Since this is a sitcom, the episode turns each of those problems into a ticking time bomb. The Lahiris fly in to surprise Mindy and Danny, throw them an engagement party, and announce that they want to pay for the entire wedding, which they’d like to have in Boston. Annette feels completely slighted. She wants to plan the wedding, and she also wants it to be in New York. No one really seems to care what Danny and Mindy want, and they’re both terrible at saying no to their mothers. This just adds to the larger underlying tension in their relationship, which is already simmering to quite the healthy boil.
While Danny seems perfectly content to let his mother take control of planning his wedding, he’s turning out to be a control freak when it comes to managing his relationship with Mindy. He hasn’t reached Christian “I exercise control in all things” Grey levels of mind-fuckery, but he’s calling all the shots and deciding things without ever making sure they’re what Mindy wants, too.
Mindy, unfortunately, has let the problem persist too long. Also, rather than deal with it directly, she’s used the fact that Danny’s been in California to do several things behind his back. She’s returned to work at Schulman & Associates (and decided that she doesn’t want to be a stay-at-home mom), something that Danny thinks is just a temporary thing that will end now that he’s home. She’s also continued her fertility practice. On top of that, Mindy has gone into business with Jody (Garret Dillahunt). They’re now taking Later Baby — where they pitch the idea of egg freezing to college-age females — on the road.
If you’re keeping score at home, that’s three jobs Mindy would very much like to continue doing, but zero that she’s told Danny about.
Naturally, he’s more than a little peeved when he learns about Later Baby in the form of Jody storming into the engagement party to pack Mindy’s clothes for a speaking engagement at his racist alma mater. Danny really wants Mindy to stay home with Leo. He felt neglected as a latchkey kid because Annette was a single mother, who had to work. He doesn’t recognize how different his and Mindy’s lives are from his mother’s.
Mindy counters, saying that she feels like she’s being bullied into staying home. By this point, they’re screaming at each other. “I don’t even recognize this relationship anymore,” Danny yells, before he storms out of the room. It’s a valid point. He been extremely disconnected while caring for his father, and Mindy seems to have no agency when it comes to voicing her feelings to Danny. To Danny, this issue seems to be coming out of nowhere. From Mindy’s perspective, she thought Danny was going to recognize exactly how she was feeling, and suddenly have a complete change of heart about wanting her to stay home. It’s frustrating, and you basically want to shake both of them and spout some cliché about how important it is to communicate in a relationship.
Bolstered by support from the most unlikely of places (Annette), Mindy decides to go on her business trip with Jody. Danny follows closely behind, wanting to make a grand gesture of support by appearing in the audience of college females, who are there to learn about freezing their eggs. The gesture doesn’t go over quite as planned, though. While Danny does realize how successful Mindy is proving to be at this business venture, he still isn’t grasping the big picture.
“You could stay home with Leo and do this on weekends,” he tells Mindy. Danny also reveals that he suddenly changed their wedding date from a vague time in the distant future to a definitive one in the near future so that they could have more kids. He assumes Mindy is on the same page, but as always, when it comes to Danny, she looks hesitant, and like she absolutely disagrees, but stays quiet. Why does she act like this with her future husband, the person who supposedly knows her best? Morgan (Ike Barinholtz) would be able to see the hesitation on her face in a second. Time and time again, Danny is blind to Mindy’s feelings. Is the show hinting at them breaking up?
The final conversation between Mindy and Jody on the plane also points at a possible split. Mindy confesses that she’s not sure if she wants more children. “We’ll figure it out,” she tells Jody. He says that the last time he uttered that phrase, he had to leave behind the love of his life, and move to New York City. It’s a cautionary tale. “Just make sure that when you do figure out exactly what you want, you don’t lose sight of it,” Jody says.
Mindy turns to look at Danny sleeping next to her, and then longingly out the window. What is going through her mind? Will she ever assert herself and tell Danny what she really wants? We’re rapidly approaching the mid-season finale on December 8, and Mindy Kaling does love a cliffhanger. Is that where we’re headed? TBD, I guess.
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