'New Girl' season 3 premiere: Paradise by the Dashboard Light

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Image Credit: Ray Mickshaw/Fox

Life-changing revelations, rampant bribery, vehicular sex, addiction, international intrigue, threats of violence (nay, murder!), a valiant act of self-sacrifice, an unsolvable love triangle, and even a bit of original music. It may not have seemed like it, but New Girl‘s season 3 premiere had all the elements of a classic high drama. Admittedly, it didn’t all fit together perfectly. But, New Girl, you’ve never let me down before. Like Nick, Jess, and one of Winston’s puzzles, there are good, solid foundations there. I’m confident that over the course of the next 20-odd episodes, everything will fall into place (maybe with the help of an almond or two).

So, as we learned last week, this year’s opener began exactly where last season closed:  Jess and Nick were in the car — amorous, “weirdly all-in,” and — after some backseat love-makin’ — unsure what to do next. They decided to head back home, but, doubt set in as soon as they approached the loft door. Were they really ready to live together after only 30 minutes (or so) of dating? Simultaneously, they were hit by a barrage of text messages from Schmidt — who was still very much in the throes of a love triangle with Cece and Elizabeth (more on that later). Despite only receiving about 10 of Schmidt’s average of 40 texts a day, they became convinced they’d never make it as a couple without some time alone. So they gave their roomies the slip, got back into the car, and drove once more into the night. Nick woke up the next morning with the sounds of mariachi music and a waft of churro-y deliciousness in the air. ¡Viva Mexico!

After picking up a piñata shaped like a monkey, the young lovers spent the next four days “getting to know each other,” ripping off parts of their wedding outfits, working on their tans, and (in Jess’s case) getting sassy hair braids. In short, they were ignoring their problems. Other things they were ignoring? General hygiene, the feral dogs watching them have sex, and Schmidt’s calls. Somewhere amid all the sexytimes, they’d transformed the back of Jess’s Volvo into a sweet little hovel, which was shaded by woven blankets and stocked with Jarritos (Naranja y Fresa!). True to character, Jess was beginning to accept that this set-up wasn’t sustainable. But Nick, God love him, wasn’t ready to surrender his “mega-chill” Paradise self yet, and he convinced Jess to sneak into the swanky beach resort about 200 yards up the beach.

Two scavenged drinks later, Nick and Jess were viviendo el sueño. That is, until they spotted a security guard looming in the near distance. Nick saved Jess by threatening to strangle a nerdy youngster if he didn’t hand over his all-inclusive bracelet, but Nick didn’t have time to score one for himself. After a foot chase, Nick sought refuge in the ocean, grabbing a rough-edged shell for defense and claiming he’d flee, “Point Break-style” if necessary. Now, unless Point Break ended with Bodhi getting tased in the shallows (it didn’t), Nick’s evasive tactics didn’t really pan out. To be continued…

NEXT: “Puzzzzzzzling, Winston’s ’bout to do some puzzzzzzzling…

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