New Girl totally outdid itself with this episode and this season.  “Santa” is one of my favorites for sure.  I can’t tell you how happy I am that this show found it’s footing and has taken off to become such a fantastic success.  Everything works, the cast, the guests, the storytelling.  The show has fans in and around Hollywood as well with guest stars the likes of Jamie Lee Curtis and Rob Reiner making appearances.  Going in to the second half of season two, I’m already wondering what I’ll do through the summer when it’s over.

“Santa” starts in a festive manner with Jess, Winston, Nick and Schmidt making Christmas decorations in the form of old fashioned popcorn and cranberry lines.  When Winston suggests he might still believe in Santa Claus he is bombarded with the decor and ends up with a cranberry stuck in his ear.  Winston’s predicament lends itself not only to added hilarity during the episode, but to Lamorne Morris getting the on-screen time that he deserves.  The group decides to go party hopping and attend all the holiday parties to which they were invited.

Party number one is short lived.  It brings us a testy exchange between CeCe and Schmidt.  To make things weirder, Sam makes a surprise appearance.  He chats with Winston, which is no small feat as he still can’t hear anything.  Jess tries to make it out of the party without being seen a la old school sitcom trickery with the entire group walking in front of her on the way to the door.  Sam spots her at the last minute and everyone bolts.

Upon arrival at party number two, Jess finds Sam again.  It turns out Winston traded information on the next party they were at for an ear exam.  Sam decided that he messed up and wants Jess back.  She is stunned and talks things out with Winston and Schmidt.  Winston is supportive and leans in Sam’s favor, but Schmidt is projecting his feelings about CeCe onto Sam and tells Jess not to put herself out there.  Rather than facing the situation, Jess lies and tells Sam she is in love with Winston.  Winston seems to be going along with the ruse, but really just plain can’t tell what is going on.  Winston realizes what he was a part of later and publicly breaks up with Jess, hilariously yelling, “Be gone honky!”, and throwing his drink on Jess.  When the gig is up and she has to face the music, Jess decides she doesn’t want to be the same gullible girl we knew in season one.  While I admired her resolve in this, behind my “you go girl” cheer was some apprehension.  I just wasn’t sure this was the right time to be digging deep.

During the same party Schmidt becomes a major a-hole to CeCe, taking a gift she gives him and passing it off to some random chick he asks to come home with him.  On the other end of the spectrum, Nick and Angie get a little crazy and decide to use the outdoor Christmas display to consummate their relationship.  The life-sized sleigh works well until it tips over dumping a pants-down Nick and Angie on the ground in front of the whole party.  Nick is so humiliated he hides under the fake sheets of snow.  After the incident, Nick decides he can’t handle someone as wild as Angie and that he shouldn’t be with her after all.  One of my favorite lines of the episode originates from the discussion.  When Angie asks Nick if he’s laughing at her in the middle of their serious discussion, he responds with, “No, I’m laughing into you”.  It feels like a set-up for Nick and Jess, but is almost too obvious.

The two friends end up being there for one another once again, working toward the other one’s happiness.  The line that Nick gives to Jess is the best thing I have ever heard a man say to a woman, when he tells her that she is  “the kind of girl a guy would come back for”.  Both of them end up talking one another back into their relationships.  Nick makes a very public apology, ending with a very, very awkward lap dance for Angie.  She turns the tables on him for a moment and does her own lap dance, which Schmidt stops her from finishing when he tries to show her how it’s done.  After leaving the party and getting stopped for swerving and braking erratically, Jess is confronted with black Santa who lets her go on her way.  This momentous meeting causes Jess to want to find Sam and forgive him after all.  In order to find him at the hospital the gang has to pretend they are caroling.  Jess and Sam end up together after all, which though I didn’t expect it at all, I am happy about.

In the end, Schmidt and CeCe are even civil once again.

I refuse to give up on CeCe and Schmidt and my dream of one day seeing a real Schmidt baby.  I have to say, I am so incredibly impressed by Zooey Deschanel‘s talent for physical comedy.  The moments in this episode in which she attempted to escape Sam, especially when she repeatedly ran into windows trying to find a door had me laughing out loud.  She not only commits to it, but she is soooo good at it.  I absolutely enjoyed this year’s Christmas episode more than last year’s.  Though I don’t look forward to the end of this season, Meriwether and her team certainly hit it out of the park in season two of New Girl and the cast just can’t get any better.

How did you feel about Jess and Nick going their separate ways in this episode?  Share your thoughts in the comments!

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