02/12/2014 09:29 am ET Updated Feb 12, 2014

Linda Cardellini Moves In On 'New Girl' As Jess' Mess Of An Older Sister

Linda Cardellini has been stretching her acting chops with more dramatic work of late, but she returned to her comedic roots with the first part of her guest turn on "New Girl." She plays Abby, Jess' heretofore unseen older sister. The main reason she's been unseen -- and really unmentioned -- is because she's kind of a trainwreck. Jess had to go pick her up out of jail, and spent the bulk of the episode trying to keep her from meeting Nick, out of embarrassment.

By the end, though, she decided to step up and help her older sister try and get her life back on track. So she invited Abby to move in with her (she didn't clear this with the guys?!). This means that Cardellini is sticking around the loft ... at least for a little bit.

Alan Sepinwall of HitFix was glad to see Cardellini return to comedy. "In part because she spent so many years on ‘ER’ playing a very dour character, in part because she didn't keep working with Judd Apatow like so many of her ‘Freaks and Geeks’ co-stars, it's like the business has forgotten just how funny she can be," he wrote. "She's a fine dramatic actress, as she got to demonstrate again last season on ‘Mad Men,’ but what made her work on ‘Freaks and Geeks’ so special was how multi-faceted it was.”

With a complicated character to portray, fans of "New Girl" will likely get to see Cardellini's multi-faceted talent every Tuesday at 9 p.m. EST on Fox for awhile.

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