It’s safe to say that TV hasn’t been giving us good times lately, so when Mindy launched into a joyful voiceover about how great it was to straight-up date Danny Castellano—complete with a romcom-style montage of their secret make-out sessions (“Let me read the chart first and then I’ll give you kisses!”)—maybe I should have known. Their relationship was too precious for this world. We can’t have nice things right now.
Mindy and Danny happened so quickly. He was just sitting next to her on a flight, helping her write a note to win back her boyfriend, and then he was that boyfriend. When tells her that it wasn’t a good idea, she asks why he even started this if he wasn’t ready to take the leap. It’s a fair question that should bring up some interesting resentment and guilt for the pair of them, but it’s also completely in line with how guarded Danny can be. He wants a relationship with Mindy. He thinks through all of the reasons why not. Those reasons start to become less compelling than his overwhelming desire to put his face on her face. He goes for it. He loves it. He remembers those reasons again and wonders if he’s just destroyed something great.
The whole thing about not wanting to risk a friendship is all played out. Mindy knows her romcoms, and you’d better believe she’s heard this before. It’s what guys say when they want to end a relationship and still seem nice. But Chris Messina just SELLS IT. He CRIES. He makes you believe every breath of his totally messed up desire to keep one thing in his life from going too wrong to fix.
“I don’t know if you know this, but you’re my best friend. Sort of my only friend. And I NEED to have you in my life. I have to have you.”
Of course Danny wants them to keep their relationship private. As long as they can’t be a couple in public, there’s still a whole part of every day that he can’t screw up. When anyone else is around, Mindy is Danny’s best friend, and when they’re alone, he gets to kiss her. It’s the best of both worlds, if he’s the only person in the relationship and Mindy’s need for affection is totally ignored. Mindy is an open book. She’s completely herself, all the time. If she wants to eat spaghetti, she’s eating spaghetti, even if everyone else at the table is having a salad with dressing on the side and only fair trade tomatoes please. Like she’s capable of hiding what she loves. It isn’t fair to ask her to.
Danny’s making a huge mistake by trying to keep from making a huge mistake, but this is the most real thing he’s ever said to Mindy and the strongest language he’s ever used to describe their relationship. She means everything to him. This moment almost makes the whole split worth it, because he wouldn’t have been this vulnerable if they were solid. This is breakup honesty. And if there has to be a breakup in order for these two to define what they need and want from each other, it might as well happen now. Get it out of your system, kids.
Maybe being apart will help him realize what he actually wants to share with Mindy. She’s not just a best friend he wanted to kiss. It’s a lot more serious than that. And it’s not like they’ll be capable of going back to friendship anyway, so he might as well just get over that dream. They both need a wake up call.
For right now, though, Danny Castellano is on the rebound. It’s too soon for him to be chasing Peter’s sister, and it’s way too soon for him to even think Mindy could be ok with that, much less ask her if she is. A lot of that emotional whiplash is due to the fact that this episode was filmed before Danny and Mindy had even kissed, with a few scenes changed to try to make it work here (thanks to Kim of Head Over Feels for this insight). But as the episode order stands now, Danny’s acting out. I want to believe that he’s only doing this to convince himself that he’s not hurting as much as he is, but ughhh, that makes me part of the system, doesn’t it? I know. Love is not a valid excuse for a guy to be a jerk. Danny Castellano is no exception, even if he sends selfies in his tie. RIGHT? Help, I’m weak. Just remember that Danny would be better than this if the FOX scheduling people would let him be better than this.
It’s starting to look like Peter will be the one Mindy turns to in this breakup. When did he become the big brother I wish I had? He’s not just looking out for his own sister; he’s looking out for Mindy, calling out Danny for ignoring her at her party and for rebounding so quickly. Peter’s going to get them back together, isn’t he? I’m already ready for it.
Bits and pieces:
“Should I fake my own kidnapping? I did that once to get out of a fun run.”
“You’re like that old comfy chair that you kind of hate and it kind of smells but sometimes you’re like ‘Where’s Lumpy?'”
I can’t see Anna Gunn without thinking of her current proximity to David Tennant. There are now only two degrees of separation between the entire cast of The Mindy Project and David Tennant.
“I don’t need anyone’s permission to date Pamela except her and my mom!”
Morgan’s Home Alone scream is exquisite.
“Hey Mind, we’re heading out. Do you want us to walk you out so that horny raccoon doesn’t follow you?” “No no, I like the attention.”
“How do I know if I wanna become Jewish if I’ve never tried it?”
“I’m ignorant, sure, VERY. But I’m not dumb.”
“Oh God, everything is a blind spot!”
“Unless you’re Benjamin Cumberbitch, good luck to you.” I stopped breathing.
So how are you feeling about the breakup? How are they going to fix this? And what do we have to do to win a night with Morgan’s puppy?