I have always looked forward to The Mindy Project’s annual Christmas episode. This is the same show that brought us Danny’s gingerbread structures and the Secret Santa gift to end all Secret Santa gifts. Last year, a fellow fan and I planned a party around the episode, squealing with glee as we watched Mindy present her “Ken Burns Style Documentary” to Danny, and crying together as Mindy was accepted into the Stanford fellowship. But this year, I met the episode with equal parts excitement and trepidation. We were finally getting the origin story that we’ve been wanting for 3 ½ seasons. Yet, after the blowout fight we saw last week, I was fearful that the relationship I had treasured was coming to an end.
At the start of the episode Mindy and Danny countdown to Leo’s first Christmas while trading barbs at each other about Danny’s desire for more children and Mindy’s desire to work. While trimming the tree, the two come across an ornament showcasing a picture of the two of them from their first day of work. They hated each other, yet they’re smiling happily at the camera as if they’ve been friends for years. And so we get the story of when Mindy met Danny through flashbacks to Mindy’s first day at work.
In 2007 Mindy is joining Shulman and Associates after Dr. Shulman mistook her for Mandy Lohoro, an effeminate black man from the Sudan with a stellar record as a physician. While they may have wanted Mandy, what they got was Mindy. So Danny schemes to make her quit: he gives her a storage room as an office, he doesn’t tell her how to get patients, and he angrily refuses to let her fill in for him on his C-Section (so that he can go to couple’s therapy with his wife, Christina, remember her?)
Undetterred, Mindy does some scheming herself, impersonating Jeremy so that she can take Danny’s surgery. On meeting the laboring mother she explains that Danny can’t attend the C-Section because he was stabbed by his aunt for being a jerk (Mindy does have a gift for spinning a story). When the couple expresses concern about the C-Section, Mindy suggests a change in their birth plan that will allow for a successful natural birth. It works, but when Danny finds out, he is furious, confronting Mindy and telling her that not only will he get her fired, but she was hired by accident to begin with. Mindy won’t accept being fired, however, so she quits.
Later, Danny meets his patient to apologize, but finds out that they loved Mindy. Impressed, Danny tries to get Mindy to stay. She can’t do that, she explains, because she has to be friends with the people she works with. Danny says he will try to be her friend, and adds that he can help her move her furniture into the former storage space. He suggests that if her huge armoire fits in the office, perhaps she is meant to stay. And so, together, they measure the space for her furniture and of course, it fits. They commemorate by taking the photo we saw at the top of the episode.
Back in present day, Mindy can’t sleep. Thinking about the past she gets up in the middle of the night, measures Leo’s crib, and then travels to her old apartment where she finds that there is a perfect amount of space. With that realization, she slumps to the floor crying. But what is she thinking? Will she leave Danny? The episode ends with Mindy taking the for sale sign out of her apartment window and then returning to bed with Danny.
The Mindy Project now begins a short hiatus. Interviewed by Entertainment Weekly, Ike Barinholtz, who plays Morgan, revealed that the show will probably return around February 3rd to begin the second half of season 4. What are your thoughts? Will Mindy and Danny make it? Or is the next step for Mindy single motherhood? Please let us know on Twitter or Tumblr what you think. We’ve got a short hiatus ahead of us and a lot of speculating to do!
The Game of Nerds would like to wish you a happy holiday! Please re-join us in February when The Mindy Project re-caps and livetweets return. Until then, visit us on Twitter or Tumblr at @TheGameofNerds, or say hello to our contributors Sara and Hasti at @whynotsara and @thehastiproject.