Recap 'New Girl' Season 5 Before You Forget All The Ways The Loftmates Changed This Year

It's that time of year again. All the killer comedies that were put away for the summer are returning in full force. New Girl returns to FOX on Tuesday, Sept. 20, so get your beer and knitting needles ready. Last season featured a marriage, breakups, makeups, and job switch-ups, as our favorite loftmates grew together, grew apart and grew in many different directions over the course of the season. There were so many character developments and changes that even the biggest fan might need a recap of New Girl Season 5 before we embark on Season 6 of the comedy.

There are many things to love about New Girl, from its quirky sense of humor to its strong ensemble cast. As it enters Season 6, I think it's clear that the show has really grown into itself. Much of this has to do with the development of its main characters and the fact that the series' writers aren't afraid of letting their lives change in big ways. Season 5 was all about furthering the characters' relationships, setting them on the paths they'll be for episodes to come. And while there were some cliffhangers at the end of the season, many hints were dropped as to where these characters might be heading in Season 6. Here's what you need to remember about New Girl Season 5 before we return to the loft on Tuesday night.

Jess

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Season 5 was a big one for Jess, as she was all about trying new things professionally and personally. Overwhelmed by her workload under a new principal, Jess decides to leave her job as vice principal and becomes a teacher at a new age school where the children play outside with chickens — after spending some time at jury duty. In her dating life, Jess dates a lot of um, interesting guys, but it all leads her back to her "what if" relationship with handsome doctor Sam. At the end of the season however, Jess realizes she may still be in love with Nick and ends things with Sam. Now the question is, does Nick feel the same way?

Nick

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Nick continued to grow up in Season 5 and his journey was mostly about learning responsibility and becoming a functioning adult. Nick isn't the most mature and logical of characters — even his humor is based in his stubbornness to change. But last season, there were glimpses at all of the ways he has matured. Professionally, Nick and Schmidt now own the bar, so Nick has taken on more responsibility than ever and is really excelling in his new role. Romantically, Nick also falls for Reagan, a no-nonsense businesswoman, and by the end of the season, he has decided to follow her to New Orleans for three months. Of course, this happened just as Jess was realizing her feelings for Nick, leaving their future very uncertain.

Schmidt

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As Schmidt prepares for his wedding to CeCe, he reveals his softer side, spending much of the season supporting CeCe and working to combine their lives and families. Schmidt also reconciles with his father just in time for his big day. Much of Season 5 is about Schmidt deepening his relationships with those around him, as he and Nick even develop a new professional respect for one another as they work in the bar. By the end of Season 5, he has grown emotionally and is ready to begin his life with CeCe.

Winston 

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While Winston will always be one of the wackier members of the loft, Season 5 was able to ground his character a bit in his feelings for his police partner, Aly. Since she has a boyfriend for most of the season, Winston also dates some other women, including a fellow prankster who takes one of their tricks so far, they end up getting married. Still, by the end of the season, Winston and Aly are together and it seems like a lasting relationship. Winston also grows his friendships throughout the season, especially with CeCe, and he even becomes her bridesmaid.

CeCe 

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Finally, it was a big season for CeCe too. For starters, she moves into the loft after getting engaged to Schmidt and together they learn about compromise and working as a team. CeCe's family also makes an appearance as we watch her mother try to accept Schmidt into the family. In all the wedding hubbub, it is important to note that CeCe also takes major steps in her career. She begins auditioning for broadcast journalism jobs and though she starts at the bottom, it is still an exciting new career path for the ex-model.

As you can see, a lot happened to all of the main characters last season on New Girl, and I'm excited to see how all of the groundwork that was laid for their futures shapes up in Season 6.

Images: Brian Bowen Smith/Fox; Giphy (5)

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