New Girl 3×08 ‘Menus’: Ocean Conservation Day


It’s been so long since there was an episode of New Girl that focused solely on Jess that this week’s episode seemed a little surprising, despite Jess being the title character. For so long now, all of Jess’s storylines revolved around Nick, so it was refreshing to have an episode that let her do her own thing. We didn’t have to worry with relationship drama of any kind. No, not much happened plot wise, and no, it wasn’t the most hilarious installment this season, but it was still a fun episode. The diversion seemed necessary, especially after re-introducing Coach last week and needing to adjust the show to fit his assimilation.

Jess begins the week by telling Nick that she’s going to talk to the principal about an ‘Ocean Conservation Day’ field trip for her class. She is excited, but Nick tries to dissuade her, reminding her of all the times she’s come to him in the past and gotten shot down. He knows she will be devastated, but she proceeds with her plan anyway. As Nick predicted, the principal says her trip is too expensive, and that transportation alone would cost too much. On the way out, one of Jess’s students asks when the beach trip is, forcing Jess to have to tell her that it’s cancelled. Commence drowning in sorrow for Jess.

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While Jess is trying to cope with her misery, Coach is trying to cope with his by taking Nick under his wing. He wants to get Nick in shape to prove that he’s still the Coach he used to be. Nick agrees for some reason, saying that he just assumed that God didn’t give him any abs. Winston at first fakes an injury to keep from joining, but then actually injures himself when he changes his mind and wants to join in after all.

I need to take a minute here to once again gripe about New Girl‘s treatment of Winston. They did so well at the beginning of the season at finally assimilating him into the group and making him a cohesive part of the cast. But the last couple of weeks, and particularly this week, it’s evident that they didn’t know what to do with him, and just kind of wrote him in sparingly as filler. New Girl, please figure out what to do with Winston! Now even more so with Coach in the loft, Winston is looking like the odd man out. It’s season three, you should know what to do with your main characters by now.

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But I digress. Back with Coach and Nick, the training goes well at first, but soon Nick is skipping training for some dumplings from the take out Chinese place. In steps mopey Jess, seeing that the Chinese place has given them multiple menus that they don’t need, and decides to take a stand on this issue. If she can’t make things happen at school, then why not with the Chinese place down the street? At first, her protest seems to work flawlessly. The employee Brian who greets her agrees with all of her frustrations, and promises that she won’t get any more menus. Unfortunately, as soon as Jess gets home, another menu slides under the door. This time, Jess storms down and finds out that Brian is actually the manager of the restaurant, and was just telling her what she wanted to hear to get her to leave. Jess (and an unwilling Winston) stages a protest in the restaurant and eventually drives everyone out with her complaining. She doesn’t get to savor her victory very long, however, because Brian then fires the menu delivery guy.

Jess is once again defeated, and no one in the loft is feeling much better. Nick doesn’t want to see Jess sad, Coach is upset that he failed at training Nick. Winston is in a wheelchair, and Schmidt is jealous of all the supposedly exciting things that are happening in the loft now that he’s gone. Oh by the way, Coach has officially moved into his spot in the loft now, so Schmidt is most likely going to be living across the hall for a while now.

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After pepping each other up, Jess finally has a brainstorm and decides to use the Chinese place delivery van (and the poor guy who got fired because of her) to take her class to the beach for Ocean Conservation Day. While a happy ending, I’m still pretty sure that Jess would’ve gotten fired for this in real life. Also, how small is her class that she can fit all of them in a regular sized delivery van? Questions that we may never get answered, I suppose.

Overall a decent episode of New Girl. Are you still liking the presence of Coach? I’m happy to see him back, just as long as they can balance hm and Winston out in the future. What were your thoughts? Let me know below!


Brock Kimbrel

is a social media specialist from Atlanta, Georgia, who likes to pretend that TV characters are his friends. If you’re looking to have an hour-long discussion about the Smoke Monster from Lost, or witness a live-blog of the lastest SNL, he’s your guy. Follow him on Tumblr or Twitter to send questions and comments!


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