This was a super lovely and fun episode of The Mindy Project. Bonus! It was great even without romantic mishaps. Double bonus! It was kind of a big “F U” to all of Mindy’s haters (god, there are shockingly so many, but this is my least favorite). (Hey recappers saying, “we finally get so see Mindy’s heritage”? You don’t get it.)
We start with Mindy on a blind date (with an Indian guy!). Things start to go south when blind date guy (Neel) learns that Mindy doesn’t have an Indian friends. He of course has a ton because he identifies culturally as Indian because he is one (said super snobby like).
Mindy tries to lean in for a kiss, but Neel’s not having it, not wanting to date a coconut – someone who is brown on the outside and white on the inside. Woah dude, way harsh.
So while Mindy starts to obsess over whether she’s Indian enough, Danny asks for her permission to take Leo to Italy to see where he comes from (dude, Italian people are SO into their heritage). She okays it, because after all, third cousins working at a parmesan factory is a big deal.
I’m into these low stakes Danny and Mindy interactions, by the way. But I see what you’re doing, Mindy writers. I see it.
Anyways, at a party, Mindy continues to worry about being a coconut, finding out from Jody that he thinks of her as a white man, mostly because of her entitlement. Honestly, that’s the biggest compliment. If only we all had the confidence to act as entitled as white men.
Also at this party is Maggie from The Walking Dead (hi!) who’s character Ashley is pretty sassy (I’m into it) and sparks the interest of both Morgan and Jody. Jody wins, I mean duh, and takes her on a successful date only to learn that she’s saving herself for marriage. He literally runs away from her upon hearing this, lol.
Sidebar, I loved Jody saying when he opens doors for women, he’s accused of being an enemy of feminism. I’ve got a pretty unpopular feminist opinion on this, but hey, let’s share it. Until I have equal rights (no, like REALLY equal), you can open the door for me and let me off the elevator first. Most cranky people say you can’t have it both ways, but hi, I don’t have it both ways- I don’t have equal rights! So yes, hold my damn door open.
Anyways… Mindy calls up Neel to hang out because she wants to prove to him that she’s not a coconut. They head to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, which is bizarre but whatever. They have literally the best conversation about race.
Neel: Why do white people love seeing people of other race’s date within their race so much?
Mindy: I think it’s because it’s segregation they can feel good about. “See? They wanted it!”
Neel: “Isn’t this easier for everyone?”
They also essentially realize that Neel is Bernardo from West Side Story (not into America) and Mindy is Anita from West Side Story (super into America). This is officially the greatest reference ever and also exactly what’s going on (let’s all go watch West Side Story!). Neel stops being such a jerk and invites her to a dinner with a bunch of his Indian friends.
Mindy invites Jody along to the dinner so there’s another white person there (lol). When they arrive, everyone is totally normal and Mindy is just loving it. They all commiserate about their immigrant parents until Jody tries to join in. It’s not the same when you do it, dude.
Mindy then meets the hostess’s daughter, whose head was recently shaved for her mundan ceremony, where Hindi’s shave 1-year-olds heads to shed their past lives and move into the future. She gives Mindy some legit perspective, saying that Mindy should be able to show Leo his Indian heritage while Danny shows him his Italian heritage.
Meanwhile, Morgan has begun dating Ashley (the virgin), since Jody was uninterested. He thinks he can handle the celibacy and brags about it to the whole office, only to almost immediately break it by having sex with Mindy’s friend Chelsea on Mindy’s couch. Dude, it’s been what, like three days? Chill.
Jody forces Morgan to come clean to Ashley, not to do the honorable thing and just ghost, and in the process, Jody apologizes to Ashley for men being scum and says at least Morgan tried to be better.
Later, Mindy is hosting a mundan ceremony for Leo at her apartment and she’s clearly feeling the pressure to be super Indian. Leo is not into the ceremony and his freak out causes Mindy to run away with Leo and cancel the whole thing.
She chats with her parents who say they super excited that she wants to get into her Indian heritage and promise her that the babies always cry at their mundan ceremony. They assure her they’re super proud of her, and what’s more Indian than that?
We jump to later in the night when the ceremony has been completed (thank god, I can’t handle people getting their heads shaved), and Jody sweetly tells Mindy that he now sees her as an Indian man, not a white man. I was into the Jody and Mindy dynamic this episode. There was implicit romantic tension without us actually having to worry about anything, thank god.
The next day, of course Danny freaks out about Leo’s shaved head. Mindy defends herself saying that she should get to show Leo his Indian heritage and Danny relaxes, agreeing with her. He tries to flirt with her a little and ugh, stop, it was cute.
We close on “America” from West Side Story and it’s basically too perfect. I’ve got nothing better to add: A+ episode.
Some important weekly things:
Outfit of the Episode:
- Gosh, this was the hardest episode to decide on. That first date dress? STUNNING. That vintage looking white and patterned coat/sweater outfit? I can’t. But I obviously have to give it to this, because Mindy looked radiant in it:
*Image source: instagram.com/MindyKaling
Favorite Jokes I Almost Missed
- Neal: “Being Indian is a really important part of my life, even more than CrossFit.”
- Mindy pulling a switchblade out of her purse was too much. Amazing.
- “Maybe [Leo] will want to grow up and be some Guido who only dates Puerto Rican girls and I’ll support that!”
*Feature Image source: Originally seen on TheAV Club; Hulu