The Mindy Project quite possibly has one of the best supporting comedic casts on TV right now, but while watching “An Officer and a Gynecologist,” I found myself laughing at star Mindy more than usual. Often it’s Ike Barinholtz, Adam Pally or Chris Messina’s “cranky old man character” that keep the humor going for me. Yet with this episode, Mindy creates a heartbreak box, where she hides the guys in her past and swears off guys for right now. This successfully puts the focus solely on Mindy without putting her in a relationship entanglement—at least directly—and it makes Mindy the main source of comedy once again.
Somehow, Mindy hasn’t realized that having people live with her is a bad idea. When her brother came to visit her, he decided to ditch his parent’s plan and became a rapper. There’s almost too many reasons why having Morgan move in with her is a bad idea. Now one of her teenage patients, Jenny, who she gave birth control to, has asked to spend a few days with Mindy to avoid her overprotective father. Mindy agrees and even allows Jenny to have some friends over, which ends in her starting what Mindy calls a “sex party,” that involves Morgan handcuffed for Jenny to lose her virginity to. Clearly, Mindy needs to not be so trusting with her apartment that takes up like 80% of her paycheck.
More important to “An Officer and a Gynecologist” is the introduction of Jenny’s father, Detective Charlie Lang, played by the pretty great Tim Daly. By the end of the episode, Lang has given Mindy two tickets, helped break up the sex party and warned Mindy not to eat a bear claw she dropped on the urine-soaked street. Mindy might have sworn off guys, but Lang ends the episode cooly saying he’s not a guy, he’s a man, before driving away.
Meanwhile, Danny is still with his new girlfriend, Sally, and while with her, he stops some kids on the subway from stealing a rabbi’s hat. The rabbi accidentally believes him to be the Schulman of Schulman & Associates and incorrectly guesses that he is also Jewish. He invites Danny over for dinner, which if it goes over well, could lead to Danny receiving thousands of doctor recommendations from the rabbi. To help him with the event, Danny brings along the barely Jewish Peter. Of course, the rabbi discovers that Danny isn’t Jewish and that Peter isn’t even circumcised before they’re kicked out of his house.
For the last few weeks, Peter has been the partner-in-crime to Mindy, so it’s a nice change to have him accompany Danny for a bit, especially since their sensibilities are so polar opposite of each other. It’s also great to see Peter’s reaction to Danny’s inability to figure out what he wants in his love life. Peter doesn’t like that Danny is dating his sister, especially since the person that Danny needs to be with is Mindy.
After the whole rabbi dinner debacle, Danny runs back into the rabbi on the subway, but this time with Mindy. The rabbi once again gets confused about Danny and says that clearly Mindy and Danny are in love. This insight leads Danny to take Sally to go get coffee and talk, presumably to tell her that they need to break up, all while Mindy is across the street talking to the detective who could end up being her next relationship.
What makes Danny and Mindy’s newest and potential relationships interesting is that they seem to be just the extremes of who they were already dating. Detective Charlie Lang could also be considered a cranky old man character, just without the sense of humor that Danny can sometimes exhibit. Sally has a very similar sensibility to Mindy, as seen by both of their reactions to the rabbi. Sally thinks he’s a old wizard, while Mindy thinks he’s a Civil War general. However the difference between the two is that Mindy has direction, while as far as we’ve seen from Sally, she doesn’t have much of any.
As The Mindy Project’s second season draws toward a close, it looks like Mindy and Danny are once again circling each other. But with “An Officer and a Gynecologist,” it is nice to take a temporary break from the relationship business for a little while.
Ross Bonaime is a D.C.-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow him on Twitter.