The Mindy Project, “Bro Club for Dudes”

mindy-project-bro-club-adam-pally-mindy-kaling

This week’s episode of The Mindy Project slammed together a bunch of things that prove once and again what makes this show so unique and fun to watch. We finally address the topic of Mindy working in a world dominated by the men at her practice (exacerbated, of course, with the arrival of Peter) and we get hints of new and old romantic threads shining through. I’m glad this episode was such a mixed bag, and I’m glad this was a super ensemble episode as well.

Danny’s annoyance with Peter went away fast, as did the consternations Jeremy had about Peter’s character. It’s Wings and Stings night after hours in the office tonight, and Mindy is caught in the crossfire of their Nerf guns. It’s like finally for the first time Mindy feels outnumbered by the bro-ness of the docs, as Peter role plays as the assassin taking Mindy hostage to win the game of wings and stings. Oh, and Morgan is apparently a brilliant camouflage artist, having hidden in the plants the entire time.

Later, Mindy finds more reason to be annoyed as she trips over Morgan and Peter practicing an MMA hold on the ground, which she did not see and caused her to drop her Granola bar (which she admitted, comically and honestly, she’d probably eat anyway) Of course, Danny calls out immediately what’s really bothering Mindy – the fact that it seems Peter doesn’t like or respect her, and that she wants everyone to like her and be friends with her at the office, even if people protest. Danny even admits (I take this as kind of a Season 1 callback) that he didn’t really like her much when they first met. That was fairly evident when the season started. Now he’s one of the sensible friends in her circle (speaking of friends, where are Mindy’s other friends now??) and suggests she take Peter to lunch.

What’s Mindy’s idea of taking Peter to lunch? Going to HER favorite lunch spot – a doll cafe that serves “the best chicken tenders in town.” Peter is immediately annoyed and unappreciative, calling Mindy out on the fact that she couldn’t pick a place they would mutually enjoy. As Mindy complains at the failure of her plan, she hands off a cake she got at the restaurant to Danny (LOVE that he actually enjoys this!) and he, again, suggests she go with them to Peter’s amateur MMA match.

More surprises abound here! Jason (Mad Men’s Ben Feldman) is still around in Mindy’s love life, and is basically stood up on his date with Mindy. He’s left stranded at the sushi restaurant with nothing left to discuss with the sushi chef (“I told him Walter White was the ultimate antihero and he just rolled his eyes”) but is patient enough to wait for Mindy after the MMA fight for some romancing. But of course, the phone call ends with a familiar turn of events: “You should order the Philadelphia rolls – that’s Danny’s favorite. Oh wait, Danny’s texting, I gotta go.” Hmmm…

Meanwhile, Morgan convinces Tamra to help build the dream gazebo Mindy suggested as a means to utilize the office outdoor space better than just a secret smoking spot for Danny. Tamra, upset about not having a 20th anniversary date with Rayron (a surprisingly skinnier still Josh Peck), concedes and helps Morgan out. The two turn out to have a lot of fun, and Morgan tries to invite Tamra for dinner. She politely declines, but Morgan’s now been stung by cupid’s arrow! Shock!!

An amazing contrast to the pink and sparkly USA Girl Cafe is the dark, dingy, dirty MMA ring. Mindy immediately is overwhelmed by the bro-ness of it all. She didn’t realize, of course, that Peter was fighting and was shocked. They sit and watch the matches before, and they all discover Mindy is friends with the ring girl, who happens to be a patient and, now, a hot grandma! (Amazing twists all around here) To pump of Peter before the ring, Danny, Jeremy, and Mindy go in the locker rooms and shout things at Peter to get him riled up. Meanwhile, Morgan has a run in with Rayron backstage, who is furious with him for possibly interfering with his relationship with Tamra. (The actual reveal of Rayron himself is amazing. The Mindy Project plays the race cards so well) Mindy brings up a sore point (which she naively thought would assist in pumping up Peter) by mentioning Peter’s ex is engaged now. This immediately deflates Peter. Mindy feels immediate guilt for putting Peter out of his zone, and attempts to save him. She gets her ring girl friend to let her into the ring so she can pep talk with Peter. It works… until severe injury abounds.

In the hospital, Peter and Mindy have a heart to heart. We finally have respect between the two, and Mindy offers her skill as a gossiper about ex’s to Peter’s bro heart. We also say goodbye to Jason, who calls Mindy out on prioritizing work (a.k.a. Danny??) over their dates, mentioning Mindy has learned more about her coworkers’ favorite lunch orders instead of learning more about him. Bittersweet goodbye. We end with Mindy succumbing to turning the outdoor space into a bro basketball court. Peter shows his appreciation by trying to integrate boy behavior around Mindy, which cutely backfires.

I loved the massive concentration on Adam Pally’s new character – I was wondering how he’d thread into the show chemistry. I love the introduction of a love interest for Morgan – it’s about time! Josh Peck as Tamra’s boyfriend is also amazing (Tamra going “You used the internet for me?” and his misinterpretation of “China” as a 20th anniversary gift are CLASSIC yet subtle) and I’m glad we’re reintroducing the chemistry connection between Mindy and Danny. A fun episode that helped us learn about a new character, and even loosen up Jeremy’s stiff “I’m running the joint” attitude he’s adopted of late (but he’s still got the beer belly, which is funny in and of itself)

Till next week!

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