Nick and Jess will have to face a harsh reality during New Girl's season finale (Tuesday, 9/8c, Fox) when they're forced to spend an entire weekend together on a cruise ship — a super romantic trip they planned before their split.
To soften the blow of having to spend the trip together, Nick (Jake Johnson) and Jess (Zooey Deschanel) invite the whole gang along. But, being the frugal spenders that they are, Nick won't pass up the chance to get their money's worth during the trip, even if that means being forced to do romantic activities like couples yoga and massages with Jess. Unfortunately, those events will actually make them realize being just friends is much harder than they thought. What does that mean for the future of the gang and their living situation? TVGuide.com turned to executive producers Dave Finkel and Brett Baer to get the scoop:
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What will the gang be doing in the finale?
Brett Baer: The big guest star for this episode really is the cruise ship that the gang all goes on. They spend the whole episode on the cruise. Liz Meriwether, our partner and the creator of the show, actually directed the season finale and did a great job.
What's in store for Nick and Jess on the trip?
Dave Finkel: We're trying to really reset the balance between the group and show everyone where we're going to be in the future and what next season will be like. It's not going to be an easy thing for the two of them, but they definitely want to be in each other's lives and be present for each other.
Baer: This is Nick and Jess' first chance to really confront what the future is like and how to go forward with their lives and continue living together in the same loft now that they're broken up.
Will they be able to continue living together?
Baer: That is the question for next season and what the characters are coming up against. We set the table in the season finale for them actually having to look at each other and go "This is weird. This is not your normal relationship and normal living situation." Some of the fun of next season is going to be watching them be there for each other as they change and grow and go off and find, perhaps, other partners. We're all excited to see where this goes next season and whether or not they can actually survive.
Finkel: There's a general understanding between the two of them, regardless of all this stuff, that they like to have each other in their lives, but they don't know what that means right now. The wound is too fresh. They want each other around, but they're trying to define what that means.
Baer: Let's also just remember they survived being able to live with Winston (Lamorne Morris), so they can probably survive anything.
A lot of shows struggle with getting characters back together only to break them up again. Will the finale set the tone for you not to do that?
Baer: We actually deal with that head-on. I hope the audience can see that in the season finale. We're really not in the mood to play with the audience or the characters. We really want this relationship to feel real and to reflect what real people in this situation would go through. We're not just going to have them jump in and out of a relationship with each other for the sake of comedy or drama because we respect the reality of where the characters are at.
Finkel: The thing we've always adhered to — once we realized the chemistry between Jess and Nick was a real thing — was that we knew that the two of them were busted toys. We knew we wanted to take our time watching the two of them make each other better people. That was a universal thing across the board for everyone. These are all people that have a lot of serious issues they have to overcome. The two of them have a long way to go before they can figure out whether they can be a long-term thing. We're going to spend hopefully many seasons figuring that question out.
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What's in store for the rest of the gang?
Baer: For Schmidt (Max Greenfield), and this gets teed-up in the season finale, his feelings for Cece (Hannah Simone) and the ups and downs that they've been through over the course of the season come to bear. Schmidt has decided that he definitely has feelings for her and wants to continue pushing forward. We're excited to see where the two of them go next season.
Does this finale mostly set up what's in store for next season or is there any closure?
Baer: In a nice way, there is a sense of closure. It's a bit of a reset, in a way. We're getting the characters back in a situation that they were in when they first moved in together. Now they have all this history between them and baggage they need to move forward with. We're clearing the decks — that was my cruise ship metaphor — for next season so that we can move forward and get back to the fun basics of who these people were before the relationship happened.
Do you hope Nick and Jess get back together soon?
New Girl's season finale airs Tuesday at 9/8c on Fox. Watch the most recent episode here.