Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Mindy Project 2.20: "An Officer and a Gynecologist"

“I don’t know why Peter said you’re not funny. Your cranky old man character is hilarious!”

Another episode of “The Mindy Project,” another chapter in the saga that is Mindy and Danny. I really liked them together (pre Danny becoming an ass), but this drama is seriously getting old fast. Conveniently, just as Danny finally comes to his senses, realizes he was an ass, and realizes that Mindy is good for him, Mindy as gone and found herself a new love interest. Television rules, I tell ‘ya. Anyway, other than the advancement of the Danny and Mindy saga, there wasn’t really much about this episode that stood out. We got another example of Mindy being really good at working with teens, and we got some Judaism-related farce in a B-story with Danny and Peter. At least the former involved a guest spot by Tim Daly (playing the titular Officer). I’m always up for more Tim Daly on my television!

Early in the episode, we learn that following the break-up with Danny and the events of the previous episode, Mindy is swearing off men for a while. She has decided that rather than face more heartbreak, she should pour herself into work. This leads to an appointment with a young college student named Jenny. Mindy starts counseling Jenny about birth control, even though Jenny says her dad would never allow it. Mindy gives her birth control samples anyway. This leads to a run-in with Jenny’s father, Detective Lang (Tim Daly). Lang is really rude to Mindy and threatens to put her on the no-fly list. Mindy yells him right out of the building. Unfortunately for Mindy, Lang then gives her a ticket for “Public Female Hysteria.” I could root for a little Mindy/Lang action if he wasn’t an even bigger ass than Danny.

Meanwhile, while on the subway, Danny helps out a Rabbi whose hat has been stolen by some hooligans. Rabbi Adler sees Danny’s demeanor and “Shulman and Associates” on Danny’s bag and immediately assumes Danny is Jewish. He invites Danny to Shabbat dinner and says that if Danny plays his cards right, he’ll refer his entire congregation to Shulman and Associates. He’s just been waiting for a nice, Jewish gyno to come into his life, apparently. There’s just one problem, Danny is actually Italian Catholic. He enlists the help of Peter, who is actually Jewish, to make his Shabbat dinner charade seem at least somewhat legit. At first this plan works, with Peter chiming in appropriately at the dinner. Rabbi Adler just eats it up.

Jenny comes back to Mindy and says she’s come to a realization. She doesn’t want to be taking direction from a man right now, be it a boyfriend or her dad. She wants to stay with Mindy for the remainder of her Spring Break. Mindy takes this rather odd request in stride, and she does her best to make the experience a wholesome one. When Jenny wants to engage in some questionable activity, Mindy offers to let Jenny and her friends have a party at her place instead (so Mindy can keep an eye on them). When Mindy arrives home, however, she is pretty concerned about the party. It’s such a cheesy make-out party that it’s obvious farce. Kids are making out all over the place and drinking from red solo cups (can you get any more stereotypical!). And Jenny has handcuffed poor Morgan to the bed. Well there’s no accounting for taste.

The Shabbat dinner is going swimmingly until one of the Adler kids catches a peek of Peter in the bathroom. Apparently Peter was never circumcised, which apparently diminishes his Jew cred in the Orthodox Adler household. Danny confesses that he’s even less Jewish than Peter, and Rabbi Adler is not amused at all. Later, however, Rabbi Adler sees Danny and Mindy on the subway, and Danny goes to talk to the Rabbi (out of politeness, I guess). The Rabbi says that while Peter had been going on about how Danny and Sally aren’t good for each other, he sees true love. There’s just one catch. The Rabbi saw Danny and Mindy, not Danny and Sally. When Danny next sees Sally, he tells her they need to get some coffee and talk. Finally, the man has come to his senses!

Backing up a bit, when Mindy sees the crazy party going down in her apartment, she does the responsible thing and calls Detective Lang. While he is being his LEO self and trying to bust kids for cocaine as they leave the party, Mindy has a really sweet conversation with Jenny. Jenny had been scared into thinking she needed to start her own list of conquests after seeing Mindy’s box of relationship souvenirs. Mindy stresses that it’s a box of heartbreak, not conquests, and relationship matters should always be a personal choice. Jenny wishes there were any guys interested in her so that she would actually have a choice to make (I can sympathize with that one, even if it does seem like a juvenile sentiment). Mindy assures Jenny that she will have guys interested in her someday. Detective Lang overhears all of this and realizes that Mindy isn’t such a horrible person after all. By the end of the episode, he is asking Mindy out.

So, leading up to the final two episodes of the season (I think?) we’re in a pretty straightforward place. Danny has just realized that he does truly love Mindy. I find it interesting that the Rabbi was the person who was finally able to get through to him. At the same time, Mindy has finally started to take some real steps to try and get over Danny, including her potential date with Detective Lang. I think I’m seeing all of this heading towards a quick relationship between Mindy and Detective Lang, then a reunion between Mindy and Danny. Both “Mindy Project” and “New Girl” seem to be following similar trajectories this season (although the trajectory is more compressed for “Mindy”). The endgame couple gets together, breaks-up, then maybe moves towards getting back together again. It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out.

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