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The Mindy Project season premiere recap: 'We're a Couple Now, Haters!'

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MINDY PROJECT
Isabella Vosmikova/FOX

The Mindy Project

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
tvpgr:
TV-14
seasons:
4
run date:
09/25/12
performer:
Mindy Kaling, Chris Messina, Ike Barinholtz
broadcaster:
Hulu
genre:
Comedy

Mindy’s back—and so is Danny’s dancing.

To refresh: Last season ended with Mindy and Danny making out on top of the Empire State Building, à la Sleepless in Seattle but not as classy (she collapsed on the dirty ground after climbing all the way to the top, and he joined her for their make-out session). The question of will-they-or-won’t-they was answered, at least for the time being, and judging by the season premiere, they might be built to last. Might. 

The episode starts with voice-overs from Mindy and Danny, dreamily recounting their budding relationship. “I’m now happily dating the man of my dreams,” Mindy says. “A devout Catholic divorcée with some pretty serious dad issues.” A montage ensues, featuring bits of Mindy and Danny going through their everyday life: Danny gives Mindy some cantaloupe only for the sour straw-loving doctor to freak out at the taste of healthy fruit; Mindy makes Danny try on a tight-fitting bright pink polo. “What is a relationship if not doing things you hate in between sex sessions?” Mindy asks. And these so-called “sex sessions” seem quite worth the cantaloupe and preppy clothes—Danny, clad in briefs and a white tank-top, shakes his butt to “More Than a Feeling” as Mindy waits in bed. Danny: the weirdest of dreamboats.

The happiness of the aw-they’re-in-love montage wears off soon enough when Peter busts into Danny’s office to get some advice on, uh, cunnilingus. Turns out Mindy has been spreading the news around the office that Danny is good with his mouth, and Danny is not pleased—despite the fact that Mindy allegedly compared him to a “thirsty camel in a desert oasis.” The grump in Danny has officially emerged, and his “More Than a Feeling” butt wiggle is but a distant memory.

Meanwhile, Peter’s girlfriend, Lauren, and Jeremy are holding a meeting about an upcoming fundraising event to benefit Doctors Without Molars, a charity that brings orthodontists to struggling countries. Tamra makes her episode debut when she speaks up to ask why they’re going to struggling countries when she herself needs help—her insurance won’t pay for the colorful braces she wants. This leads Mindy on a feminist rampage, claiming that men control health care and that’s why Tamra can’t get her cute braces. “If there were braces for your penis, we would not be in this situation,” Mindy says. “How about a charity that helps girls who want to look bang-able at work?” So where’s her Nobel Peace Prize?

Speaking of looking bang-able, Mindy soon attracts the attention of Morgan’s ex-con cousin, Lou. Lou, played by It’s Always Sunny‘s Rob McElhenney, makes his plight known when he suggestively licks a Popsicle while looking into Mindy’s eyes. Danny, who’s been standing right there the entire time, looks on disapprovingly: “We don’t eat Popsicles like that here.” Aw, Danny, you’re so cute when you act like a protective dad!

The lovebirds eventually have a conversation about secrets, and Mindy agrees she’ll try to keep her sex life on the down low around the office. This won’t last long though: Mindy later finds a pink thong in Danny’s drawer and goes on a mission to find out where the thong came from. She tries to keep her promise about not talking to co-workers about their relationship, but that goes awry when Peter accidentally sees the thong in Mindy’s hands and asks why she has a “stripper thong.” You see, it’s not just a thong, but a thong that snaps off—like those cool track pants you used to wear in P.E., but sexier. (Unless you’re into snap-off track pants.)

This leads Mindy on a Googling quest, which gets interrupted when Morgan comes into her office and also sees the thong. And—plot twist!—he points out that it’s a man’s thong, with a pouch and everything. After some more Googling, Mindy finds out what we all should have known when Danny showed off his “Try Again” moves last season: Danny was once a stripper.

She confronts Danny about it later at the charity benefit, and he tries to end the conversation once he finds out she knows. “Why do you have so many secrets?” Mindy asks, outraged. “You’re an OBGYN, you’re not Batman!”

In another room of the party, Peter finds out that Lauren is cheating on him. (Thanks, Cousin Lou.) Peter confronts Lauren, and she reveals that she and Jeremy kissed, so Peter does what any frat bro would do: He finds Jeremy and punches him in the face. After the one-sided fight, Peter and Jeremy talk it out, but the “FOB” doesn’t really seem to understand the politics of love and friendship. He says he’ll probably try to be with Lauren anyway, even though people might react badly. “Look at Woody and Soon-Yi,” he says. “Everyone hated them at first, but now they’re America’s sweethearts.” (Jeremy could have said “Kim and Kanye” and that would have probably been a better example than Allen and his once daughter-in-law/current wife.)

The best, and most swoon-worthy, part comes at the end when Danny joins Mindy on a fire escape and starts telling her all his secrets, including one about how he wore a purse for two years in elementary school because his mom couldn’t afford a backpack. (Mindy was probably fighting back urges to ask “what brand?”) So his secrets are out, and she confesses why she can’t stop spilling them: “I want it to be real,” she says. “And the more real it seems, the less likely it is that it could all get taken away from me.”

And then, the dancing comes—because you can’t just say a character’s a stripper, especially when that character most closely resembles a sexy grandpa, without showing that character strip. And oh, does Danny strip. He blasts “American Woman” as he disrobes to an awestruck Mindy. “Whoa, Nelly,” she cries when she finally gets her own personal lap dance. Whoa, Nelly, indeed.

Mindy’s outfit count: 11

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