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!