The Mindy Project: Halloween
After a two-week hiatus (Presidential debates, World Series, who knows?) Mindy is back! Expectations are high for this Halloween themed episode, especially after the radio ad spot that quoted Mindy saying “What I really need you to do is take these scissors and cut a cleavage hole in my crayon costume.”
The episode opens with Mindy having a “morning date” with Matt Damon, um, I mean Josh the sports lawyer from da club in the last episode. He doesn’t exactly share Mindy’s enthusiasm about the practicality of the date (or her new French coffee press and CDs,) and invites her to come with him to an ESPN Halloween party that night. Well, he more or less decrees that she accompany him and insists she wears a hot costume. She tries to play it cool and says she’ll get back to him while he attempts to make her jealous by thumbing through his phone and threatening to invite one of the plethora of “Caitlyns” that he knows. This sends Mindy into a panic as she searches for the perfect outfit. With the help of coworkers Shauna, Betsy and Morgan, she rules out “Tinkerbell, Soldier, Tailor, Spy” and “Lil Wayne on the Prairie.”
Bill Hader reprises his role as Dr. Tom, whose wedding Mindy hilariously interrupted in the pilot. She runs into him (literally with a door) at the hospital and he cowers while she gives him some “Frankenstein” stitches in honor of Halloween. Even though she isn’t able to deliver on his requested wedding gift (“Go back in time and don’t ruin my wedding?”) they have a surprisingly mature bonding moment as Mindy relates how her new boyfriend Josh is sort of obnoxious and she intends to end it with him later that night. Mindy later concludes “It’s weird being my own role model. You know, I recommend it”
Meanwhile, Jeremy and Danny engage in a completely unfunny subplot in which the pair of mature gentleman waits in line amidst a sea of teenagers to get their drivers’ licenses. Jeremy charms his way through the ordeal, while Tommy sweats it out and manages to take out a Halloween display while behind the wheel. Neither character has been less charming, which is especially disappointing given Danny’s prominent role in the previous episode.
Seeing a sonogram on Tom’s Facebook pages nearly sends Mindy over the edge and the great costume hunt is back on. Morgan takes matters into his own hands and tries to help Mindy come up with an appropriate costume, but she promptly rejects his human urinal suggestion which he models so stunningly. Mindy finally concedes defeat and tells Shauna to text Josh with a work emergency and that he should “invite a Caitlyn” instead.
A panicked phone call to her BFF teases us into thinking that Gwen might just get her shining moment and show us why she exists in this show, but then her precocious daughter steals the scene and relates the allegory of Charlie Brown’s “Great Pumpkin” episode (spoiler alert: it’s about hope and never giving up) which sends Mindy scrambling to scrounge up a costume. She shows up at Josh’s door dressed as Diane from “Cheers.” This seems rather random given her rom-com obsession, and Gwen’s daughter’s princess costume and the fact that Josh is dressed as Inigo Montoya from “The Princess Bride.” Turns out he did some internet research on Mindy and found out it was one of her fave flicks. This is supposed to be romantic, but comes off a little creepy because he really does seem like a cocky jerk. We are supposed to have warm fuzzy feelings as a result of his making the effort, but his likeability is diminished by the fact he rambles on about how much the costume cost.
The verdict is still out on Josh as love interest, and the supporting characters still need to be utilized better, but if the writers ever manage to elevate their “B-storylines” to the same level of humor as the main plot, this show will have some serious staying power.