The Mindy Project
Season 2, Episode 20: An Officer and a Gynecologist
Posted by Sage
For our amusement, Mindy has spent the last two seasons fraternizing with all types of guys, “from the tall and white to the short and white.” And what does she have to show for it but a box of stolen mementos and precious photos like this one?
She’s got a fan. Jenny is an impressionable teenager who shows up in Mindy’s life just as Dr. Lahiri vows to put her box of guys and romance in general out of sight and out of mind. What better time to take on a mentee? She’s already her own role model, as well as Morgan’s rightful queen. (Don’t tell Grandma.)
Jenny wants to get on birth control, but her Conservative Cop Dad won’t like it one bit. Mindy sees an opportunity to inspire, telling the girl that young women such as they must stop letting men control their lives: “Dads, boyfriends, nutritionists who say, ‘Mindy don’t only eat steak.'” She’s not wrong, but as usual, Mindy fails to separate herself from the conversation. Jenny is what? 18? 19? She’s confused about everything, not just whether or not her dad has a say in her reproductive health. Mindy hands over her sweeping declaration and a few pill samples, congratulating herself on sending Young Jenny down the path to confident and flourishing womanhood. Conservative Cop Dad, who turns out to be HOT Conservative Cop Dad (helloooo, Tim Daly), hates gumption like Lou Grant hates gumption and storms into Mindy’s office to intimidate her into backing down.
Detective Charlie Lang’s threat to get Mindy’s name on the no-fly list falls flat for a couple of reasons, firstly because it means nothing to her (“Joke’s on you, I’m already on it!”) and secondly, because there are few greater joys that Mindy has in life than riding around on her high horse, even if it gets her a $300 ticket for “Public Female Hysteria.” (“They never took it off the books.”) It also gets her a temporary house guest, when Jenny shows up on her doorstep.
Mindy may not have children yet – anyone can see that, considering her 11-year-old boy hips – but she knows that the only difference handing a kid contraception will have on her sexual future is that it’ll be less fraught with risk. “Birth control doesn’t encourage sex,” she tells Danny. And it’s hard to argue with her list of what does. But what is fanning Jenny’s libido besides her frenzied teenage hormones is her longing to be a grown-up woman with stories. She wants a box of boy history like Mindy’s. And, with the exception of Josh the drug-addicted lawyer, who can blame her for wanting to sneak up in all the jeans of Mindy’s “trail of slain dudes”?
It takes Mindy coming home to an unsanctioned underage rager (and Morgan chained up as a sexual prisoner) to get her to see where her mentoring has gone astray. (“It’s like a cognac ad in here.”) Jenny may be physically prepared to do the deed, but she’ll ultimately regret having sex just to get it over with or for the right to put the first flannel shirt in her conquest box. It’s not a conquest box anyway; it’s a record of every time Mindy’s faceplanted in pursuit of long lasting love. She is anything but the “certified playa” she claims to be to impress Jenny. She’s a hopeless, headfirst, stupidly optimistic romantic who hasn’t slept with Christian Slater even once. Finally she tells Jenny what the kid really needs to hear: that being a ~modern woman~ and being a romantic aren’t mutually exclusive. Jenny desperately wants to have a chance to make a grown-up choice; what she doesn’t realize is that choosing to be picky – choosing to do nothing right now but wait for the good stuff – is a grown-up choice too.
Meanwhile, grown-up lessons wouldn’t be wasted on Danny, who hasn’t seen enough Three’s Company episodes to know that the dinner party fake out never, ever works. After valiantly saving a
wizard civil war general rabbi from some rowdy subway youths, Danny doesn’t correct the old man’s assumption that he is the titular Dr. Shulman. His eyes flash dollar signs when Rabbi Adler dangles the “thousands” of nice, Jewish girls who come to him looking for a nice, Jewish gyno, and suddenly he’s yarmulke-ed up, his voice is cracking like Bar Mitzvah Boy over the Shabbos dinner blessing. Ironically, it’s Peter, actual son of A-bro-ham, who blows their cover. Or rather, his parents did, by not throwing a bris for little Peter (and little Peter) back in the day. They made up for it with his “Christmas in Connecticut” themed bar mitzvah, a rollicking, WASP-y good time, I’m sure. Rabbi Adler is less distressed than maybe he should be that his 13-year-old son left the dinner table and came back screaming about seeing a grown man’s penis (“It has a hood!”), but he still kicks the impostors out of his house. All is forgiven on the whatever train the next day (actually, my head canon is that Danny and Mindy take the 1, idk why) when the man of God thanks Danny for the new story in his family rotation and sees what Danny and his “girlfriend” have going. (“If what the two of you have isn’t real, I don’t know what is.”) Too bad Sally Prentice is nowhere to be found.
Danny and Mindy are working their way back to each other. They’re having casual breakroom chats. They’re commuting together again. But their lies to Jenny and the rabbi this week have nothing on the lies they’re telling themselves. That “casual breakroom chat” devolves into a discussion of Danny’s bra-unhooking prowess, or lack thereof. Mindy can’t stifle a smile when Jenny finds the photo of Morgan and his “son.” (“When he wears a baseball hat, it makes him look like a kindergartner.”) Mindy gets her earbuds caught in her scarf (“I can’t see my neck!” “You’re like a pelican in a fishing net right now.”) and Danny looks at her like she’s the Yankees winning the World Series 15 years in a row. She talks about what kind of mom she’ll be some day and he gets all glassy-eyed and schmoopy imagining their future children. He’s toast and he knows it.
I’ll hand it to Danny for not stringing Sally along. (Man vs. Guy.) When Mindy skips off to get her second bearclaw of the morning (“Didn’t you have one on the subway?” “I can’t hear you, bye!”), Danny finds Sally and gives her the old “we’ve gotta talk” routine. But he better make his move fast, or Officer You Wish might not have to wish much longer. Detective Charlie’s got an advantage: the “No Guys” rule doesn’t apply to him either.
Good night, nurse.
- “I heard birth control makes you fat and cranky.” “So does pregnancy.”
- “When I need to take the pill, I look upon the windowsill! Oh my god, I haven’t taken my birth control in like two weeks.”
- Danny brandished a pink umbrella at some hoodlums and I swear I left my body for a second.
- Strike up the Barry White, cause Rabbi Adler was played by Peter MacNicol, aka Ally McBeal‘s John Cage. Also, Janosz from Ghostbusters 2. I can see why he’s Messina’s favorite guest star yet.
- “Mom must be proud.” “Who knows how to please that woman?”
- “Susan Robinson?” “No, I’m Beverly Something.” BEVERLY SOMETHING.
- “That’s worked up even for you. How many hours of energy did you drink?”
- “No guys. Girls?” “I wish.”
- “This feels weird to me. And I have no sense of boundaries.”
- “My apartment is not a place for sensuality. It’s a place for repressed sexuality.”
- Peter Prentice continues to be the Dandy shipper that puts the rest of us to shame.
- “I actually zero out my fridge every night before I go to bed.”
- Sending out an APB for Dr. Jeremy Reed, who’s been absent two episodes in a row.
- “Man, just step away from the bear claw. The bear claw has been on the street. The street is covered in urine.”
- “I couldn’t hear you over that coat.” “It is CANARY YELLOW.”
- TIM DALY. GOD DAMN.
Two more episodes in the seasons, Mindy-ans. Thoughts on Det. Lang? Canary yellow statement pieces? How many bear claws are too many bear claws? Handcuffs? Who could pull Kiera Knightley first, Mindy or Danny? Leave them all in the comments.