The Mindy Project 4×13 ‘When Mindy Met Danny’: ‘Tis the season of heartbreak

Mindy Danny 2

Man, The Mindy Project is just determined to break our hearts, isn’t it? It’d be easier to be angrier at the show if it wasn’t putting out some of the greatest episodes they’ve ever made. The Mindy Project’s latest arc dealing with Mindy and Danny’s relationship possibly dissolving is gut-wrenching, and “When Mindy Met Danny” is another fantastic addition to the story. It also shows Mindy and Danny’s past, which is just as argumentative and adorable as you would have expected.

It’s odd, seeing how the past and present are so different. Danny loves Mindy so deeply in the present but isn’t wishing to give her the freedom to do the job she loves. In the past, she gets on his every last nerve but he respects her skill as a doctor. Past Danny is the one who makes Mindy realize that she cannot stay in a relationship with Danny, who will guilt and fight her if she decides to pursue her career. Something has to change, and it’s not going to be Mindy. This leads to possibly the most heartbreaking moment in the series, with Mindy leaving the house in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve to check if her apartment is big enough for Leo. She’s chosen to pursue her career, and even if Danny won’t accept it, she won’t back down from her decision.

Source: Hulu

Source: Hulu

It’s telling that despite technically being a Christmas episode, the episode doesn’t actually have much to do with Christmas. The photo ornament is an excuse for Mindy to flashback to meeting Danny, and the only time Christmas references are brought up is when the couple uses them as cannon fodder for why they should and shouldn’t have a child. Mindy and Danny are fighting so much, there’s not much holiday spirit to go around. Even the final shot of the episode, with snow coming down on Christmas morning, is ominous. Mindy has just come from taking her apartment off the market, and knows that she could move there with Leo if needed.

Christmas episodes have always had great moments of the Mindy and Danny romance. Season one had Danny consoling Mindy after Josh cheated on her, season two had Danny dancing to Aaliyah for her, and season three had Danny helping Mindy go to Stanford. This year is a complete reversal, as we see the relationship between Mindy and Danny might be dying.

I don’t know what state we’ll find Mindy and Danny’s relationship in when the season comes back. Will Mindy have moved out? Will Danny have realized that she needs to pursue her career? I’m not sure, but I can’t wait to find out. Despite how depressing it’s been, The Mindy Project has never been better.

Notes and Observations

  • I really missed Danny’s gingerbread house this year.
  • We see why Mindy was so attracted to Jeremy during her early years at Shulman – he was one of the only doctors to actually be kind and help her.
  • Unexpected bonus of a flashback episode: we see the origin story of Danny’s red glasses.
  • Mindy’s first ever glimpse of Beverly is when she’s trying to carve a spear.
  • So according to this episode, Mindy is responsible for making Shulman and Associates a warm – and very, very weird – place to work. I’m not sure if the doctors should thank or blame her for that.

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