What lies ahead for Tamra, Morgan, Jeremy, and more in the final season

By Maureen Lee Lenker
September 09, 2017 at 09:10 AM EDT
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The Mindy Project is going back to basics.

“In this final season, we’re really coming back to those rom-com roots for everybody, not just Mindy’s character,” Xosha Roquemore told EW at the PaleyFest Fall Preview event for Hulu on Friday.

Roquemore, who plays Tamra, was on hand alongside creator and star Mindy Kaling and fellow cast members Ed Weeks, Beth Grant, and Ike Barinholtz to discuss the final season ahead of its Sept. 12 debut.

The cast and Kaling teased season 6 plot lines and chatted about what’s in store for their characters in their final hurrah.

On a panel following a screening of the first episode of the new season, Kaling explained that the main aim was to give every regular character a satisfying and emotionally compelling conclusion that pushed them to new heights.

“Matt [Warburton] and I thought we don’t want to finish the season without everyone having a story where they could say I’m vulnerable about this, I’m scared about this, I hope it happens and if it doesn’t it’s going to really devastate me,” she said. “And it’s been fun doing that for the entire cast with different storylines.”

On the red carpet and during the panel, the conversation ranged from the evolution of the major characters to their final arcs.

Mindy Lahiri talks D-I-V-O-R-C-E

We already know that Mindy’s getting divorced this season, and the first episode of season 6, entitled, “Is That All There Is?” presents a Mindy very dissatisfied with married life.

Kaling explained the decision behind that as a natural evolution of the character, saying, “The character started the show with a really clear premise of she’s obsessed with romantic comedies, she will not be happy unless she has that life and now she has resigned herself to thinking that was kind of an immature attitude.”

From rom-com obsessive to cynic and back? Viewers will have to wait and see. “The journey of the final season is now she’s nothing like she was at the beginning, at least not romantically, and to see whether there are any surprises about that and whether she’ll reclaim any of that,” said Kaling.

Beverly’s shadowy past

Beverly (Beth Grant) has always had a mysterious past — her hysterical one-liners, like, “JD Salinger based the prostitute in Catcher in the Rye on me” (a personal favorite of Beth Grant’s) hinting at a dark and strange personal history. Viewers will finally get a glimpse into Beverly’s earlier life this season — and it will have something to do with her son.

“You know I have a son just because at one point I said to Mindy, You wouldn’t date my son just because he’s my son and she said, Exactly. It will have to do with my son, I’ll say that,” Grant teased to EW. “That’s about all I can give you. But I think it will make people very happy about Beverly. I think it’s a wonderful opportunity, they gave me a beautiful script.”

Grant also discussed how much love she believes is beneath Beverly’s cranky and off-putting exterior. “She wants desperately to connect, so every time there’s a little moment of connection she’s very happy. I think she has a lot of love, she’s just f—ed up.”

She also revealed that one of her driving forces for the character is a deep admiration of Mindy Lahiri, saying, “Dr. L is her hero, which is pretty easy because Mindy is mine.”

Tamra is pregnant

Perhaps one of the biggest shockers of the final season is that Tamra is having a baby. Actress Xosha Roquemore recently welcomed a little one herself with partner Lakeith Stanfield, and she says it was challenging returning to set only six weeks after giving birth. Though the experience gave her a lot of personal knowledge to draw on. “It actually worked out perfectly because I kind of knew about that pregnancy life and about all the stuff that goes into it, so it was cool to revisit it again,” she said.

Morgan will inevitably try to get in on the action (the pair kiss in the trailer!).

For Roquemore, it was a fascinating progression for a character that has often been the source of quippy one-liners and hot takes. “I was excited because that’s just such a 180 for Tamra,” she said. “She’s so young and cool and self-centered — so I was kinda shocked by that.”

The evolution of Jeremy

With the increasingly insecure side of Jeremy revealed over the last five seasons, the character has a lot to resolve in his final episodes. Weeks teases that we’ll see him in “three Meryl Streep costumes” in one episode, but more importantly Jeremy will grapple with major life events.

Having shared sparks with Anna (Rebecca Rittenhouse) last season, she may prove to be the answer to Jeremy’s romantic woes. “At the beginning of this season, they’re making a go of it,” Weeks told EW. “Of course, it’s not going to be a smooth path necessarily and they both have their demons and they both have their issues and Jeremy, in particular, is not used to not being alone. So far his longest partner has been Roger his bird, so upgrading to a human, or side-grading, to a human is going to be challenging for him. But you know the course of true love never did run smooth.”

He will also deal with the death of his father, with whom he has long had a “complicated relationship.”

“His dad’s death definitely brings up some crazy stuff in Jeremy’s mind, sort of provokes a crisis of identity,” said Weeks. “It’s going to be good for Jeremy to break free of his old structures, his past,  the things he thinks have defined him and push on as a new guy.”

Morgan finds romantic happiness

Romantic bliss and closure is the theme for many of the characters this season. While Ike Barinholtz promises we will see more of Morgan’s true love (his dogs), he also teased romantic developments for the off-the-wall Morgan Tookers.

Though he was coy about the kiss between Morgan and Tamra in the trailer, Barinholtz told EW, “There will be closure. It will be of the romantic variety. I don’t want to go deep in spoiler town, but I think fans of the show will be happy that Morgan, who’s barely a human being, is able to find love on some level.”

Also on tap for Morgan — a serious neck injury and brace that comes as a result of Barinholtz breaking his neck on another set. Though the situation wasn’t ideal, the writers worked it into the storyline for the final season.

Though Barinholtz admitted, it did present a new challenge for him. “It was a necessity, and it was definitely hard,” he said. “Morgan is a very physical character, a lot of gesticulation and being shocked, head turns and stuff, so to kind of have to bring it internally a little bit – it was a challenge.”

The sixth and final season of The Mindy Project premieres on Hulu on Sept. 12.

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