The Mindy Project blog: Writer Chris Schleicher recaps 'Take My Ex-Wife, Please'
Every week, the cast and crew of Hulu’s beloved rom-com The Mindy Project are taking EW readers behind the scenes of the latest episode. This week, writer Chris Schleicher brings us into the tenth episode of season 5, “Take My Ex-Wife, Please.”
I’m Chris Schleicher, one of the writers for The Mindy Project, and I’ll be recapping this week’s episode, “Take My Ex-Wife, Please.” As The Mindy Project’s self-appointed youth ambassador, I should explain that the title is a play on “Take my wife… please!” an old joke written one million years before I was born. I would like to go on record in this publication as being extremely young.
We open on Jody avoiding Mindy at work because he’s still feeling awkward about the way things ended between them. I think he’s being dramatic. Okay, so you bought someone an apartment and then they romantically rejected you. Who hasn’t, buddy? Jody tries and fails to get out of a “Later, Baby” road trip with Mindy to Bowdoin College. Morgan can’t join them because he’s contracted the Zika virus. In one draft, I suggested that Morgan got Zika because he lives next to a “mosquito farm.” I was quickly reminded, “Hey Chris, that’s not something that has ever existed,” and got sent to my time-out corner.
While Mindy packs for Maine, Ben drops the bomb that his ex-wife, Patricia, will be staying with him for a few days while she looks for a place to live. Mindy pretends to be cool with it, although we can tell something is up from the way the green flames of jealousy flicker in her bulging eyeballs.
At work, Anna introduces her husband to the office staff. Due to a sudden “work thing,” he has to cancel on their dinner that night with the McDucks (it was the wealthiest last name we could think of). Moments later, Tamra spills the tea that she spotted Anna’s husband with another woman and she thinks he’s cheating.
While Mindy and Jody drive to Maine, Mindy discovers an Instagram video of Ben and Patricia acting flirty at mini-golf. Mindy starts to spin out, so Jody offers to let her drive — partially so she can focus on something else, mainly so he can drink out of the multiple flasks he has stored on his body.
At Morgan’s apartment, Tamra is helping Morgan film his “Zika Diary.” Unaware that they’re filming, Colette talks about Anna’s husband cheating. Seconds later, Tamra has “accidentally” posted the video of Colette online. Word spreads fast. Jeremy, Mindy, and Anna all see the video and react with increasing levels of shock. This scene reminds me of a good rule for posting on social media: Everything you post should be shocking enough to make someone drop a tub of baby carrots.
Mindy turns the car around and drives to New Jersey to confront Ben. Jody is furious that he’s been “abducted” but soon finds himself stuck at a dinner with Ben, Mindy, and Patricia. He can’t take the car home because he’s been drinking and “you can’t drive like that in the North.” I’m amazed that this character still finds new ways to be problematic in every episode.
Anna shows up at Jeremy’s apartment looking frazzled (for Anna, “frazzled” means looking like a 99 out of 100). She misreads Jeremy’s kindness for romantic affection because she’s sort of an Ex Machina robot who’s still learning what feelings are. She kisses Jeremy, and when he British-ly rebuffs her advance, she flees. Anna seeks shelter at Morgan’s place, only to get Zika boogers sneezed in her face. She wisely opts out of staying in his miserable contamination zone.
At dinner in New Jersey, we see that Mindy’s jealousy wasn’t unfounded. Patricia has designs on winning her ex-husband back. She even bought Ben a bottle of his favorite local wine, Ray Liotta Vineyards. Mindy and Patricia engage in flirty one-upmanship with Ben, culminating in Mindy stabbing Patricia with her toenail during footsie-gone-wrong. Ben is disappointed in Mindy’s behavior; Patricia is always going to be a part of his life because she’s the mother of his child. Mindy exits in a huff, suggesting that maybe she won’t always be a part of Ben’s life.
Jody gives Ben advice in the only way he knows how: a long-winded allegory about two dogs named Manassas and Hamhock. Ben realizes that, on some level, he enjoyed having two women fighting over him. He decides he needs to make things right. Meanwhile, Jody has finished an entire bottle of whiskey in one scene. I don’t know how this man is still alive.
Jody goes to Mindy’s apartment to check on her and bring her McDonald’s. She says she’s sorry for taking him hostage and they agree to forget the past and be friends. Honestly, Mindy Lahiri would make peace with her own murderer if he gave her McDonald’s. The next day, Ben apologizes to Mindy for not setting boundaries with his ex-wife and Mindy apologizes for not trusting him. For a moment, all is well in her universe.
However, because Mindy Lahiri is a swirling vortex that attracts drama, she spots Anna sleeping at work one second later. She offers to let Anna stay at her apartment, as long as she doesn’t teach Leo bad habits like eating vegetables. Finally, Morgan collapses in a heap, still incredibly sick with Zika. It’s a beautifully subtle moment of Ike Barinholtz falling out of frame while groaning (Television Academy, take note!). And thus, we end our episode, with many of our beloved characters narrowly surviving this story. Hey, it’s 2017. We’re all just barely hanging on.
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