It's the year of Jess, Nick, Cece, Schmidt, and Winston
Credit: John P. Fleenor/Fox
S5 E1
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The wait is finally over… Schmidt’s laugh-out-loud lines, Jess’ all-around quirkiness, and Winston’s straight-up weirdness are all back in the season 5 premiere of New Girl.

The series returned with a noticeable change, obviously: no Coach. But some things have changed for the better, like how Cece and Schmidt are, you know, engaged — and moving forward with their wedding plans. Although the couple have had a long road of ons and offs, it looks like they’re FINALLY on for real.

But they do have another obstacle to overcome, and this is where the meat of the episode lies: Jess, Cece’s newly minted maid of honor, flies in Cece’s mom, Big Mama P (Anna George), for an engagement party. Trouble is Cece never told her mom she got engaged. Yeah, not good, but not that surprising.

Without further ado, here are the ‘loft’-iest moments from the season 5 premiere…

Coach is gone, but not forgotten. It’s been eight months since we saw Coach move away (Regis Philbin crepe pan in tow), but without him, the crew thrived, hitting notes funny, heartbreaking, and sweet. And Winston even read a text from the ex-roommate saying he’ll be at the wedding… perhaps something to look forward to?

Just a groom and his best man getting their groove on. There’s nothing like a song-and-dance number to kick off a season premiere, am I right? This one features Schmidt and Nick backed by the Bollywood dance troupe, “Mahatmoves Ghandi.” As Jess tells it, Big Mama P was a Bollywood dancer herself and Mr. P’s parents didn’t approve of her, but they gave their blessing when they saw her perform. So when Big Mama P arrives and is clearly unhappy about Schmidt, Jess convinces Schmidt to similarly win her over with “the power of dance.” Sadly, it didn’t quite work out…

Blessings for Cece and Schmidt? The reason Cece never told her mom about her engagement was because she thought she wouldn’t give her blessing. Cece explained that Schmidt is not who even she imagined for herself. “I never thought I would fall for the slim, hip ghost of Tom Cruise,” she says, adding that she really loves him, but mom still could not be swayed. So Jess — who fell down a flight of stairs earlier in the episode, and seriously injured herself — forced herself to stand up to say they have her blessing, and she was joined by Nick and Winston. The cherry on top of an already very sweet moment? “We’ll get her on board,” Schmidt says. “I promise.”

Winston’s pranks. Tired of being recognized as “the Carport Hero” — a nickname he acquired after saving a kid trapped underneath a car — Winston decides that he will get in touch with his inner “Prank Sinatra” to change up his image. Jess tries to dissuade him because his pranks go either way too far — flashback to him registering Nick as a sex offender — or not nearly far enough — flashback to him sneaking a blueberry into Schmidt’s breakfast — but he is determined. He finally struck when Big Mama P was leaving the party. “Hey, Mrs. Parekh, check your shoes,” he says, which she does and finds a feather in her heels. He snickers, and exclaims, “Tickle foot!” The verdict: Too small (but from where I’m sitting, hilarious).

The (evolution of the) wedding vision board. At the beginning of the episode, Schmidt is totally swept up in wedding planning, like with his very thought-out inspiration board. “As you can see from my preliminary vision board, our wedding will borrow equally from the holy trinity of Liz Taylor, Jackie O, and The Power Gays,” he says. But by episode’s end, Schmidt has a change of heart about his plans for their impending nuptials. “I’ve revised my vision,” he says. “I’ve pared it down to only the things that matter.” So he altered the board to include photos of the loft gang.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Schmidt getting down on one knee to ask Nick to be his best man with a ring that has “BM” on it, and Nick messing with him by telling him he feels “blindsided” and that he’s not up for it (he is, of course)
  • The bridal party accessories (and the many more to come)
  • Nick picking a random woman up from the airport whom he believes to be Cece’s mom
  • Schmidt’s groomsmen (Nelson Franklin, Rob Riggle, and Fred Melamed)
  • Winston reminiscing on his badger prank at Cece’s previous wedding
  • Jess on the scooter

Episode Recaps

New Girl

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

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