Tuesday, December 1, 2015

REVIEW: 'The Mindy Project' - Mindy and Danny Selfishly Try to Manipulate the Other in 'The Parent Trap'

Hulu's The Mindy Project - Episode 4.12 "The Parent Trap"

Mindy excitedly tends to her first pregnant patient at her new fertility clinic, but is suspicious Danny may be trying to get her pregnant again.

Mindy and Danny's relationship right now is in a very precarious spot. The breakdown of communication and understanding the other's needs this season has been an interesting main story. It has had moments of both greatness and awkwardness. Everything has really been leading up to this episode and the big fight that happens between Mindy and Danny and makes them question whether this is still a stable relationship for both of them. That's an interesting place to go with these characters. The show got so much better once it focused on Mindy and Danny's relationship. And now, it's just as complex to watch the breakdown of that relationship. It's even uncertain where the story is planning on going. The show could just as easily break them up as have them makeup. That's a fascinating aspect of this story. The show could go any way and that makes the experience much more personal to Mindy and Danny.

Mindy and Danny both make some selfish decisions behind each other's backs in "The Parent Trap." The episode really only comes together during their big fight and its aftermath. Before that, they are both trying to work around their issues without needing to have yet another fight about their relationship and their plans for the future. Danny is keeping track of Mindy's ovulation cycle in the hopes of getting her secretly pregnant again. He's hoping that another baby would get her to change and come around to his way of thinking. That's horribly manipulative. It's almost as if he disregards the lessons he learned from being a stay-at-home parent and the conversation he had with his future father-in-law last week. But he changed because of Mindy. She was a good influence on him. And now, he has Leo. Even though she's very against staying at home with the children and quitting her three jobs, he holds out hope that getting pregnant again would be enough for her to change her mind.

Mindy doesn't want another baby right now. She has always dreamed of being in the life of a romantic comedy. She got that with her relationship with Danny. She got the man and the baby. But now, she wants her career as well. She is so proud of everything that she has been able to do with her fertility practice. Her first miracle baby is about to be born. That is a huge achievement for her. She created that life. That's so beautiful to her. She doesn't want to stop all of this just in order to make Danny happy. She discovers what he has been doing and promptly gets on birth control to stop his plan. She does so without being honest to Danny or Jody. She's doing this to focus on herself. But she's not being honest with Danny about what she wants right now. Of course, he finds out what she has been up to. That's what leads to this big fight between the two of them.

Both Mindy and Danny are selfishly trying to do things in this episode in order to win in this relationship. Neither one of them comes across all that well. And yet, Danny comes across as more stubborn and unwilling to change his mind. He is still holding onto the plan that they agreed to before he went to California to care for his father. During that time, Mindy was able to focus on her career without having to worry about her relationship with Danny. Now that he's back, they have to figure out how to be honest with each other again. This fight is ugly but they do get some truths out there. Danny may be right in saying that Mindy is selfish for prioritizing her career over her family. And yet, Mindy rightfully points out that Danny can't be right all the time. He always wants to make all the decisions and be the one carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. He wants to work in order to provide for the family. He took off for California to help his estranged father by himself. Danny struggles with asking for help because he wants to be the selfless one falling on his sword to better the important people in his life. That's a life he has lived for a long time. It gets to the root of something deep within him. This fight may bring about the end of Danny and Mindy if something doesn't happen soon.

It doesn't seem as if either side is going to be backing down anytime soon either. When Mindy returns home from her big and celebratory delivery, Danny says they should probably delay the wedding. That's something that Mindy didn't want. She wanted to delay having this conversation until after the wedding. They both still love each other and want to get married. But these issues are very important for the future of their lives as a family. They need to have them figured out before they get married. Right now, they are so firmly on opposite sides of the discussion. No matter what anyone else says, Danny and Mindy aren't likely to change unless they want to. Right now, that seems very unlikely. Next week is the midseason finale. A decision is going to have be made. But the question is, do they break up or work things out?

Some more thoughts:
  • "The Parent Trap" was written by Matt Warburton and directed by David Rogers.
  • Danny should really know that when Morgan becomes the voice of reason, then he is clearly in the wrong in the situation. Morgan should never be that reasonable. He's too busy throwing around food and making jokes about Mindy's patient being the clinic's Patient Zero.
  • Even though Jody is still making bad jokes about immigration and Jefferson Davis, he has become a good foil for Mindy this season. He was completely right when he said he shouldn't know more about Mindy's relationship than Danny.
  • The joke about Mindy and Danny wearing the same kind of lab coat had the very predicable fallout of Danny discovering Mindy's birth control pills in the pocket. That felt inevitable from the moment the joke was introduced.
  • That opening scene was more racy than anything the show has done before. A benefit of being on Hulu.