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The Mindy Project Recap: So This Is Rehab These Days

THE MINDY PROJECT

My prayers have been answered: Minister Casey thought better of his holier-than-thou attitude toward Mindy and is now dating our fair heroine. And we got a side order of Josh closure (glory be!), plus some hints at Danny-Mindy romance. A love quadrangle, with lots of religious talk for good measure — and, as you can see, loads of opportunities for holy puns.

Casey really does make for an interesting match with Mindy, as we could see from the very first scene, in which Casey and Mindy debated Christian morals while in bed together. Anders Holm (from Workaholics, incidentally), who plays Casey, meshes well with Mindy’s idiosyncratic voice and brings up fun issues, so I decided I was officially over Josh (even though I still quote his, “Indianapolis has a jazz festival? Gross”). Mindy complained that Casey wouldn’t avenge her murder, even if the hook-handed maniac also killed their children, Beatrice and Casey Jr., who just lost his first tooth. When he gave in and agreed to go after her imaginary murderer, he muttered an apology to God. “Are you talking to God behind my back?” Mindy snapped. “What’s that, God? I should not know Casey as a man tonight?” See? A cool minister (who is presumably having premarital sex with Mindy) is an intriguing character!

Poor Dr. Reed made his weekly bid for a story line by preparing a presentation for their upcoming conference on no less than “the first laproscopic hysterectomy,” or “The Reed Method.” I don’t know much about medicine, but that sounds pretty important to me. Impressive, sir. Morgan, who has become Jeremy’s official sidekick, would be joining the gang on their trip to Santa Fe to help with the A.V. portion of the presentation — he’d learned to work the audio visuals in the Otisville production of West Side Story that used actual rival gangs, of course. (I really, really want to get season tickets to Otisville’s entire drama program.)

But soon, our attention was naturally pulled back to Mindy when none other than a Stefani Germanotta called her, interested in becoming a new patient. Just kidding! It wasn’t Lady Gaga, but Josh, that scamp! This brought us two exchanges in quick succession that skilled graduate students in the feminist theory and theology departments, respectively, could do a lot with:

Josh: You sound really pretty, like you lost weight.
Mindy: Okay, do not flatter me, or insult me, whatever it is you’re doing, good-bye.

Question for discussion: How did the constructs of “prettiness” and weight loss become intertwined in the meta media conversation? How does Mindy’s confused, but impressively self-aware, reaction relate to Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth?

Mindy, seeing Casey right afterwards: God didn’t tell you that I was on the phone with my ex-boyfriend?
Casey: No, it doesn’t work that way.

Question for discussion: How does popular perception of religion shape our expectations of spirituality and its role in our everyday lives? How has this perception shifted over time, and how is it related to the rise in consumer culture?

Mindy just kept on learning about God from there. No, you will not go to hell just because you love gossip and don’t care about the environment. No, Casey does not work with “cute nuns,” or any nuns, because he is not Catholic. (Hint: that part where you were in bed together.) Casey also got all ministery and forgiving when Mindy told him Josh wanted to see her while she was in Santa Fe so that he could apologize. You know, closure and all.

Danny had a different opinion about closure, incidentally: “That’s just something Dr. Phil made up, or the funeral industry.” But he agreed to drive Mindy to see Josh anyway, curiously expressing concern about the half a mimosa she had at breakfast and the fact that he was the one who signed the rental car agreement. And when they arrived at Josh’s address on Soothing Palm Drive, things got even more interesting: It was a rehab clinic. Or as Cranky Pants Danny said, “So this is rehab these days. Must be nice.”

This turn of events revived Mindy’s endearing sense of self-dramatization, causing her to cast herself in the role of “Reese Witherspoon Cash.” Of course, Josh’s coke addiction is a total ret-con — there’s no way the writers planned this as part of Mindy and Josh’s epic Christmas breakup — but I’ll take it. “That’s why you were always standing up in sunroofs in cars yelling, ‘I’m gonna live forever!’” Mindy said, in an attempt to convince us that the signs were there all along, just off-camera. Apparently he was also cheating on her with two to three other women. But now he has a dreamcatcher, and he made a painting of what his spirit looks like (sneakers and sunglasses), and at least I, as a viewer, have closure on this Josh thing. Plus, like I said, I totally like Casey better now anyway.

Back in B Plot Purgatory, Morgan and Jeremy were squabbling because Morgan was too busy networking to pay attention to Morgan. But then Morgan escaped to a sweat lodge, Jeremy followed him to make up, and we got to see Morgan’s “No More Stealing Cars” stomach tattoo again, so, hey, it wasn’t a total bust. And the bit where Morgan was hallucinating and Jeremy was too thirsty to get through the presentation was fun.

Then we could get back to the heating-up love quadrangle … actually, now pentagon. Josh said he figured Mindy was dating Danny, which is always a classic sign of people “meant to be.” And Mindy and Danny held hands on the plane ride back home when they hit turbulence. And Danny’s much-vilified ex-wife, Christina, was waiting for them when they returned to the office to further complicate things. And she’s played by Chloë Sevigny, which is unassailably cool. We’re clearly ramping up for some good rom-com action for the home stretch of the season. Thank God.

If you want to talk more Mindy, follow me on Twitter at @jmkarmstrong

Photo: Jordin Althaus/FOX