In a heartbreaker of an episode, ''The Mindy Project'' lovebirds Mindy and Danny called it quits before ever really beginning

By Sandra Gonzalez
Updated April 11, 2014 at 04:00 AM EDT

Wait, you mean…it’s over?! For now, yes.

But know this: The Mindy Project writers were just as sad about breaking up Mindy (Mindy Kaling) and Danny (Chris Messina) as you were watching it happen during the April 8 episode, “Be Cool.” Much care went into making the moment as significant as it should be — down to Messina’s unscripted tears. “When we were editing this scene, at first we thought: ‘Will it make the end of the episode too sad?'” Kaling admits. “But then we thought, ‘This is sad. This is real.’ His acting is beautiful, so we kept it in.”

Writer Ike Barinholtz, who also plays goofy nurse Morgan, says they “reverse engineered” the episode to fit the split. “The only thing we had clear when we went to start writing, besides the general story details, was the last scene,” he says. “That was talked about a lot and put under a microscope in the writers’ room.”

The decision to part the pair only a few episodes after their GIF-able airplane make-out was not made lightly. The writers thought Danny would view a sooner-rather-than-later breakup as a way to leave their friendship as “unscathed” as possible. That’s not really how things will go, though. “We’ve wanted to tackle the awkwardness of working with someone you had a relationship with; they deal with it terribly,” Kaling says. “We have seen Mindy date a lot, so we wanted to have her be single for a while. Meanwhile, it’s fun to see Danny dating. It’s even funny to see Mindy watching Danny date.” So is there any hope for rekindled romance? “The dynamic between them is special, and they are unlike any other couple on TV,” Barinholtz says. “To put them back together just makes so much sense…eventually.”

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The Mindy Project - Season 5

The Mindy Project

Mindy Kaling’s rom-com follows the hilarious lives of an OBGYN and her medical practice coworkers.

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