GIF courtesy of @thehastiproject

He’s home! Danny is finally home from California, and much to our excitement, he wants to set a date! For the wedding! Because they’re getting married! Well… we hope they’re getting married, if a few roadblocks don’t get in the way – like their parents, Mindy’s desire for a career, her business partner, Danny’s desire that Mindy stay home with Leo, Danny’s hotheadedness, Mindy’s seeming inability to speak up for herself and a possibly catastrophic disagreement. Let’s unpack each of those problems one at a time, shall we. But first, let’s have a look at that GIF one more time, because after this episode I think we all needed a reminder why we’re here.

Having started wedding planning in earnest, Mindy agrees to accept the help of her future mother-in-law, Annette, who regrets that she didn’t get to help plan Danny’s first wedding, and has a lot of opinions. For instance, she’s already ordered the invitations and started thinking about wedding dresses for Mindy. Mindy already has a wedding dress picked out, but agrees to make a visit to Gretchen’s Bridal Pile and Beeper Shop, which carries the Vatican’s exclusive line of modest gowns. It’s there that Mindy is guilted into buying a wedding gown that looks like a nun’s habit to appease Annette. The first in a line of compromises that Mindy makes in planning her wedding.

Elsewhere Jody has continued to work on Later, Baby, the egg freezing business that Mindy started with Morgan. Their campaign speaking at colleges encouraging young women to freeze their eggs for later seems to have taken off, and he has booked an appearance at his alma mater. When he asks Mindy to attend, she balks, explaining that she hasn’t told Danny that they’re working together. In fact, she hasn’t told Danny that she wants to keep working at all. When last she and Danny spoke about her career, she had decided to stay at home with Leo. Imagine what a surprise to Danny when he finds out that, not only does she want to keep working, but she also has a new business endeavor with a co-worker he thought she hated. This can’t end well.

Yet, Mindy and Danny can’t talk about her career prospects because, much to her surprise, her parents are in town. The Lahiris arrive to assist in the planning of the wedding and to throw Mindy and Danny an engagement party, where they plan to announce that they will pay for the entire wedding… to be held in Boston. The Lahiris hope to meet the Castellanos at the engagement party, but Danny is opposed to the meeting. In fact, he would prefer to hide the fact that the Lahiris are in town so that the two families can’t meet. He explains to Mindy his reasoning: the Lahiris are rich and cultured, and his mother will be intimidated. Frankly, I think Danny underestimates Annette. For example, he didn’t want Annette to meet Mindy because he feared Annette would hate her, yet now, the two women are close. That’s all beside the point, however, because Annette and Dot walk in on the Lahiris staying with Danny and Mindy, and a meeting is inevitable.

At the engagement party Danny and Mindy do their best to keep Annette and Sonu apart but they’re unsuccessful. Thankfully, we get a little bit of comic relief from the two as they each try to outdo the other.

Elsewhere Danny and Mindy are finally forced into a conversation about Mindy’s career ambitions by Jody, who shows up at the party unannounced to try to get Mindy to go on the Later, Baby business trip with him. Danny walks in on the two packing for the trip and Mindy must explain that she wants to continue working. The conversation erupts into a stunningly explosive fight, Mindy accusing Danny of bullying her, Danny explaining that he doesn’t even recognize their relationship anymore, and me cowering in the corner, tears streaming down my face. (This isn’t how I envisioned this reunion.) The next day, the parents step in to talk some sense into the two, Annette encouraging Mindy to follow her dreams, and Tarun encouraging Danny to support Mindy’s career ambitions.

Tarun’s talk does seem to have an impact on Danny, because he follows Mindy to her presentation and watches from the audience. During the Q&A he rises and asks her to lunch. He seems excited about her presentation and tells her that she did an amazing job. Then he encourages to her continue doing Later, Baby while raising Leo…. as a hobby.  Mindy seems frustrated, but Danny doesn’t seem to have any clue that she’s unhappy. In fact, he begins talking about their plans for another baby, despite the fact that Mindy hasn’t expressed any desire to have another child so soon. To make matters worse, Mindy doesn’t speak up for herself. Instead, she capitulates to Danny. Begging the question, how is Danny supposed to know that he’s on the wrong track if Mindy won’t speak up for herself? Any WHY won’t Mindy speak up for herself? I’ve never known her to give in so easily before. Moreover, when did Danny become so clueless? He seems to have lost any ability to sense Mindy’s unhappiness in the situation.

This episode doesn’t have any resolution for the couple, as it ends with Jody encouraging Mindy to figure out what she wants and voice it before it’s too late. With only two episodes left before the mid-season finale I’m anxious about whether these two are going to be able to get on the same page anytime soon. I don’t know if my heart can take another angst-filled hiatus!

Don’t forget to join Hasti and Sara on Tuesday night at 6:30pm PST/9:30 pm EST,

for a livetweet of The Mindy Project episode 412 – The Parent Trap!