt. Nick can’t stand Cece’s lack of cleanliness, and she finds him incredibly obnoxious. But the tension leads to some epic complaining and bickering, like with Nick whining to Jess about Cece’s ever-growing pile of clothes in the hallway, which he soon dramatically steps over, and Cece repeatedly telling Nick that “he’s… not… funny.” Eventually, they kiss and make up, or rather Schmidt, Cece, and Nick all hug once the conflict is over, while Schmidt and Cece make out, which is almost the same.

The dogs playing poker painting (and Winston’s terrible attempts to hang it). Despite Jess telling Winston NOT to hang a dogs playing poker painting until she returned from her day of jury duty (probably so she could talk him out of it), Winston just can’t resist the temptation. (And who could blame him? It’s kitsch gold) The trouble is Winston doesn’t seem to be much of a handyman. He accidentally forces a hammer through a wall, for example, and when the wall begins to crack, he attempts to cover it up with duct tape. That’s right, DUCT TAPE. He then slips in a line about having a roommate fund for damages, which is so subtle but so great.

John Cho. I thought John Cho (Star Trek, Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle) was laugh-out-loud funny when he appeared on The Mindy Project last year, so I was really excited to see him on a show with a similar vibe like New Girl. As a lawyer named Daniel, he doesn’t get a ton of screen time in the episode, and doesn’t get to show off his comedic chops much, but there’s some A+ flirting between him and Jess, a VERY welcome change of pace after last week’s love interest, Fred (Taran Killam), who was just a total snoozefest. And with Jess being put on a month-long trial (see below), they could be spending a lot of time together, so I wonder if romance could ensue? Just theorizing here, but at this point, he has my vote as a guy for Jess.

Jess trying to get out of jury duty. At the beginning of the episode, Jess tells Daniel that she believes jury duty to be not only a right, but a privilege, but she gets off her moral high ground when there’s the chance that she could become acting principal at her school, and she turns to her friends to help her get out of it. Their excuses are so funny, but the best moment is when Jess gets on the stand and is being questioned about her ability to serve. The case involves marriage, so she says she doesn’t believe in marriage, and that the two things ruining the U.S. are marriage and democracy. It reads SO untrue, which is why it’s great. But this doesn’t last long…

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Jess caving in to jury duty. No surprise, Jess can’t keep up the lies for long, especially when lawyer Daniel puts the pressure on. She confesses that she’d be a great juror, and is then put on that month-long trial in which she’ll be sequestered. YIKES. But this is all part of a plan to conceal actress Zooey Deschanel’s pregnancy. At the end of last season, executive producer Liz Meriwether told EW that Deschanel would appear in the first four episodes, and that she’d be gone for four episodes. It was later revealed that in that time, Megan Fox will step in to fill the void as “Reagan,” who rents out Jess’ room in her absence and is a “gorgeous, straight-shooting pharmaceutical sales rep who comes to town on business and shakes things up in the loft.” (Cece moving in helps with that shaking up too.)

It will be different moving forward, but the show recovered from the absence of Coach, and maybe these new faces will allow for a nice change of pace too?

Honorable Mentions:

  • Nick and Winston trying, but seriously struggling, to talk at the same time, even though they think it’s a skill they share.
  • “Why does he act like the pope when he’s happy?” —Jess on Schmidt kissing Nick on the head because he’s so thrilled about his relationship with Cece
  • Schmidt trying to use tabouli to smooth over the tension between Nick and Cece.
  • EVERYTHING about Schmidt, and his relationship with the Denim Bar.
  • Jess’ advice bowl to get her friends through her absence.

Episode Recaps

New Girl

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

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