In many ways, “Girl Fight” is indicative of just how successful the New Girl writers have made this show during these past four seasons. It’s an episode that only works because of what we previously know about the characters but also because of what we like about the characters. Watching Jess and Cece fight would be just plain weird if we weren’t at least somewhat enamored of their friendship but because we are, that makes “Girl Fight” one of the better episodes this season.
Cece is one of my favorite characters on New Girl but someone who is perpetually underused, usually only serving as the voice of reason when Jess needs a break from the guys and seeks out woman advice or just used whenever the show wants to push forward Schmidt’s romantic storylines (whether they are with or without her). Fortunately, she takes center stage in “Girl Fight” and is included within the main plot, and it’s glorious.
But first, let’s get the smaller bits out of the way. Winston is studying for his police exam but he’s really only “studying” in quotes, instead trying to find ways to avoid studying and procrastinate. He takes a great interest in what’s going on in the apartment, popping up to interject in other people’s lives. One of those people is Nick who goes out on his first date with Tran’s granddaughter after meeting her in last week’s Thanksgiving episode. They are both on the same page, too nervous and awkward for first dates, so they end up skipping to the comfortable part of the relationship: vegging out on the couch with a box of pizza. But, three days later, she’s still there and Nick’s roommates are becoming a little suspicious. The conclusion is that she is homeless, which explains why she eats what she does and why she takes a nap in Nick’s bed while covered in newspapers. It turns out that she is actually the opposite: She’s rich, so very rich in fact that she can pay bartender Nick to just hang out with her instead of him going to work.
So that brings us back to the meat of the episode: Jess and Cece. They’ve been friends for 20 years but are both passive-aggressive people so they have never really been in a fight. They argue, and then don’t talk for three days, and then Jess brings Cece a surprise latte and everything is fine. This works for them, as unhealthy as it is, until Schmidt takes it upon himself to interfere. Jess and Cece had previously lusted over the same cute yellow purse but both agreed not to buy it. Except Jess secretly bought it, a secret that Schmidt lets slip to Cece and, when she leaves the apartment, he goes a step further and gives her the purse later on, effectively starting a war between them.
For once, it’s a fight that a latte can’t fix. Cece is angry and hurt, and the two have an actual, real argument later in the episode. Instead of their usual shrugging it off while stewing silently, Jess and Cece have a shouting match at the baby shower they are both invited to, prompting Coach (who grew up with sisters, so he knows everything) and Schmidt to go try and save the day. They suggest the girls deal with their problems the way that guys do. Well, the guys punch each other in the balls; the girls should just punch each other. What ensue is a racous, hilarious girl fight — that rippled throughout the baby shower and provides one of the funniest scenes New Girl has had this season — complete with punches and breast pumps.
At the end, the girls make up — of course — because their friendship is stronger than a purse, and stronger than most things, and because they need each other. Jess and Cece vow to start dealing with their issues with each other head-on, and it’s a really clean ending but it’s an ending that New Girl deserves to have every now and then.