Two Takes: The Mindy Project “A Romantical Decouplement”
It’s official. D-Day is here. It came far sooner (and easier) than we expected.
The Mindy Project‘s Mindy Lahiri, dreamer of all things marriage, is on the road to becoming a divorcee. In an episode where her wifely status was analyzed by everyone and she failed yet ANOTHER of Ben’s marriage-tests, it finally became clear to her that something wasn’t working. And we here at TV Goodness have plenty of thoughts on the matter.
Mindy and Ben weren’t the only relationship roller coaster this episode. Jeremy and Anna’s relationship decouplement (aka break-up) led to a realization of love and an almost-recouplement, while Morgan’s near departure resulted in Tamra making a move of her own.
Cortney: This episode had a break-up, a make-up and a, well, I’m still not sure what to call what happened with Jeremy and Anna, so I’m going to go with decouplement-to-attempted-recouplement. Obviously, we have to start with Mindy and Ben.
There is so much to discuss here from their visit to the therapist (MADtv‘s Nicole Sullivan) who had the hots for Ben (and really, who can blame her?! He makes Mindy’s favorite dinner, waits up for her and have you seen his hair?!) to Mindy failing Ben’s second do-you-want-to-be-with-me test to Mindy agreeing to divorce almost as fast as she would agree to an-all-you-can-eat buffet. While this episode had more funny moments than I can count, it was also kind of sad.
Tina: So many funny moments. The writers of The Mindy Project are on fire with all the jokes they’re throwing out and the cast is delivering the hilarity beautifully.
But, yes, let’s start with Mindy and Ben. This divorce result was inevitable, sad to say. Although I am a little shocked it happened so quickly into season six. Their therapy session was so one-sided. The therapist only had eyes for Ben, but you couldn’t blame her considering Mindy was already so checked out of this marriage and couldn’t realize it.
Another voice of reason was Jody (more on him later). While everyone was encouraging Mindy’s self-involvement when it comes to her marriage, Jody knew better. He even gave Ms. Lahiri a quiz to try to get her to see what she’s been unable to see so far. He called it a “thought experiment”:
Jody: Let’s say Ben wants to have Mexican food for dinner. You want to have Japanese. What do you do?
Mindy: Well, we probably both had really hard days so why don’t we eat dinner on our own and then meet later at home to watch 90-day Fiancee.
Jody: Is that a television show you both enjoy?
Mindy: No, just me.
Jody: Let’s try another one. Ben’s mother’s coming to visit for two weeks. He wants her to stay in your apartment. What do you say?
Mindy: Oh, this one’s easy. We put her up at the Hyatt. We see her a couple times. Take her to Lion King then bye, Carol. Am I winning? What did I win?
Jody: You’ve won nothing. You have answered these questions very badly.
I think Mindy kinda sorta gets how self-involved she’s acted at this point. But what’s wrong is more than that. For a woman who’s been waiting all her life to get married, it seems like marriage isn’t something she needs or wants. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Cortney: While I absolutely LOVED Jody’s quiz and it provided a quintessential example of Mindy’s me-me-me attitude, I don’t think her self-involvement comes as any surprise or is something anyone has ever denied. It’s part of what makes her quirky and endearing and we all know that somewhere deep down, she does care about people, even if she sometimes has a weird way of showing it.
However, like you said, the problem is bigger. She is a bad wife (and not in the Michael Jackson way) and yet, I don’t think that marriage in and of itself is the problem, I think it’s being married to Ben. Which is sad. But as she admitted at the end, something isn’t right and she doesn’t feel the way she’s supposed to feel. Obviously, we have no way of knowing if she would be happier if Ben were Danny or Casey or any of her other near-husbands — maybe it is domestic bliss and the “forever-ness” of it that’s the problem — but regardless, I don’t think we can deny that her feelings for Ben aren’t what they should be.
As I mentioned before, Ben decided to test Mindy again this episode by telling her that he wanted to go interview for an amazing job opportunity in Philly, which unbeknownst to Mindy is actually in another state.
Tina: The state where Dracula lives, apparently. We learn a lot watching The Mindy Project.
Cortney: In what is either an attempt to be supportive or because she doesn’t actually care about spending less time with her husband, she tells him to go for it. Unfortunately, through a series of Morgan-mishaps (which we’ll get to later), we find out that there actually was no job in Philly and Ben made it up to see how Mindy would react. Honestly, I have mixed feelings about this. Tricking your wife definitely falls under the “not cool” category, but it also provided Ben the information he needed, which I don’t know that he would’ve been able to get if he’d asked Mindy upfront. How did you feel about this, Tina?
Tina: It probably would have been better if he had just communicated with her but when it comes to Mindy, sometimes you have to take a roundabout way. She doesn’t always listen and when she does, it doesn’t always compute. It’s sad that he had to resort to yet another test, however. I feel bad for him.
And as much as I agree with you that Mindy and Ben weren’t made for marriage (or anything other than dating for a little while), it would be cool if she, ultimately, wasn’t the marrying kind. That she was happy with the life she built. She can still have it all: a child, a successful job, friends, and a man, but maybe she doesn’t need to have that ring. I don’t know if that’s how this series will end, but it’s a thought.
Cortney: As far as Mindy, I completely agree! As someone who would be perfectly happy if I never made it down the aisle myself, I love the idea that Mindy, one time wedding-feign, realized that she isn’t any less of a person if she never gets married. Like you said, she can still have it all and be happy, rock or not!
Tina: In a peripherally connected way since Ben was sort of responsible for this, I thought it was refreshing for Morgan to think he should have that head nurse job at Penn Memorial Hospital. And then to actually go after it. I never thought he had any ambition. I liked finding this out about him.
Cortney: Yes, Morgan’s newfound ambition was a refreshing change! I love that he took the initiative and went for it, but even more so, I love that he was still Morgan in the process. Hmm, there is no nursing job, sure, okay, I’ll be the janitor instead. Typical Morgan. That whole scene cracked me up. But lucky for us, he can’t move the dogs in the middle of the school year, so he won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
Not that I could ever imagine him actually leaving Mindy’s side anyways….or Tamra’s now that these two seem to be back on. What did you think of her realization that she loved him and the fact she had to make her move before it was too late? There seems to be a lot of that going around this week in TV-land.
Tina: Well, I was on board with Morgan and Tamra the first time around so I’m on board with them again. I never understood why this pairing wasn’t revisited. Happening in the final season is cool with me. Because the show only has ten episodes to complete everything, things seem a little rushed but I don’t care. I’m glad they’re back together.
I’m a bit torn on Jeremy and Anna. I like how she had her A-Ha moment when it comes to wanting their relationship back and him being the one. On the other hand, it was a bit odd to see Jeremy revert back to his old ways especially when he told Jody he’s all torn up about the break-up. I mean, he looked all put together at work but he said at home he was crying or something like that.
Anna taking the girls out for girls’ night and coming to the realization Jeremy was the one actually made me feel something for the doctor. Which I didn’t think was going to happen. I’m guessing there will be a few more obstacles before these two reunite. Or not. You never know with this show.
Cortney: I hear what you’re saying, Jeremy has changed so much over the years that this was a bit disappointing. I still felt like his attempt to get with “hotter women” was an attempt to make Anna jealous, which we both know never works out as planned…and in this case, definitely backfired.
I did enjoy Anna finally being social and going out with the girls though, even if it did end up sending a hot guy to the hospital with a crushed windpipe. Anna always seems to put together and in control, so seeing her social awkwardness was refreshing. It also resulted in two of my favorite Beverly lines of the night as she tried to give Anna a reality check:
Beverly: I’ve killed more people than you’ve dated.
Beverly: Hey sister, denial ain’t just a member of One Direction.
I have to admit, sometimes Beverly is a little too over the top for me, but in this case, she was spot on. That being said, I don’t know what the future holds for Anna and Jeremy, although with eight episodes left, anything could happen. Speaking of great lines, are there any favorites of yours we didn’t get to yet? I feel like Mindy and Tamra had a few we haven’t touched on yet….
Tina: I agree about Beverly, but this season she’s on fire. Beth Grant doles out the one liners with such ease and authority. I like this one:
Beverly: You don’t see a lot of adult blond men. They tend to darken.
Maybe it was because I was hungry at the time I watched this episode, but I loved Mindy’s talk about the 30-inch sub she ordered. The delivery guys had to take it up the service elevator to bring it to her.
I liked all of the girls’ night talk as well. I enjoyed Anna’s line about messaging with someone online:
Anna: He just turned out to be a sentient computer.
Anna’s so uptight that if someone just touches her, her immediate reflex is to punch them in the throat. Poor douche-y guy who won The Amazing Race with his gay brother. He learned that lesson hard. So did Mindy.
My MVP for the episode, I think, is Jody. I think Garret Dillahunt plays him so well. The character’s so un-PC (he prides himself on that fact) yet I adore him anyway. I’m hoping a season six story for him will develop sometime soon. I want Jody to have a happy ending.
New episodes of The Mindy Project drop on Hulu every Tuesday.
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