The Mindy Project Recap: Season 4 Episode 2 (“C is for Coward”)

In case you missed episode one’s recap: here ya go.

I guess Hulu is staking its claim closer to traditional TV formats than Netflix, because every time I pull up this Hulu Original, I’m surprised that it’s being released one episode at a time. Do you know how hard it is to be denied my episode binge, especially for something light and fluffy like TMP?

Some things to start us off:

  1. Mindy has so many cute pajama sets. Not surprising given her colorful wardrobe. But it is really amazing.
  2. Danny persistently swings between immensely likeable (see: Diamond Dan) and kind of terrible (see: this episode).

Here we go!

Mindy and Danny lie in bed, discussing potential baby names. Mindy muses that they’ll probably need a gender-neutral name, in case the baby’s trans—leading us to her use of the inventive pronoun “herm.” I get the sense that, true to character, Mindy’s interest in the baby’s potential trans identity is more of her trend-mongering than anything else. At least it came up on the show, if not in the most serious way.

Mindy leans over and says she’s horny, leading Danny to protest that he doesn’t want the baby to…feel his dick? I guess? I’m not a doctor and, ostensibly, Danny is an ob-gyn, so I suppose he knows what he’s talking about. But is that possible? Eh.

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When Danny keeps resisting, Mindy huffs that she doesn’t need him and that she’ll just draw her own erotica. In a kind of endearing moment, Danny watches in amusement as she takes out a notebook and starts nodding and making appreciative noises. “You’re just drawing 69 over and over.”

In the office, the show continues a schtick that no one really cares about: unlikeable Dr. Jeremy Reed (I actually had to look up his name for a second). TMP has a kind of uneven time giving its secondary characters (ie. not Mindy or Danny) screentime/personalities/jokes. It often feels a little belabored (har har see what I did there? no? ok.) Anyway, Dr. Reed is dating some woman and wants to take the office to dinner to show her he has friends. Whatever.

Meanwhile, Mindy and Morgan prepare for the Fertility Expo, where they will be trying to convince young women in their 20s to freeze their eggs. When they try their spiel on “young, millenial” Tamra, she pulls up a video by the Deslaurier midwives, who have made a winky political-spot type ad against “big fertility” treatments like in vitro/egg freezing/pills. As they walk through a serene nature spot, the brothers advocate for natural birth, aka “Paleo birth.” It’s very tongue in cheek and pretty well done.

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Mindy, Danny, and Morgan tour the luxe birthing suite that Mindy has booked for a “5 Day Knockout Cesarean.” While there, Mindy and Danny argue about whether or not she should use drugs, or whether she should try for a more natural procedure. Danny seems invested in some kind of “magic of childbirth” idea, which….is kind of not surprising, but very annoying all the same. Mindy is a doctor, of all things. She knows what she’s doing. Also there’s a little thing called bodily autonomy, hello?

After this meeting, Danny goes to see the Deslaurier midwives (betrayal!!) and talks with Brendan about possible ways to induce childbirth naturally (and there are weird power plays embedded in their interaction, of course). When Mindy gets home that night, Danny’s done it up big: tons of candles, a verrrry spicy arrabiatta (mmm), a stimulating massage, and, of course, an attempt at sex that gets derailed when Mindy discovers the copy of Paleo Birth Danny’s stashed under a couch cushion.
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They have a fight as Danny insists that the pain of childbirth can be a beautiful thing (ugh). He seems very convinced that this ability to withstand the pain naturally will be an indicator of the kind of mother Mindy will be. Finally, Mindy reminds him that she, too, is an ob/gyn and she knows that childbirth is basically a nightmare.

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Back in the office, Mindy and Morgan get ready to head down to the expo. Morgan is alternately a good friend and kind of inexplicable, both reminding Mindy that no man should tell her what to do with the baby, and then offering to keep the baby in by yelling at her stomach: “sit, boy! stay!”

Dr. Reed stops by Danny’s office to chat, then catches him admitting that he isn’t going to the Expo…so he’s free to go to dinner with Jeremy and his girlfriend. “Now Whitney will see what great friends I have! Yes!” This is sad, without purpose, untempered by humor. Whatever, Dr. Reed.

On the train to the Expo, Mindy tries in vain to get a seat, but her coworkers refuse to offer theirs up. Morgan spots the Deslauriers down the car and invites them to stand with them, despite Mindy’s hissed protest. “No Morgan, we hate them!” Brendan makes rude comments (“when did you have the baby, Mindy?”), as expected. Aaaand then Mindy starts having contractions. My nightmare.

Morgan tries to tell a joke about a banana and silverware on a date, to cover up the fact that Mindy is having contractions.

Morgan tries to tell a joke about a banana and silverware on a date, to cover up the fact that Mindy is having contractions.

Of course, a man falls onto the tracks while filming a viral video, forcing the train to a stop. Mindy, in a panic, yells, “WELL RUN HIM OVER ALREADY!” Bless you, Mindy. Never change.

Brendan Deslaurier announces that she’s going to have the baby on the subway. Of course, he uses this as an opportunity to make a general announcement to the train that, though his methods are usually for “younger and more athletic women,” Mindy is going to use the Paleo method.

Danny meets Dr. Reed outside a fancy restaurant, where Dr. Reed nervously informs Danny that he’s hired some improv actors to play the part of his friends.  While they talk, Dr. Reed drops some surprising insight: that Mindy is terrified, and when she’s terrified, she tends to pretend that the scary thing isn’t happening. Finally, the show takes a moment to acknowledge that he’s a character who’s been around for four seasons (and even slept with Mindy in season one), not just a one-off sad sack. Danny gets a text from Morgan saying they’re trapped on the train, and rushes off to see Mindy.

Brendan coaches Mindy to recite her "mantra," which is, hilariously, "save my money and spend his."

Brendan coaches Mindy to recite her “mantra,” which will help focus and soothe her.

On the train, Mindy panics as her contractions continue. “I just want my birthing suite and my playlist!” she cries (valid complaint, Mindy.) Duncan offers to play her something, which temporarily gets her hopes up—and in a surreal TV moment, he starts to play “I’ve been working on the railroad” while everyone else joins in and Mindy starts to cry.

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Danny gets an intense running montage as he races from the restaurant, breaks through the police barrier, and finally appears in the subway car alongside Mindy, who screams for drugs and tries to get Tamra to slap her unconscious by insulting Beyonce (after the slap: “That did nothing and I’ve betrayed Beyonce!” Mindy sobs.) Danny finally pulls through and redeems himself for the fuckery of his episode, slightly. He knows Mindy well, I’ll give him that, because his words of comfort are that she’s a “stone cold bitch” and stronger than anyone he knows. You’ve gotta know that to Mindy, being called a cold, strong bitch is a great compliment. He even, after looking around nervously to see if Annette is behind him or something, concedes that she’s even stronger than his ma. Words of love from Danny.

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Finally, Mindy and Danny (and Morgan) share a tender moment at the hospital. Mindy says she’s exhausted and asks Danny to name the baby. After a short pause, he suggests the name Leo. “Like Leonardo DiCaprio,” Mindy says, satisfied. “No, like Leonardo Da Vinci!” Danny protests. Of course. Morgan chimes in that the baby is “too small to be a Tookers baby,” which…lol.

And finally, we end on a nice sweet shot of the hospital window as the rest of the team comes in to offer their congratulations and see the baby.

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