Recaps

Two Takes: The Mindy Project “Leo’s Girlfriend”

Photo Credit: Jordin Althaus/Hulu

He’s baaaack!

It’s official, Danny Castellano (Chris Messina) has returned to the Mindy-verse and in an episode his costar Ike Barinholtz directed (according to Ike on Twitter, it’s the last Mindy Project he directed). Although, if there’s one thing this episode made clear it’s that even though we haven’t seen him, he’s actually been here all along. And by “here,” I mean taking care of Leo, participating in his school activities, picking up acorns in Central Park and being an overall good parent. Something it also makes clear: Mindy is not.

Photo Credit: Jordin Althaus/Hulu

With a divorce on the horizon, Mindy was majorly mom-shamed this episode by the other parents’ in Leo’s class (including an exceptional guest star appearance from Modern Family‘s Julie Bowen) and the Dean at Leo’s school in a way that only Mindy can be. But that wasn’t the only mama drama this episode. A poppy-seed-turned-baby showed up on Tamra’s ultrasound, indicating that her rendezvous reunions with Morgan resulted in more than just some awkward office encounters.

Cortney: Tina, while there were really only two storylines this episode (which is rare for this show), I still feel like there is so much to discuss. While I know Danny’s return is a major part of this episode, I feel like we need to start with Mindy’s mom-shaming since that’s what really set up the scene for his involvement. I have to admit that the past two seasons, it seems like we haven’t seen Leo at all. I mean, I get that the focus of this show is Mindy and her job and her relationships, but so many times I’ve wondered “does she ever see her kid? Shouldn’t she be doing mom stuff right now?” And apparently, I wasn’t the only one. That being said, I’m glad they finally addressed it and made her work-life-baby balance a real issue.

Photo Credit: Jordin Althaus/Hulu

Let’s be honest, Mindy is a cool mom but she’s also a hot mess of a mom, which is part of why we love her. Yes, it’s undeniable that she loves her son, but dressing him up in a t-shirt with a beaver (aka “the tree’s mortal enemy”) for a tree planting ceremony and trying to pass off a saltless street corner pretzel as a traditional Indian delicacy are proof that she’s not going to be winning “Mom of the Year” anytime soon. That being said, she has a successful practice and a lot going on in her life, so the fact that the other parents are shaming her, not cool.

Tina: Okay, before I start in on the Mindy side of things, I’m just going to say had I done the intro and was the first one to comment I would have kicked it all off with Danny. But you’re leading the charge here. And even though I understand your reasons, I was super excited to talk about Danny.

But I digress.

Okay, now let’s spend some quality time on Dr. Mindy Lahiri. The woman who doesn’t know where her kid goes to school and doesn’t know what time he even gets out of school. Those facts were a little sad to find out, admittedly. However, I agree with you. Mindy’s a hot mess. But she means well. She has a busy life. She needed to figure out she needs to make time for all aspects of her life and that includes doing the volunteer thing at Leo’s school.

Photo Credit: Jordin Althaus/Hulu

While I do think Mindy needs to be more involved, I hope she’s never as Stepford as those other parents. It wasn’t fun to see Mindy get all Mean Girl‘d (Happy Mean Girls Day, by the way). Those parents were so judge-y. So what if Leo drew himself hanging out with Daisy and Daisy turned out not be a girlfriend but an adult woman who’s a maternal figure for him? So what if those parents treated Mindy like she was the elusive Loch Ness monster (although I would have preferred a Mr. Snuffleupagus analogy)?

Photo Credit: Jordin Althaus/Hulu

I mean, sure she could have remembered to bring the snacks Jeremy spent so much time making. Sure she could have showed up on time for her volunteer gig. That doesn’t make her a bad mom. Just ask Danny. (Shallow TV Alert: Is it just me or did Scruffy!Danny look adorably hot?)

Cortney: I agree. And I love how you not-so-subtly managed to bring it around to Danny — you can hardly contain yourself!

Photo Credit: Jordin Althaus/Hulu

But before I get there, I do have to say that I appreciate how Mindy stood up for herself and how it all wrapped up with Mindy and Daisy coming to terms. After all, if Daisy really was the inspiration for Jessica Chastain’s character in Zero Dark Thirty, you definitely don’t want her on your bad side.

But now to Danny. While I was undoubtedly hesitant for his return after his major attitude problem last season, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised this week. Yes, he was still kind of judgmental and a bit of typical Danny-jerk (see “I don’t date women with kids, I don’t need that kind of hassle” as proof), but this felt more like the original Danny than the Danny from last season. Granted, I didn’t love that he made a big deal about Mindy’s divorce when he is going through a separation of his own, but that’s Danny for you. And yes, the fact that he came to Mindy’s defense to the Dean, well, that won him major points in my book. He can be sarcastic all he wants in private if he pulls this kind of move when it really counts. Okay, I know you have a lot to say about his return, Tina, so let’s hear it.

Tina: I don’t know that I have a lot to say about his return. It just felt so good to see him back on the canvas after so long away. I mean, Danny’s memorable whether he’s being an ass or not. Mindy can even barely remember Bun’s name. I mean Ben.

Sure, he still has the judgmental jerk thing going for him — I mean, who is he to judge Mindy when he’s getting an annulment? And he still has this creepy mom thing going for him. Other than that, he’s perfect. He looks awesomely hot with the scruff. He was kind of right when he said Mindy needed to spend more time at Leo’s school. Yet when he defended MIndy to the idiot dean with the Ph.D. in Interior Design (really?), he did score some major points. Of which he has a lot more to go considering his previous behavior.

Another way he scored points: he brought her pizza. Thankfully she didn’t have any ingredients in the fridge for Danny to make himself a salad. Come on, Danny. No need to backslide by introducing salad into the equation. It’s bad enough Leo is happy eating the green stuff.

Cortney: True, the super exclusive pizza was a good move, even if the pizza makers are racist…I mean, old-fashioned 🙂

Tina: When it comes to Danny, I go by what I feel when I watch TV and the first second I saw him pop up at Mindy’s place, I was super happy. As happy as Jody is when he’s drinking a mug of whatever and bourbon. Or just bourbon. Not sure about the exact ingredients of whatever concoction is in that mug.

I need a transition. Hmm…guess who won’t be drinking bourbon anytime soon? Tamra, that’s who. Or whom, I have no clue. Thoughts on her pregnancy? Were you surprised at how this all happened?

Photo Credit: Jordin Althaus/Hulu

Cortney: Not nearly as surprised as I would’ve been if it had been Rumpelstiltskin’s baby. I mean, I have to say that this felt a little inevitable…secret sitcom relationships more often than not result in some kind of undeniable “oops” that lets the cat out of the bag. Of course, that initial oops was Colette’s discovery of the Diva necklace in Morgan’s sheets….a necklace that Morgan not-so-tactfully, but surprisingly-successfully convinced Colette was actually meant for her. In what world Colette is synonymous with Diva, I’ll never know. That being said, when it comes to knowing, she’s the only one who has the insight into the Morgan/Tamra hook-up and it’s anybody’s guess what she’ll do with that info.

Also, anybody’s guess is what Tamra will do. For now, she’s trying to play it off like her little bun in the oven is going to be the result of the sperm donor. But, of course, Mindy knows that’s not the case. So, will she tell Morgan? Would you? I mean, Morgan isn’t exactly father material.

Photo Credit: Jordin Althaus/Hulu

Tina: Yes, he may not seem like father material, but I bet he’d rise to the challenge a tiny bit if presented with such a huge responsibility, amirite? Actually, I have no clue. Tamra should know by now nobody’s able to keep secrets in this universe. What I know is I’m happy for Tamra and Morgan. I’d be happier if she let Morgan in. I know at the beginning of the episode she put the kibosh on their having sex or even dating. I’m still not sure why. But I like the two of them together. I can’t wait to see Morgan’s reaction to this baby news.

I also can’t wait to see if Jody’s going to get any storyline whatsoever this season (Please make this happen, Show. #prettyplease?). And I really want to know if Beverly is indeed Banksy.

Photo Credit: Jordin Althaus/Hulu

New episodes of The Mindy Project drop Tuesdays on Hulu.

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