**This post contains spoilers for episode 2.16 of The Mindy Project, “Indian BBW.”**
It’s a different night from where we left off in the previous episode — I guess Danny’s busted lip kept them from sexy funtimes — and they’re making out pretty heavily in Mindy’s bed when she stops him.
Mindy: “Danny, I don’t want to have sex with you.”
Danny: “Yeah, you’re very classy. Noted.”
She pushes him off of her, insisting that she’s serious, and he doesn’t get mad. It’s not that I would expect all men to get mad at this stage, but on this show, all of the men Mindy’s dated? They would all get mad at this point (with the exception of Casey, probably). She doesn’t want to rush things, and he’s incredulous but still grinning. “Rush things? We’ve been kissing for like 20 minutes, that’s like a week in guy minutes. C’mon, don’t I get credit for that?” Another grin, because he’s teasing her.
“Danny, usually when I have sex with a guy, we’ve been on, like, five dates. Or he’s spent $2,000 on me, whichever comes first.” Danny points out that they’ve gone on “hundreds of dates”: “Doctor’s lounge dates, subway commute dates, medical conference dates…” Don’t forget double dates with Timothy Olyphant and the boring girl, and watching the Nature Channel in Danny’s bed dates, and getting pizza at a small, terrible pizzeria dates… He’s kind of got Mindy there, he knows her way better than any guy that had made it to date #5, but the fact that Mindy wants to take things slow is actually a good sign — for the relationship and for the show. She means it this time, she wants it to work, she wants to get it right, and that’s in our best interest, too.
“Do you realize that there are literally thousands of girls in New York City that would kill to have sex with me right now?”
Mindy totally calls his bluff, and we get a two-minute scene of Danny calling 25 girls in his phone to try to prove it as Mindy eats some pie. It ends with an escort calling him back, saying her rates have gone up. “That was a wrong number.” Ha!
Shortened credits again, and then Mindy’s walking into the office, greeting everyone as she announces that she’s brought Danny’s favorite breakfast, “Oatmeal with a side of brown sugar, and by brown sugar, I of course mean my butt.” We have documented proof that Danny loves her butt, however, he’s not in the office. She asks Peter where he is, and he launches into this ramble about how Danny didn’t listen to his story about being turned down by four women this weekend, and then he rudely fainted. Beverly, annoyed, blurts, “He has viral meningitis! Brain fever!”
Mindy hurries to the hospital, where Danny really does look terrible. “I was so worried about you! You can’t die, you have so much to live for! My birthday’s coming up, we haven’t even talked about what you’re going to get me!” That’s when someone else clears their throat, and whoops! There’s Richie, and Danny says, “Richie, you remember my coworker, Mindy.” Oh, now you’ve done it, Castellano. She repeats, “Coworker?” and he confirms it. I don’t know about you guys, but for one terrifying minute, I thought Danny’s meningitis had caused some memory loss. I was so sure he wasn’t going to remember the last week or so, and that’s how they’d prolong this slow burn. I’m so glad that’s not what happened — keep in in the fanfiction, people, this is serious business!
Richie assures Mindy that he’s taking care of Danny, “I even brought him Mr. Neck.” IT’S A GIRAFFE. I’m sorry for the capslock, but Danny has a stuffed giraffe named Mr. Neck! And he’s embarrassed by it, he stuffs it in his armpit and says Mindy doesn’t need to know about him.
Mindy asks Richie to go find her “the white nurse,” then says he’ll be gone for hours, haha. Mindy rips into him about the coworker thing, and he plays innocent. “I didn’t mean anything by it, it’s just, you know, we’re not having sex, so technically, we’re not… dating.”
Then he does what any normal man in the throes of sickness would do: He asks for some sex. Men are so easy, I swear to God. Mindy says sex would kill him in this state, so he says, “Just graze it!” and I died laughing. Mindy says the brain fever is making him a pervert, and Danny agrees, “It’s making me so horny!”
She brought him Bridget Jones’ Diary to read, because it always makes her feel better when she’s sick, but he’s good, he doesn’t want to hear that book, he’d rather watch the hospital information channel. She gets a slew of texts from Peter, who asks her to return to the office because of a huge emergency. She complains that she got very sweaty on her run back to the office, but Peter’s frantic. He was casually catching up on some porn over his lunch break when he came across a sex video of Mindy and her ex-boyfriend, Tom.
“Mindy, what on earth were you thinking, making a sex tape? Don’t you know that means that creeps like me are gonna watch it?” It occurs to Mindy that Peter might’ve “gratified” himself to this tape, and he breaks eye contact and monotones, “No, I didn’t.” It’s a really funny bit where Peter looks literally everywhere else in the room as Mindy’s begging him to look her in the eye and tell her he didn’t do it. He’s also kind of starstruck, as he never met “a real pornography actress” and Mindy needs to lie on the floor. She should… I miss that.
She frets that her professional life and her personal life are over, and Peter finally starts to look genuinely guilty.
“And the worst part is, I’ve just started… hanging out with this guy, a really special guy, that I’ve liked for a long time!”
A long time! She’s admitting it, that’s so great, because for most of the show, ever since Josh and Mindy’s Christmas Party, at least 90% of the feelings and faces seemed to come from Danny. We got glimpses of Mindy reciprocating, but not nearly as consistently, and she was always pursuing other men. The fact that she’s admitting this so early, and after she blurted out that she loves someone else to Cliff in the last episode, that’s such a huge deal. There would be a rip cord if she stuck to the notion that it was turbulence, that it was the desert air or the red-eye or the blue corn chips, because that’s all impulse and lust. She wants to take it slow, she’s admitting to long-term feelings, that is huge.
Peter feels for her, because he’s an actual human with a still-broken heart in this episode, and not a jerky frat boy like he is in some of the other episodes. He offers to help Mindy, starting with going to the source: Tom.
Hello, Bill Hader! He tells Mindy that now that they’re no longer dating, he can’t give her free toothbrushes, but joke’s on him, she’s already grabbed five! He follows her into the hall, where she asks him why their sex tape is online. He’s adamant that he had nothing to do with it, until he remembers that he loaned it to his brother after his divorce. Gross? Is that normal for brothers to share tapes of themselves?
Tom’s freaking out because he doesn’t want his new girlfriend, who I’m gonna call Dental Assistant, to figure out that he has a sex tape online. He’s super into her because she has so much personality, probably. He swears he will destroy the tape, but Peter proves himself useful: “No man in history has ever destroyed a sex tape!” He insists that Tom bring it straight to Mindy, and she instructs him to sneak it onto her desk at work. Not, you know… at home. Or in a safety deposit box. Or into her purse. Nope. Bring it to her place of business!
Peter moves onto the next phase: Getting it off of the internet. The website is beautifully named “Sploderz.com” but she refuses to go down to a gross warehouse where porn is shot. Peter remarks, “You’re being pretty closed-minded for a girl who just got her start in porn.” I’m pretty sure Adam Pally lost a significant amount of weight during the filming break, or maybe he just lost it from his face? He looks a lot slimmer.
Danny asks Richie for some advice about Mindy, saying that they’ve been kissing, but only kissing. “She’s no prude, I’ve seen her number on two different bathroom walls, in her own handwriting.” Danny arrives at the least likely answer: That Mindy doesn’t like him. Awww! I expected Richie to say that Mindy might be taking it slow because she really likes Danny, but he goes in a different, better direction: “Maybe she just wants to take it a little slow because she knows how judgemental you can be.” Danny objects, he’s totally not judgemental, so Richie throws him a softball.
Richie: “Hey, did I tell you that I’m thinking of leasing a car instead of buying?”
Danny: “Oh yeah, that’s great, Richie, that’s real great, have fun not building up a credit history, are you kidding me? You know what? Next time I buy you a Suze Orman book, I’m gonna throw it in the trash myse — okay, I get it.”
Richie’s grin there alone could heal most of the wounds inflicted on us by the How I Met Your Mother finale, if the first half-hour of this show didn’t already do that for you. Shoot. I promised myself I wouldn’t mention that show.
Richie: “Danny, if Mindy wants to take things slow, you have to accept that. Just like you’re gonna want her to accept one day that you don’t like turning on heat in the winter.”
Danny: “Why, to heat up a drawer full of unused sweaters? You wanna get warm, get on the floor and do some push-ups, okay?”
Danny Castellano rants are the best rants, bar none.
Down at the Sploderz.com HQ, the elderly receptionist informs Mindy and Peter that “Spring is our horny season,” so take note, people who take notes on such things. Turns out one of the Sploderz.com founders is Rob Huebel, who has been doing a lot of guest spots lately. He and his brother run the site together, and they refuse to take the video down because there’s a big demand for “Indian BBWs.” Peter tries valiantly to shield Mindy from the meaning of the acronym, but it’s no use. It means “big beautiful women,” and he helplessly points out, “‘Beautiful woman’ is in there.” The guys say that most Indian women just become doctors, and Mindy says she’s actually a doctor, but they don’t believe her. Peter even chimes in, “We’re both gynecologists,” but Rob Huebel says they’re all gynos in that room. In the end, they refuse to take the video down despite Mindy’s pleas.
Quick cut to Tom putting the DVD, as promised, on Mindy’s desk. In her workplace. Her handwriting is on it, saying, “For you babe, in case you miss me, Love Mindy.” Then back to Mindy and Peter, as Mindy says, “This is just typical me, you know? I screwed something up before I even got a chance to screw it up.” Peter doesn’t like hearing that, so he turns back into the office for one more plea. It turns out the guys are both Dartmouth grads, just like Peter, and that is what ultimately sways them to take down the video. Huzzah!
Back at the hospital, Morgan jostles Danny awake, “Don’t rest so much, it’s not good for you, wake up!” He’s brought Mindy’s work, and inexplicably, a set of balloons for “personal use.” Morgan goes on to say that Mindy’s planning on spending the night there, so she needed her work delivered, and Danny says, “That’s really sweet… and professional.” Morgan leaves, balloons in tow, and Danny finds the DVD in the stack as ominous music plays.
Mindy and Peter argue about taking the stairs or taking the elevator (“Mindy, they had to airlift you out of a 5K fun run for cancer!”) as Danny opens his Acer laptop and wonders aloud, “Where do you put the tape in?” because he’ll forever be from a different generation than the rest of us. Mindy insists, “I feel like I can get airlifted every once in a while! Jillian Michaels says that these are wasted opportunities.” Peter waits a beat, then asks, “Jillian who?” (These two are always so great when they interact.) Danny presses play as Peter relents and agrees to take the stairs.
The sex tape consists of Mindy dressed up as a Girl Scout, delivering cookies. There’s like, three seconds of foreplay before she and Tom are making out, and Danny starts screaming at the laptop, “Don’t do that to him!” and throwing his arm over his eyes. Out in the hallway, Mindy’s sweating big time when she stops Peter — she hears the music from her sex tape. Danny inexplicably doesn’t know where the stop button is, he’s just sitting in his bed groaning over how messed up this all is. Mindy bursts in, covered in a sheen of perspiration, telling Danny that she gave Tom the tape ages ago.
Danny: “Oh yeah, were you taking it slow when you made this with Tom? Or is this medium-speed for you?”
Peter: “No, that’s faster than medium speed.”
Mindy snatches the laptop from Danny and says it was the 2000s, everyone had a sex tape. Danny can’t stop ranting at how awful it was and how much his eyes hurt, and Mindy looks like she wants to die emotionally and physically, but Peter’s surprisingly reading the room pretty accurately.
Peter: “Why do you care?”
Mindy and Danny exchange nervous looks, and then Mindy peels off her cardigan as Danny goes, “What?”
Peter: “I don’t understand, why do you care so much, Danny?”
Danny: “I’m just worried that this tape isn’t good for the practice.”
Peter: “The practice? I’ve done way worse things to the practice. Last week I called in a bomb threat because I was too hungover to come in.”
It’s great because right now, Peter’s amping up to defend Mindy to Danny, who he feels is being overly judgemental of his coworker’s personal life. Peter’s done a lot of good in this episode, even if it started with him watching porn on his lunch break, and I think after standing up to Tom and the porn site, Peter wasn’t about to let Danny Castellano be the one to tear Mindy down.
It’s when Mindy starts trying to cover for Danny that Peter starts getting suspicious.
Peter: “I feel like I’m missing something, because the only person who should be that upset is the new guy Mindy’s dating — wait. Wait. Wait.”
Peter: “Wait, wait, wait.”
Mindy: “Please stop repeating the word ‘wait!’”
Peter: “Mindy, are you and Danny porking?”
They do a terrible job of denying it, even though they’re telling the truth when they say they’re not porking. Peter asks Mindy if she’s feeling okay, since she’s deteriorated even more over this exchange, “You look like that morning you tried to be a vegan.” Danny asks if she’s sweating out of guilt, but Peter finally connects the dots: “You have Danny’s meningitis!”
Danny: ‘If she has meningitis, that’s her own strand, I had nothing to do with it!”
Peter: “You two are porking!”
They deny it again, and Mindy says she looks sweaty because she did crossfit today… and then she faints. Hard. Danny sits up, calling her name, and Peter says, “Her shirt’s up.” Danny tells him not to look, and Peter responds gleefully with, “Why do you care?!” Danny just bellows “NURSE!” in response, it’s pretty awesome.
After the break, Mindy’s in her own hospital bed, in her own room, looking heartbroken. This is not like when the cab driver thought she was Jaden Smith, this is the real deal. Richie was right after all; Mindy was scared of how judgemental Danny could be, and she feared something like this would be too much for him. Peter offers to cheer her up with some Sheldon from Big Bang Theory, which is the first black mark against this show, but Mindy’s not in the mood to laugh.
Peter: “You know, if this new guy you’re hanging out with is gonna lose his shiitake mushroom over a sex tape, then he’s probably not the right guy for you anyway.”
That’s so sweet. She says there’s probably not even a new guy anymore, she’ll just be all alone, not even able to make a good sex tape. Peter tries to reassure her that the tape had a lot going against it, “Bad lighting, female director…”
Mindy: “The worst part is, I didn’t even like Tom that much. Not nearly as much as I like this new guy. And it’s ruined.”
Again: It’s huge, even when she thinks it’s over, that she’s admitting how much she liked Danny. More than Tom! Tom, who she cried over for months, who she rode a bike into a pool over! Sure, he’s no Casey, but we still thought she liked him!
Peter decides to make an awkward exit, saying he’s a “total germophobe,” but he goes straight to Tom, who he drags to Danny’s room for some real talk. Danny looks equally as miserable as Mindy did, but not because he’s judging her. It’s because he can’t understand why she wants to go slow now when she did all sorts of depraved Girl Scout things with Tom. So Danny muttering “Kill me” as they walk in makes a lot of sense.
Peter: “I know you think Mindy embarrassed the practice, but before you get all Judgey Reinhold on her, listen to what Tom has to say.”
Tom freaks about Dental Assistant overhearing their convo from out in the hallway, because she thinks he’s a virgin, and that’s when Danny tries to pull his own plug. Tom questions why Danny needs to know any of this at all, and that’s when Peter threatens to call Dental Assistant in, but Tom slams the door in her face.
Tom: “Danny, listen, I don’t think Mindy ever really liked me that much, okay? I think we did all that freaky sex stuff because we didn’t like spending time with each other. … I’m just saying, I think she would’ve dumped me after two weeks if I didn’t have such a huge — “
Danny: “Okay, all right, that’s enough. Every time I see you, you bring that up.”
Peter shoves Tom out of the room, admitting that it didn’t go the way he thought it would in his head, but he insists that Mindy ran around trying to make sure Danny never saw that tape.
Peter: “I think it’s because Mindy respects the practice? Maybe she’s even a little bit… in love with the practice? Maybe she wants to get… boned by the practice?”
Dude doesn’t know when to stop, but I loved every bit of that dialogue. It was almost as good as Ben Wyatt’s “I love the town’s blonde hair, and how it’s read a shocking number of political biographies” when he finally confessed his feelings to Leslie Knope on Parks and Rec.
Mindy’s eaten a good deal of Jello by the time Danny rolls in, asking to borrow Mindy’s Bridget Jones’ Diary, because he lost his. Mindy points at it beside Danny: “The nurse put it across the room as punishment for pinching her. So. Enjoy.” She expects him to leave, it’s pretty much a dismissal, but Danny rolls the chair over to her bedside and climbs in with her. She makes about a million surprised and hopeful faces as he settles in and tells her that he likes that she wants to take things slow. “Let’s do slow.”
He cracks open the book and hooks on his reading glasses, and Mindy asks him to do the voices. He launches into this glorious mumbly British accent as he reads the first page, and Mindy’s grinning into his shoulder like a lovestruck teenager, its the sweetest and cutest thing you will ever see on TV besides puppies or that panda bear that was playing in the snow. “That’s where she meets Darcy!” Mindy says, and Danny goes, “Oh yeah, who’s she?” Oh Danny. You’re about to learn so much. That’s good though — he likes Colin Firth, so that will help immensely. Danny continues reading in the voices as the camera pans out, all the way into the hallway. And scene!
Aren’t you so glad this show is back?
Next week, two new episodes! One promises dating shenanigans with a reappearance of one of Danny’s old flames, while the other teases Mindy getting a new job offer. Hmm!