It has all been leading to this.

The rise and fall of the Jess-Nick relationship. The re-introduction of Coach. The re-definition of Winston. Schmidt’s and CeCe’s efforts to rebound after their painful severance.

FOX’s “New Girl” concludes its third season Tuesday, and it does so within the confines of a “Cruise.”

While still together, Jess and Nick purchased tickets for a romantic, non-refundable cruise vacation. After all, if they had no intention of backing out of the relationship, why would they worry about needing to back out of a cruise?

No longer together, they are still obligated to go, and they bring the rest of the gang along for the journey.

Per FOX’s synopsis, “Jess and Nick invite the gang along with them on a cruise they booked while still together as a couple. Coach tries to suppress his fear of boating, Schmidt attempts to win back Cece and Winston tries to mend Jess and Nick’s fractured relationship in the all-new “Cruise” Season Finale episode of NEW GIRL airing Tuesday, May 6 (9:00-9:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX.”

Kerri Kenney-Silver (“Reno 911″) and Oscar Nunez (“The Office”) guest star.

Uninterested in rivaling the emotional gut punch of season three’s “Mars Landing,” the season finale functions as a lighter, more overtly comedic rendition of “New Girl.”

Remaining conscious of the show’s storylines and romantic dynamics, it does, however, introduce a new development in the Jess-Nick relationship. By the end of the episode, it will have also given viewers an updated sense of where Schmidt and CeCe stand regarding their romantic connection.

Behind-the-scenes photos from the production follow. Click the thumbnails for the full-sized images:

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