The Mindy Project, “The Other Dr. L”

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This week on “The Mindy Project” we exclusively dealt with how we get rid of James Franco’s Paul Leotard, with some Danny’s comically pathetic single life on the side.

With Mindy back in NYC, 8 months early from her trip to Haiti as Danny pointed out upon her return, she expects to go back to work without a hitch. But… Dr. Leotard is still occupying her office, and everyone loves him. Jeremy vouches for him as someone the patients love – the patients Mindy once had. They set her up in the janitor’s closet as a temp office with no patients. I had to take a few moments to suspend reality and realize that they would probably never do that to a veteran doctor of the practice in real life, but it worked if only for the great Morgan gag of him drying his swimming speedos on the heating pipe above Mindy’s head. Of course, Mindy’s upset about losing her status in the office so she plots to get rid of Dr. Leotard.

Meanwhile, we learn that Danny’s been running off on weird errands mid-day. Tamara suggests to Jeremy, the managing partner for the practice, to follow him, noting that if her boyfriend didn’t she’d be cheating on him. (She is funny but still feels like a caricature of I don’t even know what. I’m waiting for her to be more than a one-liner gimmick) It is here we discover two great cameos for the episode, found in Danny’s recently single married men YMCA basketball team, featuring Tom played by Bill Hader (Mindy’s ex from the premiere) and Kris Humphries (HA!!!). Danny is very defensive about these boys being… well, his boys, in the wake of his break-up with Christina.

At the bar, Mindy finds out that Dr. Leotard is a wimpy drinker. We all immediately saw the light bulb go on, and before we know it, it’s a Shots Off, with the coveted office at stake. I loved the Dropkick Murphys nod during this sequence, and Mindy whispering, “I ate a whole loaf of bread” to Dr. Leotard. Needless to say, Mindy wins, and effectively gets her office back. She goes over to celebrate with Danny, only to be confronted by a very drunk and pathetic Tom.

Of course, Mindy winds up being the one to walk Dr. Leotard home after the shots off because he’s black out drunk. She can’t find his keys, so she leaves him outside Danny’s apartment (where he’s been living since Danny moved out to NJ with Christina). Christina rolls in to drop off some of Danny’s things and seizes the opportunity to have drunk revenge sex.

The veil of forgiveness comes on when Dr. Leotard (surprisingly okay for being as drunk as he was) confesses what happened to Mindy and begs her to keep the secret with him. He tries to quit without letting anyone know the truth but Danny corners the two and tries to talk to them, having put some of the pieces together based on him stopping by the apartment. (What a guy thing to whisper to a friend “You smell like sex” in a congratulatory tone) Instead, Dr. Leotard lets the cat out of the bag. Danny of course gets upset, Jeremy tries to keep them both in, but Danny runs away to the YMCA.

Again, Mindy is the one who picks up the pieces, and convinces Danny to come back to work… with a little Kris Humphries hug action as the basketball team’s blessing to let Danny go.

Overall, this was a cute, fun episode. A little tiresome on the Dr. Leotard front, but we still had some great comic gold. I like that the show is also being more openly sexual and vulgar in a Mindy way (the dog eating the condom story by Tom was funny and unexpected) but I did miss more time with Morgan and the other characters – they’re still a sideshow as we get back into the swing of things. Hopefully with Dr. Leotard out of the way, we can get the dynamic back. And I will say, independent engaged Mindy is actually pretty fun too. But I am still wondering how long it’ll last.

A few odds and ends from great moments:

-LOVED the callback to Varsity Blues and the Casey Skyping, and that instead Mindy churns out a whip cream one piece. Slightly gross that she gets a UTI, but also realistic and funny in its own right.

-That team cheer after the single guy basketball game is great. “Just because we don’t have wives doesn’t mean we don’t have lives. Single and cool!”

-Of COURSE Danny Castellano has a special hangover breakfast sandwich. Very funny and adorable moment for Chris Messina.

-I love how bad Tom is at basketball. Made me think of Philip Seymour Hoffman in Along Came Polly.

Till next week!

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