As I began the process of saying goodbye to Parks and Recreation by working on some posts to be revealed before the series finale, Heather was kind enough to take the reins with this week’s review of The Mindy Project. After you tell Heather how great her post was, make sure you wish her a happy belated birthday, too, since her birthday was yesterday!
Title Lahiri Family Values
Two-Sentence Summary Mindy and Rob move forward on the fertility clinic until Mindy’s drug-dealing brother makes her realize she doesn’t want to leave New York. Meanwhile, after some mistaken communication, Danny announces that he’s moving to San Francisco for Mindy (not dying, as Morgan thought).
Mindy: What are you, his math tutor?
Big Murder: You know, I became a drug dealer to break stereotypes like that.
My Thoughts It’s official: Mindy (and the show) are staying in New York! While I loved the opportunity that the fertility clinic in San Francisco would have provided, I wasn’t as excited about the setting of the show switching coasts and potentially losing most of the supporting cast in the process. Mindy opening her own clinic in New York (in Cliff’s old offices) seems like the best of all possible solutions. Mindy still gets to keep her professional dreams, and she gets to stay with Danny in New York.
While I’m happy with where the episode left Mindy, the jumps needed to make the plot move forward were not the smoothest. It’s very possible that I’ve just forgotten, but was this the first time Mindy’s mentioned that Rishi lives in San Francisco? So much of Mindy’s half of this episode revolved around him, so the lack of previous mention made it feel a bit forced. I enjoyed seeing Mindy in protective sister mode and it’s a good night any time John Cho is on TV, but it never felt like a compelling story.
I recognize the necessity of episodes like this one, which primarily exist to move the plot forward, but it doesn’t make me like them any better. I would have preferred to see Mindy decide that she would rather stay in New York to be closer to Danny’s mother/the baby’s grandmother, or because her life is there and she’d rather be there with all the other changes that are coming. It just felt too abrupt to have Rishi be the one to make Mindy realize that she wanted to stay in New York closer to her broken co-workers. A lot of things related to the fertility clinic plot happened very quickly with little discussion, so this new change in plans fits right in. But now looking back, it makes everything that’s happened feel a little too contrived for drama, which is not a complaint I have often had with this show this season. Whatever my feelings on how we got to the conclusion of this arc, I am happy with where it ended up and look forward to Mindy experiencing her pregnancy in New York with her former co-workers by her side.
Danny’s half of the episode centered around a standard sitcom trope: Someone overhears something, comes to the wrong conclusion, and the two people spend the rest of the episode thinking they are talking about the same thing when it’s really very different. It’s a trope that should be more frustrating to me than it is. I don’t really understand how no one in the conversation clarified anything when a response didn’t quite make sense (Jeremy calling Mindy a monster, for instance), but it’s something I don’t mind overlooking because it usually leads to some funny results and, in this case, a very sweet scene with Danny and his co-workers.
Morgan’s love for Danny is one of my favorite facets of his personality, and I thought it was very sweet that he was so concerned that Danny might be dying. I also liked Beverley not knowing who Danny is because she is nothing if not consistently ridiculous and unaware. Jeremy was the one who really surprised me, though. His reaction was very sweet. He seemed genuinely sad and impressed with the composure Danny was presenting and then organized a very nice party for him. For a character who I struggled to like for much of the first two seasons, the writers have settled into a nice spot for Jeremy to reside in as a character.
For all of their individual quirks, the office has become a family. For all of the concern about not telling anyone until the second trimester (which both of them have now completely failed at), Danny revealed that he and Mindy are having a baby and you could really see the strength of the bonds they have formed at work. Friendship is about being happy for positive things in your friends’ lives, even if they mean changes to the friendship, and that’s exactly how they all reacted. They were excited for this new life change, even if it meant losing Danny, too. Morgan declaring himself the grandmother was cute and weird in the way only Morgan can be, and it makes me that much more excited to see the baby raised around this surrogate family. They may have issues, but this baby will be loved. And that’s the most important thing.
Happy belated birthday Heather!
I agree with you on pretty much every point. I enjoyed the episode but looking back it was one of those ones that was necessary but not going to be a favorite. I generally dislike the overheard misunderstanding trope even though I know it’s a staple of comedy. And I knew as soon as Cliff said he was moving out that Mindy would be moving her new practice into that space. I never felt like she needed or especially wanted to live in SFO anyway – I mean she said she liked it, but it didn’t seem like there was a huge pull there. I figured she would come around when she started thinking about where she would want to raise her child. Starting over again in a new city in a new area with no family nearby (no, I don’t remember any talk of Rishi being in SFO either, but maybe there was a quick mention earlier in the arc) with a brand new baby and a new medical practice doesn’t sound like fun to me. And Danny’s ma would never forgive Mindy! Taking away her grandbaby. Also, wasn’t the whole point of the fellowship to teach her new skills that she would bring back to NY and the hospital and her practice? I thought the moving to SFO storyline was kind of odd right from the beginning. I never thought they would follow through with it. I’ve already forgotten the actual reason Mindy decided to move back, but I enjoyed the scenes with Rishi and Big Murder.
So yeah, a fun episode, but not one I’m likely to revisit often.
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