The Mindy Project Recap: Parental Advisory

By
Surprise! Photo: John P. Fleenor/FOX
The Mindy Project
Episode Title
Best Man
Season
3
Episode
21
Editor’s Rating
4/5

Peter’s wedding is finally here, and he’s back in New York! It’s not super clear why, except that he’s looking for a new best man — Pube tried to kiss him at the bachelor party, and things got awkward. He’s there to ask Mindy to be the best man, even though he could have done that via phone or electronic means, and even though Danny does not care for the gender reversal one bit. As he says, “Thanks a lot, Ryan Murphy.” Sir, that is the least of Ryan Murphy’s sins.

We’ve talked a lot here about the looooong delay in ever meeting Mindy’s parents, so much so that — not just because of us, personally, but the collective internet — their absence becomes A Thing in this episode. They’re now moving to India for a year and having a going-away party in Boston. It looks like we might actually meet them when Mindy invites Danny to this party. He agrees. He even agrees to bring wine, a coin, and a nonfiction book, while avoiding all mentions of the Yankees, per her instructions. It even looks like he might shave his newly grown, and very hot, scruff, just to please Mindy’s parents.

But Mindy leaves for Boston first, and Danny plans to meet her there after his hospital shift. Mindy’s all dolled up in a sari, but Danny is a no-show. He missed his train there and decided to stay back in New York for the night. The parental meeting is off.

The next day, back in New York, Mindy discusses the situation with Peter while resisting his efforts to send her to a new, local doctor. (“I will not have my crotch do voices for her,” she says, relenting. “That’s for you.”) Peter figures out something is wrong when Mindy refuses to allow Danny to send her parents flowers, insisting they are a symbol of death in Indian culture. “So what’s that lie about now?” Peter asks in his Peter way. (Miss you even though you’re barely gone, Peter!) Turns out Mindy’s parents don’t know Danny is her boyfriend and the father of her child. She had been planning to introduce him on the spot when he showed up in Boston, but he didn’t, so she didn’t.

Meanwhile, we get a great scene in which Laura Dern plays Mindy’s new, Ukrainian (?) doctor. Choice, accented lines include:

“Peter! Peter is my favorite Jew!”

“You are high risk. Because of, how you say, fat? And much age.”

“Where I come from, this is compliment. … For the baby this mansion you give.”

It’s like they transcribed my grandmother or my waxer on any given day. Amazing. Meanwhile, Ukrainian Laura Dern also advises Mindy that she cannot ride bull. No bull, no man, no fly. Mindy cannot go to Peter’s wedding! The best-man idea is off.

So many bait-and-switches on what might be the big scene in this episode! Next we’re at Danny’s Ma’s place for a surprise baby shower, where Mindy also invokes Cookie from Empire, who would make an excellent guest star on this show. Tamra gives Mindy a onesie that says “feminist,” which is extra-awesome since we know the baby is a boy. Morgan, for no real reason — yes, there was a confusing overheard conversation, and Morgan is always a fraction of an inch away from being in a Three’s Company episode — but really, for no real reason, he shows up with a bunch of guys who played Mindy’s boyfriends on the show and declares that they may be the father of her child. The nice thing about Morgan as a character is you never have to justify anything he does. But hey! Nice to see you, Anders Holm, B.J. Novak, Max Greenfield, and guy who played Josh. Tommy Dewey! Yes! Right! Over to you, Dot: “And why are they all white?”

Perhaps the best justification for presenting all of these white men (and a Bachelorette-style rose) is so that Mindy can explain that they all met her parents (when we weren’t watching), and it didn’t work out. Therefore she didn’t want Danny to meet her parents until she was sure it would work out. Danny, meanwhile, isn’t sure he wants to get married, and that upsets Mindy. He got divorced, so he’s as gun-shy about getting married as she is about introducing him to her parents.

As always happens when things involve just Mindy and Danny on this show, shit suddenly gets real, in a good way. Mindy’s acting, Chris Messina’s acting, Rhea Pearlman is acting, I’m tearing up. Ma says to Danny, “Maybe the problem isn’t marriage. Maybe the problem is we picked people who didn’t deserve it.”

Danny leaves for Austin, but when Mindy talks to Morgan on the phone about Peter’s wedding, she learns Danny isn’t there. We learn he’s gone to India instead! To tell her parents, “I’m Danny Castellano, and I’m in love with your daughter.”

Please tell me they’ll at least tell us whom they would have cast as the parents if we don’t get another season. And please let us get another season, even a tiny one, at least for that, and maybe a nice, crazy wedding.

Correction: A previous version of this recap misidentified Laura Dern as Laura Linney.