When Cece finally admits to Jess that yes, she does in fact like Schmidt yet again, there is a true sense of emotion that she conveys. “How could I not like him, he’s perfect,” she explains as the man she has fallen head over heels for again tries to perfect his burn against a spider.
That dichotomy between silliness and sincerity is the underpinnings of the success of New Girl. While on one hand the show can go far off the deep end of zaniness with “The Sauce,” Nick’s secret family sauce recipe that includes items ranging from mayonnaise to mustard to bologna, it also has the ability to nail the emotional beats. “Spiderhunt” is an episode that utilizes these facets along with the close confines of a episode shot only in the apartment to put together the bridge episode that will lead us towards the conclusion of this season. This season has been consistently strong from episode to episode but has never settled on it being about anything other than the daily ongoings of the roommates. With the revelation that Cece likes Schmidt all while he is in fact happy with his political partner, Moscato, we have something to drive to for the finale.
That is not to say though that this episode doesn’t take the time to craft another stellar comedic half hour. Framing episodes in the apartment allow for the chemistry of the cast to shine. One of the best bits of this does in fact revolve around “The Sauce” as Nick’s overbearing nature with it serves as a standout moment this season for him to show how he can walk the fine line between insane and in control. Nick also has another winning conversation with Jess as she believes that Cece likes him and is attempting to be understanding. What she doesn’t realize though is that Nick is talking about Cece wanting to install a popcorn machine in the bar. When he starts complaining about the smells and the maintenance (who honestly doesn’t like the smell of popcorn though?) it does nothing more but befuddle Jess, creating one of the funnier bits of back forth exchanged all episode.
New Girl may not be having one of their strongest story-telling seasons as a whole but “Spiderhunt” does a good deal to rectify that heading into the final leg of the season. As a sitcom however the show has proven episode after episode that it knows how to craft an environment that breeds laughter in a way few shows have this season. And damn if “The Sauce” doesn’t taste the inside of a bear… that’s not a bad thing.
Season 4, Episode 17