The Mindy Project
Season 2, Episode 17: Be Cool
Season 2, Episode 18: Girl Crush
Posted by Sage
Hang those torches and pitchforks back up, Mindy-ans (grr!). Break-up aside, Danny is being framed for douchery by wonky episode order. “Girl Crush” was originally meant to air pre-kiss, so some scenes (and that opening montage of Mindy’s break-up wallowings) were added after the fact. And I assume it was too late to ditch the sister subplot. Check Messina’s hair – it’s two different lengths during the episode.
I just want to get that out of the way, because Danny’s “hey, there” thing with Sally Prentice and her not-meatball boobies tilts the in-the-right scales of Dandy’s break-up in Mindy’s direction. Hard. (Especially when “Girl Crush” had Mindy turning down a glossy dream job to stay loyal to her patients.) I wish “Be Cool” could have stood on its own. As it was, we had the most traumatic scene of the entire series followed immediately by some standard Shulman & Associates shenanigans. We weren’t ready! And what should have been a b-plot about still unrequited Danny trying to get over Mindy by dating someone new became HOW DARE YOU, SIR. YOUR RELATIONSHIP’S NOT EVEN COLD.
And what an exquisitely painful break-up it was.
I’m not on Danny’s side, per se. I don’t think we’re meant to be picking sides. But he’s so real to me and this decision so true to everything we know about him and, as misguided as it is, it rings of his respect for Mindy, his best and only friend. Maybe it’s his Catholic guilt rearing its ugly head, but Danny doesn’t think he deserves things. Mindy, god bless her, knows that she does. And she’s never apologized for her expectations. Danny “didn’t ask” to be her friend, but she paid that no mind. She took down his walls with a sledgehammer and then waltzed through the rubble with a friendship cake in hand, not one hair out of place. So what makes him think he knows better now?
Every poor schmuck who’s been on the Mindy end of this SAME conversation wishes she’d had the guts to respond this way. Mindy calls Danny out, like she always does. And now she knows for sure that he’s not ashamed of her. He doesn’t wish she were a 100-lb pharma-babe. The girl might change and the words might be different, but distancing himself is the Danny Castellano special. (Remember “You’ve Got Sext,” when he made Mindy be his pretend girlfriend to protect himself from a “crazy” lady who happened to be very nice and only interested in a casual relationship?) But it’s the same line that girls like Mindy, who don’t coast on tedious, photoshop looks, have been hearing forever. Girls like us have got to be funny and loud and friendly to get anyone to give us the time of day. But then you’re TOO funny, you’re TOO great to be around, you’re such a good FRIEND, and wouldn’t it be a shame to ruin that? It would have been better if he cheated on Mindy or stood her up for All -You-Can-Eat Sushi or made fun of her for following Prince George’s first royal baby tour or became an event planner or sold her stuff for drug money. At least then he wouldn’t be convinced he was just doing “the right thing.” Instead he’s punishing her. It’s her fault for getting so close. Maybe if she weren’t so important to him, they could really have something. He really is bad at this.
Would that we could just live in the first 5 minutes of “Be Cool” with clandestine kissing, morning-after smiles, and breaking news in the New York Post.
Grumpy Danny is like my oxygen, but giddy relationship Danny is a close, close second. (“You sly dog!”) Have we ever seen him smile so unreservedly? Still, we can sense that something is a-brewing, even at Cute Callback Pancake Breakfast. He casually mentions something about their work environment “making it weird,” and Mindy closes her eyes and looks away for a moment. She had already been rehearsing various announcement scenarios in her head and now she has to hold back? They’re already moving at different speeds.
Danny maintains the delusion that he has a private life. But if he and Mindy had been as discreet as he insists they be now, they never would have become friends, let alone gotten together. His inability to step up and lay claim leads to their colleagues being pulled even further into their business: Morgan bunks at Mindy’s to protect her honor; Mindy and Danny host a house party for S&A and sexy visiting rep Jenna Dewan-Tanning-Chatum; and sweet, sweet Peter works overtime to convince Danny to nut up. Oh, Peter. You’re a better man than you think you are.
“Be Cool” closes out with a shot of Danny from the vantage point of Mindy’s window. He walks onto the pavement, puts a cigarette in his mouth, then, before he lights it, turns around to look back up at her apartment. The Jimmy Durante version of “The Glory of Love” is playing. We know that there are at least two Empire State Building scenes in the finale, which is encouragingly titled “Danny and Mindy.” And I’m interpreting the Jimmy Durante cue in this episode as another clue that season two is going out on a Sleepless in Seattle-inspired note. Mindy’s going to change a little, Danny’s going to change a lot, and it’ll be magic.
And if the last line of that episode is Danny holding out his hand to her and saying, “Shall we?”, then goodbye forever.
- I love that though Jenna Dewan-Tatum’s character was introduced to dredge up Mindy’s insecurities, she wasn’t hateful in the slightest. She clearly communicated what she wanted (the Cornish handshake), and when Danny finally owned up to why he couldn’t see her, she backed off. Though it might have been her little “If I know you” comment that pushed him to do what he did, so nevermind.
- “It’s so nice to wake up, turn over, and see Danny instead of the knife I hid to protect myself.”
- “Oh god I’m such a slob – I have been robbed!”
- “Your Beverlys and your Betsys.”
- Jeremy was killing it these episodes, what with “sleep pajamas” and “Spaniards Harlem.”
- “Ah, I don’t know why, but I still wanna hit it.”
- “I watched grown-up movies too.” “You watched Grown-Ups?” “I watched Home Alone and Grown-Ups.”
- “Listen, you begged me to come here. So don’t screw this up for me, you little son of a bitch.”
- “You know how Mindy is with those velvet ropes.”
- TIE SELFIE. DANNY SELFIE IN A TIE.
- “No, I don’t have a different vest. I’m not a hedge funder!”
- “There is no other guy unless you count Prince Frog. Ahh! My batwing!”
- “People say the Statue of Liberty is cliche, but I go see her every weekend.”
- “I need a magic flute for you people!”
- “I know that even touching your stuff is a pinchable offense.”
- “Danny, did you go on your rant about the Latin Grammys again?”
- “I can’t get caned by another abuelita!”
Does the episode order tidbit change your current feelings on Danny Castellano? Let us know in the comments!