Mindy feels insecure about her growing baby bump, so she works to get her confidence back.

By C. Molly Smith
Updated March 18, 2015 at 05:41 AM EDT
John P. Fleenor/Fox

The Mindy Project

S3 E20
  • TV Show

Mindy is one of the most confident female characters on television today, but that doesn’t mean she’s immune to feeling self-conscious. As her stomach continues to expand to make room for baby Castellano, she starts to feel unattractive.

Danny reminds her she’s pregnant, and that she has a glow about her, but that’s the last thing she wants to hear.

“Please, do not start with the pregnant-lady glow,” Mindy begins. “That’s all made up, you know? And do not call me radiant. If one more person calls me freakin’ radiant, I’m going to kill someone. This isn’t a glow. This is sweat, from exertion, from trying to pull these jeans over my fat ass.”

Danny immediately wipes radiant from his vocabulary, never to be uttered again, so he approaches the subject from another angle: “We haven’t taken the D-train to seduction junction in a while,” he says, thinking that might make her feel sexy, but she’s just not in the mood (because she doesn’t feel sexy—it’s a vicious cycle).

At the office, Jeremy proposes that he and his colleagues take a new photo, because their old one is seriously outdated. Mindy—who is wearing a track suit, and says it’s the only thing that fits her (Mean Girls reference? I hope so!)—does not want to take a new photo in her current state, but Jeremy persists.

“Half these people don’t even work here anymore,” Jeremy says. “I, for one, am sick of staring at the insufferable, smug faces of our ex-colleagues.” Tamra suggests this has something to do with the fact that Peter is marrying Lauren, who is Jeremy’s ex. (To be fair, Peter dated Lauren first, so…) Mindy convinces Jeremy to postpone the photo until tomorrow, so she can pick up her skinny dress, which “makes her look hot no matter what.”

Tamra has another idea in mind: She suggests that Mindy employ the help of her stylist cousin, Sheena (Laverne Cox), but Mindy isn’t convinced. So, she gets the dress, and she’s right, it does look good. (But, like, can you ever really go wrong with an LBD? The answer is no, obviously.) Their love story is short-lived, though, because the dress rips when she bends over. It’s Sheena time—talk about a woman with confidence.

Mindy confesses to Sheena and Tamra as a result of feeling bad about her looks, she hasn’t wanted to have sex with Danny—it’s been a whole two weeks, which causes Sheena to faint. Worst of all, Mindy doesn’t feel confident. So, Sheena gives her some advice: Confidence doesn’t come from within, no. It comes from amazing outfits and perfect makeup. (With words like that, you know there are some serious clothes in store for this episode.)

In another clutch move from Tamra, her instincts were right about Jeremy: Tired of being the office pushover, he demands that Danny and Morgan attend a singles pajama party with him to help him find a girlfriend.

When they arrive, Morgan is surprised to find his girlfriend, Jessica (Julia Stiles), there. She’s talking to another guy, and it looks like flirting, but he doesn’t want to assume, so he sends Danny to snoop. Outlook, not so good: Jessica tells Danny that she’s thinking of breaking up with Morgan because he let himself go and put on weight. Danny lies to Jessica to buy Morgan some time, and tells her that Jeremy is going to fire her beau.

Back at Danny and Mindy’s apartment, Mindy, Tamra, and Sheena gather around the mirror and try to build up Mindy’s confidence. Mindy strikes a pose, in an attempt to get photo-ready, and it’s pretty pathetic, so she thinks things just aren’t going to work out—she’ll look awful in the photo and will never have sex with Danny again. “You look fine,” Sheena says. “It’s your attitude that’s terrible.” (Again, confidence!) Plus, Sheena’s enlisting the help of Veronica, her trusty push-up bra, so that doesn’t hurt.

The pajama party comes to an end when a neighbor, Whitney (Cristin Milioti), kicks everybody out. Pissed that Whitney shut the party down early, Jeremy threatens he’ll retaliate… with a strongly worded note. On the upside, with the party over, Danny is able to come home to Mindy, who greets him wearing a pleather, animal-print jumpsuit, and lots of gold jewelry. She’s sprawled out on the bed and has sultry music playing in the background. Danny laughs at her, and we all know that isn’t going to end well for him.

Now, for the big fight. Mindy’s pissed that Danny would make fun of her when she was trying to be sexy for him. He tells her that he doesn’t need all the show—he just wants to have sex. He adds that eventually, she’ll be in the mood, and she’ll lose the weight, and everything will be fine, but she isn’t so sure. He reassures her that she’s beautiful, but she says it doesn’t help that she’s dating someone better looking than her.

Things get worse between Mindy and Danny at the office photo shoot. A freshly dumped Morgan storms in, wanting to know if he’s getting fired. Jeremy assures Morgan he’s not getting the sack (thank God!), and Danny tells him that was just a ploy to buy Morgan some time. Morgan is still confused, though, as to why Jessica would leave him. Danny reveals that it’s because Jessica thought Morgan let himself go, and he agrees with her, leading Mindy to accuse Danny of fat shaming—she bands together with Morgan.

Jeremy has a problem on his hands too, or so it seems at first. Whitney comes to the office to confront Jeremy about the angry note he sent her. The two get into a yelling match, which ultimately ends in Jeremy asking her out, angrily but still. Finally, something good for Jeremy.

But Mindy is the least of Danny’s worries. Tamra and Sheena confront Danny about the laughing incident. Tamra’s pissed and tells him he should be worshipping the ground Mindy’s swollen feet walk on, but Sheena takes over, because Danny isn’t her boss. She tells him he better make it right with Mindy, or else she’ll destroy his self-confidence. Danny says he tells Mindy she’s beautiful all the time, but that Mindy doesn’t believe it. Sheena tells Danny he better make her believe it.

Mindy and Morgan have some confronting to do too. They go to Jessica’s apartment—full of hoarded goods—and Mindy tells Jessica that she can’t break up with Morgan just because he gained weight. Jessica doesn’t get the hint, and asks Mindy if she’s okay because she doesn’t look so good. Uh oh. Mindy loses it and starts throwing Jessica’s stuff—including her old candy wrappers—out the window. She tells Jessica that Morgan might not be perfect, but he’s beautiful and strong, even if he can’t see it.

Finally, Mindy has a breakthrough and realizes that she is beautiful, too. She apologizes to Danny for getting so angry with him, but he has some apologizing to do as well. He tells her the thing he finds most beautiful about her is her confidence. Between her realization and Danny’s kind words, she has her confidence back. Come photo day, it’s no problem, and Mindy feels great about herself, and looks great, as does everyone, except Jeremy, who shows up wearing old clothes, post-walk of shame. (I guess it went well with Whitney.) Hey, it adds character to an office photo, right? Right.

Best lines:

“None of my clothes fit anymore. This is the fattest I’ve ever been. This is coming from a girl who in middle school had a chocolate fountain in her bedroom.” —Mindy

“You’re always in the mood, no matter what. After we watched Schindler’s List, you were, like, really in the mood.” —Danny

“Do I look gross?” —Mindy to her brother Rishi, who is now back East to work for her women’s fertility clinic

“I mean I knew you when you had a perm and overalls on and that was nasty so you look better than that?” —Rishi

“You need to be careful. Babies are shady. They’ll steal your youth and beauty and keep it for their own damn selves.” —Sheena to Mindy

“It is never okay for a man to laugh at a woman. I don’t care if he’s at a Mo’Nique show. He better politely smile and nod.” —Tamra when Mindy tells her Danny laughed at her sexy outfit

“What are we waiting for? I got something bleached for this.” —Beverly about the hold up for the office photo

“I’m not going to say I’m prettier than Gisele, but there’s a quality in my face that I think is more appealing.” —Mindy when she gets her confidence back

By the numbers:

Mindy’s outfits: 8 (+1, if you count Danny’s sleeping bag)

Awesome calls made by Tamra: 2

Sets of matching tracksuits: 1 (Can Mindy and Morgan always match?)

Hoarded items in Jessica’s home: 100? 200? 300?

Episode Recaps

The Mindy Project

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