They said it right on The Mindy Project – it’s appropriate for Mindy to return in the spring, or the “horny season,” and what a way to return. We continue directly from where we left off – the kindling of the Danny-Mindy romance we’ve been waiting for. We got treated to an hour of re-establishing where we left off, and setting up the grounds of their relationship. Overall? Of course, there are always genius quips, but maybe we were suspended in “this is just starting” land for too long. And, of course, since the love story is way more integral, we got a couple weaker side stories along the way. At least for “French Me You Idiot.”
We get a very classic rom-com type moment – we could’ve easily guessed Danny would be a romantic – when he pauses and says he’ll count up and if Mindy doesn’t return the gesture, he’ll walk away and pretend it never happened. Even though the plane moment ends awkwardly, we follow the high of the honeymoon phase meet a serious low when Cliff plans a romantic gesture for Mindy upon her return to her apartment.
Let me pause a moment and say what neighbor in that “NYC” building would NOT say something about a mariachi band blaring in your hallway? For real. This coming from someone who lived in Spanish Harlem. Please.
Anyway, the fun for this episode was watching the awkward approach Mindy takes to breaking up with Cliff, which is basically polite avoidance. And I’m glad that we get some golden moments with Cliff for his last episode – my main complaint is that he was underused once Mindy won him over. At least now we’ve been treated to the sensitive side of Cliff, which proves to be hilarious if only for the circumstances. He doesn’t believe Mindy when she casually says “I’m breaking up with you, I’m in love with someone” and is maybe too bummed out by Gram’s death (at least by Danny’s standards), which of course guilts Mindy into sticking around with him through the funeral.
The C storyline (since basically Mindy/Danny is A story and Cliff is B) was kind of a distraction – and a strangely crafted device to have Brendan and Duncan appear again. My other complaint here is that Jeremy is severely underused in favor of highlighting the Mindy/Danny and Peter storylines. Jeremy is so all about the business – and even though HE suggests snagging new clients, he doesn’t get to participate in the action. Lastly, I found this a disappointing showing of Peter’s character – we get he’s fratty, but perhaps the “ballet bores me” thing is overkill. Although, it is incredibly rewarding to watch two grown men give tender commentary on ballet. Peter’s freakout also had great comedic timing.
After Mindy and Danny sneak off to make out during Cliff’s gram’s funeral and set part of the church on fire, they finally succeed in breaking Mindy up with Cliff… by busting up Danny’s lip.
The following ep, “Indian BBW,” has a better integration of the secondary characters in multiple story threads that actually really link up. Mindy and Danny, still in new relationship bliss, get hot and heavy but Mindy tries to pump the brakes and insist they slow down, refusing advances for sex. Now, this does indeed sound odd – everyone pretty much points it out – but we realize that Mindy definitely is invested and doesn’t want to mess it up by rushing into things. Hence, going slow. The next day, Danny winds up in the hospital with meningitis. One of the big relationship hurdles they deal with is revealing the relationship to their peers. Danny did not tell his brother Richie when Mindy visits, teasing that since he’s not sleeping with anyone, he’s not really “seeing” anyone. Enter Peter emergency texting Mindy to return to the office, where he reveals the sex tape she made with Tom (Bill Hader) many moons ago posted online. Naturally freaked out, she and Peter go on a quest to get the video taken down before it can get to Danny. Here, integrating a comeback cameo makes the most sense, as Peter and Mindy pay Tom a visit at his dental practice. They are instead led to the website headquarters, where they try to petition for the video to be taken down only to discover the video fulfills a new porn need (Indian BBW). As they return from the journey, Morgan intercedes (of course he does!), including a DVD rip of the sex tape to make Danny “feel better,” not knowing about their involvement. Mindy, hearing the music sting of the tape, rushes to see Danny, and as they argue about her withholding and as Peter figures out they’re seeing each other, she too falls ill with meningitis. In the end, Danny agrees to take it slow.
What succeeds more in “Indian BBW” is the journey feels more linear, and every action contributes to the main storyline (Mindy and Danny confronting the status of their relationship). I do enjoy Peter’s closer kinship with Mindy leading him to be the first to discover the relationship. My main worry here is that showcasing Peter and his friendship with Mindy comes at the cost of better writing for Jeremy and Morgan.
It was a fun return back, and hopefully keeping the circle tight knit (assuming this relationship will last a bit) we can turn the focus back onto the main cast, and hopefully open doors for more fun stories.
A couple of fave moments to end the return post:
-Danny as he argues religious principles and faithfulness: “I don’t know what you say to that elephant up there!”
-The fact they chose “In Your Eyes” as the mariachi song. Reminds me a bit of when they make the mariachi band play “The Sound of Silence” as another version of the new running joke in the 4th season of Arrested Development
-Peter stifling his yelling at the ballet rehearsal, “GOTOHER”
-All of the pop culture reference attempts for the eulogy
-Danny doing the different British voices reading Bridget Jones’ Diary to Mindy, and him adding “Oh, I like him!” about Colin Firth
Till next week!