In “The Captain,” Schmidt intends to break Nick and Jess up through positive reinforcement. Winston becomes further obsessed with his adopted-by-force cat, Ferguson, and toys with the idea of a cat bachelor party. Nick and Jess work on their communication issues as their one month anniversary arrives.
Newly-single Schmidt realizes how nauseated he is by Nick and Jess dating, and decides to take affirmative action to end their relationship. Nick prepares Jess for Schmidt’s conniving and unorthodox tactics, admitting that after Schmidt saw Titanic, he started a Billy Zane fan club, The Zaniacs, which makes Jess unreasonably angry.
Schmidt lauds Nick’s romance, congratulating him on his second longest relationship to date. After Nick starts to assess his feelings, he also starts having trouble performing in the boudoir;what follows is a gut-busting fail montage of Jess trying to break Nick out of his funk that is, to invent a word, Smurftacular.
Winston, in the meantime, meets a woman who appears to be a fellow cat enthusiast at a pet store. New Girl pulls a deft stereotype switcheroo here. We think that she’s just a crazy cat lady, but it turns out that the shoe is on the other foot: the only crazy cat person is Winston, and it leads to a painfully awkward question about feline grooming.
The namesake of the episode is Schmidt’s form of advice to break Nick out of his, ahem, slump. “The Captain” is a sex act so heinous that Schmidt needs to censor himself by telling Jess while the blender is on full blast. In typical New Girl fashion, Nick and Jess’s newborn fawn approach to romance is uproarious, and Schmidt’s pining over two ruined relationships turns from humorous to painful.
While most of the episode is drenched in amusement, the last ten minutes effectively hits home. Winston plays the voice of reason, remarking on how vital communication is to happiness. The main cast of Deschanel, Johnson, Greenfield, and Morris always find a way to dance the comedy tightrope, somehow always aware — even down to the raise of an eyebrow — of when to be funny and when to go serious. Season Three plows forward, the strongest yet, and with every passing episode, it feels like New Girl is a sitcom for the ages.