Mindy and Danny make it work — for a little bit, at least
Credit: Evans Vestal Ward/Hulu
The Mindy Project - Season 5

Breaking up is hard enough, but breaking up when you live together and are engaged and share a child? That flat-out sucks, something The Mindy Project‘s midseason premiere doesn’t try to skirt around — a good thing, given that this season especially hasn’t been shy about showing how messy modern relationships and life in general can be.

And, oh, is it messy. Quick refresher: The first half of the season ended with Mindy realizing that she and Danny were probably never going to agree on parenting. Danny wanted Mindy to stay home with Leo so he could go work; she wanted to get a nanny so she could be free to tackle her many (three!) jobs. After their millionth argument about it, Mindy went to her old, still unsold apartment and discovered that baby Leo’s crib would fit perfectly in it. Even though she went home after and cuddled up to Danny, it was clear that they weren’t going to be cuddling up for long.

After trying to make it work — something we know because of a lovely opening montage that’s a mini rom-com in itself — Mindy returns Danny’s engagement ring and then returns to her own apartment. It’s sad, but it makes sense. Mindy was never going to change Danny’s mind and he was never going to change hers. So, here they are, co-parenting in separate apartments as best they can.

The best they can is pretty good, actually. Even though Mindy cries each time she walks past Danny’s empty office and apparently poisoned Tamara’s plant after seeing that she liked one of his photos on Instagram, she’s friendly and composed as can be once she’s actually around him. No breakups are perfect, after all.

Plus, she’s got plenty of other stuff on her mind: Later Baby’s first crop of spring breakers arrive, and she and Jody are in charge. They’re excited, while the spring breakers are … uh, wishing they were having the kind of spring break you’d see in a Harmony Korine movie. Where’s Alien when you need him!?

The good news is that Jeremy nabbed them a bunch of Hamilton tickets, which, if you don’t follow any New Yorkers or theater obsessives on Twitter (if you don’t: smart move!), is just about the biggest accomplishment in the whole world. This, understandably, does not impress a bunch of 19-year-olds who pictured spending the next eight days drinking cosmopolitans Sex and the City-style.

Mindy and Tamra are supposed to chaperone the girls at the play, but Mindy gets caught up dropping Leo off at Danny. See, Danny offers her some freshly made lasagna once she arrives, and everyone knows it’s physically impossible to reject an invitation to scoop steaming pasta into your face — especially if it was made by a dreamy little Italian man who just showed off his Donald Duck impression to make his son laugh. She ends up staying for story time, and then ends up staying for make-out-time, too, therefore missing Hamilton. Worth it.

NEXT: Seth Meyers makes (another) cameo, this time as himself

Mindy didn’t miss much anyway because the girls got drunk halfway through the play before running around the city cutting dogs from their leashes, a new teen trend called “leashing.” Stupid? So very. A step up from previous teen trends like rubbing Burt’s Bees chapstick on your eyelids to get high? Oh, yes. Seth Meyers probably wouldn’t agree though: His beloved Frisbee was a victim of the leashings, and the dog spends two days out on the town before Morgan tracks him down in an attempt to show Mindy that he’s a hero and should be able to help out with Later Baby despite being a convicted felon.

Later, one of the girls, who they mistakenly (and hilariously) call “Schlo” because they don’t realize that Chloe is not pronounced like that, reveals that she previously hooked up with Jody and tries to hook up with him once again. Morgan catches them, and tells Mindy what’s going on. She’s having a bit of some drama herself though after finding a tube of lipstick that’s not hers in Danny’s bathroom cabinet. He’s been sleeping with other people, a discovery that shocks Mindy. The thought of being with someone else makes her sick, she says. Poor Mindy. Poor Danny.

This is heartbreaking, but it’s also the push she needs to properly distance herself from Danny. First, she tracks down Chloe smoking cigarettes with some older guys and advises her to get over Jody and start a new chapter. A week later, the girls have completed their unconventional spring break and are glowing with happiness. Sidenote: This part would make a great reality show. Also a week later, Mindy heads to Danny’s to officially break it off with him. No sex, no sexy texts, nothing. She’s never going to get over him if she keeps spending time with him, a lesson she learned the hard way.

It’ll be interesting to see if this sticks, and even more interesting to see how Danny continues to fit into the show now that he and Mindy are essentially trying to avoid each other. My dream? The woman who left lipstick at Danny’s discovers Mindy stole it and confronts her about it, surprisingly sparking a beautiful friendship between the two that endlessly perplexes the man who brought them together — and, more importantly, Leo becomes the star his mother wanted him to be, launching Mindy’s new chapter as a (part-time, of course) stage mother.

Best lines:

“A month ago I liked a picture of Dr. C on Instagram and you poisoned my plant.” —Tamra to Mindy

“I saw dozens of those gray ribbons on the subway. I thought it was to prevent old people from driving.” —Mindy

“I made eggplant parm. That’s why I used the eggplant emojo.” —Danny

By the numbers:

Outfits: 27

Days the college girls spend at Later Baby: 8

Days Frisbee is missing: 2

Different places Lil Wayne woke up after his coma: 6

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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