This episode of The Mindy Project is brought to you by the sheer force of Tina Fey’s legacy.
Not much happens, some stuff doesn’t really make sense, but that barely matters with all of the crazy (funny) shit coming out of character’s mouths. This is what 30 Rock has wrought, and there are worse things than being a solid 30 Rock imitator.
We begin with Danny still gone. (Is Chris Messina filming a movie or something? I guess schedules are still a bitch, even on Hulu time.) Mindy is having a hard time without him, which at first she tells him via text: “My first time buying fruit was a total disaster.” But then she starts to play it off like it’s no big deal since he seems to be having such a hard time with his ailing father. She realizes the key to seeming fine is to end every text with the smiley-face emoji wearing sunglasses. (So true.)
Still, she’s not sure how long she can be a “single” mother while she runs “two businesses.” (Are we counting the general medical practice along with the fertility clinic, or is she still running the company from her first-episode dream, Delectable Desires, “slutty girdles for the sexually active obese”?) Never mind that the last few weeks she was considering quitting her job altogether to stay home full-time with the baby. Now the fertility clinic is back on, and we’ll just go with it.
We know she’s already starting to slip when she sends Danny a bare-faced smiley emoji. (“Why isn’t it wearing sunglasses? Is everything okay?”) Mindy prays to God for help, threatening to switch to Kabbalah so Madonna can be her God. Instead, she gets Peter knocking on her front door, paying a surprise visit from Austin.
As if that weren’t enough, Mindy’s fertility business is apparently going under. Part of the problem is her (unsurprising) profligacy with finances. “We have contributed quite a bit to Zach Braff’s latest Kickstarter,” Morgan tells their accountant. Plus there was that time they rented out Governor’s Island for a launch party and accidentally put Riker’s Island on the invitations. This would make such a good episode that I wondered if I’d missed it somehow, but, hey, you do what you gotta do for a joke.
Also at the office, a B-plot brews with Tamra and Collette fighting over Collette’s penchant for pranking Tamra (snakes on her chair and whatnot). Tamra’s not impressed: “I like smart comedy that says something about society. Like Tosh.” She’s also irritated that Collette dipped a few of her braids in green paint when she wasn’t looking: “Now the Style section wanna write a blurb about it, and I don’t have time for that.” Finally, it comes out that Collette just wants to be friends, but didn’t know how to say that: “Southern people are complicated. The two things we’re known for are bein’ friendly and slavery.” Am I the only one who wants to watch a spin-off show about these two being friends? This all happens at a dinner with Jeremy and Peter, but I’m not sure what further purpose Peter’s visit serves. Maybe we’ll get a few more episodes with him? Not to mention that his main plotline here is to patch things up with Jeremy after apparently being inhospitable when Jeremy visited him in Austin … with no mention of the fact that Peter married Jeremy’s ex-girlfriend, Lauren, so maybe that would have something to do with their rift?
In any case, meanwhile, Jody has an idea to save Mindy’s business, and he knows what he’s doing because he co-owns a barbecue restaurant with Annie Potts. He suggests making presentations about egg freezing at colleges, and he’s already booked them at NYU. Mindy doesn’t want to let Jody in on the business, even though she likes his idea. But that means Mindy now has to put a presentation together, on top of taking care of Leo by herself. Annette is also MIA this episode — probably mainly for plot reasons, but the official line is that first she has an “important sweatshirt decorating class,” and then she has the flu. (Mindy: “Why didn’t you get the flu shot? … You cannot get autism, you’re too old.” This show loves anti-vaxxer jokes.) She’s so flustered that she ends up wiping Leo with her presentation when she changes his diaper.
Then, of course, the next morning she oversleeps and misses the presentation time. By the time she gets to NYU in her pajamas, Jody is doing it and seems to be great at it … until all the young women in the audience confront him about sleeping with several (most) of them. When he’s booed off the stage, Mindy harangues him to tears. “Are you crying?” she snaps. “What is this weird move?” He claims he was using sex to get over his love for his brother’s wife. He’s surprised when she doesn’t gasp at this. “Honestly,” she says, “that seems on brand for you.” It’s just these exchanges that save such puzzling plot decisions.
Mindy, of course, saves the presentation by giving a heartfelt speech about the uncertainties of love and motherhood. She tells the girls that egg freezing will give them the time they need to find “one diamond in the crap heap of American men.” She and Jody decide to be partners after all. (One hopes he’ll stay away from the “college relations” side of things.) And Mindy finally tells Danny the truth — that she’s struggling without him — so he calls to talk.
The Mindy Project knows how to do a happy ending, even if the middle gets a little messy.