The last 2 weeks worth of Mindy brought on some major life decisions for Mindy and Danny. After a brief hiatus, it makes sense to launch a little forward in time to a point where Mindy is now established and comfortable in San Francisco, and steering closer to preparing for her next steps. As if the distance wasn’t challenge enough for the relationship, it appears the writers want to keep adding spice to the relationship by introducing more potential obstacles that could mislead viewers to worry about the future of Mindy and Danny. If you look at the two episodes back to back, you almost kind of wonder, in Mindy’s perspective, with how otherwise resistant Danny is to change, is this worth it, and is she worth enough to him? Of course, that all is happily and romantically resolved by the end of “Dinner at the Castellanos.”
In “No More Mr. Noishe Guy,” we get voice over assurance from Mindy that she’s loving her new life in San Francisco and has settled into nice friendships with Neepa and even Gurglar. She’s close enough now with Gurglar that he makes steps to build a new practice for him, Mindy, and Danny to run in San Francisco, this time with a focus on fertility. In the grand journey of Mindy furthering her own self, this is an amazing opportunity, and naturally she entertains it. Of course, when she visits Danny to try to introduce the idea, she’s surprised by a major decision Danny made on his own – he bought a brownstone for the two of them to one day move into. Mindy struggling to admit to Danny major life choices that affect her equally as much as him is a recurring theme across this and the following episode. Here, Gurglar surprises Mindy at Peter’s going away party and reveals the opportunity on her behalf. Of course, it occurs to her upon returning to NY that leaving the practice would cause a major ripple – Peter also reveals he wants to leave NY. So though ultimately Mindy decides to not follow through with the decision, we get another curveball thrown at us when Peter reveals Mindy is pregnant.
In “Dinner at the Casetllanos,” we see Mindy wrestle yet again with revealing a major life change to Danny. The funny thing about this is that Peter is kind of at the bridge of everything – when Mindy first entertains the idea of moving to San Francisco, she reveals this to Peter, who is then inspired to up and follow Lauren to Texas (with little success, as revealed in his phone call cameo in this episode) Again, with Peter at the apex of the big secret (given he conducted her annual exam) his physical absence almost makes it harder for Mindy to find a way to approach telling Danny, on top of the comedically timed coincidences where Danny makes off the cuff comments about kids being annoying or whatever. It couldn’t be more perfect that as Danny is about to discover he is a father, he has to deal with his own daddy issues. His father is once again trying to make Danny assume a fathering role when he’s essentially given up on disciplining his own daughter. Danny’s concept of “family” becomes this thing that blindsides him whenever Mindy tries to participate or be part of the picture, first from excluding her from the family dinner and then insisting that solving the issue with Dani isn’t her issue. The great thing here is that Mindy and Annette establish an amazing connection here, with Annette agreeing with Mindy’s perspective on how to handle the Dani situation, and, better still, with Annette picking up on the pregnancy signals and being immediately receptive to the idea of Mindy bearing the first Castellano grandchild. Watching Mindy perform here is actually one of the better performances she’s done in a while – you see the slow heartbreak every time she wants to talk about her pregnancy, and Danny keeps pushing aside Mindy as someone separate from what he considers family. What makes the end so rewarding, then, is him chasing after her and telling her she is family, accepting finally Mindy and their child.
What we get in the two week arc is a lot of forward motion for different arcs. We get a swift, fast exit for Peter, and two major life changes thrown at Mindy. The prospect of moving lends to more comedy, while the pregnancy reveal is a way more intimate affair – we barely see anyone else from the practice in this episode. We get a good blend of comedy when Mindy contemplates a brand new life in a new city, but we get slowly building drama as we watch Mindy on the emotional pregnancy roller coaster. This only makes me wonder how much more forward we’ll launch for the remainder of the season – we must assume that it’s been a few months into the Stanford fellowship. Will we move faster forward to move Mindy back to New York? Will the season end with the birth? Will there be a marriage? Will Mindy’s parents finally be involved because, hell, now there’s a kid in the picture? Big things are happening on The Mindy Project, and I trust the writers will find fun ways to work through the new type of rom-com we’re moving into – the parenthood, settling in side.
Till next time!