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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?



Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 5/24/2016

Season 4 : Episode 20

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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.
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Beverly mentioned about her husband, but is her husband currently alive or dead?
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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!
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I CANT FREAKING WAIT FOR APRIL 1ST, FINALLY MY OTP!
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Manny > Nessy
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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?
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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!
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I hope they doesn't screw this up.. I'd hate that.
this was the road to be taken.. and that kiss was HOOOOTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!
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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.
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Team Cliff.
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I agree. I think that kiss was written a little too early. I've always admired the show for its unpredictability, but that cliffhanger felt really contrived. I will still watch the show though. Love Peter & Morgan's dynamic :))
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I can see them making the sex really bad and having them revert to their friendhip dynamic really quickly. I actually really like Mindy and Danny together so I hope that doesn't happen, even though I can see it.
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Yes yes yes squeal squeal SQUEAAAAAL!
Oh and how cute was mini-Danny?
I thought it was well timed as when they get back, Mindy is going to have to face Cliff to whom she just apologised (with Danny as her very own Cyrano) to get him back so that is going to cause some natural and entertaining shenanigans as Danny & Mindy have to keep their new relationship in secret. Yep secrets in that OB-GYN are an impossibility.
I like them as a couple as, like you say, he's mr. no nonsense and she runs her life according to the latest soap opera/boyband/shoe brand obsession... But they are both good doctors committed to their patients and their practice so yep, I am totally shipping these two...
I fear however we won't see much more of them since this break Fox is giving Mindy until April feels like enough time time to just tidy up the show for a neat series finale this year... Shame cause Mindy is super adorable!
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It was a good kiss, but I didn't get the same emotional punch out of it that I did with New Girl. With that show it felt like perfect timing, it felt mutual, it felt earned. With The Mindy Project, its not like the seeds hadn't been planted but somehow it felt more like the show had no other choice but to do it right now. Also (and this is a problem I've always had with the show), Mindy makes me laugh but I simply don't care enough about her to get invested in her relationships. Her shallow & narcissistic personality is great for comedy, but that makes it hard for me to take her seriously when she has to connect to someone in a real, sincere way. I'm not convinced that Mindy can match the emotional depth that Danny has shown.

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People care about the plot of this show?
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Oh, also: it's nice to see something about The Mindy Project on this site.
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So awesome, I'm still squealing!
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It was time. The superficial relationships Mindy keeps getting into are becoming a little tedious. And if Danny didn't make his move now chances are the writers would have drug his feet till the series end and we wouldn't get to see the relationship build into something real which would have been a shame. Now we have a chance to see where this goes with enough time to explore the relationship.
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I have rather enjoyed the build-up, and I wasn't ready for the kiss. I love that he pines for her and that she obliviously just keeps going about her romantic business. That being said, doesn't mean I didn't squeal and clap like a nut. :) I would be very, very happy if it was a stress-induced daydream only because I fear it may go the way of The New Girl which IMO sucks horribly after Nick and Jess got together-- I can't even watch it anymore. I heart Danny!!!!
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I thought it was great, will they/won't they gets so old so fast...plus how many random guys can mindy hook up with before danny just gives up? he's realized for a while how he feels about her (like when he ended things for his ex-wife) and danny deserves to be happy even though im sure their relationship will be rocky...i'm glad it happened. i think the hiatus is poorly timed and i hope it doesn't affect the future of the show, but i imagine a lot of people will have american idol/olympic fever soon....
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I squeeeeed at the top of my lungs when it happened and went to bed with the biggest smile on my face! I don't think it's too soon (especially with the shows fate in such a gray area) and I don't think it's a cheap chiffhanger.... Especially since they didn't know at the time of filming that they would be on hiatus for a lil over two months.

I kinda think they might go "The Nanny" route with this. Where there are the near misses and not yet ready to admit how you feel moments before the final give in. So this could really just be the beginning.

Especially since Danny likes to rationalize and Mindy is extremely impulsive. For all we know he might chalk it up to him being in an emotional state and Mindy just going with it because of her need to romanitize everything.
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It won't work out. At least not yet. This is endgame material. Trouble is I think the show isn't sure if its coming back for another season. If it gets cancelled then it will probably be back and forth for a couple of eps and then work out in the finale.

But if it gets renewed then I anticipate a lot of back and forth tension and some Cliff drama, then it not working out.
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I loved it! The plane was perfect because the turbulence brought Danny back to that time (in Season 1?) when he clutched Mindy's hand because he was scared. I think the show can make a lot with this and since we don't know if it comes back for a third Season, it was a good move either way.
Also, Danny is awesome.
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YES
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I was happy about the kiss. I did actually squeal and clap but I hate it when the obvious guy and girl get together. Maybe it'll ease the tension and they can move on.
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I think they really had no choice but to finally go there. All this tension has been so obvious for many episodes now and it was only a question of when – so what better time than the beginning of a hiatus?
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I squeeeeeeed as much of the rest of you when Danny and Mindy kissed, but I don't think good things will come out of this. I was prepared to hold on a bit longer because maybe then they would get to stay together. I assume that now they become a couple and maybe break up around the end of season 2? I don't know you guys, but that makes me kinda sad as well.

Nevertheless, this was a very good episode, a big improvement from the previous, more drama than comedy, episode!
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'Bout freaking time. His cynicism nicely contrasts with her optimism. He helps keep her grounded & realistic while she make him reach out of his comfort zone. They obviously respect, trust, & care about each other a great deal. That was clear when Mndy wanted Danny to be her gyno and she was comfortable being naked with him while he was too nervous around her to go through with the whole exam. They don't have to end up together, but they should try a more-than-platonic relationship, at least to solidify their friendship. Sort of like Jerry & Elaine. I could picture them watching something Mindy-esque like Project Runway together while sitting on a couch eating takeout BSing about their love lives, families, or anything else.
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Loved the turbulence because it referenced back to their flight in S1 where their feelings for each other first surfaced in a big way...
Loved how Danny basically wrote that letter to Mindy, telling her - even if she was anaware - that he knows they're right for each other because she forces him to be the best version of himself.
I want them together.
Having said that, however, it all depends on where they go from here. Hopefully they won't just dismiss the kiss and have Mindy get back together with Cliff.
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I think they will dismiss the kiss as a sort of turbulence/emotional spur of the moment kind of thing. Since Cliff is going to want her back when she gets to New York, I think Mindy will be conflicted about it, Danny and she will get into an argument about it, Danny will give up 'cause he'll realize that he can't give Mindy the kind of fairy tale fantasy she wants, Mindy will end up with Cliff...probably break up after a couple of episodes (unless Mindy chooses none of them and eats a large pint of ice cream while watching "You've Got Mail" and decides to start a random internet correspondence with some random guy who she wants to fall in love with but ends up being in jail....or wildly age inappropriate....) I digress, at any rate Cliff and Mindy break up (maybe for family reasons) or he proposes/ they get drunk and wake up married and the whole Danny loves Mindy "Dandy" thing is postponed until the season finale leaving the tensions of office romance and the undoubted clash of Danny and Mindy's romantic personalities for season 3.

The turbulence in the plane scene reminded me of "The Nanny", but now that you mention it that scene from "Santa Fe" was sort of the real beginning of "Dandy."
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The show's central humor is about Mindy not being able to find anybody; I think it was a mistake to plant Danny in the first place.
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Hmmm I never thought of that. I actually think the show is centered around how Mindy's fantastical Movie-bred ideas of true love and romance simultaneously help her know what she values in men and hinder her from having meaningful romantic relationships. That said, I think Danny's very pragmatic and often jaded view of relationships is essential to the creation of a balanced idea of love in a post i-phone professional world.

From a personal standpoint, it'd suck if after all this at the end of the show Mindy just ends up a successful Dr. who couldn't find true love. Hence, even if they don't end up together, i appreciate Danny being built into the love plot if only just to sooth my mental nerves.
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I literally squealed and clapped my hands like a retarded seal lol. I'm just soooo happy!
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That kiss was SEXXY!!

I saw it coming but still thoroughly enjoyed it haha #FOXdoeskisseswell
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Yeeeaah, obvious pimp for ratings and typical mid-season cliffhanger. I've been divided on this show, it has its cute moments, but I've never LOLd like with New Girl or Community, which have just as many adorbs and also breaks new comedy ground. Mindy is an interesting and funny lead, but they don't have a great supporting cast, so without the sexual tension of its two stars, there's really not much point for this show. They need to expand their universe beyond the "will they won't they" paradigm or it's gonna die fast and quiet.
Another thing, even though I like Mindy, the character has started to get just a bit too flaky with men (how many has she slept with?). Also sooo much celebrity talk and ditzy girl stereotypes... ugh. I get that the private practice is just a backdrop for all the sitcom hilarity, but how is she a doctor exactly? It would be nice to temper her desire for love and romance (and the constant need for a man) with more passion for her career.
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from what I read from a mindy baling interview she said they will hook up but that doesn't things will work out between them..so I'm expecting a twist there
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Yes, I liked this move, I was squealing. I have faith the writers will work something out. It did make sense to happen at this moment after Danny said something along the lines of, you know someone's the right person when they force you to be the best version of yourself, which obviously was directed towards Mindy and his relationship; and the turbulence was a reminder to him of their last almost true-feelings realization last season, before Danny's ex showed up. Can I see a relationship being sustained? At this point in the show?... I don't think so, so I understand the reluctance to accept . But happy it happened. Danny Castellano is adorable.
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