The pilot of The Mindy Project ended with Mindy watching When Harry Met Sally while Danny stood off to the side unmoved. (“Who would actually do that? Billy, don’t run!”) Danny didn’t think Mindy should be taken in by grand romantic gestures. She should be more interested in whether a man would patrol her house naked with a baseball bat at the sound of breaking glass or get into a fist fight at a Springsteen concert. (“Ok, now you’re just talking about yourself.”) He pictured himself with her from the start, but he never pictured himself in a rom-com. That was always Mindy’s dream.
So when Danny plans his own grand gesture on top of the Empire State Building, he doesn’t totally get it right. He doesn’t think it through all the way. There’s cuddling up to read Bridget Jones’s Diary or watch When Harry Met Sally, and then there’s reenacting Sleepless in Seattle when you don’t know what you’re doing and don’t know understand the references to An Affair to Remember and don’t realize that it involves getting hit with a cab.
“Danny and Mindy” is stocked with references to the romantic comedies of New York past, and it’s delightful, but Mindy and Danny are making their own story. They can only come together when Danny stops trying to force himself into a rom-com and Mindy stops trying to keep herself out of one. It’s so important that she not give in to Danny right away, but Mindy’s hope for love is a huge part of her identity. She’s the kind of woman who will catch a cold waiting all night on top of the Empire State Building for a guy who said he’d meet her there. Danny is the kind of guy who will wait an hour for a woman who said she never would, then figure he’s missed his chance.
Danny and Mindy’s relationship fell apart when he tried to keep the office out of it, so now it takes the whole office to fix. Mindy’s right. It’s easier when people know the details of your life. They can look out for you. Peter gets everyone to tell Mindy that Danny loves her, and he gets a little cheek kiss in return—and when the gang finds Danny eating pizza, convinced that Mindy won’t show, they point him in the direction of the “Emperor’s State Building” for the one rom-com moment that Danny didn’t plan.
Danny Castellano running around the top of the Empire State Building calling “Mindy!” is the most achingly wonderful thing. He bounced up after being hit by a cab for this woman, and this is the face he makes when he finds her wheezing on the dirty ground, having run up 104 flights of stairs for him. That face IS this show: so unbelievably real and in love even in a moment that’s objectively hilarious. As Mindy tweeted, “Let’s take a moment to compare Danny and Mindy’s respective hardships on this montage. SO UNEVEN! SHE IS SO OUT OF SHAPE YOU GUYS.” Danny doesn’t mind. She’s a woman. She should look like a woman.
And so Mindy and Danny end the season making out and talking about how many kids they’re going to have, because when they go all in, they go all in. Season three is looking good.
Danny described himself as “the frowny guy.”
“Journalism’s so important.” “That’s not journalism!”
Peter is now the kind of guy who uses the phrase “emotionally unfaithful.”
“Oh, how I hope that you are.”
“Sent from my smartphone, which I have.”
“How did you find out? How did YOU find out?!”
“It was ‘The Monster Mash.’ It was our song. It was my song. She hates it.”
SPINOFF FOR TIM DALY PLEASE
Danny and his unevenly buttoned shirt are very important to me.
“I’ll order whatever gave her an orgasm.” “You paraphrased one of the most famous lines pretty well!”
“And I got to see New York through her eyes, and man, was it white.”
“You’re not getting cremated. St. Peter doesn’t want a pile of dust at the pearly gates, and I’m gonna have to vouch for you. But I will.”
Danny was hungry. Don’t judge him.
“TURN BACK” is scrawled on the sign on the 77th floor.
“I wanna go all in.” “Really, in public? All these people? Alright.”
“Hey Andy, I’m a little worried how I came off in that. I mean, I don’t really have a smartphone.”