Danny's mother comes to town, and Mindy only physically assaults her once.
Mindy Project
Credit: Jordin Althaus/Fox
The Mindy Project - Season 5

When Mindy and Danny made things official in last season’s finale, fans were worried: What would the show look like if it got rid of Mindy’s date-of-the-week formula? What would the office have to gossip about if not Mindy’s sex life? Well, last week, Mindy proved that gossiping about her sex life will never get old, but this week, the show took things a step further by proving that Mindy’s sex life isn’t the only source from which to create great material. Instead, the relationship between Mindy and Danny is nothing if not full of new story line opportunities. Example A) Meeting the parents.

From the moment Rhea Perlman barges into Danny’s apartment as the TV Guide-loving, oh-so-Italian Annette Castellano, it’s evident that relationships do not have to make comedy boring. In fact, relationships are one of the funnier things that life throws at us. If Mindy weren’t with Danny, we would never get to see her attempt to introduce herself to Annette, only to have an entire interaction with Annette thinking she’s Danny’s cleaning lady. And then, following that, we would never get this interaction between the lovers:

Mindy: “Danny I have told everyone about us. I even showed my waxer that beautiful poem you wrote.”

Danny: “‘Brown Orchid?’ That was for your eyes only. It was beautiful, and it was erotic.”

Suddenly, viewers are craving a Danny Castellano poetry book almost as much as they’re craving a DVD collection of all of his strip teases. But we’ll get neither. Instead, Danny powers past the poem to reveal that his mother is famous for hating his girlfriends. As a result of that, he’s come up with a plan for Mindy’s sake: Either wait it out until Annette dies or let them meet at the wedding, when Mindy’s face will be covered in all of her “religious garb,” you know, because she’s “Orthodox something.”

But like all “Orthodox-something” women, Mindy has a four-point, mom-catching plan, which she enacts at Annette’s birthday brunch. The steps are as follows:

1. Compliment her.

2. Find common ground, which for Annette, means talking about Castle.

3. Come bearing gifts (and don’t forget about mom’s friend).

4. Agree with everything she says. Everything.

The trick is: The entire plan falls apart if you try to defend your boyfriend for being an awesome son and make his mother feel like crap. However, if you then chase said mother down at her hotel cleaning job in Staten Island, pop her hip back into place while she screams about “elder rape,” and then tell her how amazing her son is, you’re golden. Well, until she catches you “arousing” her son in his bedroom. Sorry, who said relationships kill comedies?

Plus, the only thing better than one hilarious relationship is two. And after Tamra asks Morgan to pee sitting down and then finds out she’s allergic to dogs, of which he has 40, typical chaos ensues. Peter tries to help by calling Tamra out on her lies, which aren’t really lies. There’s an allergic reaction. Morgan gets to keep his dogs. You get the picture.

The point of it all is that the sappy, ridiculous, infuriating, confusing world of relationships makes for excellent television. And in Danny’s case, this relationship has been a chance for major character growth. Not only are we seeing new pieces of his back story, but as a whole, Danny feels much more grounded this year, which makes him Mindy’s perfect counterpoint. That’s not to say that he wasn’t her perfect counterpoint last year, but adding this layer of commitment to Danny makes the character feel even more rich. Plus, without this relationship, we never would have gotten a scene of Mindy holding down Danny’s mother as she screamed, “Your hand is on my pubis!” So count your blessings.

Best Lines:

“One Thanksgiving, a little boy thought I was the Dora the Explorer balloon.” —Mindy

“Get a haircut. You look like Mowgli from The Jungle Book.” —Danny to Richie

“Enough with this Michael Fassbender and his penis.” –Annette

“No, Italian people don’t get over things. They let their anger fester and ferment, growing stronger over time. That’s why our wine’s so good.” –Danny

“Every time we take a shower together, he makes a donation to the Vatican.” –Mindy on Danny feeling guilt

“Every night when I fall asleep on the sofa, he carries me to bed. Well he tries to, and then he just drags me by the leg.” –Mindy on Danny being a good man

“A boy’s bedroom should never have an erection in it.” –Annette

By the Numbers:

Mindy’s outfits: 4

Mindy’s references to her “big cans”: 1

Danny’s references to sports: 2

Morgan’s dogs: 40

Episode Recaps

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.

  • TV Show
  • 4
stream service