Much as we should all be grateful for a return appearance of little Leo, this is a filler episode. With only two episodes left after this one to end the season, Mindy goes off into a pointless (yet fun) departure into the world of soap opera acting. Although given her fascination with celebrity, it makes sense, and fortunately the world of Tides Of Tomorrow is a hilarious parody of daytime drama (best was the baby’s actual father, the Swami, skulking back into the shadows with a bottle of wine).
Guy Branum’s new script is much more successful than his previous one, with the nice balance of absurd humor that sets The Mindy Project apart: Colette stapling Leo’s picture to the cake, for example, or Jeremy’s magnificent two lines from L&O: SVU. Again, it seems unlikely that even Mindy would be naive enough to get duped by another stage mom into offering notes to the show writer (“I’m a writer too; my erotic memoir Tousled Sheets was printed out at Kinko’s”). I guess if she wasn’t, she wouldn’t be Mindy, and it does lead to the momentary resolution of her current romantic triangle.
As a single mom, Mindy has to walk a tough line between keeping Leo from her dates until they’re serious enough, then wanting the other person to invest in her kid as well. But there’s no way that Drew, a long-distance relationship to begin with, will care as much about Leo as Mindy does, so her expectations are a bit unrealistic here. Also, Drew has been blowing her off pretty consistently lately, so his departure from her life is not a surprise.
But Jody’s investment in Leo seems out of nowhere, as near as I can figure: Have we even seen the two of them together before? Still, Jody’s impassioned defense of Leo is enough to swing Mindy and Jody from platonic to romantic. As you know, I’m just not feeling it, although a beaten-up Jody decrying the fact that Leo was replaced on set was kind of sweet.
It’s also important that Jody has reached a comeuppance this episode: His affair with his brother’s wife has been revealed, leading to a reunion with Colette and apparently his status as a changed man, now worthy of Mindy. Forbes and his walking stick appeared to fit right into bizarre Kimball-Kinney family dynamic. Colette’s shift to the other doctors just showed how well the office is balanced as it is, with the pairs of Mindy and Morgan, Jody and Colette, and Tamra and Jeremy (that last one is the best of all: “I tell Tamra what to do, and she tells me why she doesn’t have time to do it.”). Shuffling the nurses around and, really, showing the secondary cast a bit more, does nothing but help the show, even though the A plot and B plot had very little interaction until intersecting at the end (What did Mindy do with all her patients when she was pursuing Leo’s star quality on set?).
Mindy and Morgan, for all their dysfunction, are a solid working unit: The show starts with him bringing her magazine that kicks off the whole storyline in the first place. In his blind devotion, Morgan easily takes whatever Mindy dishes out, even a last-minute change to a Mediterranean menu. Tamra and Colette know that Dr. L is nuts, throwing things and paying other people to pose as her at high school reunions. Separating the two was an on-point reminder of what Morgan brings to the table and why he works in the show.
Because overall, this workplace ensemble is solid: Beverly’s one-liners are better than ever, and Tamra could run the whole office. Colette doesn’t really land with me, but I’m so happy to see more of characters like Jeremy that it doesn’t bother me much (honestly, I wish there was a whole episode of just his drama coaching). But in the end, we all know what this is leading to, don’t we, as the season draws to a close: Mindy is now involved with Jody, which means that Danny is likely just around the corner. This episode helped set up all these proper pieces into place, and had a pretty good time doing so.
- “What’s next, directing? Nah, that’s a man’s job.” Hope this is a meta shoutout to Mindy Kaling directing episodes of this show: She helmed a few over at The Office, but hasn’t here yet.
- “I can act too. ‘I like my job.’ See?” More Beverly, please.
- The back-stabbing stage mom was Tracie Thoms, from Devil Wears Prada and Love.
- Arizona: John McCain. Old people. Pool noodles. Meth.
- Mindy’s best outfit: I liked the purple and gold sleeveless dress with the matching gold bag. Stunning, and looked great on her.
- Mindy’s worst outfit: Do bow-tie blouses look good on anyone? Suspecting not, but especially not in brown, paired with unflattering nautical pants (above).