The Mindy Project Recap: Practice Imperfect

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Mindy finds it challenging to attract new patients to her fertility clinic. Photo: Patrick McElhenney/FOX
The Mindy Project
Episode Title
Fertility Bites
Season
3
Episode
18
Editor’s Rating
3/5

First off, here’s what I do like about this episode: It actually makes comedic use of the fact that Mindy is both an ob-gyn and a pregnant woman. I mean, just last week we were pretending she knew so little about pregnancy that she was eating terribly, believing in ideas like junk-food-induced morning sickness, and whatever some random new doctor candidate for the practice’s open position told her about her morning sickness. I got the humor of the various moments at the time, but the more I thought about it, the more I was annoyed. It seems like such fertile (ha-ha!) ground to draw the humor from a pregnant woman being an obstetrician, and a good one, not from being an idiot. So at least this week we got that.

In this plotline, Mindy is officially opening her new fertility clinic. I love seeing her at work in general, and I love even more seeing a pregnant woman start a new business of her own. This is the Mindy I love: She can be as silly as she wants about her personal life and her cultural tastes, but Mindy has always been a smart girl at her core. That part of her is back in this plot. The silly part is indulged in a very quick, mostly pointless cameo by Kris Jenner. Or at least it would be pointless if we hadn’t gotten this amazing tidbit: In the final credits, she is listed as Kristen Mary Jenner. Please let this be her actress name, and the start of a surprisingly strong acting career that culminates in an Oscar or Emmy.

It was also possibly worth the price of admission just to see Mindy’s clinic ad on the subway, featuring her creepily retouched, suddenly blue, eyes. Mindy as the new Dr. Zizmor is perfection. “Doesn’t that just make you want to go get impregnated by me?” Mindy says to her co-workers. My answer: Yes. Yes, it does, and I don’t even want children. Or maybe I just want the hot-pink merch for the Lahiri Fertility Center. Helvetica font forever. Or maybe I just want to attend the grand opening gala with its “risqué red carpet.”

The big plotline during this episode is that Mindy wants the ob-gyn practice to throw referrals her way, but she has no track record to stand on. Also Morgan and Tamra are raising money for “nurse obesity.” (For nurse obesity? Against nurse obesity? I’m not sure, and I’m not sure they’re sure, either.) The new addition to the staff, Dr. Bergdahl, will clearly serve as the voice of reason, questioning such events as a “nurse obesity fund-raiser,” which means no one at the office likes him.

So anyway, Mindy’s hurting for patients at her newly opened practice, to the point that she’s been “pranked” several times, apparently, by patients who are clearly, let’s say, overaged. Danny is trying to refer patients to her, but he won’t lie when they ask about Mindy’s track record, even though Mindy has promised to “do that thing you like that I hate doing” if he sends people her way. He doesn’t want to lie. Mindy is annoyed: “I lie for you all the time. Remember when I told that cop in the park we were just two male friends wrestling?” She is not consoled by his offer to make a salad consisting of kale, grilled chicken, asparagus, and corn.

Meanwhile, Dr. Bergdahl is so annoyed by his fellow staffers’ antics that he tears down the fund-raising thermometer for (or against) nurse obesity. “I don’t know how much we’ve raised now,” Morgan huffs before the entire staff agitates to get Dr. Bergdahl fired. They later feel badly about this when they discover Dr. Bergdahl sleeping in his car, jobless. He emerges wearing a Lahiri Fertility Clinic hoodie that I kind of want for myself.

Morgan encourages Mindy by complimenting her feet: “You could post these on some decent foot fetish websites.” Mindy: “Thank you. That’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.” He also finally brings Mindy her first real, viable patient: His cousin, Lou Tookers, and his new girlfriend, who seems straight out of the Sopranos reject file. When even Lou asks a pointed question about Mindy’s success rate, Mindy handles it like a grammar nerd: “My patients will have done very well.” In a joke that The Mindy Project often goes to (but it rarely gets old), Lou is packing more sophistication than he projects: “Did you just use the future pluperfect? I was a substitute English major."

At this, Mindy admits she hasn’t had a patient yet, but stumbles into lying about getting herself pregnant — by implying that Danny had fertility problems. A lot of these plot points might be reaching a little too much, but I’m still happy to be in this territory — where we acknowledge our characters are successful and self-aware doctors — than in the overly slapstick-y world of last week.

Surprising no one, Lou mentions their supposed mutual fertility problems to Danny at Mindy’s opening gala. Soon, everyone at the party is talking about Danny shooting blanks, and Danny doesn’t care for it one bit. He and Mindy eventually make up in the last five minutes of the episode, because that’s what they do. Meanwhile, the Shulman and Associates staff decide to hire Bergdahl back and give him the money they raised for (or against?) nurse fertility. They also hook him up with a sublet at Mindy’s place, sort of forcing Mindy to officially move in with Danny.

Any chance Kristen Mary Jenner will be back for another appearance? I think that kid had potential.