Last week on The Mindy Project, Mindy dated a non-white guy (finally) and addressed some deeper issues of race and identity – while Jody and Morgan fought over Maggie from The Walking Dead (someone should warn Glenn) and Eliza Coupe hated herself. Also Leo and Danny were there, whatever.
ps if you want to play a drinking game while you read this, take a shot every time I write “Indian” and have someone ready to take you to the hospital.
The cold open launches right into Mindy’s blind date with Neel: a tall, dark. and handsome Cross-fit enthusiast (strike 1, 2 and 3 – save yourself Min). When Mindy mentions that he’s the first Indian guy she’s gone on a date with, he laughs, assuming it’s a joke. Turns out, she’s being dead serious, she barely even knows any Indian people. Ravi “identifies culturally as Indian” and Mindy wants to think she does. After they walk home, he doesn’t catch her kiss lean with his lips and says he doesn’t see this going anywhere because she’s a coconut. By which he means brown on the outside and white on the inside and NOT because she’s covered in tiny hairs and falls out of trees. Mindy is, understandably offended.
The next day, as she drops Leo off with Danny and they put him to sleep in the middle of the day (#jealous), Dan The Man asks her permission to take Leo to Italy for a week, so he can see where he came from. Danny’s cousins work in a PARMESAN FACTORY and Mindy is way less excited than I thought she would be. She agrees to the trip but demands a picture where it looks like Leo is holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Later that day (I’m inventing the passage of time as I go teehee) Mindy is at a cocktail party that I decided was thrown by Colin & Anna in their new house. Struggling with her identity, Mindy asks Jody if he thinks of her as Indian and he replies that he thinks of her as a white man (why are we even talking to Jody?Side eye emoji). Morgan sees Chelsea (HI JANE, RIP HAPPY ENDINGS) who basically runs away from him so he tries to flirt with Ashley (Lauren Cohan) but he sorta fails at that too because he starts talking about her left eye and urine and being poor. She gives him her work email to get him to leave her alone, he runs off to email her and then she bumps into Jody, who she likes way more (I don’t get it but okay girl).
The next morning, Rishi drops a truth bomb on Mindy, she thinks he’s white and he thinks he’s black; they skipped over that whole Indian steeze because they were brats. Mindy needs to prove she’s not a coconut so she calls up Neel and he agrees to let her tag along as he runs errands.
Ashley actually went on a date with Jody and lasted through the whole night without using her emergency exit phone call. He walks her home and before he can press to come inside, she tells him that she’s saving herself for marriage – she’s super old fashioned, even has a landline. He has the douchey gross reaction you would expect from Jody and runs off to find some other poor innocent girl to trick into having sex with him.
We join Mindy and Neel on their Bed, Bath & Beyond hangout where she’s trying to dispel the notion of not being Indian enough and he’s being a little stuck up about it. Linda, a helpful white lady mistakes them for a couple and says they’d make a beautiful family. This slightly racist comment brings them together in that they can finally bond over this one thing, their otherness always being the first thing people see or care about. Mindy compares them to Bernardo & Anita from West Side Story because he seems to have fought the American assimilation that her and her family embraced. They end up becoming friends and Neel invites her to a dinner party his Indian friends are having.
At the office, Morgan is telling Jody that he has a date with Ashley and Jody tells him to stay away. Morgan, with all his moral high ground – says it’s about love and not just sex, but then he passes out a little. The next day, he busts into the reception area to make an “erotic announcement” even though Jeremy said they weren’t allowed to make those anymore – to Beverly’s chagrin. His date with Ashley was apparently great and he’s loving the abstinence. HRH Tamra, in all her infinite wisdom, lets us know that sex with Morgan is “not that bomb of an experience.” Mindy walks in, makes everything about her, asking Morgan to babysit Leo and making Jody go to this Indian dinner party with her.
For some reason, Mindy dresses up in a Kurta and is assuming she’d see very traditional muslim/strict Indians. But, obviously, they’re all dressed “regular” and drink and she has a great time with them at dinner – despite Jody trying to do an Indian accent at some point. Anisha even introduces Mindy to the Mundan ceremony which is done for Hindu babies after their first birthday, to shed their past lives and move into their future. It shines through that Mindy wants to connect more with her heritage for herself but also for Leo, so he can know where he came from. Hence, she decides to have a Mundan ceremony for Leo. Jody walks Mindy home and they walk in on Morgan! Having SEX!! With CHELSEA!!! ON MOO COW!!!! Mindy pulls out her knife and is ready to attack but Jody makes Morgan promise to come clean to Ashley.
Right away, they head to Ashley’s apartment; Morgan says he’s joining the army to fight ISIS (at least this time it’s against ISIS and not with them) but Jody pinches his ear so he confesses to having sex with Chelsea and Ashley kicks him out. Then Jody makes an actual honest and nice speech about how men are garbage (true) but they can try to be better. Blabla whatever back to Mindy.
It’s the night of the Mundan ceremony, Mindy’s parents and her new Indian friends are all gathered and she’s hired the highest rated Hindu priest on Yelp. Everyone is asking her questions about the ceremony that she has a hard time answering because it doesn’t really mean anything to her, she’s just trying to show Leo something new. Speaking of Leo, he basically cries all the way through and ruins everything. Jeremy has flashbacks, the white people are uncomfortable and Mindy stops the ceremony and goes off to her room. There, her parents try to comfort her. She’s defeated, saying Neel was right about her being a coconut. Her dad finds that analogy extremely clever and suggests Cadbury Creme Egg as an alternative. Sonu and Tarun tell her that they raised her to be American and not worry about the Indian stuff too much because they love America. They’re very happy that she wants to be more Indian and tell her not to worry, babies are the worst and literally always cry, it doesn’t mean he hates her or all of India/Hinduism. During her Mundan ceremony, Mindy apparently said the F word; and during Rishi’s she bit the priest. They have a beautiful family moment and hug it out and make me want to ask for more Lahiri family scenes!
With this little crisis averted, they manage to shave Leo’s head and the rest of the party seems to be fun for everyone. Tarun tells everyone that Leo is named after Leo DiCaprio which is why he is my favourite. Jody tells Mindy that he now sees her as an Indian man – she laughs him off and walks away. Jody gets a text from Ashley who was moved by his little speach and doesn’t have sex but wants to hold more than just his hand. winky face
Mindy is at work the next night when Danny storms in, asking where Leo’s hair went. Min claps back with “oh yeah well where is his foreskin” to which Danny casually replies “in a locket around Ma’s neck with mine, you know that” & I shudder a little. They have an honest discussion about how Mindy wants to show Leo the Indian side of his heritage – Danny really listens and agrees that she makes good points. He’s worried about her passing down diabetes and pathological superficiality to Leo but not being Indian. She thanks him for being understanding and he says he’s glad they had this talk and then out of nowhere he says “you look pretty” because he loves her and she loves him and he had to tell her how banging she looked shipper feels. Mindy casually slips in that she saved Leo’s hair and Danny has to throw it in a river in India – he can drop by the Ganges on his way back from Italy – they giggle and walk out of the office together, presumably to make heart eyes at each other in the elevator.
I really loved this episode, not only was it funny, a lot of issues were raised that I personally relate to. Not being Persian enough and not having Iranian friends and being too Canadian in some circles and not Canadian enough in other circles has been my life since I was eight years old. Only recently have I started re-learning about my rich culture and wanting to know this stuff because it was important to my parents. I see so much of my family in the Lahiri’s and it makes me happy to see a healthy relationship on TV for once.
Anyways, you didn’t come here to learn my family history – I give this episode 5 fabulous Mindy sari’s out of 5 aka 5 nerd glasses. See you guys next week for another recap!
-xoxo, Mindy stan-