After what felt like four long months away, Mindy Kaling's "The Mindy Project" returned to the air Tuesday night with an episode packed with the sort of stunts the show's devotees love, as well as the haphazard sub-plots and cameo appearances its detractors loathe.
But all in all, fans fearing that Mindy Lahiri and Danny Castellano's relationship, consummated with an incredible rom-com moment atop the Empire State Building in the Season 2 finale, would head straight to the rocks in Season 3 had plenty of relationship drama to latch onto in the Season 3 premiere titled, appropriately, "We're A Couple Now, Haters." These fans got exactly what they were hoping for with this episode, including not one but two incredible "OMG Chris Messina" moments within the episode's FIRST MINUTE.
Here's a rundown of some of our favorite moments:
- Danny wears that skin tight hot pink polo. (Maybe a boys' size medium?) And we really mean WEARS.
- Danny dancing for Mindy to Boston's "More Than a Feeling." (Turns out that performance to Aaliyah last season was just a preview of coming attractions. More of this please!)
- Both times Danny removes his red-rimmed magnetic closure reading glasses.
- Danny's bizarre hand motion for neck rubbing, which Mindy mistakes for breast fondling.
- The hot pink "Diamond" stripper thong. Everything about this.
- Mindy encouraging Peter (Adam Pally) to get his girlfriend Lauren (Tracey Wigfield) an $8,000 diamond tiara instead of diamond earrings.
- The name of the strip club where Danny, a.k.a. Diamond Dan, worked to pay for medical school was Exquisite Butts. That says it all.
- Danny plays the intro to "Let It Go" from "Frozen" on the piano.
- Peter thought Jeremy (Ed Weeks) was gay, mistaking Jeremy's father for his boyfriend.
- Mindy drops her best kitchen knife from the fire escape.
- Danny carried a purse to school in fourth and fifth grade because his mother couldn't afford a backpack.
- Danny's "American Woman" striptease. That's how you end an episode. I mean..
What we could have done without:
- The cameo from Morgan's Cousin Lou (Rob McElhenney) to work on IT at the office was kind of a mess, though the Richard Lewis neck tattoo was a really nice touch.
- Why Morgan (Ike Barinholtz) was so set on setting Lou up with Mindy, the "rich Indian spinstress," right in front of Danny. This made zero sense and distracted from the episode's story arc.
- Lauren's Doctors Without Molars cameo also felt empty and incidental.
- Tamra (Xosha Roquemore) deserves something better to do than complaining about her phone battery dying and taking video of her coworkers.
- Peter to Danny, explaining what Mindy said about Danny's mouth: "She said you're like a thirsty camel at a desert oasis."
- Mindy: "I am mad charitable, I donated two cans of soup to get into a Katy Perry Q&A."
- Beverley (Beth Grant): "I can't go, I have tickets to an execution."
- Danny: "OK, we don't eat popsicles like that here."
- Danny: "No, I'm not gossiping, I don't do that. This is just me reporting the questionable goings-on of people we know."
- Danny : "I would never let my woman plan a charity event with some guy." Mindy: "And I would never plan a charity event."
- Mindy: "I have a box with my ex-boyfriends' hair, but I keep it for curses."
- Mindy: "Zorro? I'm too young to understand that reference."
- Mindy: "I'm sleepy, I don't want to look at your coin collection!"
"The Mindy Project" airs on Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. EDT on Fox.