Mindy/Danny shippers, rejoice — Danny Castellano has come around after three seasons of hemming and hawing. He returned after completely disappearing last year, and that’s not even the only surprise that came from the season 4 premiere of ‘The Mindy Project’. Spoilers ahead!
The Mindy Project has a new home on Hulu, and they kicked things off with an exciting and heart-wrenching first episode. I wasn’t disappointed with Danny’s decision to return and make a major grand gesture in the first episode of season four, though it did give me extreme amounts of anxiety (in a good way). The ep picks up right where we left off in the season three finale, and it was total fan service!
We last saw Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) and Danny Castellano (Chris Messina) fighting over Danny’s resistance to marriage — he basically told her he doesn’t want to do it — and him jumping on a plane to India to meet Mindy’s parents, not that he told Mindy this. She found out via Morgan (Ike Barinholtz), who called Mindy to say that Danny never showed up at Peter (Adam Pally)’s wedding. It absolutely felt like the beginning of a new chapter, and thank god Hulu swooped in to save this incredible show because I really could not have handled it if I didn’t get to find out what happened next.
Anyway, the season four premiere is everything and more. It begins with a hilarious meeting between Danny and Mindy’s parents, but of course, Mindy’s back in New York and has no idea where Danny is. She goes to bed angry, and the episode spins out into an elaborate dream sequence where she has a so-called perfect life. It’s a rendition of the classic I-wish-I’d-never-met-you plot, but it is oh so delicious to watch Mindy’s horror as she uncovers how terrible the world is where she’s not with Danny. Joseph Gordon-Levitt guest stars as Mindy’s picture-perfect husband in the alternate reality, as if it couldn’t get any better.
Meanwhile, Danny procrastinates throughout the episode and Mindy’s parents have no idea that he’s the father of her baby, or even dating her. Morgan shows up in India to set things in motion and provoke Danny to telling the truth, which he does, and then it’s back to New York to set things right with Mindy. As fun as it was to watch the trainwreck of Mindy’s parallel life, it was a huge relief when she woke up to Danny, who PROPOSED TO HER RIGHT THEN AND THERE!!! YAY!!! (She says ‘yes’, obviously.)
The episode was as funny as any of the others, proving that the team behind Mindy is staying true to their vision despite the change in network. It’s not raunchier than it needs to be, and the pacing didn’t drag at all. Now that they’re getting married, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Danny and Mindy — will he bemoan the wedding preparations? Will they fight over the venue? Will Danny’s mom, the brilliant Rhea Perlman, return? Ugh, it’s almost too much.
HollywoodLifers, are you excited that The Mindy Project is back?
— Gabriella Ginsberg