The Mindy Project Recap: Modern Uncoupling?

The Mindy Project

Will They or Won't They
Season 4 Episode 14
Editor’s Rating *****
Mindy Kaling as Mindy, Chris Messina as Danny.
Mindy Kaling as Mindy, Chris Messina as Danny. Photo: Hulu

After such a long hiatus, I was surprisingly grateful to see The Mindy Project begin this episode with a montage. As “We Can Work It Out” plays, Mindy and Danny fight and make up and “postpone” their wedding. It’s a blessing, too, that we weren’t subjected to all of this playing out over a run of episodes. The decline of Mindy and Danny has been pretty torturous.

You see, Mindy isn’t really the problem. The last few episodes before the break made me so legitimately mad at Danny — who had basically transformed himself into Mr. “We Need More Kids Right Now and You Should Stay Home With Them Because You’re the Woman” — that I barely even want to see him anymore. And that’s saying something, since I have always crushed hard on Chris Messina. Thank goodness he didn’t have any dance sequences, or I might have reverted back to those feelings. Danny has always been a complicated character, but this is a bummer.

As the montage ends, we see that Mindy’s happier at work and Danny’s not showing up for counseling anymore. They write the dreaded we’re-not-getting-married-anymore email announcement. I have written that email. It is not fun.

When the action really starts, Danny and Mindy have been broken up for months. Danny has quit the practice (even though his Italian Men’s Health magazine is still being delivered there). And, of course, Mindy’s working through her feelings in questionable ways: When Tamra liked one of his Instagram posts, Mindy poisoned her plant for payback.

Luckily, Mindy’s fertility business is going great … well, sort of. She’s running a promotional program wherein a dozen or so college girls have agreed to spend their spring break in New York to freeze their eggs. They’re not impressed with the activities Mindy has planned, such as a riveting visit to the Museum of Poverty. (There actually is a Poverty Museum, though I’m sure this was meant as a joke.) Alcohol is a deal-breaker on this version of spring break, since it’s not recommended so close to the egg-harvesting procedure. The group isn’t even impressed that the doctors have scored them all tickets to Hamilton, which must have cost many thousands of dollars and possibly even some felonious acts. The girls, particularly one named Chloe, would much rather “go to the club where Lil Wayne woke up from his coma.”

Meanwhile, Jody is worried that Danny and Mindy are spending too much time together post-breakup. “Danny and I are having a modern uncoupling, like Coldplay and Goop,” Mindy insists. And indeed, Danny is still very much in the picture — I was surprised to see him, since I assumed Messina was leaving the show. When Mindy comes by to get Leo, Danny plies her with lasagna and storytime. (The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a very good book!) Next thing she knows, Mindy has missed Hamilton. Which, really, I must note: I know Danny and Mindy have always had explosive sexual chemistry, but missing-Hamilton-level sexual chemistry? Damn.

Jody surprises Mindy in her office the next morning. (“You know my doctor says I have the heart of an 8-year-old coal miner!”) He harangues her for leaving Tamra alone with the college girls at the play. “They were drunk before Hamilton even closed the National Bank,” Tamra says, “which I still think gives the federal government too much power.” Then there’s this sort-of confusing joke about how “leashing” is the new teen trend, and they go unleash people’s dogs or something. It turns out to be an important plotline because the college girls unleash Seth Meyers’s dog, which becomes a citywide concern. In any case, Mindy and Jody must implement a lock-in on the girls for their remaining time in the city.

Unfortunately, Mindy is distracted by Danny sending her an eggplant emoji. (He’d meant it literally, though — he’d made eggplant Parmesan.) She returns to his place and makes out with him again, though she also tries to talk to him about real-life problems, like feeling left out at work. (“They’re treating me like I’m Donald Sterling!”) He’s not that into listening, then things get worse when Mindy finds a lipstick that doesn’t belong to her in Danny’s bathroom. When she confronts him, he admits he’s sleeping with other people.

Good news, of sorts: Mindy is pulled back the other way, toward work, when Jody rejects Chloe’s advances and she takes off. Rushing to save the day, Mindy finds Chloe at the aforementioned Lil-Wayne-coma club, which isn’t as easy as it sounds, since Mindy discovers that it “happened at six different places.”

“Chloe, it’s me, your cool egg doctor!” she shouts when she finally finds her. They bond over their recent break-ups: Mindy’s with Danny, Chloe’s with Jody. “I told him things I never told anyone before,” Chloe says. “Like how much pressure I feel to dress cute because I’m pretty!” Mindy returns to the group with Chloe, and is chuffed when Jody calls her a role model.

After all of this, Mindy realizes she has to tell Danny they can’t sleep together anymore. (I had assumed that was already the plan, what with the lipstick revelation, but hey, whatever it takes. If the sexual chemistry is strong enough to miss Hamilton, it must be a tough habit to break.) Mindy goes one step further, too: She tells him they shouldn’t see each other anymore, which seems to indicate that Messina is really leaving the show. We’ll always have those dance numbers.

Sadly enough, no one at the office even realizes that Morgan found Seth Meyers’s (amazing-looking) dog. Even when he appears on Late Night, everyone is distracted by the breakfast calzone Dr. Reed left in the kitchen. Back to business as usual at Shulman and Associates, it seems.

The Mindy Project Recap: Modern Uncoupling?