Review: The Mindy Project 4.06

Summary: Morgan and Danny go on a road trip to see Danny’s dad. On their way, Danny tries his best to hide a secret stop from Morgan.

Best Scene: Danny comes back for Eric’s birthday party, pretends to be his dad, and gives him a car. (Can Danny pretend to be my dad?)

Best Line: “That man’s fiancée had me dig through his genealogy to find out if there was any chance she could have blue-eyed children, and I still have the scratch marks from when I told her it was impossible.”

My Review: This won’t go down as the funniest or most memorable episode of the season for me, but with how strong the season has been so far, I can hardly fault the show for one mediocre episode. I also applaud them for focusing an entire episode on only two characters (plus a little bit of Mindy), as that’s not always a risk that pays off. The fact that it was mostly successful says a lot about Chris Messina and Ike Barinholtz, as well as how well-written their characters are.

Any issues I had were mostly with the setup of the episode; it was pretty unbelievable, even by sitcom standards. Why couldn’t Danny fly to Oklahoma and then to California, rather than drive the whole the way there? And how did he have time for a week-long road trip when his dad’s condition seemed fairly serious at the end of last week’s episode? Those questions took me out of the show for a bit, which is never a good thing, but once I got past that, there were several things I enjoyed about the episode.

One, it provided an opportunity for Danny and Morgan’s hilarious, heart-warming relationship to shine. These two are polar opposites, which is one of the reasons it’s always fun to watch them interact, and the close-quarters they dealt with here henightned their differences to hilarious effect. The road trip also showed how well they know each other, my favorite example being Morgan knowing the perfect way to get under Danny’s skin; namely, by talking about Mindy sleeping with a Protestant who takes Leo to Red Sox games.

I’ll admit that I had a tiny moment of panic when Danny finally confessed to Morgan why they were at a random house in Oklahoma, but I felt fairly confident that he wasn’t really Eric’s dad as soon as we saw him. Like Morgan pointed out, the resemblance definitely wasn’t there, and I really didn’t think the writers would go for a soap opera storyline, especially with all the changes Mindy and Danny have already gone through this season.

However, the fact that Eric wasn’t Danny’s son didn’t matter to Morgan or Danny, which was another part of this episode that I liked a lot. Morgan has always been a guy who wears his heart on his sleeve and looks out for other people, so I wasn’t surprised when he stayed behind to help Eric out, even if he accidentally made the situation even more embarrassing (’tis the Morgan way). I also wasn’t surprised when Danny came back, because he cares for people just as much as Morgan does, albeit in a gruffer, more begrudging fashion.

What I wasn’t expecting at all was for Danny to give Eric his car, which was a sign of how much his character has grown recently, how loving Mindy and Leo has made him less concerned with routine and precision and more concerned with doing what’s best for other people. Not too long ago, Danny would have never considered giving something that big to a stranger, especially when the gift inconvenienced him greatly (as Morgan made all too clear), but this Danny did it without hesitation. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but fatherhood sure looks good on Mr. Castellano.

What are your thoughts on this episode? Hit the comments and let me know!


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