New Girl (S05E20): “Return to Sender”

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Review: It’s Sam’s birthday! The perfect occasion for Jess to get to know Sam’s friends. Especially his female best friend Diane who he’s never mentioned before, but who he instantly reconnects with. Sam and Diane. Something about a show called Cheers. Sounds like a match made in pop culture heaven. 

When Jess meets Diane, she does her best to mark her territory by being all over him, which visibly bothers Diane. But when Diane – who was in med school with Sam – saves Jess from choking and dying right in the middle of Nick and Schmidt’s bar, Jess realizes how silly she’s been acting. She apologizes to Diane for her behavior and for assuming that Diane must be wildly in love with her boyfriend. Which Diane then confirms she is. It takes about three or four confirmations from Diane, before it sinks in. Oh, balls, Jess says. I feel you, Jess. 

After Diane tells Jess that she was in love with Sam for ten whole years, and that she wrote him a letter, even Jess can’t help but be moved by it. To make matters worse, Diane tells her that Sam never replied to the letter, because – as she recently found out – Sam never actually got it. Diane gives the letter to Jess, because she can’t throw it away. 

After some careful consideration, Jess decides that Sam should get the letter, despite what it might do to her relationship with him. As a birthday gift, she drives Sam to Diane’s hotel, where she returns the letter to Diane and encourages her to tell Sam how she feels. And, because Sam is as as great as he is tall and hunky, he returns to Jess that evening to tell her that the time for him and Diane has passed and  Jess is definitely the girl for him! 

Meanwhile, when Nick finds Gavin at the loft with Schmidt, he gets worried that Gavin might hurt Schmidt again. But Schmidt is convinced this time will be different, so Nick promises to at least be nice to him. The three men taste the wines from Gavin’s vineyard for Schmidt’s wedding and Gavin even suggests they grab some dinner. But first, he has to run home to change his shoes. Schmidt is understandably excited, but this sets off all the alarm bells for Nick. While Schmidt’s in his room, Nick talks to Gavin and makes him promise to be there for Schmidt. 

Later, Gavin keeps Nick and Schmidt waiting at the restaurant. Nick apologizes for keeping it real with Gavin, which led to him not showing up, but Schmidt thanks Nick for actually being there for him. But just as they’re ready to leave the restaurant, Gavin rushes in, claiming he got robbed of his wallet and watch and phone. Gavin tells Schmidt that he’s not very good at doing the right thing when it comes to Schmidt but that he wants to change that. He offers up his vineyard as a wedding location! (Sidenote, casting Peter Gallagher as Schmidt’s dad was such a fantastic choice!) 

FInally, Winston gets offended when he gets Sam a bird shirt as a birthday gift, that Sam doesn’t seem to like. Something about there being two kinds of people, those who wear bird shirts (like Winston) and those who don’t (like Sam, I guess. Probably Schmidt, too). I’m sure it’s a metaphor for something. Winston claims Jess needs to be with a bird person. Not so sure why this was a storyline, but I guess they needed to give Cece and Winston something to do this week.