Season 3, Episode 11: Christmas
Posted by Sage
One of the lessons that Mindy Kaling obviously brought over to her show from The Office is that there’s inherent drama in a seemingly simple round of workplace Secret Santa. Last year, Christmas at Shulman & Associates yielded the Dance of A Millon Rewatches. (We’re obligated to mention it on this blog at least once a week or the Messina Mafia repossesses our laptops.) And this year, the gifts are even more personal.
Though Danny pulled Morgan’s name this year (enjoy those AAA’s, buddy!), Mindy is still expecting the customary grand gesture. She thinks she finds evidence that her Christmas gift will come in the form of a diamond when snooping through Danny’s stuff in an effort to answer this age-old query: “When’s this idiot gonna lock me down?”
Turns out Danny had used his Catholic Rewards card at “Forever Stone” to lock down his dream burial plot, not his dream girl. Looking a little too far ahead there, Dr. C. Mindy (looking like a fucking angel, I should mention) is understandably crestfallen at their fancy, romantic Christmas dinner and lets the disappointment lead her back to an opportunity she’d all but written off.
I’m a huge fan of Dr. Fishman, not just because Niecey Nash is such a welcome addition to the cast. The doctors needed an authority figure in their lives, and much to his chagrin, Jeremy ain’t it. This week, Jean opens a door for Mindy by recommending her for a fellowship at Stanford. Once pulled – kicking, screaming and threatened – into her teaching duties, Mindy actually excels at them. And don’t tell me her success isn’t due in some part to mimicking pop culture’s most inspirational teachers. (You know Mindy fancies herself one part Mr. Holland and two parts Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Minds.) She shows her students that doctors have a duty to see the person hauling around that pregnant belly. I know that I personally would welcome the distractions Dr. L would bring to my labor. For future reference: my favorite Wayne World’s scene is the one where Stacy gives Wayne a gun rack. Just kidding, I’m never subjecting myself to the horror of
At first, Mindy pursues the fellowship because she feels defeated. She might even be trying to scare Danny into making a move. But she accidentally gets attached to the idea. She’s earned it. There’s a concrete reward that she can obtain – one that’s going to make her an even better doctor and teacher. That’s the kind of satisfaction you can only get from your career or, like, distance running. You will get out what you put in. And if you’re seeking that kind of one-to-one output from a relationship, you’re doing it wrong.
Mindy’s beginning to get that. This episode featured some conflict between the old Mindy and the new. The Mindy who wants an engagement ring at any cost and will wage emotional warfare with her boyfriend to punish him for not giving her one dukes it out with the Mindy who can separate her career and her love life and gives her boyfriend (who didn’t propose) a remarkably thoughtful Christmas gift because she loves him.
So maybe we can forgive the horrendous decisions Danny makes for the majority of the episode. He’s still operating under the assumption that he’s dealing entirely with old Mindy. Besides, Danny’s not so great at playing the game. He always gets it wrong, and thank god for that. He’s just not wired that way. Shout out to Messina’s face-acting in this scene, when he realizes that he accidentally-on-purpose sabotaged his girlfriend’s career. (“Of course I wanted to go, Danny. I wanted to go so badly, I was willing to be away from you.”) STEP AWAY FROM THE GAME, DANNY. You are terrible at it. Your mom on the other hand? She’s alright.
- I missed Morgan and Tamra this episode (and Tamra in general – where were you, bb?), but a messy person like Jessica might be just what Morgan needs. Plus, we got a Julia Stiles guest spot and Morgan comparing himself to Wreck-It Ralph, so I’m in.
- Danny describes Peter and Jessica as “works in progress” so obviously he totally gets Peter and also reads this blog.
- “Shut up, Linus.”
- Welcome back, Lou!
- “You poke a brain, who cares? You poke a vagina, you’re gonna hear about it.”
- “Okay, I’m gonna picture him without his personality. Whoa. Peter might be hot.”
- “Don’t they let the river just take care of it?”
- “The boys in the Castro? They would eat you alive.” TRUE.
- Jeremy has opened my eyes to a new strategy: locking problematic people in closets.
- Lauren remains the worst. Peter is so grown up, I want to hold him and cry.
- “Ma, if I could marry you I would.” “You stop being weird.”
That’s our mid-season finale! What did you think, readers? Are you disappointed in Danny? Worried about the separation? Leave your thoughts in the comments!