This week’s “The Mindy Project” starts with a bark and a cringe, as Morgan tries to find a way to protect himself from wild dogs—by bringing one in to the office. A random and unrelated cold open, but hysterically funny nonetheless. How long do you think Morgan was out after being hit with so many tranquilizer darts?
After all the progress last week’s episode made in the overall story arc, they took a little step back this week, only dealing with the immediate Cliff-hanger (heh, get it?) of Mindy finding the texts on her phone—of which, apparently there were more. We didn’t see them write anything last week about removing her bra with his teeth.
I was a little afraid they wouldn’t address what happened (or didn’t happen) between Mindy and Lawyer Cliff at all, but they had to, of course. Mindy is angry with Morgan for texting on her behalf with her crush, and Cliff is mad at Morgan because he didn’t delete the texts when he said he would.
Interestingly, last week’s episode played with male and female fantasies (warning: broad generalizations to follow): Mindy was so easily able to string a yarn about the perfect relationship she—or rather, Chloe Silverado—and Danny had, while Peter and Morgan were trying to provide Cliff with a male fantasy: an easy sext-induced hookup. But this week, Mindy forgave Morgan fairly easily, partially because she enjoys the “male” fantasy, but Cliff is less willing to forgive because he’s embarrassed.
Like last week, Morgan again tries to give Cliff what he thinks he wants (again based on what Peter says Cliff wants) by asking Cliff to beat him up, in an attempt to even things out. Cliff, of course, refuses, so Morgan brings in his burly friend Big Meat to punch him, and he ends up punching Cliff instead.
While Morgan is tending to Cliff’s wounds, he tells Cliff that Mindy likes him, but Cliff is now with Heather. It surprises me that Cliff’s relationship with Heather had progressed so far so fast, but it’s also good to know he’s a decent guy.
The episode didn’t address Danny’s newfound feelings for Mindy, but it’s probably too soon anyway. They need to stretch these things out to the mid-season finale at least, if not even the end of the season. Though she and Danny did have a discussion about him sleeping with women of every race, except one (hint, hint).
They even took his revelation from last week a step in the opposite direction. When the practice gets in hot water because of positive feedback on a white supremacist website, Jenna Elfman steps in as public relations specialist Priscilla Lane. While Priscilla is trying to train Danny on how to handle public interviews, they fall victim to typical “Pride & Prejudice”-style hatred passion and have sex instead (love those two little bell chimes when the thought occurs to them).
Brothers Mark and Jay Duplass return as the competitive midwives from downstairs. They try to bring the practice down and steal their clients by protesting against them and promoting their appearance in the racist blog. Making matters worse, Tamra decides to join the midwives’ protest, because judgmental Mindy tries to tell Tamra that her boyfriend RayRon isn’t good enough for her—which he isn’t. (Oh look, now I’m being judgmental.)
Peter is also unhappy because he doesn’t feel listened to or respected. In a thread that mimics Adam Pally’s appearance on the show, Peter is now toning down his over-the-top persona and instead wants to be taken seriously. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t love the character of Peter, but I enjoyed him more in this episode; I even felt sympathy for him as Mindy subtly pushed him out of her office.
As Tamra realizes what she’s doing and why, she makes up with Mindy and the practice. Mindy then takes the stage and defuses the situation by finally adopting Peter’s idea for a mobile clinic for underserved communities, appeasing the protesters and Peter. They also make Peter a “junior senior partner, probationary,” just as Pally is now a series regular.
This episode starts out strong, but somehow fizzles out by the end—but not before giving Mindy Kaling a chance to reference the recent criticism that Mindy Lahiri only dates white men (though I’m not clear on why Danny would say it). Kaling doesn’t necessarily defend her character’s actions, but turns it into an insightful joke about how we view race—while again mentioning the relative size of her bosoms.
Here are my favorite lines from this episode:
“It’ll take one second … well 7 dog seconds.”—Morgan
“I’m taking her to the new Cirque du Soleil show about the history of video games: JoyStique.”—Cliff
“Breast feeding’s like baseball, the less you think about it the better you do.”—Danny
“I know that Sarah is a family name, but ever since I saw that first sonogram I just thought Katniss for this baby.”—Mindy
Mindy: “I am Indian, I can’t be racist.”
Danny: “Oh please, you only hook up with white guys. I’ve hooked up with every race of woman.”
Mindy: “How dare you, I went to second base with my friend Korean Justin. His hands are so small they made my boobs feel enormous.”
Priscilla: “Everything you just said was racist.”
“He doesn’t trust me to eat dinner alone because this one time, I ate next to Mandy Patinkin and he fell in love with me.”—Tamra
“He’s such a deadbeat. And not the hot kind that Beyoncé sings songs about. The kind that Britney sings songs about.”—Mindy
“One of my clients just spit on a paparazzi. I can’t say who but his name rhymes with Schmalec Schmaldwin.”—Priscilla
“If only Olivia Pope was here.”—Mindy
“I don’t think that you’re a bad person, I just find you to be somewhat unbearable.”—Cliff, to Morgan
So how did you like “Mindy Lahiri is a Racist,” Mindy fans? How do you feel about Peter being a regular? Glad to see Betsy and Jeremy back again? What is it about peering out over the top of one’s glasses that instantly makes you look much older than you are?