The Mindy Project Recap: Money Problems

Garret Dillahunt as Jody, Mindy Kaling as Mindy.
Garret Dillahunt as Jody, Mindy Kaling as Mindy. Photo: Hulu
The Mindy Project

The Mindy Project

So You Think You Can Finance Season 4 Episode 16
Editor's Rating 4 stars

Excitement is brewing at the office. Loud construction noises are heard upstairs! Jeremy has a new girlfriend, Juliet, who’s coming by to meet everyone! These new developments trigger all the plot in “So You Think You Can Finance,” this week’s tightly constructed, if slightly too-reliant-on-coincidence episode.

Jeremy preps the staff to meet Juliet: “Treat her with the same respect you would treat me … Actually, no. Tamra. The same respect you show Tamra.” Mid-speech, he’s interrupted by construction work from the hedge-fund office above, which actually plunges through the ceiling. When he, Mindy, and Jody head upstairs to complain, they find — coincidence! — Jeremy’s ex-girlfriend, Whitney (Cristin Milioti). She’s not interested in their complaints, which are distracting from her posh business. It’s so posh, in fact, the brochures don’t rip because they’re printed on leather.

Jody is not impressed, even though he once slept with Whitney too, which contributed to her breakup with Jeremy: “Listen sugar, I’m all for female entrepreneurs,” he says, reminding us that his chauvinism is still quite present despite recent signs of softening. “I saw part of Joy on a plane.” In-flight entertainment aside, the doctors would like less noise and no more holes in the ceiling. However, the noise and the holes aren’t that important to the plot going forward.

More important is Jeremy’s desire for an office makeover — particularly some “more masculine” décor. “Our furniture is RuPaul for Crate and Barrel,” Mindy protests, sending me into a reverie about how awesome that might be and what it might look like. Nonetheless, Jody wants to go shopping for grandfather clocks and hopes Mindy will join him. He also notices that her desk is covered in undeposited paychecks, which we’re just going to roll with despite our concerns about an established business that, in the year 2016, still somehow pays its full-time employees with paper checks. The point is symbolic: Her dad did her finances, apparently all the way until she met Danny, and then Danny did them. She never did them herself. Again: Just go with it, it’s symbolic. She has no financial skills, nor any great plans: “My retirement plan is to sing on a cruise ship,” she snaps at Jody. “You know this.”

Mindy asks around the office to learn about everyone else’s financial plans. Colette is set because she gets a trust-fund check every year just for taking her grandma’s ashes to Niagra Falls. Tamra, naturally, has mutual funds and a T-Rex bone she found in her backyard. Then Mindy gets an idea: Maybe Whitney, a financial whiz who has reappeared in the office above them, can help with her finances! Coincidence!

Meanwhile, we learn that Jeremy and Juliet met working on a local production of Shrek: The Musical. We also learn that Juliet is … well, let’s start with Jody’s reaction. “How did other people react to that?” he asks after they leave, my favorite new go-to line for awkward situations in which you don’t want to be the first to voice potentially offensive comments. What he meant to say was that Juliet was of a certain age when they met, an age whose number is significantly higher than Jeremy’s. “Jody, you are old as hell,” Colette scolds him. “When I was little I thought you were, like, my secret dad, not my brother.” Tamra has this to say: “So it’s gross when a younger man dates an older woman, but when Robert De Niro takes me to dinner, everybody’s cool with it?” I really want to watch a sitcom about Tamra’s life. But Jody’s not done. His parting words are firm: “This relationship is weird, and if Donald Trump were president, it could be fun. There, I said it.”

At home that night, Mindy attempts to tackle her finances with a Mexican energy drink and a Suze Orman book. When that fails, she goes to Whitney to ask for help. At first, Whitney laughs her off, pointing out that she runs a massive hedge fund: “The buy-in alone is $10 million or a blood diamond.” But then it’s revealed that Whitney, whose coke addiction you might remember, has chained herself to her desk to avoid going out with co-workers at night to do drugs. Mindy offers to be Whitney’s new, sober friend in exchange for help fixing her finances. Among other things, this means Mindy must bail on clock-shopping with Jody, who is heartbroken: “I’m already in the tinker’s district!” See, there was a vibe between them last week. It’s only getting stronger!

Whitney puts Mindy’s bills on auto-pay, and the two embark on a friendship via Lily Allen montage. Mindy is clearly increasingly exhausted, but Whitney guilts her into sticking with it. When Mindy protests that she has a lot of work to do, Whitney responds, “I’ve got two jobs. One is battling my addiction, which is why I think we should hang out tonight.” But Jody is still upset about Mindy ditching him, and possibly even more upset by her fake excuse that she’s dating a “heterosexual male flight attendant for Zoom Airlines.” (Remember, he slept with Whitney, so presumably that’s why she’s avoiding any mention of her.) And he’s very concerned that Mindy is seeing someone who works for a “dangerous-sounding new airline.”

But Mindy must run off again to rescue Whitney, who has ended up at McBarfigans (excellent joke) with her co-workers. Mindy is dismayed to hear that Whitney’s in the restroom doing coke, though she finds her doing Sudoku and pretending to do coke to save face with her co-workers. They finally have something of a heart-to-heart in which Mindy says she doesn’t want to face her finances because then she’ll have to admit she’s a single mom with new responsibilities. Whitney then confesses that she was using Mindy as a substitute for coke. (Is that how addiction actually works?) All is well with the women.

At the same time, Jody runs into Juliet on the subway, and she wisely tells him that “the person who makes you happy is the opposite of what you’re used to.” A-ha! Lightbulb moment for Jody! Too bad we also learn that Jeremy has just been dating Juliet to show the nurses that he’s sensitive enough to date an older woman. (Note: I think this would work.) In fact, he’s paying Juliet to act like his girlfriend. “There are so few great roles for women!” he protests when Tamra calls him out. Her unimpressed response: “Oh, please, Helen Mirren be everywhere.”

Inspired by his encounter with Juliet, Jody writes Mindy a letter to apologize for implying that her life is a mess. It is definitely a mess, “like those stories they tell to scare young Catholic girls from going to a dance.” But nevertheless, he’s impressed with how she’s handled it, and he’d like to take her out sometime. Having sent the letter, he apologizes to Jeremy, who now fesses up to his ruse with Juliet. No! Jody wants the letter back! She’s a fake wise old lady! Or something! Anyway, it’s already been sent. We’ll have to wait until next week to see how that turns out. Any predictions?

The Mindy Project Recap: Money Problems