The Mindy Project Recap: Deep in the Grotto of Texas

Mindy Kaling as Mindy Lahiri.
Mindy Kaling as Mindy. Photo: Hulu
The Mindy Project

The Mindy Project

Under the Texan Sun Season 4 Episode 21
Editor's Rating 4 stars

For all of The Mindy Project’s silly turns and strange inconsistencies, it has a way of making me feel like we’re really following the life of Mindy Lahiri. The show has managed to avoid simply shipping characters off, never to be seen or heard from again. Perhaps I’m reading too much into this, but it feels like the people who make this show really like each other. Even when story lines or real-life choices dictate that their characters move on, they’ll happily return once in a while for cameo appearances.

Peter is the best example of this dynamic: He got married and moved to Texas, but he visits, calls, and in the case of this week’s episode, forces Mindy to make good on a drunken promise to visit him in Austin. Mindy drops Leo off to stay with Danny for the five days she’ll be gone, and at the door she encounters a hot woman who is obviously dating Danny. This throws her for a loop, of course, but she’s got a plane to catch.

Once she’s in Texas, Mindy complains to Peter about the difficulty she’s having finding “one single, sane, rich, hot cunnilingus addict.” But she’s obviously more upset by Danny being with someone new. (They even posted Facebook photos of them kissing on top of a Ferris wheel!) And so Mindy is determined to make the most of her trip: “I guess I can Under the Tuscan Sun a handsome ranch hand.”

Peter, meanwhile, is living a typically repressive life in his “real McMansion,” as Mindy describes it. Lauren has declared them vegan and won’t let him sit in the formal living room. TV is banned. But it is a very nice place. As Lauren says, “It used to belong to a forward on the Spurs until he was caught on camera throwing his wife in the trash.” At dinner, the cracks in Peter and Lauren’s picturesque life begin to emerge: It seems Peter has been telling Lauren all about the drama gripping his co-workers Meredith and Derek, which sounds an awful lot like Grey’s Anatomy. Mindy lets that go for the moment.

Lauren shows Mindy to her guest room, which she’ll share with Martin the chuckwalla. Lauren says she wants to hang out with Mindy and get to know her more, but Mindy soon figures outs what she really wants. She’s worried Peter is having an affair, and she wants Mindy to find out why he’s been acting so strange.

Mindy agrees, but is momentarily diverted when she spots Diego, the hot guy working in the yard. Her new mission — particularly after looking at Danny’s Facebook page full of photos with the new woman — is to seduce the “pool boy.” Alas, her first mistake is calling him the “pool boy” to his face. This coupled with falling into the pool while eating a Popsicle and wearing a Garfield T-shirt does not a seduction make. He runs off in a huff, clearly insulted. Mindy complains to Rosa, the nanny: “I am soaked in agua and I was negged sexually.” Rosa’s not impressed. In fact, she’s mad that Mindy left the Popsicles out to melt, so she sends her to the store for new ones, plus the Hot Pockets that Mr. Peter likes.

Lo and behold, Mr. Peter is at the store, too, relaxing in the TV department! (It seems to be one of those suburban Super Targets or something, where they have every possible thing for sale in one location.) He explains to Mindy that he had a medical job, but he started calling in sick to stay home with his stepson, Henry, until “pretty soon I had sent them my fake obituary.” Since then, he’d been hanging out a few hours a day at the store until he could go home and hang with the kid. And naturally, he’d been filling in the blanks of his day using Grey’s Anatomy plot lines because Lauren doesn’t watch TV. “Last week she tried to get us into Denny’s funeral,” he says.

When the two of them head home, Lauren is waiting — and she’s mad. It seems Diego quit as their “water designer” because of Mindy’s “pool boy” insult. He is no mere pool boy! He won a MacArthur Genius Grant for a hot tub in Santa Fe! Luckily, he agrees to come to dinner to accept Mindy’s apology. “Please,” she begs him. “Complete their grotto.” He accepts, but things soon unravel in a different way when Lauren starts asking Peter about Meredith and Derek. Diego, a self-described “huge Shonda head,” spills the beans that Peter’s just stealing Grey’s plot lines.

After Diego and Mindy leave so Lauren and Peter can fight, they end up driving around and bonding over their exes and their kids. Soon enough, though, Peter calls Mindy and asks for her help in talking to Lauren. Lauren has locked herself in the bathroom and won’t talk to him anymore. When Mindy returns, she’s surprisingly effective: Her mom senses click into gear and she realizes Lauren is upset about more than the grotto. Lauren is pregnant!

With Lauren and Peter reconciled, Mindy heads downstairs to say good-bye to Diego. He invites her to spend the night with him, but she realizes she should hang out with Peter and Lauren. Instead, Mindy mentions that he should come stay with her in New York sometime soon. “If I ever visit you in New York,” he says, “We probably wouldn’t leave your apartment.”

“Holy shit,” Mindy says after he leaves. “That shit was hot.” Have we ever heard Mindy swear before? If this was the first time, it was totally worth it.

Mindy Project Recap: Deep in the Grotto of Texas