New Girl Review: “Clavado en un Bar” (Episode 3.11)

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<i>New Girl</i> Review: &#8220;Clavado en un Bar&#8221; (Episode 3.11)

Every decision really has two choices. Either you take action and make up your own decision or you wait until life makes the decision for you. “Clavado en un Bar” shows us how the New Girl characters got to where they are today, the decisions that led them to hanging out together in a bar with a guy known as Kevin 97.

Jess has to make a decision between sticking with her crappy teaching job or working at a full-time fundraising position at a children’s museum. She’ll probably be better respected there, and she’ll make more money, but is it truly what she wants? This leads the group into flashback mode, where we see important moments that changed their lives and fills in some gaps in the information we have on these friends.

What’s important here though is that most of the characters took their own steps into who they became. Jess’ bond with a young bullied kid on her first day of school led her to love her job. Schmidt’s dedication to money over all other things turned him from Fat Schmidt into the douchebag Schmidt we know today. Even Nick, who is usually against change, made the choice to work at a bar instead of taking the next logical step after his law exam. For the first time, we find out he actually passed the bar exam, yet that path in his life didn’t make him happy.

Yet while most of the cast has been working on their pursuit of happiness, Winston more or less has just sort of gone with the flow. Winston didn’t like his job or that he lost his girlfriend, so what did he do? He waited for fate to bring him a new best friend in the form of Ferguson the cat. Before we met Winston, he was always on the bench for the eighth best basketball team in Latvia, before he was traded to a team who play on a hill. Yet he went with it. Life through him one way, and he decided, “Why the hell not?”

But then after an injury, Winston moved back to America, and he’s basically remained on the bench, happy to watch his friends play while he waits for his turn instead of taking it. In the end of “Clavado en un Bar,” it isn’t Jess’ decision to stay at her awful teaching job that is the surprise, it’s that Winston quits his job and finally gets off the bench. He doesn’t have a plan, and this could always send him further down the Ferguson-friendship-hole, or this could place him in the position to try more.

“Clavado en un Bar” does place almost everyone into potential goals for the rest of the season. Jess now has the confidence to maybe not just stop at being a teacher, but possibly even become the principal. Schmidt seems likely to head deeper into Douchebag and further away from the big heart of Fat Schmidt. Thrown in at the end, Cece decides maybe her modeling career might not last forever and starts to bartend at Nick’s bar. Of even more potential, Nick’s responsibility of teaching Cece could show him that responsibility might not be such a bad thing. But with Winston, at least New Girl is finally trying to build him up into more than what he has been. Winston’s finally off the bench; it’s time to see him play.