The Mindy Project Recap: Dating After Danny

The Mindy Project

2 Fast 2 Serious
Season 4 Episode 15
Editor’s Rating *****
Mindy Kaling as Mindy. Photo: Hulu

Yes, Mindy is already dating. This is fine, if only because it’s fun to watch. Plus, it’s an opportunity for The Mindy Project to coin new words like “sportscane,” a little ditty of a portmanteau that refers to the perfect storm of major sporting events that take place as Mindy goes on her first post-Danny date … in a sports bar.

And who is her partner throughout this experience? A guy we’ll call Bryan for now. (More on that in a bit.) The date seems like it’ll go badly for obvious, sportscane-related reasons, but it instead goes well after he promises to explain all the sports to her. “That’s very interesting,” Mindy says as he walks her to her apartment door. “I did not know they held sporting events at Madison Square Garden. I thought that’s just where Billy Joel lived.”

In any case, the date goes well enough that he kisses her by the door and she (sort of) invites him in, though he declines and says he’ll save that for a nighttime date. Mindy panics when she gets inside and sees Morgan with Leo: “Oh my God, I’m a mom! I didn’t tell him I have a kid!” So, yes, this shall be our new theme for The Mindy Project, only slightly altered from where it began: single mom/doctor goes on lots of dates in hopes of finding love … again.

“2 Fast 2 Serious” does give the show a renewed energy, unsullied by the serious issues that festered between Danny and Mindy. (Sidenote: I’m told by reliable sources that we haven’t seen the last of Danny, so adjust your feelings accordingly.) Mindy discusses her dilemma with the entire staff at work, because what else is a medical-office staff for? They all agree and convince her that this guy will bolt once he hears about baby Leo. So much so that Mindy, on their next date, drops the bomb and then immediately says, “I’m just going to take my food and eat in the ladies’ room on the toilet.” But no! It turns out that he’s fine with it.

As we’ll learn, he has his own history. He was engaged once. “I was engaged once, too!” Mindy replies. “That’s where my kid is from. It’s actually kind of a sexy story.” She starts to talk about some steamy happenings with Danny in an alley behind a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., but her date amiably stops her to ask for a story that doesn’t involve her having unprotected sex with someone else. She obliges with the tale of how she once got a turtleneck stuck on her head in a fitting room; the fire department was called and she made national headlines, no biggie.

In short, it goes well. Like, “five minutes of tongue” well. The next day at work, Jeremy advises her, “By God, Mindy, hold onto him like a flagpole in a tornado.”

Then things start to get weird, which we knew they would. For their third date, Bryan asks Mindy to go to a wedding with him. Upon arrival at said wedding, she is recognized immediately and with excitement. “This happens all the time,” she says. “I actually review Serial on YouTube.” But no! This is no fan of Mindy’s YouTube videos! It’s Bryan’s mom … and actually, his whole family is there. It’s his brother’s wedding! It isn’t even until she is chatting with his grandma about how many Nazis her husband killed that Mindy finds out Bryan’s name is actually Bryant. With a T! To really nail the point home, a photo of Bryant and Mindy from earlier that day shows up in the slideshow about the happy couple — best wishes, David and Valerie! — and their families.

Brief interlude for the B-story: Colette and Morgan want to move in together, which means Colette must stop living with her brother, Jody. An upset Jody fires Morgan. Mindy talks Jody into rehiring Morgan and going to see the apartment. After all, she says, “We need Morgan’s Jack Nicholson impression for the hospital talent show.” When Jody sees the place, he pledges his support despite his concerns about the neighborhood, where there are an “awful lot of shawarma carts.” My favorite revelation from this entire plotline is that Morgan has “like 30 Spuds MacKenzie posters.” Which makes perfect sense.

Okay, enough of that. Tamra, who is emerging as the most sensible person in the office, urges Mindy to rethink this current dating situation. “You know I was Team Eh, Give This a Chance,” Tamra says, “but I think I’m switching to Team Nuh-uh, This Bryan Guy Is Weird.” Mindy objects that Tamra doesn’t understand what dating is like for a single mom, “which you will never be because that’s racist.” Also, she reveals that his name is Bryant.

Tamra agrees to help Mindy investigate this Bryant guy a bit more, and they soon discover that he broke off his engagement just two months ago. (It took me a second to realize that Danny and Mindy have been broken up, at least technically, for many more months than that. Last week’s montage really sped time along!) Mindy and Tamra pose as Isabella and Barb Van Amsterdam — obviously Tamra is Isabella — to get in to see Bryant’s ex, who is a venture capitalist. The secretary initially denies them when they claim they’re pitching a line of nude underwear … until Isabella/Tamra adds that it is a line of nude underwear for women of color.

They get in, but, alas, Mindy is quickly recognized from a photo Bryant sent his ex to make her jealous after Mindy fell asleep next to him watching Spotlight.

Everything comes to a head at Colette and Morgan’s housewarming party. The overeager Bryant arrives many hours early, well before Mindy does. He even makes plans with Jeremy “to go for a walk when the weather is nice.” This is a bridge too far for Mindy, so she breaks up with Bryant. (She also instinctively slaps him for being a young man: “How dare you? How dare you be in your late twenties?”) Then Morgan’s several dozen dogs attack the party, and Jody reveals he rented the apartment upstairs. Colette is none to pleased: “You know that Grey Gardens runs in our family!”

Perhaps the most intriguing moment of the episode comes afterwards, when Mindy and Jody share some consolation ice cream. She sees that he lives in a building that looks, according to her, like the Iraqi embassy. And more importantly, these two are vibing. That could totally happen, right?

The Mindy Project Recap: Dating After Danny