''Scandal,'' ''HIMYM,'' 9 more: Key episodes to revisit before new season (SPOILERS!)
Best Starting Point: ''Fluffer'' (203) After setting up the loftmates' general dynamic throughout season 1, New Girl transcended its adorkable pigeonhole in the second season with the surprisingly believable odd couple Jess and Nick. Their showmance is set up in this early ep, when Nick unhappily realizes Jess is going on pre-dates with him to rev herself up for the real thing with other guys. Not only is it the first episode when viewers started to invest in the possibility that there might be more there than a turtle face and an oversized pair of doe eyes. All this plus classic Schmidt douchery as he tries to bag a Republican hook-up by pretending to be ''Tugg'' Romney and some top-notch facial hilarity from Winston and his sex eyes. Everybody wins.
Most Skippable: ''Models'' (205) Sorry Gigglebangs Riceball, but the shamelessly shilly episode is a non-starter. Even with the return of Russian penis-breaker Nadia and an absurd-yet-awesome boob-slap fight between Jess and Cece.
Ultimate Game Changer: ''Cooler'' (215) Never has a man looked so hot in a lady's trench coat. After putting the moves on a tragedy-obsessed hottie from the gang's local, Nick finds himself roped into a game of seven minutes in heaven with Jess. He's incredibly uncomfortable…but not because he doesn't want to kiss her. After a catch-your-breath-it's-so-hot embrace in minute 29, Nick proves he has previously unknown levels of depth and dashingness (thanks in no small part to stellar acting by 2013 EWwy winner Jake Johnson). The icing on the cake? The return of the world's greatest fake drinking game: True American!
Biggest Jaw-Dropper: ''Virgins'' (223) They! Have! Sex! We all knew it would happen, but the smart money was on Nick and Jess sharing their first time together in the season finale. Instead, showrunner Liz Meriwether & Co. pushed the timeline forward (ironically, with an episode comprised mostly of flashbacks that gave excellent insights on Schmidt and Winston, as well). In doing so both in ''Cooler'' and this episode, they showed us that ''Anything Could Happen.''
Finale Fall-Out: ''Elaine's Big Day'' (225) The possibilities are endless now that Jess and Nick all-in on their relationship, Schmidt is juggling two potential girlfriends, and Winston might have bled out from a badger bite okay, thanks this new featurette, we at least know that's off the table. Season 3 is shaping up to be the makeout-iest yet. Lanford Beard
Image Credit: Autumn de Wilde/FOX