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The Mindy Project recap: 'Caramel Princess Time'

Danny is mad at Mindy for always being late, and Peter deals—badly—with blind date disappointment.

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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 is back after a two-week hiatus she definitely wouldn’t approve of—who would rather watch the World Series over a sassy rom-com anyway?—and is late. Very late.

Danny and Mindy have been together for seven months now (if you need to pause to gasp like I did, feel free to take a moment), and he’s starting to get annoyed with her frequent tardiness. This is a wise subject to revolve an episode around: Everyone has at least one person in his or her life who runs on a different clock—or maybe you yourself are that person!—so it’s something extremely relatable. And, as it turns out, extremely divisive.

This fight over tardiness leads to some conflicts in the episode, including…

Danny vs. Fishman

The last time we saw Danny, he was pretend-chugging hard liquor and making (false!) suicide threats in front of Dr. Fishman to help get Mindy out of a potentially bad situation. It worked for Mindy—not so much for Danny: Fishman made another appearance this episode to encourage him to seek counseling. But Danny, the wannabe-tough Catholic man he is, refuses. Although it’s obvious he’ll be in a counselor’s office by end of episode, watching him uncomfortably resist is still kind of dreamy. Don’t you just want to save him? (Unhealthy obsession with Danny, check.)

Fishman lets him off the hook easy that time, but then walks in the office later only to find him excitedly firing finger guns at his co-workers after he shows up on-time despite Mindy’s attempt to make him late. This brings up a couple questions: One, do most grown men celebrate a win this way? And two, does this constitute a mental breakdown? If so, mental breakdowns are a lot more common than I previously thought.

The answer to that second question, at least for Fishman is, yes, this is obviously a mental breakdown—so she sends Danny off to mandatory counseling led by Brendan Deslaurier. Deslaurier versus Castellano, the fight we’ve all been waiting for.

It’s less a fight though than just an awkward situation. Deslaurier is as weird as ever; Danny refuses to believe he could use any help… until Deslaurier finally gets the sad, sad truth out of him: Whenever Mindy keeps Danny waiting, he’s really just scared she’ll never show up—just like his dad.

What follows is the saddest story we will probably ever hear on Mindy: Danny’s dad was supposed to take him to a showing of Ghostbusters when Danny was a boy, but never showed. Tearing up yet? Me too.

Danny’s confession is a surprisingly raw moment in an otherwise lighthearted episode—and that’s what works. Sure, Danny’s great when he’s stripping and doing celebratory moonwalks, but watching him have an emotional breakthrough shows us there’s a lot beneath that gruff exterior—and a lot more to find out about him.

Winner: Both. Deslauria got Danny to talk, and Danny finally figured out why Mindy’s lateness bugs him so much. Maybe Danny should go to therapy every week.

Mean Peter vs. Nice Peter

Tamra decided to set Peter up with a friend, forgetting that he’s a shallow bro whose life highlight is briefly dating Maria Menounos. But he reminded her of his nature quite quickly when he ditched this friend after deciding her looks weren’t up to his standards. (Reminder: He’s a shallow bro.)

By this point, we all know Peter is sort of a horrible person, but that’s part of the fun in watching him. Dealing with Peter in real life would be a nightmare, but because he’s fictional, we get to laugh at just how terrible he is without experiencing any of the consequences of interacting with a real-life jerk.

After some scolding from Tamra and Morgan, Peter realizes his mistake and goes to one of Abby’s book signings to apologize and ask her out for a date. Because that’s just who you want to see at your book signing: a guy who dismissed you within minutes of meeting.

Unsurprisingly, she doesn’t take him up on his offer for a second date. Surprisingly, she later caves and agrees to go on a date with him after he reads an embarrassingly awful story about himself in front of her and her writing group. (Spoiler: He doesn’t get invited back.) Bets on whether or not she’s just doing this to use as material for her next novel?

Winner: Nice Peter, for now.

Danny vs. Mindy

Mindy’s always late. Danny’s always on time. What to do?

Well, first Mindy pretends she’s lost in the nearby crowd and it’s Danny’s fault for not seeing her when in reality, she’s stuffing her face with pizza in a cab. (Pizza is a pretty valid excuse for being late though.) Then Danny refuses to wait for her at a comedy show and leaves as soon as he realizes she’s not there on time. Then Mindy messes with Danny’s watch so he’ll be late. (This one’s a failure, but… good try, Mindy!)

But Danny’s family ends up helping them both through this struggle. Mindy sees what a pain it is when people are tardy when Danny’s mom keeps her waiting, and Danny’s memory of his dad makes him realize he might be overreacting about Mindy’s bad habit. If only family drama were the solution to every problem.

Winner(s): Mindy and Danny.

Best lines

“The Abby I’m meeting is actually really tall, gorgeous, and, for lack of a better, word, African-American.” –Peter

“Well, I’m meeting a doctor who looks like Meatloaf. Or it might have been meatloaf, I’m not really sure.” –Abby

“I gotta shave this hot body from ankles to eyebrows. Also, I have to highlight and contour everything just so you’ll have sex with me. I’m basically CGI.” –Mindy

“What do you think, Natalie Portman’s sitting in her castle like, ‘Oh, I wonder if there are any schlubs out there who wear a bathing suit as underwear?'” –Tamra to Peter

“This couldn’t be worse than the time I shredded your passport for confetti. Is it?” –Mindy

By the numbers

Mindy’s outfits: 6

Times Mindy’s late: 5

Cat cameos: 1

“Honks”: 3

Months Danny and Mindy have been together: 7

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