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The Mindy Project Recap: Miserables Sans Casey

THE MINDY PROJECT

The Cocoa Spheres and glass noodle salad, all set to Les Miz, in the opening sad-single-girl bit were perfect; the rest of the episode was less clear. First, Mindy is tripping over packages that she subsequently delivered (with outraged rants) to a semi-cute lawyer/fish-oil enthusiast. This scene in itself delivers some vintage Mindy, with references to Fat Steps athletic shoes (seriously, when will we realize that just wearing a certain kind of shoe is not going to make us look like Brooke Burke?) and the line, “I’m adorable — I look like Keira Knightley running errands.” But I’m a little confused: Should I pay attention to the lawyer with the online shopping program, like, as a potential love interest? And/or should I pay attention to possible new doctor Peter Prentice? Or both? Or neither?

Some of the confusion may be worth it for the Pearson, Castellano, Reed & Prentice sign revelation, even though there are so many problems with this. Really, we’re putting Prentice on the sign already? (I would believe Leotard far more.) And really, Mindy would have unquestionably taken Casey’s last name if they’d gotten married? Yes, this is the setup for the solid line, “It didn’t make sense to get married once we’d broken up.” But it doesn’t make sense to me that Mindy would so easily forfeit her professional identity. I suppose that even when this show doesn’t make total narrative sense, it can’t help but fire off great one-liners. (Danny, on the difference between him and the new bro-doc: “He wears cargo shorts; I wear slacks. He surfs; I fear the ocean out of respect.”)

That said, I’m 100 percent in favor of “heartache days.” I may have taken a few of those myself in my day. (Also known as “I will break down into sobs at work if I go” days.)

That also said, I love Morgan, but I hate the story line involving him this week. Or, more accurate: I love Morgan, and therefore I hate the story line involving him this week. How can you turn on a guy who says the following: “They didn’t have ice cream, so I got you sour cream. I figure you can add sugar and hope for the best”? (For the record, I will totally eat sour cream straight, with or without sugar, under far worse circumstances than Mindy’s.) This is where things get weird, though: Mindy and Morgan start sort of making out, and Morgan admits to thinking about Mindy in her yoga pants. The weirdness is offset by an amazing physical comedy routine in which Morgan subdues Mindy via pizza box. And almost vindicated by Morgan’s line, “I’ll work my magic by having sex with your body.”

Next thing we know, Mindy’s finding Morgan waiting for her in the bedroom with a billion (or like six) candles lit. His romance is on: “Open those blinds and let’s let the stars watch.” But Mindy ultimately comes to her senses, rejects Morgan, and all weirdness breaks loose, story-line-wise: The next day, Mindy finds that Morgan is suing her for sexual harassment, via that lawyer with the shopping addiction.

This is where this was all going? And meanwhile, Morgan’s saying he’ll forget about the whole thing if Mindy takes him on a nice date? I don’t even know what’s happening, and I’m willing to put up with a pretty liberal number of shenanigans when it comes to Morgan. (My mom, who has never watched The Mindy Project, is visiting as I watch this, and her insight on Morgan came in one word: “Kramer.” Exactly right, though I don’t think even Kramer would’ve sued here.) Suddenly Mindy finds herself agreeing to and accessorizing for “a date from hell.” One of the funnier things that happened during said accessorizing is the new guy drying her Casey-grieving eyes with her pink G-string, though this just brings up my own bigger grievance, which is that I wish Casey’d gotten a better send-off. I was gone for the recap last week, but I was sorry to see him go under pretty silly circumstances.

We also need to really talk about this new guy: Why do we need another new guy when we aren’t even sure what to do with Jeremy yet? What is this obsession with new characters when we have perfectly good ones? Is this a network thing?

In any case, I can’t help also thinking that there had to be a far better way to get Mindy and Morgan to hang out on a “dinner and a something” date than a threatened sexual harassment lawsuit. Once they get there, it’s cute, especially the quarry scene. (Even though as a New Yorker, I’m thinking, Wait, where is this, exactly?) Poor Morgan: “Two different women faked their own deaths to get away from me.” The redeeming moment, sort of, comes when Mindy finally gives in to her (friendly) Morgan affection and he asks, inappropriately, “Did you bring protection?”

I want this show to work. I don’t think that it’s not working, but I do think there are a lot of weird distractions right now. I want Casey back, but I understand that I must live without him. I don’t want a bunch more characters. I want Mindy and Danny and Morgan being normal-but-not. Whatever else happens is incidental. How can we make this happen? Can we make this happen?

Photo: Eddy Chen/FOX