Last week, Schmidt broke up with Fawn, leading to a presumable reconciliation with Cece but Cece decided to climb a mountain for whatever reason, providing the show with another obstacle. The will-they/won’t-they thing was much better the first time around, and watching the two have a shaky but blossoming friendship has been one of the highlights of this season (the other highlight being Cece’s existence in general, especially in episodes like “Walk of Shame”). As I’ve complained practically every week something like this happens, it’s always disheartening to see Cece’s main narrative be directly tied into Schmidt’s: his wanting her or not wanting her, his other girlfriends, and so on.
That all said, this episode does do their little dance justice. Schmidt gets up the nerve to finally declare he’s done with Cece — because he has no idea that she’s in love with him; Winston tries to convince Jess that they have to tell him but Jess refuses to meddle again — and throw away his box of Cece memories. As soon he does, he immediately regrets it and ends up paying $500 to essentially get $5 back. When he finally does learn that Cece loves him (his reaction is adorably endearing), he plans to trek up the mountain to find her … only to open the front door and see Cece standing right there. How beautifully contrived! But effective nonetheless. Their reunion is nicely done, but culminates in a proposal that I could do without but hey, at least it’s better than Nick and Jess suddenly getting engaged, right? But really, it’s the performances that sell it — not just Max Greenfield and Hannah Simone but the rest of the loft as well who listen in and celebrate appropriately, even hugging each other.
The end of the episode nicely sets up Season 5. Coach has a satisfying goodbye with Winston and is now heading to New York, but will surely return as a guest star for Cece’s wedding. Schmidt and Cece are officially engaged and will probably spend most of the next season planning their wedding before a big sweeps blowout episode. Nick and Jess decided to chuck the sex mug once and for all before each of them individually snuck out late at night to retrieve the mug (because hey, they’re not over each other!) only to find it missing (Winston gave it to his cat) but are each secretly delighted to believe the other still has interest. They will surely spend Season 5 dancing around each other before getting together, and that will be that. Why go even further? Let Season 5 wrap everything up, and let our characters go out on a high note.