The last time we saw Dr. Mindy Lahiri, she went from a blissful, post-elevator-sex-with-Danny glow, to overwhelmed by the news that Jody had bought an apartment for her as a declaration of love, to finally, confused AF upon receiving an invitation to Danny’s wedding. It was an epic season 4 finale of The Mindy Project.
Now, our favorite OB/GYN is faced with a tough choice: Danny (her baby daddy and longtime love), or Jody (her business partner). And with Mindy’s obsession with rom-com happy endings, you know she’ll pick one of them. Right?
The deal with Danny
Even as a loyal viewer, it’s a difficult choice. Danny and Mindy have a complex history. They have a son together, and no matter how awful things get between them, you can see love there. Danny is essentially a cranky old man who will cook endless pasta dishes, but is also annoyingly sexist. But Danny’s whole, “I need my wife to be a stay-at-home mom” schtick got ugly, and let’s not dance around it – he became verbally abusive with his demands and bitter remarks. They were miserable together at the end, and were just starting to rebuild their lives post-split before their elevator hookup. Also? He didn’t tell Mindy that he was ENGAGED before they had sex. That’s some shady ish, Danny.
The thing about Jody
On the flipside, Jody is the proper Southern gentleman, with old school manners and a penchant for fancy clothes and analog clocks. He cares about Mindy, and has fallen in love with her. He adorably struggles with modern dating, because he’s so out of touch. But he also has that rugged let-me-build-you-your-dream-house-with-my-bare-hands side to him. He’s basically the Southern version of Danny, but more racist. Those moments negate all the cute things about him.
In this premiere episode for season 5, Mindy has a discussion with Beverly, weighing her options before making a decision. The best quote of the night:
Mindy says, “I’m a single mother barreling towards 40. I should pick one of the rich, handsome doctors that will have me. I should be happy with whatever I can get. Picking neither would be irresponsible.”
To which Beverly responds, “If neither one of these guys is right, wait for someone special to come along. Until then, get escorts.”
The big choice
Danny shows up at her place to discuss how to handle their hookup, and neither of them are ready to change themselves or their goals. Even though they love each other, getting back together just doesn’t make sense. Danny decides to get married to Sarah as planned.
Then she runs to Jody’s apartment in the rain, wearing her granny nightgown and a raincoat. After he criticizes the smallness of her breasts, assumes she’s choosing him and expects sex immediately – for the second time in this episode! – she tells him she likes him as a business partner and a friend, but wants to be on her own. So ultimately, she chooses neither.
This is no longer a show that relies purely on a “happy ending” between our leading lady and the dude she falls in love with. It’s no longer the Danny and Mindy Show. Because that no longer makes sense in the modern world. You can’t expect a significant other to be the only source of your happiness. This is the Mindy Show. Mindy has her son, she has her flourishing career, and she has herself. She doesn’t need a ring on it, she doesn’t need a marriage, she doesn’t even need a boyfriend. Single or taken, this show is making it clear that Mindy will be just fine either way.
Just like the rest of us.