They make the decision to split up for the rest of the vacation and divide the ship in half. It’s a childish (and futile) decision, so childish that I half-expected one of them to trot out a roll of masking tape to mark a dividing line in the middle of the ship. The real concern comes when Nick tells Winston that the ex-couple is going to take a break from being friends in general. This is the norm for couples like this; if you want to remain friends in the long run, you should definitely take a break while you each work on getting over each other and dealing with any lingering feelings toward a person without that person being next to you (literally and figuratively). But it can’t be the norm for New Girl — I mean, aside from the fact that they are the centerpieces of the show, the narrative also still has them living together and interacting with the same very tight-knit group of friends. Winston isn’t OK with Nick and Jess not being friends — it’s like the President and the Vice President not being friends, he protests — so he devises a plan to get Nick and Jess in the same room because Winston is the best and Winston is a secret power on this show; here’s hoping he gets to show it off more in the future.
What follows is a funny and cathartic intervention for everyone: Nick and Jess, their group of friends, and the audience watching. I may go back and forth on the Nick/Jess pairing — it is possible that I just know too many Nicks in real life and can never be sure if love, hate, or envy their qualities — but everything after “Mars Landing” has been so tense. Even last week’s lackluster “Dance,” which was basically trying to be a break in tension felt tightly wound at times, because they still don’t know how to act around each other. This tension isn’t a bad thing and it’s been mostly funny to watch — “Big News” was about as good as the show gets — but oh, I just worry too much about make believe characters. So this intervention of sorts where Nick and Jess air out their concerns (mostly about living together as exes and the fear that they’ll encounter each others future hunks and hobags) felt like letting out a breath that you didn’t know you were holding.
Also, we learned that Coach is upset that he will never know the infinite joy of what it’s like to carry a child inside of him. So, that was perfect.
I haven’t forgotten about Schmidt and Cece. As I’ve mentioned, Schmidt became a bit deplorable to me during the Love Triangle We Do Not Speak Of early in this season but has slowly been climbing back up to the top (kudos to Max Greenfield for knowing how to play Schmidt with equal parts slime and charm). The little side plot about Schmidt buying Cece a class ring to celebrate her getting her GED was adorable (and I will put aside the idea that the only reason the show pulled the Cece-graduates-high-school thing out of nowhere was so Schmidt can do something cute, not so Cece can have a better storyline — there is always next season for Cece! Please?). But what works best about this was that New Girl didn’t shove them together at the end of “Cruise.” Instead, Schmidt accidentally drops the ring overboard and doesn’t profess his love. I’m sure this will all happen next season but I’m much more into the two never getting back together. Cece needs a storyline that has nothing to do with a guy.
All of the final minutes — the six friends realizing they are locked in the room and remaining there for three days until they’re crazed and filthy — were wonderful. Finally, back home, they all remark on the news photo of themselves before trickling away until it’s just Schmidt, Nick, and Jess looking ahead to the future, a future that’s sure to include a fantastic fourth season (and hopefully a future that will put these two on the back-burner and bring forward the rest of the underdeveloped characters). Oh, and bunk beds! Nick and Schmidt in bunk beds! I’m sold.