The Mindy Project 4×21 ‘Under the Texan Sun’: No vacation from drama

Mindy Peter

It’s hard not to get excited whenever Peter shows up in a Mindy Project episode. Despite being a series regular for only a season and a half, Peter is one of the show’s most important characters. He told Mindy she was pregnant, helped Mindy realize she loved Danny, and then eventually helped her realize that despite that love, Mindy was becoming trapped in an unhealthy relationship. Peter has always been able to connect and understand Mindy in a way no other character, even Danny, ever has.

Peter and Mindy have always been fun together because they’re so alike. Peter is the only character in the series to match Mindy in immaturity and bad decisions. So many of Peter’s jokes and plots could have conceivably been Mindy’s: stealing stories from Grey’s Anatomy, claiming he’s tired all the time because he’s unhealthy, etc. Peter and Mindy are still searching for maturity, with Peter trying to confess he’d rather be a stay-at-home dad and Mindy trying to move on from Danny.

It’s easy to see why Mindy has a hard time moving on – she’s not only worried about being replaced in Danny’s heart, but also in Leo’s. All it takes is meeting Danny’s new girlfriend Eliza, who seems nice and sweet, to start getting nervous. She takes turns between forcing herself to move on and trying really hard not to get swept up in Peter’s family drama. Of course, she fails on both counts.

Source: Hulu

Source: Hulu

Out of both plots, Peter’s family life is the most interesting. We’ve seen Mindy misinterpret situations and make bad decisions before. But her interactions with Peter’s family are much more fun. She’s essentially treated as one of the family instead of a guest from the moment she arrives in Texas. Of course, that’s not always a good thing – Lauren asks Mindy to find out if Peter’s cheating, Peter wants to keep lying about going to work, and everybody gets caught up in baby drama. (I am at least glad that it was revealed Lauren was stressed out due to a baby, not a grotto. The first two thirds of the episode make Lauren seem way more tense and uptight than she normally is, but the pieces all fall into place once you realize she’s just nervous about having another child, and if her family’s ready for it.)

While this episode didn’t really reveal anything new – we already know Mindy’s sad about her breakup and stressed about co-parenting with Danny – it’s still fun to see Mindy process her issues in a different environment. She might not be able to get a vacation from her problems, but at least she has Peter to help her through them.

Notes and References

  • Peter’s stepson calls Mindy “the loud lady”.
  • Okay, so obvious question, but if Mindy has a laptop, why can’t she just watch TV on that?
  • I loved Mindy’s friendship with Martin the lizard.
  • The running gag of Peter duping Lauren with workplace stories stolen from Grey’s Anatomy was great. Lauren getting increasingly sucked into the fictional characters’ problems was hilarious.
  • I’m really sad that we didn’t get to see Peter take Mindy out to any bars and try to be her wingman. I know we’ve already had that plot line, but it would have been so much fun to revisit it.

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