Every week, the cast and crew of Hulu’s beloved rom-com, The Mindy Project, are taking EW readers behind the scenes of each episode. This week, Ike Barinholtz, who plays Morgan Tookers and is also a writer, producer, and director on the series, takes us through the fourth episode of season five, “Mindy Lahiri is a Mysogynist.”
It’s common knowledge that the fourth episode of a TV show’s fifth season is almost always the most important of any series, so I was especially honored to be selected to direct this very special episode. It was written by Lang Fisher, one of our senior writers who I once saw bench press three hundred pounds.
We pick up after the nurses’ strike, where the effects are still being felt, especially by Dr. Reed, played by Ed Weeks. Fun fact about this episode: Ed had to run to the men’s room to pee right before we started rolling. This is actually a fun fact about every episode. Anyways, Dr. Reed informs the staff it’s time to hire a new OB/GYN for the practice. Mindy is enthusiastic at first, but when she’s informed that all of the candidates are women, she suggests they throw some men in the mix.
Meanwhile, Mindy and Ben (the handsomely Jewish Bryan Greenberg) go back and forth about her never staying at his place in New Jersey, which Mindy isn’t into, as it’s not glamourous.
Back at Schulman, Mindy brings in a candidate named Robert (played by the insanely funny Charlie Sanders), who recently worked as an OB/Zip-line operator on a cruise ship. He is a disaster and when the office calls Mindy out for having issues with women, she balks. In order to emphasize Mindy’s shock, I directed the crew to build a track and ordered the camera men to push the camera on the track toward Mindy’s face. It was a bold move and a big risk, but everyone seemed to agree it paid off in a big way.
Mindy hatches a scheme to bring in a female doctor who was fired from her last practice for assault, thinking there’s no way they’ll hire her, and no one will think that she’s a “misogynist.” She introduces Jeremy and Jody to Dr. Anna Ziev (played by the terrific Rebecca Rittenhouse), who is so impressive that Jeremy and Jody hire her on the spot, despite slapping her former co-worker. Mindy is annoyed by the office’s embracing of this new little blonde lady.
Things come to a head with Anna and Mindy, which in turn strains her relationship with Ben. The rest of the episode follows Mindy as she comes to grips with her own issues with working with women and tries to make things right with Ben. This is just one of those episodes where everything comes together, especially the direction, which I have to imagine will be nominated for multiple awards. If not, then it’s probably rigged.
New episodes of The Mindy Project stream Tuesdays on Hulu.