The Mindy Project 5×04 ‘Mindy Lahiri Is a Misogynist: Welcome Dr. Ziev

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The past few years have seen doctors come and go in the Shulman and Associates office. There was Dr. Shulman himself, Danny, Peter, and Adrian. But for the first time, Shulman and Associates has hired another female doctor to fill out their ranks. It’s an interesting and welcome choice, especially since Anna Ziev and Mindy Lahiri have almost nothing in common. Mindy is happily energetic, loud, and scatterbrained. Anna is in-control, calm, and a complete professional. Of course, they clash on Anna’s first day.

The episode uses Anna to make some interesting observations about Mindy and her interactions with women in the workplace. It turns out that Mindy has been happy to have only male doctors hired at Shulman, because she was afraid another woman in the office would make her less valuable to the practice. The episode acknowledges that while Mindy is in the wrong for overreacting and firing Anna on her first day, her fears are the product of living in a sexist society. “I was taught to believe that men can only handle one woman at a time,” Mindy says, and it’s true that once Anna joins the group, Jody and Jeremy immediately start waiting for a “catfight” to break out between the two women. Without their comments, Mindy might have swallowed her anger and not let her fears get the best of her, causing her to attempt to fire Anna.

Of course, Mindy might never have realized that she had nothing to fear from Anna without the help of Ben’s daughter Lindsay. When Ben mentioned having a teenage daughter, it was obvious she was going to appear sometime soon. Her behavior in this episode shows that she’s a smart, insightful kid who actually gets along really well with Mindy (she doesn’t even care that Mindy stole her pudding cups!). Her friendship with Mindy – as well as her increasing confusion at Mindy’s inability to understand the moral of her story –  is one of the most delightful parts of the episode.

Source: Hulu

Source: Hulu

Mindy and Ben’s banter is also a highlight of the episode. Ben has already gotten used to Mindy’s whimsical personality, and is much more relaxed than some of her other love interests. He’s content to sit back and go with Mindy’s odd ideas (nodding along while she comes up with a plan to present an unsuitable OB/GYN to the Shulman doctors), but is able to stand up for himself when he wants to (such as making sure Mindy doesn’t insult New Jersey). The end of the episode hints that Mindy and Ben could have a real future together, although I’m still slightly nervous they’ll break-up soon. 

Notes and Observations

  • Beverley has hidden cameras all around Shulman and Associates. I love how the Shulman staff now just let her have free reign in the office (maybe they’ve figured out it’s impossible to stop her?).
  • “The hopscotch area is just a chalk outline of a body.” I really hope for Leo’s sake that Mindy never brings him back to that park again.
  • “…like every other coked-up Chad you’ve ever dated.” Somewhere, Danny Castellano is taking offense at this comment.
  • Jeremy’s scooter has a license plate on the front that says “Dr. Scoot”, which is possibly the dorkiest/most adorable part of the episode.
  • “I find it’s incredible how much you can get done when you only need two hours of sleep a night and get no pleasure from food.” Anna’s extreme work ethic makes me feel very lazy.

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