The Mindy Project
The momentum of this final season of The Mindy Project is really starting to build in the best way. We will, presumably, meet no more new characters. (Dr. Mary was likely the final one, and she’s blended in splendidly.) All of our main characters are pairing off — even Leo! — and Jody was the only one left without someone. Now that he’s got Mary, Mindy continues to work at its highest rom-com levels this season, making it feel nearly inevitable that Mindy and Danny will get their destined romantic resolution as well.
For now, our other fledgling couples are working out some generally adorable problems. Tamra, for instance, has decided to convert to Morgan’s religion, Siberian Orthodox, now that they’re getting married and having a baby. For the record, in case it wasn’t already clear, this is not a real religion. (Google will ask if you meant “Serbian Orthodox” if you look it up.) I was raised Russian Orthodox, so this concerned me more than most people. I have never worn a dress like hers, we used electricity on Wednesdays and Fridays, we did not pray 12 times a day, and we did not microwave fish a lot. But I loved seeing Mindy continue its interest in religion — so much so that the writers made up a pretty plausible one — right down to the end. The catch in this story line is that Morgan is chafing (literally, at times, from the traditional garb) at actually following the rules of his religion as perfectly as Tamra. He can’t even be alone in a room with a woman. That could never work long-term for his wonderfully codependent relationship with Mindy.
Jody, meanwhile, is pining for Dr. Mary, but she’s resisting his advances after hearing about his playboy ways from everyone at the hospital. It’s gotten so bad that Jeremy and Morgan are giving him lady advice. They call themselves the Termite Club, given that Jeremy landed Anna and Morgan landed Tamra: “We weaken magnificent women until they come crashing down.” Jody puts this into action by showing up to Mary’s office with flowers and threatening to do so every day until she goes out with him. It works suspiciously quickly; she agrees to go on a date with him that night. Oh, and she sleeps with him. That night. Turns out she’s about to leave the country for three years to work for Physicians on the Front.
Mindy’s presumed journey toward reconciliation with Danny begins when she spots his mom, Annette, in the hospital’s oncology department. Yes, Annette has breast cancer. But she warns Mindy not to tell Danny or anyone who knows him. “I am Sicilian,” Annette says. “That means something.” Even though she’s sworn to secrecy, Mindy confides in Morgan about Annette’s cancer, which seems like a detail that will come back later.
But Morgan has his own problems. He’s wearing a traditional Siberian shirt Tamra gave him, for instance. “We would all like to wear our peasant tops around the office,” Jeremy chides, “but it’s not professional.” The fact is, Morgan hates the shirt, but he feels like he has to go along with Tamra’s embrace of his religion. That night, things reach a breaking point when Tamra prepares her people’s traditional foods, like reindeer and the finest pickled fish and jellied meats. They’re so disgusting that Morgan can’t help spitting out the food as soon as he tastes it.
The next day at the office, Tamra explains that she just wanted to start their marriage with some grounding in tradition — any tradition — because they’re so untraditional in every other way. She agrees to take his last name instead; she’ll be Tamra Tookers everywhere except IMDb. No more jellied meats. On a roll, Tamra also gives Jody the advice he needs, explaining that she can do better than Morgan, but, she adds, “I don’t want better, I want Morgan.” This inspires Jody to track Mary down in the delivery room with a patient and tell her he wants to go to Africa with her. Yay!
Mindy gets a call from bitchy Nurse Chris in the oncology department. (Great throwaway line from him: “I’m only happy when Brooke is teaching SoulCycle.”) Apparently Annette is screaming for Mindy as she fights with her bestie, Dot, in the chemo room. Once Dot leaves and Annette settles down, Annette reveals that the fight happened because Dot suggested Annette write a will. She seems to think that writing a will means that she’s definitely going to die and/or that Dot wants her stuff. When Mindy says she agrees with Dot, Annette is suddenly suspicious of her, too: What does she want? “You’re right,” Mindy says sarcastically. “Because what I want is a lavender sweatshirt with a picture of a watering can on it.”
Mindy proceeds to lecture Annette about why she should have a will, which I love for a few reasons: First, I like when Mindy surprises us with her wisdom and maturity. Second, every adult should have a will! You don’t know what might happen to you or when, and you don’t know if, say, some rich person will surprise you by leaving you tons of money, which you inherit just hours before you die in a tragic accident. Even if you think you have nothing, you might end up with something, and that should be accounted for. The process should also include setting your end-of-life directives, which could be even more important if, say, you don’t want to be kept alive by machines for years on end while otherwise completely mentally incapacitated. Mindy points this out, too: “Should I go brain dead I would like to be smothered with my Oscar Isaac pillow.” (In fact, my partner, Jesse, and I recently did this and found it surprisingly simple. Here’s a blog post he wrote about what we learned.)
In any case, Annette finally agrees, but there’s revelation on the horizon: When Nurse Chris drops Annette’s jacket off at Shulman for Mindy to return, the result is that Jeremy and Colette now know about Annette’s cancer, too. It’s only a matter of time before Danny finds out.