The Mindy Project Recap: Friends Don’t Let Friends Date Mindy

The Mindy Project

Baby Got Backslide
Season 4 Episode 19
Editor’s Rating 4 stars
Mindy Kaling as Mindy.

The Mindy Project

Baby Got Backslide
Season 4 Episode 19
Editor’s Rating 4 stars
Mindy Kaling as Mindy. Photo: Hulu

This week, The Mindy Project delivers a particularly New York–focused episode — obligatory Hamilton story line included — while also giving us a solid riff on romantic comedy. Let there be no doubt: This is what the show does best. (Danny who?)

To get our Hamilton fix, we begin with the “Shulman and Associates Musical Theater Appreciation Society” — that is, Mindy and Jeremy — dining after being kicked out of the insanely popular play because Mindy got up on stage to freestyle. (Oh, if only we could have seen this.) “All the nonwhite people were doing it,” she protests, missing that “all the nonwhite people” are in the cast. I’m just relieved she has now finally seen at least part of Hamilton, given that she missed the entire thing already. Then again, I’m not sure anyone deserves so many second chances.

In any case, someone else in the restaurant pays for Mindy and Jeremy’s meal — and it turns out to be Casey, the former cool priest turned shoe mogul whom Mindy almost married! “Mic drop,” as he says. He’s in New York to open a new Dope Feat store. “Only two white people are allowed in the store at a time,” he explains. “Apparently that’s legal.” Casey asks Mindy to dinner, and it looks like we might have a rekindled romance on our hands.

The next morning, Mindy announces the development to the crew at Shulman, as she is wont to do. (Tamra: “What about what’s weird that’s going on in our lives? I keep seeing the number 16 everywhere.”) Even though nobody except Beverly thinks she should go on the date, Mindy concludes, “Maybe I should give him another shot, like America did with Chris Brown and wars in Iraq.”

So she does go to dinner, which allows us to see Mindy gnawing on a “meat sword” that Casey helpfully points out is meant to be shared by the whole restaurant. When you think about it, that seems even more disturbing. Anyway, Casey is moving back to New York from Los Angeles, and, furthermore, he confesses that he sees Mindy as “the one that got away.” He loves that she calls him on his crap. (“Don’t say bullsheezy,” she rightfully advises. “It’s dumb.”) He invites her to the party for his store opening. But then he does something pretty confusing: He tells her it’s not a date. His friends don’t like her — they’re still mad that she broke his heart, kept the engagement ring, and sold it on eBay — so he doesn’t think it’s a good idea for them to get back together.

At the office the next day, Mindy’s co-workers are not terribly shocked to learn that Casey’s friends don’t like her. “You are one of the few private citizens who’s been denounced by the Jewish Anti-Defamation League,” Jeremy points out. Tamra, however, offers some advice: Mindy must win over Casey’s friends. After all, when Tamra dated George Clooney, she had to hang out with Richard Kind. (This is the most random true fact ever: George Clooney and Richard Kind are good friends. Thank you, Mindy. And thank you, internet.)

Mindy develops one of her signature five-part plans to win over Casey’s friends:

  1. Laugh in a way that showcases her breasts.
  2. Talk sports and pretend she’s seen Die Hard.
  3. Shots.
  4. Double shots.
  5. More double shots.

This seems to work on all of his friends except one, Marcus, who gets along much better with Jeremy than Mindy. He even offers to get Jeremy tickets to a play he’s producing, James Buchanan, Bachelor President — one of BuzzFeed’s top 28 gay musicals this spring.

Meanwhile, in a somewhat-related development, Jody is still dating the Virgin Ashley. And it turns out Ashley, with her blog Celibacy in the City, has edged out Tamra’s Shake Shack as the No. 1 lifestyle blog in New York City. I’m surprised by how well Tamra takes this news: She seems more interested in reading about Jody’s love life than taking Ashley down. Identities are disguised on the blog, but Colonel Suspenders is obviously Jody. “He does kind of dress like the old narrator in a play who comes out and explains the town,” she says. (Tamra is obviously the MVP of this episode.)

As a result, Tamra and Morgan try to get Jody to stop wearing suspenders and suits, even though the one he’s currently wearing was owned by “a juror from the Scopes Monkey Trial.” They succeed, and he shows up for his next date with Ashley in a sleek, all-black outfit, including a pleather jacket and a T-shirt. Alas, as Celibacy in the City reports, he won’t stop talking about his co-worker. So, as Ashley writes, “I’m demoting him from Colonel Suspenders to Major Crush.” Nice Sex and the City pun work, though Tamra is a little confused: “She’s overestimating our knowledge of Army rank.” Tamra mistakenly thinks that Jody’s work crush must be her, since it couldn’t possibly be Mindy. (Yes, it’s Mindy.)

When Jody hears about Ashley’s blog, he marches right over to confront her about it. But, she tells him, it’s all the truth: “If I wanted to lie, I’d go back to my old job predicting travel times at Google Maps.” He realizes she’s right — he does have feelings for Mindy.

Back at the shoe store, Mindy has finally won over Casey’s friends, but now she’s feeling guilty. (Good news for Jody!) She realizes she does not, in fact, want to date a guy with tattoos of a Minion dressed as Shrek, Pizza Rat, and “Vote for Pedro.” As she later says, “I hate him. He’s so annoying. He’s like a Garbage Pail Kid.” But when she and Jeremy go to see James Buchanan, Bachelor President, she realizes she’s crushing on Marcus. (Bad news for Jody!)

This is liable to change, but Marcus is one of the best-dressed, most mature-seeming guys Mindy has ever dated. A week after she finally tried dating an Indian guy, he also makes for her first black love interest after many, many white boys. He asks her out, having warmed up to her now that she and Casey are finished for good. Of course, Jody also seems ready to confess his feelings for Mindy — until he hears about Marcus. Stay tuned for more love triangles.

The Mindy Project Recap: Don’t Date Mindy