By last season’s finale I felt more confident that “The Mindy Project” had finally found its comfortable zone. Tonight’s season two premiere seemed to pick up easily in that same stride, and I’m hoping that it’ll stay at this level.
Mindy and her minister boyfriend, Casey, seem to lead a content life in Haiti building hospitals. One morning, Casey surprises Mindy with a ring; as they try to consummate their engagement, Mindy feels a sharp pain. Cut to: Mindy in a clean hospital bed, after having been airlifted back to NYC for emergency gallbladder surgery. As her partners visit her in the hospital, Mindy and Casey reveal their engagement, and we’re not even going to pretend that Dr. Danny Castellano wasn’t visibly disappointed.
And what’s a “Mindy” episode without a prominent guest star? James Franco is paying an extended visit to the series as Dr. Paul Leotard, who has taken Mindy’s place at the practice. His portrayal of Dr. Leotard reminds me that Franco is actually capable of being funny when he’s not taking himself too seriously.
Danny and his on-again wife, Christina, are seeing Dr. Leotard for therapy since their sex life is less than stellar. Later at home, Christina tries to get Danny in the mood, but he complains about being too full of chicken pot pie to have sex. (Haven’t we all been there? No? Just me?)
Meanwhile, Casey and Mindy discuss how Haiti has changed their perspective on life, and that they need only each other for a beautiful wedding (which, in this moment, is too bad, because Mindy’s flown-in-from-India relatives clashing with Casey’s “racist family from Pasadena” would make for comic excellence). They decide to get married in a week at Mindy’s apartment and then return to Haiti.
Mindy stops by the office and meets “crazy hot” Dr. Leotard, falling for his charms like everyone else (there’s a great moment where Nurse Morgan gets choked up after Dr. Leotard’s modeling story), but isn’t really keen on the fact that he’s the new “Dr. L” in the practice she helped build. Christina storms into the office and reveals in front of everyone that Danny’s been wanking to porn instead of having sex with her. Danny decides that proposing to her is the way to diffuse the situation, and Mindy tries to talk him out of it.
At the small wedding, Mindy hides out for a while after a funny/mildly gross moment where Casey accidentally pees on her dress, and she and Danny have one of their Mindy’s closet heart-to-hearts. Danny was unhappy with Christina, and Mindy has no desire to go back to Haiti. “I just got good at pretending to like things I don’t like.” And it turns out that Casey isn’t happy settling for a minimal wedding when he knows that Mindy wants something over-the-top. They decide then and there that Mindy will remain in NYC and that they’ll marry when Casey returns from Haiti.
This episode mostly zeroed on establishing the parallels between Mindy and Danny’s up-in-the-air relationships, and how they were both unhappy in their lives apart from each other. As someone who has already made certain relationship-based wagers on this show, I think we all know where this is leading. And I’m fine with that, as long as star-crossed romance monopolize the show’s center at the cost of losing screen time with Jeremy, Morgan, and the other peripherals. So far, so good, though.