The Mindy Project Recap: Cheat Day

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Mindy Kaling as Mindy. Photo: Vivian Zink/NBC Universal Television/Hulu
The Mindy Project

The Mindy Project

Take My Ex-Wife, Please Season 5 Episode 10
Editor's Rating 4 stars

I wasn’t sure I liked where we were going when this episode started with Jody, especially after those hints that he wasn’t over Mindy. I was afraid of a backslide into that aimless relationship and/or yet another love triangle. But it turns out Mindy was right on! Jody and Mindy got to resolve their relationship tension realistically without making the love triangle among Mindy, Ben, and Ben’s ex-wife into a love square. We all win.

Another win for this episode: remembering that Mindy has a fertility business, including her Later Baby college-recruiting program. The show lampshades the fact that we haven’t talked about that in a while: “It’s been such a long time since we’ve taken Later Baby to a college,” Mindy says in an uncharacteristically matter-of-fact line. She and Jody will be heading to Maine together, which allows for a road trip and Maine jokes. Oh, you didn’t think there were Maine jokes? The Mindy Project knows better. Here is the rare Mindy Maine joke that does not involve Stephen King: Jody says, “What if I wander into Canada and they force free health care on me?”

Don’t worry, there will be more, and they will involve Stephen King.

Morgan can’t join the trip because he has a terrible illness you may have read about in Time magazine. “Xenophobia?” Jody asks. “I have that, too.” No, silly, it’s Zika virus. That sounds dramatic, but do you know what’s more dramatic? Mindy and Jody will have to go on their trip alone! Ben seems fine with his girlfriend going off with a guy who once wooed her by purchasing an entire apartment. In fact, he’s mostly interested in — you guessed it — Stephen King’s autograph. “No, I hate that guy,” Mindy says. “He’s the reason I had blood dumped on me at three separate school dances.” Mindy is not as sanguine about the prospect of Ben spending the weekend with his ex, Patricia, who’s staying with him while she looks for a place in New Jersey.

Meanwhile, the icy, beautiful new doctor Anna introduces her nerdy husband, Tim, to the gang at work: “He was in the neighborhood getting out of jury duty.” This messes with my conception of where the office is, which I pictured as the Union Square area, but all the courts are way downtown. Anyway, Tim is funny. “You know what I went with?” he deadpans. “Racist!” Even better, when faced with her co-workers’ surprise that he appears so ill-matched with Anna, he ponders aloud about how he got such a beautiful wife, then drops his punch line: “I’m kidding, I do know how I did it. I’m totally rich.” Anna reminds him that they’re supposed to have dinner with the McDucks that night — I see you making your jokes, Mindy — but Tim says he can’t make it. There’s a suspicious hint of guilt on his part, though Anna seems pleased that she can now make her Audubon Society meeting, where they’re going to choose the birds for the next calendar. (It’s going to be a “total shit show.”) After he leaves with a terse “I love you” — and she responds with a “thank you” — Tamra tells the Colette and Colette’s girlfriend that she saw Tim at a club the previous night. Well, she promised not to tell, so she actually sang it: “Saw Dr. Z’s husband grindin’ up on some ho.”

Anna’s in her office tearing up paper as a coping mechanism; turns out she is onto her husband. “Oh!” Jeremy says gleefully. “Are you tearing up strips for papier mâché?” This, of course, is complete with the French pronunciation. Ed Weeks has really come into his own since the writers settled on Jeremy’s looks-suave-but-acts-nerdy approach. Once Anna explains that it’s a technique her therapist taught her, he is still focused. “So the strips are up for grabs for papier mâché?”

Jody and Mindy are now on the road, and Mindy is trying to get Jody to talk about his love life. “I just want to focus on my driving and try not to hit any deer or Stephen King,” he says. Gosh, it must be nice to be so famous that you get an entire state to yourself. Mindy entertains herself with her phone, only to spy an Instagram video of Ben and Patricia playing mini-golf with their daughter. As she freaks out, Jody agrees to let her drive so he can drink his flask of whiskey. When he passes out, Mindy continues to watch that video and obsess about it, only occasionally taking a break to check out Morgan’s live Zika Diary updates. (Yes, she’s still driving.)

Speaking of Morgan’s Zika Diary, Colette lets slip that Anna’s husband is cheating on her while Morgan is still broadcasting. Soon everyone has seen it, from the driving Mindy to the papier-mâché-ing Jeremy to Anna herself. Soon everyone is flipping out over everything, basically. Mindy decides to drive to Ben’s instead, and Anna shows up at Jeremy’s seeking friendly comfort.

Anna and Jeremy quickly find they have a few things in common. For one, Jeremy has a tatami mat, and Anna thinks “the world should be more Asian. I often wear a surgical mask on the subway.” He thinks maybe she should stay there, and she agrees. “If I go to a hotel,” she says, “I will stay up all night cleaning it.” Hmm, might there be romance in the air for these two beautiful weirdos? “We’ve been sleeping in separate bedrooms for months,” Anna tells Jeremy of her marriage. “I thought it was a sign of our affluence.” Then she does kiss him! I didn’t realize it, but I was rooting for them! Alas, he rebuffs her advances because of work and he’s her boss and etc., which has been zero problem for any of these people in the past, but sure. There’s definitely more to come here.

In New Jersey, Patricia is none too pleased to see Mindy crashing her dinner time with Ben. The two spar over everything. Patricia presents to Ben his favorite wine from Ray Liotta Vineyards. “I also got you something, babe,” Mindy says before muttering to Jody, “Give me all of your cash.” The $60 somehow does not feel romantic. Things blow up when both women try playing footsy with Ben under the table, only to run into each other’s foot instead. Mindy leaves, which seems fair to me. Yes, Patricia is the mother of his child, but he doesn’t have to allow the wine and the footsy.

Ben admits as much when a very drunk Jody tells him an instructive story about his two boyhood dogs, Manassas (a Virginia city, FYI) and Hamhock. Manassas ends up shot in this story, but trust me, it’s generally in Mindy’s favor. Ben texts Mindy that he’s sent Patricia to a hotel, and Jody brings McDonald’s to Mindy back in the city. They decide to be friends again, and all is well.

Of course, in the very end, Mindy invites the bereft Anna to move in with her, so all might not be well. But that is for another time.

The Mindy Project Recap: Cheat Day