GIF courtesy of @thehastiproject​

On the heels of an episode in which Mindy explored life as a stay-at-home-mom and Danny discovered his estranged father was Ill, The Mindy Project took a detour this week (literally), as we followed Danny and Morgan on a road trip across the country. The Mindy Project is flourishing at Hulu, and this high concept episode, designed as unique way to allow Mindy Kaling some time off for her East Coast publicity tour, is the type of episode that we would never have seen when the show was at Fox. While I have some qualms about the story line, which seemed to have a few plot holes, overall I was pleased that the show has been given the freedom to take such risks. Plus, extra Messina time? Yes, please. (That smirk should be illegal!)

As we learned at the end of last week’s episode, Danny’s father, Alan, has suffered a heart attack, and Danny has opted to drive to California to help his father in his recovery. Danny has had a rocky relationship with his father, and that relationship is at the root of many of Danny’s problems. With that in mind, we watch as Mindy kisses her fiance goodbye, and encourages him to take time to bury the hatchet with his Dad. Why is Morgan along for the ride? Because a cross country road trip is dangerous! (“Everyone’s got guns and they’re all fat from fried foods!”)

Danny has an ulterior motive in driving across the country, as we soon learn. He detours into Oklahoma along the way (after making quite the effort to get rid of Morgan), so he can meet…. HIS SON?! Don’t worry though! Perceptive Morgan is on the case, and just a few minutes later we find out that Eric, the young man in Oklahoma who contacted Danny out of the blue, is not really his son. Him mom just told him that because his real dad is a deadbeat. Danny is a stand-up guy, however, and he opts to stay at Eric’s party and pretend to be his dad to impress Eric’s friends. He even gives the kid his car as a 16th birthday gift! (NYC OB/GYN must be a VERY lucrative career!)

As Morgan and Danny catch a bus for the remainder of the trip to California, the true point of the episode comes into focus – Danny has a father, and he may lose him soon. If he wants to overcome his demons, he needs to reconnect with his Dad, and soon. So, he resolves to do just that. For at least one more episode, Danny will be in California working out those unresolved issues with Alan, in time for a reunion with Mindy and (I hope) wedding back home in New York, very soon.

Favorite one-liners:

Our Father who art in heaven, Halloween thy name. – Mindy

Goddamn one percenter. – Morgan to Danny

I hope while we’re on this trip, Dr. L meets another doctor with a giant penis and Leo calls him Daddy. – Morgan to Danny

Of all the times I have been abandoned at a celebrity pet grave, this is the most hurtful! – Morgan

Castellano men express their feelings through fighting or dancing. Its either the fist or the foot! – Danny

Go to bed! – Matt Warburton’s voice over the title card. Our favorite slogan has returned after a season long hiatus!!!

The Mindy Project returns Tuesday. Be sure to follow @TheGameofNerds on Twitter and join us for our live-tweet at 6:30pm PST/9:30pm EST!