The Mindy Project Recap: The Motherhood Project

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The Mindy Project. Photo: Evans Vestal Ward/Hulu
The Mindy Project
Episode Title
Stay-at-Home MILF
Season
4
Episode
5
Editor’s Rating
5/5

The mom stuff continues to deliver solid comedy for The Mindy Project: It’s still just plain funny to see Mindy try to be a mother. And the show has proven surprisingly adept at mining new parenthood for comedy. It isn’t new territory for sitcoms, but it feels fresh when Mindy does it — and, as always, with more great lines than one can even catch on the first viewing.

Stay-at-Home Motherhood: “Greatest Scam on Earth”?
Mindy’s totally into staying at home with Leo until Danny informs her that the job description also involves cleaning and cooking. “I can’t clean,” Mindy says. “I was born in this country, and I’m too lazy.” But she’s determined to figure this thing out and do them well, just like she’s always done with her job as a doctor.

The next day she’s up so early that Danny asks, “Is Miss Piggy co-hosting the Today show?” I’m particularly excited by this because I had the thought last week that Mindy and Piggy should be best friends. (Yes, I spend time thinking about such things.) Further proof: Mindy says Piggy was banned from the Today show after karate-chopping Savannah Guthrie. I don’t remember all the places in New York City Mindy’s been banned from, but there are quite a few.

Mindy has found a blog called Modern Mominista that she plans to follow to the letter to become a great stay-at-home mom. She knows it’s a classy site because all the ads are for antidepressants.

“For Your Information, Jewish Is Fine.”
Dr. Jody is looking to set up his sister Colette with a man so she’ll have a date for an upcoming wedding, which rightfully baffles everyone in the office, who assumed (correctly) that she was gay. She’s remained closeted from Jody because he’s so southern and old-fashioned: “He’s got a bullet in his shoulder from a duel,” she says to prove her point. Morgan agrees to pretend to be her boyfriend until the wedding. What could possibly go wrong?

“What Duck? What Run?”
At first Mindy appears to be killing it at being a Modern Mominista, wearing the most amazing combinations of dresses and aprons. But things slowly start to unravel, until Mominista tells her she should be going for a run and then glazing a duck. Instead she skips the run and makes grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner. Then she snaps when Danny says — after a few days of grilled cheese and tomato soup — that he’s going to the gym instead of having dinner. She wants to get out of the house and leave him home with Leo: “I haven’t been outside since I took our trash to the river.”

Here’s where Mindy goes classic sitcom, literally snagging a plotline that I clearly remember from The Flintstones: Danny thinks staying home would be great. Mindy wishes she could go back to work. They decide to trade for a day. The twist, of course, is that Mindy actually has been working for all of her adult life, so she’ll do just fine at the office. In fact, she’ll love it, which is the point and the real problem. Danny’s the only one who has to learn a lesson about how hard it is to keep things running smoothly at home with a new baby.

“You’re Not Hunting Him for Sport, Are You?
Mindy’s immediately startled by the news that Morgan and Colette are dating upon her arrival at the office: “What a hot and natural couple!” she says, trying to play along. Dr. Jody, of course, questions why she’s at work. “That’s like asking Rihanna why she’s at the Met Ball,” Mindy snaps. “I’m queen of this ish.”

Colette and Mindy are developing a nice little friendship, and Colette soon confesses to Mindy that she’s still closeted when it comes to her brother to protect his feelings. “If you are not living your authentic self, what even was the point of Glee?” Mindy says, soon realizing the same advice applies to her. She has to tell Danny that she wants to be back at work. That’s even clearer when she kicks ass at surgery with Dr. Jody, who shows glimmers of new respect for her.

“I’m Only Good at One Thing: My Job.”
Danny plays his day at home off like it was no big deal, working on a little watercolor painting by the time Mindy arrives home. She whispers to Leo that she hopes he grows up to be good at everything he does the way his father is. But then she spots perfect hospital corners on the bed and a towel folded to look like a swan. “I remember you telling me that origami was disrespectful to Pearl Harbor victims,” she says to Danny, her suspicion mounting.

It turns out that Ma came halfway through the day to help Danny, then left before Mindy got home. Mindy is about to confess to her desire to go back to work when Danny gets a call: His father has had a heart attack. The moment of confession passes, but a solution presents itself. Mindy will go to work to handle Danny’s surgery load, Ma will come take care of Leo, and Danny will go to be with his father.

Please tell me this means Ma will be around more often. Rhea Perlman saves the day, as always!