“Cliff might have my hand, but you have my heart.”

**This post contains spoilers for episode 2.15 of The Mindy Project, “French Me, You Idiot.”**

“Look, I’m gonna count to three. If you don’t kiss me, then I’ll realize this was a big mistake, and I’ll return to my seat in humiliation. One. Two. Three… Four.”

Mindy smiles and kisses Danny, still on the back of the plane where we last saw them in January. I totally get her hesitation — she just got done sending the world’s most amazing email to Cliff, desperate to win him back, and then boom, suddenly Danny Castellano is snatching the tonic water from her hand and kissing her like he never wants to stop. She probably deserved more than three seconds to adjust to that, but if Danny had left it at three — if he’d counted and then just gone back to his seat — this episode might not have happened. It was “four” that did it. It was him staying and hoping, for as long as it took for Mindy to kiss him back.

They end up in the airplane bathroom, which is where we are reminded that this is still a sitcom, and hookups in airplane bathrooms don’t go according to plan in sitcoms. They also stay hilariously in character (Danny folds his shirt, “My brother’s boyfriend gave me that for Christmas”) and then they both end up stuck in different parts of the bathroom: Danny’s hand in the sink, Mindy’s hair in the toilet. She slaps Danny’s face and yells, “Why did you do this to me!” as he begs her to stop. It’s good to see that even after they finally kissed, their dynamic doesn’t change one bit.

After the shortened credits, we see Danny and Mindy holding hands on the elevator of her building. It’s six in the morning, and Mindy invites Danny in for “a drink,” which he gently refuses because it’s so early. “If this is gonna work, Danny, you have to get used to my rock-n-roll lifestyle.” She pulls him close by the lapels of his coat, and he mutters that he can probably get used to it. They look so ridiculously happy, and I wish it could’ve lasted just a little bit longer, but alas — the loose string known as Cliff is still dangling there.

The elevator door opens, and Cliff and Morgan are standing there behind a mariachi band. Miraculously, neither Cliff nor Morgan seem to notice that Mindy and Danny are nearly embracing, or that Danny’s face turns to stone when the band starts playing and Cliff is waving enthusiastically.

Cliff tries to apologize over the band, and Morgan finally tells the band to stop playing and “Read the room.” Cliff promises he’ll never not trust Mindy again and says he still wants to be with her, and Morgan starts cheering and taking pictures with his Product Placement Windows Phone. Mindy reasons that it would be rude of her not to take him back, given all the work he just did, which is just… terrible reasoning. Then again, Cliff deserves a legitimate breakup without the prying eyes of Danny, Morgan, and the mariachi band, so it’s really respectable of Danny to bow out, even if he does throw Mindy a deeply disappointed look. It’s better than him staying to make a scene, or worse, create a triangle. His leaving means it’s totally up to Mindy, so that’s good.

Cliff rudely tries to tip Danny for seeing Mindy home — I don’t know who should be more insulted by that, Danny or Mindy. It doesn’t matter, though, because Morgan snatches the money as he corrals Danny toward the elevator. We get to see a closing-elevator-doors shot the likes of which we haven’t seen since season 2 of Veronica Mars:

Inside Mindy’s apartment, where she actually locks all of the locks on her door (it bugged me that no one on Friends ever did this except for the time the girls stole their apartment back) Cliff is subtly insulting Mindy’s writing/email abilities by calling her email “surprisingly eloquent.” He elaborates, “Most of your emails are pretty poorly spelled, aggressively vulgar, full of pop culture references that no one understands…” First of all, that’s The Mindy Project in a nutshell, and it’s damn delightful. Secondly, those emails sound amazing. And thirdly, does Cliff even like Mindy? I felt like that was incredibly mean considering he’s supposed to be eating crow for dumping her.

She tells Cliff that an old man coughed up blood on her on the airplane, as a way to get him to not try to kiss her, and it works. He makes to leave, unlocking all of those locks, but he turns back.

Cliff: “Mindy, I’m really glad we’re back together.”
Mindy: “Cliff, I think we should break up.”
Cliff: *laughs*
Mindy: “I’m in love with someone!”
Cliff: “I didn’t think we were gonna do this this early… I’m in love with someone too.”

Way to totally misread the situation, Cliff.

The next day (or maybe later that day?) Mindy goes into Danny’s office, shuts the door, and goes in for more kisses. Get it, girl! He sits back, surprised, but she’s “Horny for kisses!” which is so adorable and really ties into the second half-hour involving all the crazy sex stuff that Mindy did with Tom. Remember Tom? Oh Tom.

Anyway, Danny asks if Mindy’s broken up with Cliff yet, and she says no, he wouldn’t accept the breakup because of that dumb beautiful letter that Danny wrote (to her, how is she not straddling him at this point) and adds, “He’s basically in love with you, so it’s your fault. Now French me, you idiot.” Mindy, seriously, we all support you on your kissing endeavors. Proceed.

But Danny pushes her away again, in his squirmy agitated way, like he really likes the contact but he’s trying to listen to his brain instead of other parts of his body.

“As long as you’re with Cliff, we can’t kiss, we can’t touch, we shouldn’t even be in the same room together! I’m so Catholic, I don’t even trust this new pope!”

As a Catholic, I got a huge kick out of that line. Mindy says there are tons of things he’s not Catholic about, like his divorce (“I’m annulled.”) or not having sex before he was married (“I found a way.”) but it doesn’t matter because Mindy is Hindu, “And we can do basically anything.”

“I don’t care what you say to that giant elephant up there! According to my guy, this is wrong!”

Back when I first started watching this show, I wondered if, when Mindy and Danny finally got together, they would broach the religion topic. I love that it happened on accident, this early on, and in this way, because it’s adorable without being too mean on either side.

“Danny, I just really want to kiss you. Why are your lips so scrumptious?”
“I don’t know, they just are.”

She also says his eyelashes look like a pony’s, and then they’re kissing again, until Danny pushes her away a third time. Poor guy. That’s when Mindy admits that it’s hard for her to dump guys, “It’s actually a lot easier for me to get dumped…” Ding ding ding!

Hey! Dr. Reed is back! So British and jaunty and annoyed with everything, I missed that guy. He has good news: The OB/GYN for the New York Metropolitan Ballet has had a heart attack, which means new clients! Cards on the table: this storyline wasn’t super interesting to me, because it consisted mostly of Peter acting like a bored fratboy jerk, and I like Peter a lot more when he acts like he does in the second episode. So I’ll cut right to the chase on this one: Peter teams up with the midwives, then yells at a bunch of ballerinas, and they don’t get the new clients.

We do get the info that Mindy is banned from Lincoln Center, “Because apparently there is a three strikes policy for falling in the fountain there!”

That night, Mindy sets a stage that is sure to drive Cliff away: She’s wearing a Laura Ingalls-esque nightgown and sitting on the toilet, doors wide open, as she talks on the phone with her psychic. Cliff is clearly discomfited, and Mindy tries a variety of things that should make him run screaming from her apartment, but he gets a call and is instantly distracted. Mindy texts Danny that she should be single soon, and his response: “Who is this? This is Dan.” Oh Danny.

Bad news: Cliff’s grandmother died, and he’s devastated. Mindy has no choice but to let him stay over.

Danny’s sitting on the edge of Mindy’s desk the next morning, clad in a leather jacket like he didn’t even stop by his office before coming to see if Mindy was kissable yet. She begs him not to be mad at her, but she couldn’t do it because “Someone very close to him died!” Danny looks affected for a moment, until he learns that it was Cliff’s grandmother. “No grown man is devastated when he loses a grandparent, come on, that is an excuse! You don’t want to break up with him!” Mindy insists she’s already broken up with Cliff in her heart space, but Community has taught us that heart spaces lie, so I don’t blame Danny for being skeptical. He’s ready to cut sling, because he went all in with that kiss and honestly, even though we love Mindy and we totally get why this is happening, she’s still sending him mixed signals. Danny doesn’t know how to love halfway, as evidenced by his failed marriage; hell, he doesn’t even know how to casually date halfway, considering the woman in his building that he called “psycho” even though he led her on! He’s an all or nothing sort of guy, and with Mindy, who he’s clearly had intense feelings for, that instinct is even stronger.

But Mindy is Mindy, she’s great for Danny because she cuts through all of that fussing and ramp-ups to diatribes and she makes him listen. She forces him to sit down and she says they’re not going to pretend the plane didn’t happen. They just need to wait, and in the meantime, Danny can go talk to Cliff for proof that he’s truly upset. That sounds like fun!

Danny brings Cliff some of his homebrewed beer, Dr. Dan’s Funky Ale, which is amazing. I love that Danny’s a homebrewer, that’s a special breed of person. Cliff is truly devastated: “No person should ever have to bury their grandparent.” Oh Cliff. Just a couple days ago you sang Jewel on repeat for three hours. I would go as far as saying that you’re not well-adjusted. In the course of the ensuing conversation, Danny learns that Cliff and Mindy spent the night together. Like, together-together.

Danny asks Mindy, in a hilariously soft and offhand way, “Did you cheat on me with Cliff?” If you don’t think that’s funny then I don’t want to know what makes you laugh. That’s hilarious. He drags her into the nurse’s station, where he tells Morgan and Tamra (hi, Tamra!) to scram. He pulls over the skeleton and tells Mindy to “Show me on this what you did to Cliff last night.” It turns out it was basically some over-the-clothes groping (“I massaged his jeans.” “Was he in the jeans?”) but Danny’s deeply unhappy with that. Mindy hilariously says, “Cliff might have my hand, but you have my heart.” Oh, also, she needs Danny to write the eulogy, because somehow Cliff can’t write it himself and Mindy doesn’t want him to know that she didn’t write that email… even though that would fix this whole situation pretty seamlessly. Danny hurries out of the office, agitated and hurt.

It’s the day of Cliff’s grandmother’s funeral, and Danny shows up for no reason. “You’re barely friends with Cliff!” Danny challenges her to ask him anything about Cliff: “Eyes? Deep sky blue. Favorite beer? Dr. Dan’s Funky Ale.” Cliff thanks them both for being there, then backhandedly reveals that his Gram would’ve hated Mindy because she was such a racist. Good thing Mindy wrote the eulogy! Danny pipes up, “I’m really excited for this eulogy,” which is probably the best-worst thing anyone has ever said.

Morgan comes up, sobbing about grandmothers and stuff, as Mindy reluctantly takes Cliff’s hand. Morgan’s wearing black scrubs to this funeral, by the way, which is just so Morgan. The Mindy-penned eulogy is a work of art.

“I’d like to say a few words, if I may, to honor the woman we all know as Gram, which is short for Grandma. Which in itself, is short for ‘grandmother.’ But her real name wasn’t Gram, it was {find out real name from Cliff}. When an old person dies, it isn’t as tragic as someone taken from us too soon, like Anna Nicole Smith, but irregardless — mmm — we feel… sadliness. To quote Kendrick Lamar in his song, ‘Expletive Don’t Kill My Vibe’ — you know what, let’s jump ahead a little bit here… We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, I’m sure Gram had no idea her head would explode. There’s always one reason more important than any other, that you should just be with that person, or persons, because you can’t imagine life without them. At any moment, there’s plenty of reasons not to spend time with someone, you’re busy, you’re fighting, you’re surfing the internet, hold for laughs.”

When Mindy puts her hand over her eyes in shame, Danny glances over at her and smiles like the smitten kitten he is. He takes her hand, much to her surprise, as Cliff gets to the part about being with the people who are important, and then he pulls her out of the pew as Cliff nears the end of the best eulogy ever.

They go by the vigil candles, which are cut off from view of the rest of the church I guess, and they start kissing, but Mindy is worried about “Bloody Mary.” Danny corrects her, then asks God to send them a sign if they’re doing something wrong. There is no sign, so they kiss some more, only to knock over a candle and set the world on fire.

Outside, after the fire is put out, Mindy lies to Cliff and says, “I knocked over a candle with my buttocks.” Cliff immediately forgives her, and Mindy looks like she wants to vomit, so Danny gives them a moment alone, using the excuse that he’s gonna go get some “soda pop” because he’s from the 1950’s. Then Mindy finally, finally levels with Cliff.

Mindy: “I kissed Danny. And I don’t think it’s a one-time thing. I think I have feelings for him. And I wanna pursue them.”

Danny reappears, unsuspecting, and Cliff punches him in the jaw. He vows that Gram, “A cruel and unforgiving woman,” will haunt them for their treachery. I can see why he misses her so much. She sounds lovely.

So the path is clear! Mindy and Danny are together, no Cliff or Casey or Josh to interrupt them now! They’re at her apartment later, and Danny’s holding a frozen pizza bagel to his lip and muttering about nitrates as Mindy just stares at him adoringly. They start kissing as romantic music plays, and then Mindy’s bulb blows out in her lamp. They both gasp, “Gram!” but I think they’ll be okay. They have bigger things to worry about, like meningitis and sex tapes!

Next: Meningitis and a sex tape! What are the odds?!


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