Review: The Mindy Project 4.03

Summary: Mindy and Danny take on their first parenting challenge, as Danny goes back to work and Mindy has her first day alone with the baby. Elsewhere, Tamra’s eavesdropping puts her in an awkward place with Jeremy.

Best Scene: Mindy and Danny sweetly make up at episode’s end, realizing that their conflicting parenting styles will actually be good for the baby.

Best Line: “Your job is interesting! I hate working at the White House.”

My Review: This was definitely a transition episode for TMP, giving us our first taste of Mindy and Danny as parents, and there was a lot to love about it.

For one, overprotective, emotional, and very Italian Danny Castellano was adorable, even if he did take his protectiveness a bit far. Mindy, meanwhile, impressed me by how confident she was as a parent. As she told Danny at the end of the episode, she’s under no impression that she’s going to be a perfect mom, or even close to it, but I think it said a lot that her biggest issue this episode was boredom, not that she couldn’t handle the baby on her own. And how Mindy was it that their first outing was meeting the Gyllenhaals? Proof that motherhood won’t stop Mindy from being Mindy.

I also enjoyed her dynamic with neighbor Chelsea, much needed with Mindy alone on maternity leave. I’m glad that Chelsea didn’t remain a purely antagonistic character; she became much more interesting to me when she helped Mindy with Leo and dished about her love life. Also, I’d love to see her develop a friendship with Mindy because I think the show is hurting a bit for female friendships. Mindy’s relationships with Tamra and Beverly have unfortunately never felt all that realistic (they come across as kind of crazy, occasionally helpful co-workers rather than true friends). I think there’s potential there with Mindy and Chelsea, if their hilarious exchange about sex and peanut brittle was any indication. Plus, like I said, Mindy’s definitely going to need someone to stop her from going crazy while she’s on maternity leave.

At the end of the episode, Mindy and Danny had one their most mature conversations to date, with both understanding why the other did what they did. It was nice to see Mindy be in the right a bit here (as, to me at least, the nanny cam was definitely more of a transgression than leaving the house), and I think it showed how much raising Leo is going to cause each of them to grow, with Danny becoming a bit more emotional and Mindy becoming more rational. Though, as Mindy admitted, that doesn’t necessarily mean she’s willing to compromise…

Jeremy and Tamra’s storyline wasn’t all that original (misunderstandings are a sitcom staple, especially when they involve supposed cheating), but I was glad that it gave both of those characters time to shine. Tamra’s texts with Sheena may have been the funniest part of the episode, as it became increasingly clearer that Sheena holds a high position in the White House but finds it completely boring. Throwaway gags are something this show does so, so well; even small moments like that are pushed for maximum hilarity. I also think the circumstances here provided a nice bit of character development for Tamra, as she showed how much she truly cares about Jeremy (her defense of him at the restaurant was particularly nice). As for Jeremy, his very quick but all-consuming love for Whitney was equal parts hilarious and sweet. Jeremy’s passion is one of his more charming characteristics, and the perfect example of how far his character has come since the pilot.

Odds and ends: I loved that we got yet another Lion King reference as Mindy and Danny brought Leo home, very apropos considering his conception…Mindy admitting that she randomly owns a gun was hilarious, especially for Danny’s reaction…Mindy’s quick responses to Danny’s books were amazing and now I want her opinion on every classic novel…Now that Dr. Bergdahl has left the building, I’m curious to see what any new doctors will be like, and how they’ll fit in to the practice in Mindy’s absence.

Thoughts on this episode? Let me know in the comments!

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