The Mindy Project Recap: Old Friends

The Mindy Project

Mindy's Best Friend
Season 5 Episode 13
Editor’s Rating *****
Rebecca Rittenhouse as Anna, Ed Weeks as Jeremy Reed. Photo: Evans Vestal Ward/Hulu

We’re back to normal life for The Mindy Project after her fantasy stint as a white man. Although this particular episode has less of a topical impact, it does hint — with a certain rumor about Ben being spotted in a diamond store buying a ring — as to where we’re headed with the season. Perhaps even the entire series? It feels like if Ben and Mindy get engaged, this might really be it. Having put her through so much with Danny, would the show really tease out another long-term relationship? Anything is possible, but a natural ending point seems nigh.

In slightly less dramatic happenings, we have Mindy’s childhood friend Elena (played by Casey Wilson), who’s now back in the United States after years in Germany. Mindy throws Elena a swanky party to help her meet eligible men, and she’s annoyed when Ben invites Morgan — whom she does not consider eligible. As Jody explains, only certain people should be invited to certain kinds of parties. For instance, “I wouldn’t expect to be invited to a bris or that candle Christmas.” Points for even knowing the word bris, Jody.

Elena is happy to be back in America. “I’m tired of electronica and club drugs,” she says. “I want to get back to my roots: hip-hop and club drugs.” Plus, she notes, New York City is “getting cool again since de Blasio’s letting it go to crap.” In short, the party’s New York-centric jokes are on point. Jody even mentions that he went on a date with Huma Abedin, who called him “the worst guy she’d ever met.”

Mindy tries to push Jeremy on Elena, but to no avail. Mindy introduces them as having both spent a lot of time in Europe: “You guys probably have a lot of castles you can discuss.” Jeremy’s reply: “Actually, our castle was seized by the crown because of our cowardice during World War II. It’s now a home for the insane.” That being a nonstarter, Mindy urges Jody and Elena to talk. But Jody catches her up on the last decade in America thusly: “We no longer go to space, anything can marry anything, and it’s illegal to be a white man.” Elena’s not even interested in Cory Booker, who apparently is attending Mindy’s party. (“Anything to get out of Newark,” as Mindy explains.)

Instead, Elena is drawn to none other than Morgan. The two go home together, then show up the next morning at the office to announce that they had sex. “I know how you have sex,” Tamra says to Morgan. “It’s nothing to brag about.” Elena explains that she loves how Morgan is the complete opposite of the men in Germany — he’s happy, nonjudgmental, and circumcised. The Germans, Elena says, “use cleanliness and efficiency to cover up a deep well of shame.”

Mindy doesn’t want Elena dating Morgan, however. So on a double date, she takes Elena to the bar and blurts out that Morgan is an ex-con … just as Morgan and Ben are approaching. Morgan is devastated, and explains that he simply stole cars — he wasn’t in for a violent offense. Morgan runs off, betrayed by the woman he has served so faithfully. Ben gives Mindy a bit of a talking to. She admits that she thinks of Morgan not so much as a friend or a person, but “more as a singing candelabra that tells me I’m pretty.” If she thinks of Morgan that way, how does she think of Ben? “You’re Belle, obviously, because you read books.” Bang-on topical reference to our box-office record-breaker of the weekend!

In any case, Mindy is chastened enough to go to Morgan’s to apologize and to tell him, at last, “You’re like my best friend.”

Meanwhile, Ben explains to the gossipmongers at Mindy’s office that he was not, in fact, buying an engagement ring for Mindy when he was spotted at the diamond store. He was selling the ring from his first marriage. He asks them to launch an offensive to kill this rumor before it gets to Mindy. Tamra’s skeptical that they can stop people from believing it: “I still believe John Kerry was a bad soldier in Vietnam and I started that rumor.” But then she’s in the elevator with two bitchy nurses talking about how Ben is going to propose to “Dr. La-Here-We-Go-Again.” They’re mad that she’s snagged “the Jewish Josh Hartnett.” Tamra tells them it’s not true and gives them a better rumor to replace it: “Dr. E is getting deported. He got caught trying to marry one of Trump’s daughters for a green card.” Soon enough, all of the nurses are spreading random rumors: Mindy is really “grown-up Webster,” Jody’s body has created a new strain of HPV, and Jeremy is in ISIS.

Mindy never gets wind of the ring gossip, but she does mention to Ben that she doesn’t want to get married. “I love you,” she says. “I don’t want things to change.” This is a reasonable position to take after the Danny debacle, of course. But then we see via flashback that … OMG, he was buying an engagement ring after all! Surely this will be the conflict to settle in the coming episodes.

The Mindy Project Recap: Old Friends