The Mindy Project
Season 2, Episode 19: Think Like A Peter
Posted by Sage
You’re watching The Mindy Project and welcome to “Dating Tips From a Bro” with Dr. Peter Prentice!
Thank the giant elephant in the sky for Peter, because things are CHILLY on the Dandy front. And this leaves Mindy without her usual sounding board. We know she doesn’t do well “being alone with [her] thoughts.”
Danny doesn’t understand why he and Mindy can’t slip back into their pre-smoochy behavior, because the synapses in his brain have stopped firing or something. Gwen went the way the of fellow mysteriously disappeared cast member Shauna, and so should be showing up on The Crazy Ones any day now. Morgan and Tamara are busy in the pantry. Betsy and Beverly have differing views on spiders. And Jeremy isn’t an option, because Ed Weeks is on vacation in Barbados, I can only assume.
Peter seriously rubbed Mindy the wrong way on their first meeting, which makes the friendship they’ve recently eased into all the more satisfying. Spiders and pantries and Barbados aside, the rest of the Shulman cast of characters are just too unusual to be viable BFF candidates. And maybe seeing that there’s more than one cute, dark-haired doctor willing to give Mindy closed-door counsel when she’s prostrate on her floor might knock some sense into Danny. My heart aches for the miles and miles that have opened up in the few yards between their two offices, but on a series-level, the change in dynamic is a good one. Peter was sort of drifting as a character. Now we know who he is. And from the look of Mindy’s Instagram feed from yesterday, our Dandy pain is only for the moment.
I see you and your Peter/Mindy shipping, Tumblr. And yes, Pally DID look super cute in his Popeye hat. But Peter and Mindy are far too alike to be together romantic-styles. Think about it: they both look at dating as a full-contact sport. They’re both a little shallow. And I seriously doubt Mindy would be asking him for an honest boob-placement opinion (“They’re as great as they’re gonna be.”) if she saw him as an serious option. That’s a job for a gay husband.
A few of his “Think Like a Peter” tips may be misfires (i.e. don’t order whiskey to impress someone if it makes you gag), but we can all learn a few things about the dating battlefield here.
#1. You don’t owe anybody anything, ever.
Mindy must be desperate, since she’s lets Betsy – of all people – set her up. Phil is “nice” (“All coffee dates are with losers.”) in that he’s not mean. But he’s awkwardly familiar. He assumes he’s already in. In short, there’s no attraction. But Mindy feels locked in to dating him until he does something truly despicable. Would a Peter do that? You bet your ass he wouldn’t.
When not defending Jordan Belfort, Peter “dates everyone” and breaks if off once things start to sour. He holds Mindy’s phone hostage so she can’t half-heartedly reply to every one of Phil’s cloying texts (“He’ll think I’m mean – I obviously am, but no one can know!”), and suddenly she’s free. Then they go out looking for some tail. The moral is: if you meet someone and don’t hit it off, you’re not obligated to see them again. You’re not even obligated to give an explanation. There’s a difference between being selfish and existing to make other people comfortable.
#2. People can act like jerks for a lot of reasons. Most of them don’t involve you.
You ARE obligated, however, to tell the cute girl picking you up at the bar if you’re married.
Thanks to Peter’s zen master teachings, Mindy goes home with Lee, who seems like a prize, being a first grade teacher and Max Greenfield and all. But he sneaks out before she wakes up – in some really cute bedding, I might add – and misses out on Morgan’s freshly grilled bacon. So…his loss. Mindy demands a reason for everything, so she latches on to the man-scarf he left behind as a “Cinderella move.” Because if he doesn’t want to see her again, then it’s because something’s wrong with her. Probably the greatest truth that Peter can ever make her understand is that sketchiness is usually sketchiness for its own sake. Why did Lee sleep with her and walk away? Because he can. He would have done the same thing to the skinny girl Mindy boxed out at the bar. It’s not cynicism to accept that people treat each other this way. It’s self-preservation. All the more reason to hold on to the good ones.
Would that he had been the one counseling Tamara on her love life. Danny lets his relationship PTSD dictate his advice to her as they compose her Pro/Con lists for Morgan and Ray Ron. Morgan’s a good guy who treats her well and despite his “fun, Huckleberry Finn, I-don’t-know-how-to-read energy,” he IS quite literate. (Also: HE WILL MAKE YOU BACON.) And all of those qualities outweigh the “con” of him being her coworker. Professionalism in this office is pretty much out the window at this point anyway, right?
Anyway, Mindy ultimately teaches Peter something back. He watches her throw herself into things and make a scene at an elementary school and comes out the other side wanting to be more like her. “You’re a romantic and that’s good,” he says. Her hope is infectious. “I really do think you’ll be rewarded for it in the end.”
- Sally Prentice is such a low-stakes interim love-interest for Danny. There’s no doubt she’s temporary. When he stops calling her, he probably won’t even care.
- I wholeheartedly approve the choice to have Morgan in his briefs with Tamara still fully clothed. It just felt right.
- “What is this some kind of trap? Like one of those Saudi guys tries to get you on their party boat?”
- Mindy checks her face before she turns over to (she thinks) say good morning to Lee. Please note that she did no such thing with Danny, just jumped up and attacked him without any regard to looking presentable.
- Jackée tweeted Mindy on Tuesday to thank her for the shout-out and that is ev-er-y-thing.
- Danny is still calling her “Min,” but come on, dude. That’s not gonna get the job done.
- Reagan Ronald’s rules of cheating: “As long as there’s no ‘tration, be good.”
- His full name is REAGAN RONALD.
- Someday someone will punch a guy for me and that will be the best day of my life.
Let’s hear it, Mindy-ans. Will you be taking Peter’s tips with you on your quest for love and fulfillment and free fruity drinks? Talk to me in the comments.