Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Mindy Project 2.14: "The Desert"

“I mean we all have things, you know what I mean? I’ve got a carton of kittens at home that think I’m their mom. I’m their dad!”

So “The Desert” had a very big moment for Mindy and Danny, although it obviously isn’t going to be a simple progression forward. The Danny/Mindy/Cliff triangle definitely still exists, and I’m thinking it’s probably going to resolve in favor of Cliff for at least a little bit longer. While I’m glad to see Mindy and Danny take some step towards acknowledging their feelings (I don’t like artificial TV/movie romantic roadblocks…I find them frustrating), I’m starting to question whether they’re really good for each other. They are both kind of annoyingly selfish. On the other hand, that might actually make them a good match. At least there wouldn’t be one complete doormat in the relationship. It was nice to see some forward movement in the show’s narrative, for sure. The developments in this episode will certainly take the characters in an interesting direction when “The Mindy Project” returns later this spring after an unfortunate extended hiatus.

“The Desert” picks up not long after “L.A.” left off. The doctors are all still in Los Angeles post-conference. Mindy had been planning to stick around for a little while, but watching a rom com (as always) gives her the idea that she should fly back to New York as soon as possible to make a grand romantic gesture and win Cliff back. There’s just one small problem. Danny needs her help. He has set up a meeting with his dad, but he’s not sure he can get through it without punching his dad in the face. He needs Mindy for moral support. Mindy is more concerned about getting home to Cliff, even though Danny was clearly in a lot of pain. She also has the gall to ask Danny for a ride to the airport. Danny agrees, but only because he’s got a larger scheme in mind.

I can’t feel too bad for Danny at this point, because his scheme is pretty mean (yeah, Mindy was being selfish, but two wrongs don’t make a right). He tells Mindy he’s going to drive her to the airport, but instead he drives to his dad’s house. Mindy is not happy, but she has no choice but to roll with it. Danny wants her to stay in the car, but if she’s going to miss her flight, she wants to see the action up close. The door is answered by a teenage girl who says her name is also Dann(i) Castellano. She’s Danny’s half-sister. Apparently Danny’s dad has been a wonderful father ever since giving up on his original family, which doesn’t help Danny feel any better about the situation.

Meanwhile, Peter and Morgan have arrived back in New York, where they are greeted by the rest of the rather helpless staff of Shulman and Associates. Everyone immediately starts peppering Peter with questions, but he doesn’t want to talk to any of them. Peter and Morgan both end up in the rest room at the same time, and somehow they manage to get locked in. When they can hear Cliff working in his office through the vent, they think they’re saved. Then they start hearing Cliff sobbing and singing along to Jewel. Which, clearly, is just plain awkward. Cliff keeps singing “I Was Meant for You” over and over. And over. It drives the guys nuts, and they can’t escape it. If they yelled out for Cliff’s help, then they would know they heard his weeping and singing. And of course, that would just be awkward.

Danny is shaken by his brief reunion with his dad, so he decides he wants to get drunk and walk out into the desert. Mindy has ditched him and started driving back to the airport, but then Danny drunk dials her. Mindy feels bad for Danny and turns back around to rescue him, missing the second flight home that she had tried to schedule (she had even ordered her favorite snack for the flight). They start wandering through the desert, yelling at each other, when they accidentally set foot on a military base. Danny’s dad has a barber shop on base, and all the soldiers love him, so they let Danny call his dad to come pick them up. Danny and his dad have a bit of a heart-to-heart, where the most interesting thing we learn is that Danny was once a “primo ballerino.” The rift isn’t completely healed between them, but they’re definitely moving towards a better place.

Back in New York, another random staffer eventually lets Peter and Morgan out of the bathroom. They think that Cliff’s breakdown must mean that Mindy broke up with him, so when they run into Cliff in the elevator, they offer to take him out for a guys’ night to help ease the pain. Peter even gives up a date with a “Wisconsin Nine” for the occasion. The guys are having a good time at the bar when Cliff reveals that he’s the one who actually broke up with Mindy. They guys are kind of disgusted (because they had been hoping to get Cliff and Mindy back together), so they abandon Cliff at the bar. Peter’s especially pissed off because he was at the party that upset Cliff so much, and he can vouch for the fact that nothing happened between Mindy and Casey.

Mindy and Danny finally catch a flight back to Los Angeles, and they try to bury the hatchet. Mindy decides to try writing an apology e-mail to Cliff, and Danny helps Mindy find just the right words. As he’s suggesting to Mindy what she should write, it gets to be pretty obvious that Danny is actually talking about his own feelings towards Mindy. Mindy sends the e-mail and gets up to get a tonic water, and Danny chooses that moment to grab her and kiss her. Mindy doesn’t resist the make out session at all. Meanwhile, Cliff has received the e-mail and seems quite happy about it. Clearly there’s going to be a serious mess to clean up when the show comes back in April!

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