New Girl came to a close with a wedding, a baby, a move and one last round of the incomprehensible drinking game True American. It was a fittingly sentimental (and funny) send-off for one of the decade's most effortlessly enjoyable TV shows. Last year's great Season 6 finale would have been a more emotionally satisfying series finale, but this one — and this whole abbreviated seventh season — was a nice way for the show to go out on its own terms.
The finale was two episodes, "The Curse of the Pirate Bride" and "Engram Pattersky," with the first hitting the milestones and the second serving as kind of an epilogue.
Nick (Jake Johnson) and Jess (Zooey Deschanel) only got engaged in the previous episode, but the show zipped ahead to their wedding. Jess' mom Joan (Jamie Lee Curtis) told them that their wedding was cursed because they slept together the night before, and Nick and Jess came to believe it after Jess fell down and scratched her cornea, forcing her to wear an eye patch; Nick got dropped by his publisher Merle Streep (Brian Huskey), he got pooped on by a bird and they found out they were being evicted from the loft.
Jess smoked a joint to cope with all the stress, which got her entirely too high, and her ex-boyfriend/current boss Russell (Dermot Mulroney) was enlisted to babysit her. He tried to convince her that she still had reservations about marrying Nick, and he reminded her that he was there for Nick and Jess' first date and showed her the valet tickets on which Nick and Jess wrote what they thought of each other on that ambivalent night all those years ago. Russell professed his love to her, but Jess was sure she was doing the right thing and turned him down — which didn't stop Nick from punching Russell in his beautiful face.
After that, Winston's (Lamorne Morris) wife Aly (Nasim Pedrad) couldn't hide the fact that she was in labor any longer, and since the doula was at Lollapalooza (this dumb joke made me lol the hardest in either episode), she had to go to the hospital. All her friends went with her and in the waiting room, Nick asked Jess, "Do you wanna have the weirdest wedding of all time?"
"To you? That's all I want, Miller," she answered. So they had the wedding in the hospital waiting room, officiated by the hospital chaplain (Robert Smigel).
Then Aly gave birth to a baby boy. Winston named him Danbill (DanBill? it's definitely not Dan-Bill or Daniel William). Schmidt (Max Greenfield) astutely noted that the name sounds like "a weird town in Connecticut," which is accurate. (It could be a mashup of Danbury and Trumbull, which are towns in Fairfield County.)
After wrapping up all the hanging threads, the second part of the finale, "Engram Pattersky," was about saying goodbye. Jess called her friends over to the loft and informed them that she and Nick were being forced to move out, so they had to take this time to say their farewells (and also help them pack). No one else was really that emotional about it, having made peace with their lives changing long ago, but Jess needed them to feel it, so she forced them to look at objects from their past (Schmidt's penis cast! Nick's garbage disposal stick!) until they felt it. Eventually she realized that she was the only one still holding on, because meeting the guys in this loft was the best thing that ever happened to her.
But her attempts to force them to get emotional worked as they all remembered moments in the loft that brought them closer together, like Winston and Cece (Hannah Simone) dancing to soul music so hard they broke the floor. Nick and Schmidt remembered the day they moved in after college and imagined what their lives would be like there. The life they found was beyond their wildest dreams, and Nick finally told Schmidt he loved him.
And then they played one last game of their drinking game, True American, where the most important rule is that the floor is lava. There was a flash-forward that showed them all many years in the future, playing True American with their kids. They're friends forever, and their kids are all friends, too.
Back in the present, they were finally packed and ready to go. But when they pulled down the door of the U-Haul truck, Winston's likeness with the word "GOTCHA!" was printed on the door. Prank Sinatra struck again. The management company, "Engram Pattersky," is an anagram for "My Greatest Prank." Turns out they didn't have to move after all. The series ended with everyone in the truck on the way to Jess and Nick's new place, arguing about whether what Winston did was too much.
With New Girl's end, the Obama-era wave of goodhearted, non-family, issue-agnostic single-cam network comedies typified by Parks and Recreation is almost over. Only Brooklyn Nine-Nine remains, and that will probably end after next season. The success of Roseanne has networks shifting back to multi-cam comedies, and they're almost all family comedies. If LA to Vegas and Ghosted are canceled, which they probably will be, Fox will no longer have any single-cam sitcoms, and it already resurrected the conservative-leaning multi-cam comedy Last Man Standing a year after it was canceled by ABC. The "hot young urbanites hanging out" sitcom is out of fashion right now. New Girl managed to gracefully ride out a sea change and end the way its creators wanted. You can't ask for a better farewell than that.
And it's the kind of show that will have a long life on Netflix and Hulu as TV comfort food. Anytime you want to visit your goofy pals in the loft, they'll be there.