After a long break, New Girl finally kicked off Season Three last night with a brand new episode, “All In”, picking up right where things left off in Season Two in May. Nick and Jess are now finally an item, after what felt like years of flirty banter, and things are already awkward. The happy couple have realised that, despite having just finally hooked up a few minutes ago, they already live together, and this may cause some issues in their blossoming relationship. So they abandon their station wagon and decide to sneak into a Mexican beach resort in order to make their own paradise and hide from the inevitable fall-out that will come when they head back home.
Meanwhile, Schmidt is caught between two ladies, and is steadfastly refusing to decide which one he’d rather be with. So Elizabeth and Cece are both still Schmidt’s official girlfriend by the end of the season premiere, with no resolution in sight. As usual, Schmidt gets most of the best lines of the episode, while Winston is still left without much to do, although he does get one seriously funny scene in which Schmidt accuses him of sleeping with Elizabeth and being obsessed with Cece.
Things don’t pan out for Nick and Jess in their attempt at scamming the beach resort, leaving Nick locked up in resort jail (“It’s not bad, they let me watch Ugly Betty”), and forcing Jess to drag Winston and Schmidt to Mexico to bail them out. Cue group hugs, and Nick and Jess finally facing up to making their relationship work at home as well as in paradise.
All in all, this episode wasn’t hysterically funny, but it was a solid start to what will hopefully be a great season for New Girl. Schmidt’s romantic arc looks set to be suitably ludicrous, and hopefully Winston will be given a little more to work with. New Girl’s biggest challenge this season will be hanging onto the audience’s attention without the “will they won’t they” element of Nick and Jess’s relationship; but so far it looks set to succeed.