Did The Mindy Project Make the Right Call With the Ending of "The Desert"?

By Jen Trolio

Jan 22, 2014

The Mindy Project S02E14: "The Desert"

I can't decide whether I want to squeal or roll my eyes right now. 

Because ladies and gentlemen, we now have an answer to the Mindy Lahiri/Danny Castellano "Well they or won't they?" conundrum:

Yup. As the end-tag montage of "The Desert" reminded us, Danny and Mindy's relationship has evolved quite a bit since The Mindy Project first began. And it took quite a leap forward tonight when Danny—his resolve strengthened by some unexpected turbulence on his and Mindy's flight back to New York—did his best impression of one of the guys in the movies she loves so much and planted one on her just as the show signed off for a 10-week (!) hiatus.

Setting aside the fact that no flight I've ever taken between Los Angeles and New York has featured a secluded self-serve beverage center in the back galley, I'm feeling a bit conflicted about this turn of events. I love Danny Castellano, I really do. And I love the way he and Mindy spar together. Danny's practical, he's pragmatic, he's got more than a few hidden demons; Mindy is simultaneously confident and insecure, and holds all kinds of untenable romantic ideals. At the very least, they make an entertaining pair. But even though I'm a romantic at heart and like the idea of seeing The Mindy Project fulfill its rom-com destiny, I'm not sure I like where these two are headed. 

Maybe it's the fact that "The Desert" was a really strong episode with regard to Danny working through some of his daddy issues, and the kiss was an unnecessary capper. Maybe it's the fact that, with Mindy off the air until April, it felt like a cheap ploy, a desperate grab at a cliffhanger. Maybe it's the fact that I feel like I've seen this story before—not in the general trope-y sense, but in the Jessica Day/Nick Miller sense:

Basically, right now I can't tell if Mindy Kaling (who I generally revere) is hard at work on some meta rom-com master plan, or if The Mindy Project just smacked us in the face with a cliched cliffhanger. On one hand, it's not like Danny's feelings for Mindy came out of nowhere—the show has been building them up for a while now. But on the other, the timing of the kiss just feels a little too deliberate, a little too forced, a little too on-the-nose as far as a "happily ever after" is concerned. 

And so I would like to know what you think: Was the kiss a good move for The Mindy Project? Was it a mistake on a plane? Where do you think the show will pick up when it returns later this spring? Do you want to see Mindy and Danny as a couple?

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  • missjudgment Apr 03, 2014

    Well, after the hiatus it's clear the move didn't ruin the show: the first two episodes were some of the best of the season.

  • irehawk20 Mar 14, 2014

    Beverly mentioned about her husband, but is her husband currently alive or dead?

  • Oenc Mar 04, 2014

    I loved it but I also have your misgivings. Day/Miller kinda...killed the show. It's really been struggling for several reasons. I hope Lahari and her team are doing something awesome too. I really HATE the wait as I only just discovered the show and now I really want to see what happens next but I also don't want it to fall flat. Fingers crossed!

  • godzillaspawn Feb 24, 2014


  • Devon39219 Jan 29, 2014

    Manny > Nessy

  • CarolineHylto Jan 27, 2014

    What the hell is up with the new ending credits thing like this weeks Mindy project had "happily ever after?" on theirs and i saw something similar on another show. I personally think this is tacky. Any thoughts?

  • irehawk20 Jan 24, 2014

    Well done. Now we need to fix this supporting cast with decreasing some independencies and increasing some dependencies and look forward on adding two more characters to make it ten in this show's main cast:

    1.) An erratic young woman nurse, who acts like Peter, to get added, so Betsy can be saved and get more interaction immediately, then Peter and that erratic young woman nurse can lower down their temperatures and Tamara can act more balanced.

    2.) We know Beverly mentioned about her husband, but was her husband current or deceased? Otherwise, we have to add a cranky old man doctor in default, so Beverly can gain some more relief on her own company level and then all the young adult fans and characters can show corrected respect on both cranky old people characters in this show at the same time.

    Let's not procrastinate and solve these problems before it gets too late!

  • Ashja Jan 23, 2014

    I hope they doesn't screw this up.. I'd hate that.
    this was the road to be taken.. and that kiss was HOOOOTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!

  • allfineanddandy Jan 23, 2014

    Hell freakin yes this was necessary. This show has been building at the Mindy/Danny chemistry for a long time and people would eventually stop watching if nothing ever developed. It was perfect timing (minus Cliff) for the two of them. Danny has known for a while now that he likes Mindy (hinted at in the season 1 finale but definitely confirmed in "You've Got Sext"). Mindy has dated her fair number of useless guys that stick around for 2 episodes and then leave with the exception of no-chemistry Casey and boring Cliff. Those of us who ship Mindy and Danny have seen enough of Danny's longing gazes and Mindy's complete cluelessness towards them. Something had to happen and this was it. This is the beginning of them, not the end. Some back and forth action after the hiatus, some confusion, and some trying to keep this a secret from everyone in the office is definitely in store. I'm ready for it as long as they end up together and Mindy gets her well-deserved rom com ending with Daniel Mussolini Castellano. Plus the first time I ever saw this show I thought he was some weird guy from work who had an obsessive crush on her.

  • kerryleanne Jan 23, 2014

    Team Cliff.

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