Tuesday, September 22, 2015

REVIEW: 'The Mindy Project' - Mindy Doesn't Give Birth the Way She Planned in 'C Is For Coward'

Hulu's The Mindy Project - Episode 4.02 "C Is For Coward"

Danny and a very pregnant Mindy cannot agree on a birthing plan, but these OB/GYNs are reminded that some things are totally out of their control.

The fourth season of The Mindy Project is off to a really strong start. The season premiere and "C Is For Coward" are very consistent, play to the show's strengths and are absolutely hilarious. Sure, there are still some very big problems with the supporting ensemble. But the core of Mindy, Danny and Morgan is so emotionally resonate that it's able to carry these first two episodes to greatness. The move to Hulu has given the show a strong confidence boost. The emotions are high and well-earned while never being disrespectful to the characters. That's huge for the show especially in a time where its expanding its world yet again with the most daunting addition - a baby.

It's not all that surprising that Mindy is giving birth so early in the season. It was a story carried over into the new season because the last part of the third didn't have enough time to cram it all in. Parenthood is bound to shake up Mindy, Danny and their relationship. That's a promising development too. They are two characters who hold strong to their beliefs. It's a tad baffling that the two haven't discussed a birthing plan so close to the due date. And yet, it feels right that Mindy would rather skip all that pain because she knows exactly what is going to happen to her body. As an OB/GYN, she knows how giving birth has the potential to harm her in more ways than one. It's a miracle when she's delivering someone else's baby. But with her own, she would rather skip all that hard part and wake up to her son being out in the world. Danny strongly disagrees with that approach. Sure, Mindy's plans are a tad over-the-top. Her birthing suite is very ridiculous. But that's in keeping with the character. The show respects that as her point-of-view. It does the same with Danny, who wants to do things naturally so that both can experience it as the miracle it is suppose to be.

Both Mindy and Danny are right to hold onto these feelings. It's humorous that Danny attempts to induce the labor in order to get his way. He even goes to Brendan in order to get the tips on what's most effective in this situation. Certainly as an OB/GYN, he would know some of them. It's largely just an excuse for Danny and Brendan to come together again because Danny needs something. It works because the scene is so funny. It was also established that all of these things are things that Mindy would enjoy. She loves spicy food. She has craved alcohol for her entire pregnancy. She loves being pampered with a message. Even the teaser shows just how horny she is in the days before giving birth. Mindy is enjoying all of it until she realizes what Danny is up to. After that, it turns to things she doesn't like so much - like getting scared when she opens up the refrigerator.

It's expected that neither of them gets what they want. And yet, that's what makes this episode so special. They are both making plans in order to best handle the situation. But it's something they can only somewhat plan in advance. Mindy is forced to deliver her baby on a stuck subway train. The only people there to comfort her are Morgan, Tamra, Beverly and the Deslauriers. Danny isn't even there as she experiences the pain she never wanted to feel. Danny is too busy going to Jeremy's free dinner. He does get some insight into why Mindy wants to avoid actually delivering the baby. She's scared and wants to run away from it. But it's Danny who does the actual running when he learns what's happening with Mindy. Nothing is going to get in his way. He does not want to miss the birth of his son. He runs through a shut down subway station and the tunnel just to be there for Mindy. That's such a powerful sequence. When he does arrive, he is able to motivate her with the best speech he could possibly give her in a time like this. He reassures her that she is the strongest person he has ever known - even more than Ma! - because she is "stone cold bitch."

Mindy will certainly be a memorable mother. Plenty of things will come up that she can't run away from or pass off onto Danny. And yet, she is able to find the strength to deliver her son naturally. She didn't think she could but she did. When she's holding him in her arms, he is so beautiful that the rest of the world fades away. She's still trying to get her fertility clinic off the ground. But in that moment all she cares about are the two men in her life. They just have to find a name for him. Danny wants to name him after a historical figure while Mindy wants to go the celebrity route. They settle on Leo for both Leonardo Da Vinci and Leonardo DiCaprio. It's a beautiful and perfect name. They are now officially parents surrounded by an immense amount of love. Sure, it's a little weird that the entire office comes into the room as the camera pans out to the rest of the world. But it's also a very great moment that centers on what the show is about at this moment. All of the characters come together to celebrate the miracle of Mindy and Danny becoming parents. It may be a tough road in the future. But they are willing to embrace every obstacle thrown their way together.

Some more thoughts:
  • "C Is For Coward" was written by Matt Warburton and directed by Alex Hardcastle.
  • Jeremy's new girlfriend, Whitney, is Cristin Milioti, right? I remember her doing one episode last season but can't remember what their dynamic is like at all. This episode does interesting things with Jeremy. He has to trick people into coming to his free dinner. That's slightly amusing for someone who still doesn't completely come across as a multi-dimensional character.
  • Dan Bakkedahl is still on the show as the new OB/GYN hired at the office. His marital troubles are on the mend though. But how often will he be seen given that he has a regular commitment to CBS' Life in Pieces?
  • Always love when Brooke Burke pops up in support of Brendan and Duncan's business.
  • Morgan: "Brendan has the charisma of a young Paul Newman."
  • Mindy: "Okay, the most beautiful moment of my life is when I got a selfie with Gayle King on that flight."
  • Mindy: "He can't come out early. Then he'd be a Virgo and they are honest and reliable."
  • Danny: "Why does everyone assume I was molested?"
  • Mindy: "Were you trying to boink the baby out of me?"
  • Mindy: "How many times have I told you. The only thing you're allowed to kiss is my feet."
  • Mindy: "Why is it so hard to believe Morgan is hilarious? He should be hosting The Daily Show."
  • Tamra: "A subway baby? You're gonna be on the Ellen show."
  • Mindy: "Nature sucks. I need drugs. Someone get me drugs!"
  • Mindy: "I love you, Leo Castellano."