TV Time: The Mindy Project 3.14



Title No More Mr. Noishe Guy

Two-Sentence Summary Life-changing decisions are happening all over the place at Shulman & Associates, as Peter chooses to follow Lauren to Texas, and Morgan moves from his grandma’s basement to her attic. Mindy and Danny are also faced with some big choices when Mindy is offered a dream job in California but learns that Danny is making a new home for them in Manhattan, which could end up being a home for three after Mindy gets some big news.

Favorite Line “Just because I look like Olivia Pope does not mean I know how to disappear a body.” (Mindy)

My Thoughts No sense in burying the lead here: Mindy Lahiri is pregnant. So often, episodes are hyped as “game-changers,” when they’re really just average episodes with a minor plot twist at the end. However, the last moments of “No More Mr. Noishe Guy” were as game-changing as it gets. The reveal that Mindy is pregnant was the perfect way to end an episode that featured huge changes for both the characters and The Mindy Project as a show. Peter’s departure was surprising for the characters, but anyone who paid attention to entertainment news knew that Adam Pally was leaving the show. Industry news generally keeps character departures from being shocking (unless you’re The Good Wife), so The Mindy Project chose to surprise us in a different way—by blindsiding Mindy (and, by extension, us as viewers) with an unplanned pregnancy.

I’ll admit, my first reaction to Peter’s phone call was not one of joy but one of worry, which is probably how I should have felt if the goal was to put us in Mindy’s shoes. Mindy Kaling played her reaction so honestly—there was no overwhelming joy or happy tears or even the hint of This could actually be a good thing! on her face. And that’s real in a way television usually isn’t. In reality, Mindy wouldn’t be immediately overjoyed or think of the news as a unexpected blessing. She would be confused, anxious, and upset. I’m sure the coming episodes will show the unexpected joy to come from an unexpected pregnancy, but this wasn’t the time for that if the show was going for realism. This was the time for disbelief, shock, and other not exactly joyful emotions. Kudos to The Mindy Project and Kaling especially for creating such an honest moment that I’m sure plenty of women watching could relate to.

For a long time after the episode aired, I was still on the fence in terms of how I felt about Mindy’s pregnancy. At first, I thought it was unbelievable that a couple of OBGYNs would get pregnant accidentally, but that actually adds to the realism of this pregnancy. Mindy may be a great OBGYN, but we’ve already seen that she’s not exactly on top of taking her birth control. And even the most effective birth control methods aren’t 100% effective. It’s going to be interesting to see her try to figure out how to tell Danny, and then it’s going to be even more interesting to see how Danny tells his very traditionally Catholic mom. There’s some great storytelling potential here already.

Another concern of mine with this pregnancy was one I shared with Leslie’s pregnancy late last season on Parks and Recreation. I didn’t want Leslie to have to curb her career dreams to raise a family, and now I don’t want to see Mindy have to give up her career dreams for this new baby, either. Mindy sacrificing her career was already a concern of mine before this baby news, with the whole episode being centered around whether or not she would stay in California and pursue a great new job opportunity. Of course I want Mindy and Danny to stay together, but I also love the new, independent side of Mindy we’ve seen more and more of as this season has progressed.

That’s what made the scene on the bed between Mindy and Danny resonate in such a powerful way. No one was being the bad guy in this episode. (Though I would argue Danny shouldn’t have been as mad at Mindy as he was, since he actually made a life-changing decision—the house—without her input.) It was simply a case of two people who love each other trying to decide what to sacrifice. Sometimes you can’t have it all, and you’re forced to decide what part of “having it all” is the part you can’t live without. And sometimes people can only change and grow so much, which is what Danny was trying to tell Mindy. You can’t sacrifice who you are for someone else’s dreams, even if you do love them. Nothing about that scene was easy or simple, and that’s what made it so good. Kaling and Chris Messina have really excelled this season at moment of brutal relationship honesty and uncertainty, grounding this TV rom-com in very real emotions.

It’s weird to think that a scene that could be taken as breakup scene (or a pre-breakup scene) would make me excited about seeing the two characters in it deal with an unplanned pregnancy and parenthood, but it’s the truth. I’m excited to see these two actors tackle what’s coming for their characters with the emotional honesty they’ve been bringing to all of their scenes together this season.

Thankfully, I’ve read a lot of interviews with Mindy Kaling this week that have suggested Mindy’s pregnancy won’t derail her career, but I know there’s also no way she can stay in California now. I’m hoping that there will be a way for the fertility clinic to open in New York instead, but maybe that’s just my Parks and Rec-induced optimism shining through. If Leslie could do it, why can’t Mindy? (I just want all of my favorite TV ladies to get everything they want—is that too much to ask?)

No matter what happens with the fertility clinic or lack thereof, things will be changing at the practice now that Peter is gone. This was a wonderful farewell episode for Adam Pally, whom I’ve grown to love in this role. Peter became such a great character, and I’ll miss his friendship with Mindy more than I can properly articulate. Pally and Kaling really clicked as actors and found a great groove in their scenes together. I’ll miss a lot of things about Peter, but his sometimes terrible/sometimes perfect advice is the thing I’ll miss most. In fact, I’m really sad he won’t be around for this pregnancy storyline.

I loved that Peter’s reason for leaving was as rom-com as it gets. It was all for love. But, like all of the best romantic gestures on The Mindy Project, it didn’t exactly go like it does in the movies. His big airport declaration of love reminded me of Mindy and Danny’s disastrous trek to the top of the Empire State Building in “Danny and Mindy.” It was a rom-com moment mired by the problems of reality: Peter had to pay an exorbitant amount of money for a ticket just to talk to Lauren, and the bit with Lauren missing her excellent boarding group placement because of Peter’s speech (and being forced to get behind the entire philharmonic orchestra) had me cracking up. No show deconstructs rom-com tropes as brilliantly and hilariously as this one does.

Peter’s final scenes were very sweet. I loved how excited he was to see Danny and Jeremy at his going-away party. I loved him and Mindy calling each other their best friend. And I loved the choice of “April Come She Will” as a musical accompaniment to his departure. (Thought that song will always be April and Andy’s wedding song from Parks and Rec before anything else.)

Between Peter leaving and Mindy finding out she’s pregnant, this was an episode of The Mindy Project designed specifically to be talked about by fans until the next episode airs. So let’s do as the TV gods intended and start discussing!

8 thoughts on “TV Time: The Mindy Project 3.14

  1. I was expecting Peter to leave (although only because you told me he was going to) but I did not expect Mindy to be pregnant. Not at all. Not even with her getting the check up. Wow. I hadn’t even thought about Danny’s reaction and his Ma’s reaction… I wonder if we’ll get a wedding soon after all?
    At least doctors usually have the means to take some time off to have kids without ruining their careers. Unlike many women.
    I thought they might ask Gergler to bring his expertise to their NY practice but I gather there may be other people coming in to fill that slot (I don’t follow spoilers but Facebook kindly showed me some casting rumors under your link to this article!)
    I loved the airport declaration of love. I’m always so annoyed by people being allowed to charge onto planes to declare their eternal love, especially if they convince the person to get off the plane. As the daughter of an airline guy I always think “so everyone is just going to wait while they locate your luggage and remove it from the plane?” because I learned as a very young child that you can NEVER have luggage on a plane without being a passenger on that plane – which is why the airport announcements for late passengers go on and on – if you don’t show up they have to unload the checked baggage to find the missing passenger’s bag! what a pain in the ass. And yeah, I like realism.
    Speaking of which, yes! Mindy’s reaction to the pregnancy news was so good. Disbelief and shock was the only way to play that, especially in the way that the news snuck up on all of us. Having a baby changes EVERYTHING. Not that she and Danny didn’t plan to have kids, but that’s the whole point – getting pregnant now was not part of the plan. Hopefully she can finish out her fellowship and bring her skills back to the practice as planned.
    Once again, I had thought of Mindy and danny breaking up as a result of their disagreement over the CA clinic vs the NY brownstone. They don’t know where they’re going from here and how they’re going to figure it out, but I just assumed they would.
    Good episode, and a great review, as always 🙂

    • Thanks, Jo!

      I’m also wondering about whether or not a wedding will be happening before the baby is born. Part of me thinks yes because Danny’s upbringing was so traditional in that regard, but part of me thinks it would be interesting to see Mindy and Danny navigate parenthood as a stable, loving, but unmarried couple for a little while. It’s not something you see often on TV, and this show doesn’t seem afraid to do things out of their traditional order.

      I’m also very excited to see what happens with all of the casting talk swirling around this show. I’m hoping all of these big changes will mean good things for the show’s future—or at least it will go out doing everything it could to make it as great a show as it could be.

  2. I am so in love with this season of the show. Mindy and the writers have shown that they can have a relationship happen and still be funny and poignant and relevant and amazing and I LOVE THAT. There has been so much growth in the characters and their relationships, and I am SUPER excited to see where this takes Mindy & Danny next!! Just gotta note that while I love the fierce professional side of Mindy, I do NOT want the show to move to California…it is SO NEW YORK to me and I selfishly hope it stays there. I’m keeping the faith that Mindy brings her work drive to bear in NYC. 🙂

    • I totally agree that The Mindy Project feels quintessentially “NYC” in its tone. It fits with the rom-com theme, and it works with who these characters are so well. I have no doubt that whatever happens will keep the characters in New York where they belong.

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  4. Peter at the airport completely cracked me up. From the ridiculously speedy boarding (if only that could be real) to the NY Philharmonic, it was the perfect way to deconstruct the airport declaration of love trope.

    I’m really going to miss Peter. He has grown so much and he’s learned that he wants something real with a girl. His friendship with Mindy has taught them both so much and they are both in better places now because of the interference of the other.

    • I’m going to miss Peter so much. You and I have talked a lot about the lack of good, healthy, platonic male/female relationships on TV, and Peter and Mindy were such a great example of how that dynamic can work when it’s done right. Their friendship helped both their characters grow, and I’m genuinely sad to see Adam Pally leave to show—and to see Peter leave Mindy.

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