New Girl fans shed a tear this week as they said goodbye to Fox's favorite loft-occupants in the two-part series finale. Jess (Zooey Deschanel), Nick (Jake Johnson), Schmidt (Max Greenfield), Cece (Hannah Simone) and Winston (Lamorne Morris) have been delighting viewers for seven seasons - since the first day that Jess moved into the loft after a bad breakup. Over the past seven years, fans have seen the gang dealing with most of the usual sitcom fodder; relationships, career changes, and drama with family and friends, but New Girl has also never been afraid to have some fun with the zanier (and significantly less realistic) storylines as well.
Related: New Girl Series Finale Review
By the series finale (a two-parter: 'The Curse of the Pirate Bride' and 'Engram Pattersky'), the gang has finally decided to become real grown-ups, with almost everyone having married and moved on, and Jess and Nick tying the knot after years of an on-again, off-again romance. It's a perfect place to wrap up a fantastic show, and the finale was a great balance of nostalgia and a few new moments for fans to laugh over - and we've got the breakdown of what the most important parts mean for Jess, Nick, and the rest of the gang.
The Wedding Fit For Weirdos
Jess and Nick are the last of the core gang to tie the knot - and in sitcom terms, the moment that everyone is coupled off is usually the end of the series, so it's not too surprising that this wedding is part of the New Girl finale. Of course, their ceremony also means reminding everyone of just how far the rest of the gang have come as well. Cece and Schmidt are there with their adorable daughter, and Aly (Nasem Pedrad) are about to have their first child at any moment... in fact, Aly goes into labor before the wedding ceremony can officially start, leading to a 'wedding for weirdos' at the hospital itself. Add to that the 'curse' that leaves Jess stoned, proposed to by someone else, and wearing an eyepatch, and it's clear that the New Girl writers are determined to go out in truly wacky style.
It also makes the point that while Jess and Nick (and everyone else who used to live at the loft) may be settling down and having kids, they haven't changed that much, and plenty of zany adventures are sure to come in the future.
Goodbye To The Loft (Winston's Final Prank)
While the first part of the finale wraps up everybody's happy endings (Winston and Aly have a beautiful baby, Cece and Schmidt are happily married and settled, and now Jess and Nick are finally married), the second part has a little fun with the last day in the loft. Jess and Nick have been served an eviction notice, and have found a lovely (and appropriate) place to live, but Jess is feeling nostalgic about the place where they all met. Her inviting them all over to help pack and 'process' the loss of the loft is a wonderful way to connect with the fans - some of whom are just as sad as Jess, while others are undoubtedly on board with Cece's no-nonsense assessment that it's time.
Jess's over-the-top nostalgia also provides a great excuse to bring up some of the objects and moments over the past seven seasons without going to full-blown clip show route - as well as an opportunity for one final 'fight' between the loft-mates that ends with Nick admitting that he loves Schmidt, really. In the end, though, it is revealed that Jess and Nick didn't actually have to move out at all! Winston, who has been established throughout the series as absolutely terrible at pranks (always going either way too big, or way to small), set up the entire eviction as a joke... which could have been an excuse for the writers to reveal that more was on the way, but Nick wraps up the series with real finality as he says that it's done now, and they head on to their new home.
True American (And The Inevitable Flash Forward)
So that's that; everyone has coupled up, settled down, and left the loft to lead real, adult lives... or have they? There is one final scene to unpack - one that is a staple of the sitcom series finale - the flash forward. As part of their farewell to the loft, Jess and the original gang play a final round of the most intense, incredible, and confusing drinking game ever to appear on television: True American. At times, this has been used to show just how much these adults like to avoid adulthood (especially when older people come over and are surprised to find a group their age still playing drinking games at home), but here it is a sweet farewell to one of the running gags of the series (that the rules are never explained, and make no sense).
It is also an excuse for a little flash forward, to reveal what the future has in store for the New Girl gang. We see Nick, Jess and their son playing True American with root beer (obviously), before we see Cece and Schmidt join in with their two children, as well as Winston and Aly who have no fewer than five children of their own. Which means that Jess and Nick definitely have at least one kid, that Aly has to go through childbirth four more times, and that Cece and Schmidt have a second child at some point in the future. It also confirms that the gang will stay friends for years to come, and that they will continue to find ways to incorporate the spirit of their loft years into their children's' lives. There's only one real question left to answer: does Nick write any more Julius Pepperwood books, or does he find someone to recognize the genius of his latest idea?