The midseason finale flashes back to Mindy's first day at Schulman & Associates.
Credit: Jordan Althaus/NBC
The Mindy Project - Season 5

Mindy and Danny’s last fight didn’t end in total breakup disaster, but it’s nowhere near close to being resolved. The topic of having more kids vs. Mindy working is brought up in every unrelated conversation to the point where they can’t go one day without arguing. Even on Christmas Eve, a comment about the Nativity Scene turns into an argument about Mindy keeping her apartment. But the two call a truce for the sake of Baby’s First Christmas. As Mindy digs through a box of ornaments for the Christmas tree, she finds a photo of the two of them smiling with the caption “First Day of Work.” Curious, considering they hated each other.

Four seasons into The Mindy Project, and now we finally get to see how they met in a flashback episode. The year: 2007. The place: the longest elevator ride ever. Mindy experiences Danny’s trademark grump while he finds himself on the receiving end of her relentless chatter. They both think it’s a one-time encounter until they arrive at the office of Schulman Women’s Health Associates, where Mindy is about to start her first day on the job.

The flashback brings memories of season 1 with the appearance of Dr. Schulman and Jeremy the Lothario (who used to speak in a lower register). At the morning meeting, Mindy continues to annoy Danny by spoiling his plans for Dr. Schulman’s gingerbread house and wasting his time with a speech about herself. He asks Dr. Schulman why he hired her, and he admits it was an accident. Mandy Lohoro’s the one everyone wanted, but they’re stuck with Mindy Lahiri, and they can’t just fire her. So Danny schemes to make her quit instead.

The first step is to give her a storage room as an office, which makes for the funniest moment in the episode when Mindy sits on a box that caves in. But even with the clutter and the lack of a working computer, Mindy remains optimistic. Jeremy pays her a visit, all charm and smolder and winks, but Mindy rejects him. How weird is it to see the old Jeremy? His character has changed so much I can’t believe he and Mindy used to have “bedroom dates.”

Anyway, Jeremy says that Mindy needs to put her bio on the site if she wants patients, so she goes to Danny’s office to use his computer. She’s there just in time to overhear him coming back to the office while talking to his wife on the phone about their couples therapy session. Mindy hides behind his desk and almost avoids discovery until she breaks his reading glasses. Another strike against Mindy. To make it up to him, she volunteers to take over his surgery so that he can go to couples therapy, but Danny responds with “I would rather have any other doctor on earth do it.” A little harsh, no?

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Still intent on making a profile and getting patients, Mindy goes to Jeremy’s office as Danny messages him about covering his surgery. Mindy, forgetting too late that it’s Jeremy’s computer, agrees and keeps up the charade. At the hospital, she meets with the patient and her husband, and both express their nervousness about undergoing a C-section. Mindy charmingly demonstrates a technique that will allow the mom to give birth naturally, and the couple agrees for her to deliver their baby.

Danny later finds out that Mindy not only impersonated another doctor, but also changed the birthing plan without authorization. He confronts Mindy about it, tells her she was hired by accident, and says she’s a joke. Mindy doesn’t let the words break her confidence and responds that the real reason he hates her is because she’s as good of a doctor as he is. But still, she quits, knowing that she can’t work in such an awful environment.

NEXT: Danny tries to change her mind

That night, as Mindy’s packing up to leave, Danny returns to make amends. After hearing about how much his patient loved Dr. L and learning that Mindy used the impressive somersault birthing technique, he tells her that she should stay. But Mindy can’t remain at such a cold and competitive place; she needs to be friends with the people she works with. “I could maybe be like that,” Danny offers.

Danny tries to convince her by saying that if the giant armoire she ordered fits in her office, then it’s a universal sign that she’s meant to stay. So he takes out his new red glasses, measures the armoire, and declares — with an extra flirty smile —that it fits.

The two finish setting up her new and now permanent office, and Mindy commemorates the occasion with a “selfer.” And that’s the story of how Mindy met Danny.

Present-day Mindy is thinking about that memory when she can’t sleep at night. She climbs out of bed, watches over Leo, and then takes out the tape measurer. While Danny and Leo are sleeping, she goes back to her old apartment, where she measures her closet space and finds that there’s just enough room to fit Leo’s crib. As she processes that sign, she sinks to the floor and cries for a moment before taking away the “For Sale” sign at the window and returning home to Danny.

And that’s it for the first half of the season. What are your predictions? Are you fed up with Danny or do you think the relationship can be fixed? Did this episode make you want to rewatch the first season? Sound off below!

Best lines:

“I hate Wicked. Backstories are stupid. We don’t always need to know how everybody met each other.” —Mindy

“You’re very handsome in like a Sunglass Hut model type of way, but I shouldn’t get into a relationship at work.” —Mindy, rejecting Jeremy’s sexual advances

“When it came time to push, she was like ‘Get out ma belly!’ like Fat Bastard from Austin Powers.” —Danny’s patient praising Mindy

By the numbers:

Outfits: 11

Asking price for Mindy’s apartment: $10 million

Guest stars from season 1: 1 (alas, no Betsy)

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.

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