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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Mindy Project: “What About Peter?”

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Well, if we weren’t already broken up about Adam Pally leaving The Mindy Project, “What About Peter?” highlights everything he brings to the show. Like Peter’s unchartable chemistry with Mindy, who tends to treat him like an unfinished lab experiment (all the way from “See, he said ‘relax’ instead of ‘masturbate’!” to “Oh God, he’s a monster.”) as he gets exposed to grownup concepts like curtains and groceries. Pally’s frat-boy doctor continues his entertaining slow slide toward adulthood, as he’s recently decided he wants to date non-airheads and even broke up with someone who was able to party all the time in favor of his job.

You can take the boy of the (hilarious) frat house apartment, but that still doesn’t mean he’s not going to leave his dog and groceries at the strip club or slide right out of the window. I’m not saying that this schtick could not get slightly old after awhile, but our three main players nailed every scene tonight as Peter invades Mindy’s and Danny’s lives and, again, forces them to face their commitment hurdles. It’s a bit disappointing that Mindy would throw Peter right under the bus, and he’s right to call her out on her relationship issues. Which probably helped her get to her awesome episode-ending realizations.


The misidentifying-someone-in-the-shower sitcom trope is as old as time, but I still laughed my ass off when naked Danny and Peter got stuck in the doorway. And there are so many great lines (penned by Ike Barinholtz, who plays Morgan, and David Stassen, who directed), I’m pretty sure I’ve transcribed practically the entire episode in my notes. Some favorite moments that immediately come to mind: wondering how Peter’s date managed to get lyme disease from his old apartment, Jeremy using the baby as a human shield, Mindy trying to talk through her apnea mask and mouth guard, and “This is stupid, it’s like an ant fighting with Thumbelina.”

In our continuing exploration of adulthood, Morgan takes the lead by helping Jeremy babysit his girlfriend Lauren’s baby. Like last week, I appreciate the turnaround when Morgan is the one in charge with all the answers, unlike Jeremy Matilda Weeks and his peasant blouse. It’s not a combo we’ve seen together often before, but the two played off nicely together, even featuring a callback to Mindy’s many rhyming platitudes. And it’s true: Babies really love it when you hurt yourself.


On the surface, these two plots don’t appear to intersect, so why do I get the feeling that they soon will? Jeremy loves Lauren, but not hanging out with Henry. Peter, on the verge of becoming an actual grownup, loves them both.

So the dual plotlines feature a series of fine yet predictable turn of events, but the episode is hit out of the park yet again by Danny and Mindy’s relationship talk. Danny’s back-and-forth is a bit confusing here: From the moment the two got together in last season’s finale “Danny And Mindy,” they’ve discussed their future family as if it was a foregone conclusion. Danny has told Mindy that he’s “all in” before. So why would he want to live with his mother first and not Mindy? Since the diary discovery a few weeks ago (another nice callback; also, interns!), he has been a bit more reticent to fully commit to Mindy, even though we’ve seen in the past that she’s all he wants. It would be helpful to see some more reason for his hesitation; his divorce has been mentioned, but we could use more exploration of that.


Fortunately, as for Mindy herself, both character and actress, she owns that last scene. She says she’ll be fine either way, and with her unfailing belief in her own awesomeness, we believe it. Mindy has waited for her romantic ideal for this long, of course she isn’t going to settle for anything less. So she walks out of that apartment like a boss while knocking the ball directly into Danny’s court. Well done.

The Mindy Project has touched on the perils of growing up before (season two’s “Sk8ter Man”): Doesn’t Peter even refer to himself as “Peter Pan” before sliding out the window? But there comes a time in adulthood when everything comes to a head. After a certain age, you can’t live with people who will put a weave in your hair when you pass out. You can’t date someone who has a kid if you have absolutely no interest in kids. And, as even Danny’s mom pointed out recently, you can’t date someone forever who’s looking for more of a commitment. At some point, we all realize that life is too short not to face up to what we really want to get out of it. This week, most of our Mindy Project characters come to some sort of realization about where they are at this point in their lives.


Next up is the Christmas episode, a favorite season for rom-commers, as The Mindy Project hints toward some giant romantic resolution either way for Mindy and Danny.

Stray observations:

  • We also got to see all of our male leads shirtless this week, from the ridiculous (Peter getting greased up for his slide run) to the sublime (Danny, of course).
  • Rihanna book signing = reason China is winning
  • Bush is a Kennedy.
  • I also loved the ad for Danny’s apartment: “Pet-haters’ dream: A perfect place to take your shoes off and not smoke.”
  • Also the rules for Danny’s apartment: “No halogens. No hot plates. Use poster putty. No posters.”
  • Can you believe they forgot to put the filling in the cannoli?
  • The latest heinous flavor in Danny’s line of home brews: Dr. Dan’s Wintermelon Ale
  • Mindy’s best outfits: I need to own those two Issa print dresses: the sleeveless coral print at the beginning of the episode and blue and red pattern when Mindy is taking to Ray the contractor. Unfortunately, the blue and red one is already sold out.
  • Again, apologies for the lateness of this review: Turns out my TiVo had a very untimely death right on the middle of last night’s episode. I appreciate your patience, and am glad some of you took to the comments immediately anyway!