New Girl Review: “Sister II” (Season 3, Episode 17)


New Girl Review: "Sister II" (Season 3, Episode 17)

Strong female characters who don’t appear to give two shits about anyone aren’t popular with the hordes of neck beards on the internet – a factor which may contribute to my liking Abby even more – but I think the introduction of Jess’ wayward, chaotic sister to the world of New Girl has been a breath of fresh air in a show that, to my eyes, didn’t necessarily need it.

Fortunately there’s no such thing as too much fresh air or we’d be in a real pickle, right? I’m not saying that Abby is a feminist icon on a par with Daenarys Targaryan (Game of Thrones) or, as I speculated last week, Jess herself, but I do like to see funny female characters on television. It’s 2014, it’s about time there was a more even gender representation on television and having Abby, Cece and Jess – each a very funny, very different character in their own right – can only be a good thing. If only they’d give more airtime to Bertie, which would be difficult given the 22 minute time frame the show already struggles with, then we’d have an equal gender balance. It’s not tokenism, it’s just giving yourself a broader and more even comedic palate.

I like to think of Abby as Jess’ Id. She’s the uncontrollable version of Jess that we did see a bit of before her arrival, usually when Jess was drunk, and the familiar chemistry she has with Nick is reminiscent of how he is with Jess as well, but with everything turned up to 11. For instance, while Jess would tell Nick that one of his lies is stupid, Abby will go out of her way to cause mischief. We saw that when she climbed on the bonnet of the car, and we saw that when she hooked up with Schmidt. She is the living embodiment of Knife Sky, the game she invented, whereby you hurl a knife into the ceiling (that’s the whole game). While it’s fun to hurl knives into the ceiling and be destructive, when the knife falls you better make sure you’re not in the danger zone. Tellingly, Jess found herself in the danger zone as the rest of the gang played Knife Sky, as Nick did when he volunteered to babysit Abby while Jess and Cece went apartment hunting.

At the end of the episode Jess admitted that she was a “fixer,” but that Abby couldn’t be fixed, so Jess would like her to leave. Not only is this a rare moment of giving up for Jess but it also speaks volumes about the way she sees Nick. Is she “fixing” him in the same way she’d try to “fix” Abby? The fact that they’re still together would suggest that she thinks she’s having some success in that area, even if it a more compromised area than she might like. For his part, Nick appears fine with it, so what’s the harm in a little “fixing” between lovers? It might also explain why the relationship between Jess and Schmidt might appear frosty at times, and why she believes Abby will “destroy” Schmidt. This new pairing should make for interesting viewing.

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