This week on The Mindy Project, Danny’s back in town. But that’s not necessarily a good thing.
The episode opens with Danny presenting Mindy with a date (yes, the dried fruit) in a jewelry box, to symbolize his desire to a set a date for the wedding so they can stop “living in sin”. Mindy wastes no time getting the ball rolling.
The two have dinner at Annette’s house with their brothers, Richie and Rishi, where they ask Richie to be a bridesmaid and Rishi to be a groomsmen. Neither are happy with their position – Richie wants to be a maid of honour and Rishi wants to be the DJ, breaking out a rap to prove his point: “Here comes the bride, all dressed in cash! Church is going crazy ‘cause it’s all about that ass!” Meanwhile, Annette has already partially planned Mindy and Danny’s wedding, even going so far as to design invitations in the theme of “very religious” and made an appointment at Gretchen’s Bridal Pile & Beeper Store. Although Mindy agrees to go in order to appease Annette, she isn’t pleased about it. “But your mom’s going to come on the honeymoon with us, right?” Mindy asks Danny, “So she can tuck you in at night?”
At the appointment, Mindy tries on multiple nun-like wedding dresses and Annette lays the guilt on thick, telling Mindy that she never got to help out with Danny’s first wedding. So Mindy buys one despite apparently already having a dress – a revealing skirt and crop top combo that Tamra models at Shulman & Associates. While the co-workers debate whether she can pull it off, Jody takes Mindy aside and expresses concern that her wedding planning is interfering with their “business venture” Later, Baby. He has arranged for them to speak at his alma mater, but Mindy says she can’t go because she still hasn’t told Danny about their business or even that she wants to keep working.
But that conversation is put off by the arrival of the Lahiris. Mindy’s parents, Sonu and Tarun, are in New York and ready to throw an engagement party for the couple. Danny’s anxious to have his mother meet Mindy’s parents: “Ma only likes the people who are exactly like her culturally but slightly worse off so she can feel comfortable but superior.” Mindy agrees to run interference between the future-in-laws but the next morning, they awake to Annette mistaking the Lahiris for robbers and threatening them with a butcher knife.
Later, at the engagement party, Sonu charms everyone with tales of her theatre performances, Annette tries to one-up her with a story of her trip to Seaworld, and Jody shows up to drag Mindy to his alma mater because it’s “essential to their business and the business is essential to [Mindy].” When she’s forced to come clean to Danny, she tells him that even though being a working mom is the hardest thing she’s ever done, she loves it and wants to continue. Danny thinks that without Mindy staying home, Leo will have the same awful childhood that he had. “I am doing a good job. He is loved,” Mindy retorts. “And honestly, if that is not enough for you, then by all means, why don’t you give up your career and stay at home?”
Despite Danny’s insistence to the contrary, Annette encourages Mindy to go on her business trip with Jody – which she does. After a conversation with Tarun, Danny follows her to Georgia and watches her presentation. It seems like he’s finally on board with her plan until he tells her, “You can stay at home with Leo and do this on the weekends, like a hobby.” Even though it’s clear this isn’t what she wants, Mindy doesn’t stand up for herself. On the plane, Jody offers a bit of perspective, telling her to make sure that when she does figure out what she wants, she doesn’t “lose sight of it.”
While it was extremely satisfying to watch Mindy stand up for herself at the party (“I don’t want to be bullied!”) she still doesn’t seem to be the one calling the shots. Last week, Peter pointed out the imbalance in her and Danny’s relationship, and this week’s episode doubles down on those issues as well as Danny’s refusal to acknowledge the compromises Mindy’s been making and everything she’s giving up.
With one episode left before the mid-season finale, I’m holding out hope that Mindy is able to push back against Danny’s expectations and reclaim some control of her life.
The Mindy Project airs Tuesdays on Hulu & CityTV