With Mindy Lahiri and Danny Castellano happily coupled, it was only a matter of time before the meeting of the parents re-commenced on "The Mindy Project."
The last time we were in a similar spot on this show, Mindy (Kaling) met Danny (Chris Messina)'s estranged father in California last season. That episode was co-written by Kaling and Tracey Wigfield, who steps up to taking full writing credit for Danny's mother entering the fray via a sensational cameo by Rhea Perlman. Wigfield, who has also played Peter's (now ex-)girlfriend Lauren in a recurring role, strikes a delicate balance with a packed-yet-focused script that allows the "Mindy" players to truly sparkle.
As the episode begins, we meet Mrs. Castellano when she barges into Danny's apartment unexpectedly. It isn't until Danny's mom shows up at the office that she realizes Mindy is Danny's girlfriend, not his housekeeper -- good one, Danny! -- and Mindy learns about a birthday brunch happening the next day.
Naturally, Mindy shows up at brunch determined to win her over via her "fool-proof four-point mom-catching plan" and the plan is working -- until she hints that she is aware Danny pays his QVC doll-obsessed mom's bills. Annette storms out of the restaurant and it isn't until Mindy confronts her at a hotel, where she's begun cleaning rooms again out of embarrassment that her son is supporting her, that the two begin to reconcile. A trip to Danny's childhood home in Staten Island later, the hatchet appears to have been buried.These were some of our favorite moments and revelations from the episode:
- Danny's mom pops into his apartment regularly to drop off old issues of TV Guide.
- Danny was born two months early, "just three inches tall!"
- As much as we enjoyed kicking off last week's premiere with "More Than a Feeling," we're glad to see the original theme song is back.
- Danny has to give Mindy a daily present or else she "freaks out."
- Morgan (Ike Barinholtz) sitting on the office bathroom toilet with the stall door open: "Relax, I'm just peeing."
- Mindy has been banned from a frozen yogurt shop for "sample fraud."
- The return of Danny's brother Richie (Max Minghella), who "plays tennis and he makes that web series about how to be gay on a budget." Danny says he needs a haircut.
- Danny, reading the menu (extra loud) after his mom forgot her reading glasses: "Deviled eggs, TEN DOLLARS."
- Richie gets big points from mom for the NYC bear from the airport Hudson News.
- Morgan reminiscing over watching "America's Got Talent" with his dog.
- Tamra (Xosha Roquemore)'s allergy attack claims the life of a tray of croissants. Excellent physical comedy moment.
- Mindy holding down Danny's mother while trying to pop her hip back into place: "ELDER RAPE!"
- Tamra's expression after Morgan gives his dog to Peter. This debate doesn't feel over.
- Danny's trademark goofy smile as he turns around after putting "Strange Magic" (Electric Light Orchestra) on in his childhood bedroom.
- Mindy: "My rate? That's a great question: I think I'm an 8, you know? A 10 in Chicago, then a 4 in Los Angeles.."
- Mindy: "Danny, I have told everyone about us. I even told my waxer that beautiful poem you wrote." Danny: "'Brown Orchid'? That was for your eyes only! It was beautiful and it was erotic."
- Mindy, after Danny's mom apologizes for mistaking her for Danny's housekeeper: "No, it happens all the time. One Thanksgiving, a little boy thought I was the Dora the Explorer balloon."
- Annette: "Enough with that Michael Fassbender and his penis!" Mindy: "I know, put some clothes on, you ugly perv!"
- Morgan: "Adult-onset allergy is a real thing! She's also recently found out she's allergic to all metal that's not gold and she's allergic to all seafood that's not very expensive lobster."
- Danny: "Italian people don't get over things. They let their anger fester and ferment for years. That's why our wine's so good."
- Beverley (Beth Grant): "This cake is terrible." Peter (Adam Pally): "That's a dog treat." Beverley: "I know!"
- Mindy: "Every night when I fall asleep on the sofa, he carries me to bed. Well, he tries to, then he drags me by the leg."
- Mindy: "My parents send me an e-mail every day and the subject heading is 'Mindy's Compliment Corner.'"
- Annette: "A boy's bedroom should never have an erection in it! … I bought Danny those pants and he's tearing right through them!"
- Mindy is very, very quick to forgive Danny for what many partners would be very, very upset about. This takes a bit of a leap of logic considering Mindy's usual temperament, but we're not that mad about it, because it allowed the episode to soldier on.
- The total absence of Jeremy (Ed Weeks). What happened to him!? Who's leading the search party?
- That's seriously about it. This episode? Seriously almost flawless.
What adventures will come next for Mindy and Danny? Duh, we need to meet these parents who send Mindy daily e-mail affirmations! Onward!
"The Mindy Project" airs on Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. EDT on Fox.