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The Mindy Project recap: 'We Need to Talk About Annette'

Mindy doesn’t know what to do when she catches Danny’s mom stealing clothes.

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The Mindy Project Recap
Jennifer Clasen/Fox

The Mindy Project

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Mindy Kaling, Chris Messina, Ike Barinholtz

Danny and Taylor Swift would get along: In the episode’s opener, he and Mindy disagree on how to acquire media. While Mindy’s all about pirating, Danny is all about giving the artists their due—so when he finds out Mindy was using his computer to illegally download a movie and his computer responds badly, he freaks out. This sets the tone for the entire episode, one that features Rhea Perlman in a skintight silver dress (above) and Danny in a badass bomber jacket.

The Mindy Project excels at making sure Danny and Mindy seem like they love each other without making them a boring couple. Each episode they have some sort of issue, but most of the time, that issue is pretty minor—just like a lot of the typical issues couples face on a day-to-day basis. This week’s problem? Danny’s mom, Annette, is a thief.

Mindy takes Annette shopping like any good potential daughter-in-law would and ends up seeing a bit more than she bargained for (and no, I’m not referring to Mindy’s shocked reaction to seeing Annette’s naked body): As she checks out, she looks over at Annette and sees she’s stuffing clothing into a bag.

We’ve seen this scene play out before, but usually it involves two teenagers—one who is the thief, one who is the hesitant and/or disapproving accomplice. Seeing Annette, this 60-something, seemingly financially comfortable woman steal is surprising and adds a bit of complexity to her character. And, more importantly, it gives us an opportunity to see Danny’s response when he finds out his mom isn’t the angel he thought she was.

Mindy, understandably, doesn’t know what to do, especially when Annette hands her son a leather bomber jacket he’s wanted since he was a kid. (“I used to play Top Gun wearing a garbage bag pretending it was one of these!” he exclaims. Is that what Bradley Cooper was doing in Silver Linings Playbook?) All of a sudden Annette’s the hero and Mindy, being the good–if sometimes misguided—girlfriend she is, doesn’t want to take away Danny’s high. So she lets it go, for now.

Meanwhile, Peter’s hanging out with his new hook-up Abby and having a blast because all she does is write romance novels a couple hours each day then spends the rest getting drunk and high. Unlike the last episode, where Peter was an all-around jerk, Peter is sweet and perfectly content with Abby—until he isn’t. Abby’s crazy; Peter’s not. Abby likes to take a lot of drugs then dance for a lot of hours at a time; Peter likes to get home early and go to brunch. Basically, he’s a bit boring—and that’s great: This is one of few episodes where Peter comes off as more than just a shallow bro.

Peter is eventually honest with Abby and fesses up that he can’t keep up with her, and Mindy tries to be honest too by confronting Annette. Bad idea. Annette gets mad, then Danny gets mad at Mindy for accusing his dear mom of something so horrible. But Danny eventually finds out the truth (after ink not-so-conveniently explodes on his jacket) and forces his mom to return the jacket. Does Danny not read the news? This is how you get arrested!

He finds this out soon enough when, after trying to return the jacket to the cashier, learns Annette could face felony charges for theft. The whole return-it-and-you’ll-be-forgiven only works if you’re like, 5 years old and stole a piece of gum—not if you’re an adult who stole a $500 jacket. Instead of owning up to it though, Danny and co. run from the store as soon as the cashier heads to the back of the store to get someone. Crisis averted.

As seems to be the usual this season, the best part is saved for last when Danny goes all Top Gun on Mindy in his inked-but-not-ruined jacket as “Danger Zone” blasts from the speakers. It’s not quite dancing, but there is that classic Danny enthusiasm we’ve come to know and love—just hopefully next time, there’s more hip-thrusting involved.

Best lines

“I’m like the Matthew McConaughey of the romance novel world.” —Abby

“I used to listen in on his confession. So boring.” —Danny’s mom on Danny

“Oh my God, we pay you so little.” —Mindy

“Hello! I’m on the poster for a poverty campaign.” —Morgan

“This is the worst thing you’ve ever done, including the time you thought the cab driver was the guy from Captain Phillips.” —Danny to Mindy

“If you ever want to get baked and go to the Renaissance Fair, then I’m your m’lady.” —Abby

“Well, that sounds m’nice.” —Peter

“Running out of the store like that, I kind of got a tingle.” —Danny

“Oh my God, Danny. Are you Breaking Bad?” —Mindy

By the numbers

Mindy’s outfit count: 8

Babies delivered: 1

Cost of stolen jacket: $500+

Length of dance party Peter attends: 24 hours