The Mindy Project 4×11 ‘The Lahiris and the Castellanos’: Family Matters

Mindy Danny

Well, that broke my heart.

When Danny returned to The Mindy Project, I was expecting a funny, happy episode to welcome him back. Instead, the show daringly chose to jump right back into the problems that had been plaguing Mindy and Danny when he left. It’s a bold choice, since we’ve been separated from the character for four episodes. However, it’s a realistic one. Mindy and Danny stopped fighting only because they faced a problem that demanded immediate attention and a drastic response. Now that Danny has returned, their problems are rearing back up. While it’s unfortunate, it’s an argument that needs to happen.

Despite their loving relationship, Mindy and Danny have never seen eye to eye on every issue. This is partly because of their childhoods: Danny was raised in a conservative household where he had to play the role of father, and Mindy was raised by loving parents who encouraged her to follow her dreams. While both want what’s best for Leo, their ideas of “best” vary drastically. Mindy knows she can be a good parent while working. Danny, on other hand, is fearful that his son will grow up as he did – having to essentially raise himself while his mother works.

Photo Source: Hulu

Photo Source: Hulu

While Danny’s fears are valid, he needs to recognize that his situation is different. Annette had to struggle to make ends meet, leaving him in charge of the household. Mindy and Danny are comfortable financially, and are in charge of their offices, allowing them to control their work hours. Secondly, while they’re away Annette watches over Leo, allowing grandmother and grandson to spend some valuable bonding time together. Everyone seems pretty happy with the current situation of Mindy working, expect for Danny.

Danny’s not trying to be mean or dismiss Mindy’s dreams, he sincerely thinks he’s doing what’s best for his fiancée and child. That’s what makes it all the more painful when he tells Mindy she should continue working on “Later, Baby” as a hobby, and that he wanted to push up their wedding so they could have more children. He’s trying, but he’s still not listening.

It’s clear from the ending of the episode that this issue is far from over. Mindy and Danny are going to have to continue their argument, and continue it soon. Their relationship is in danger, but – if they hear each other out – they’re strong enough to survive it.

Notes and Observations

  • Although I was irritated by Jody in this ep. (who shows up at someone’s engagement party to force them on a business trip?), I loved his reaction to Danny and Mindy’s work argument. When in trouble, bolt out of a room.
  • I have to admit, it’s actually pretty remarkable that no one (besides Jody) from Shulman and Associates caused any major trouble at the party. In fact, they were downright helpful.
  • Mindy’s take on spring break: “The drinks are crazy expensive, you make out with a girl to get into a video, and then they edit you out.”
  • “I had to leave my home and the love of my life for the godforsaken cesspool where I met you.” Jody, always a source of comfort in these trying times.
  • Danny’s name (sans some Conformation names): Daniel Matthew Mark Luke John Castellano.

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