I am the first to admit that I had reservations about Mindy’s relationship with faux Matt Damon, but at least the show’s vision was more solid when he was in the picture. At the risk of incurring the wrath of any rampant Mindy Kaling fans, I would venture to say that the series has completely veered off course and lost sight of its original vision of juxtaposing Mindy’s preconceived rom-com notions of love with real life.

The dialogue is about the only thing noteworthy in this week’s “Mindy Project,” but it fails to compensate for a lame plot. In this dud of an episode (inarguably, the series’ weakest to date,) Mindy builds a bunk bed (or rather entreats her co-workers to build it for her) in preparation for a visit from dud friend Gwen and her demanding, unlikeable goddaughter Riley.

letterIn a surprising twist, the B-storyline, usually each episode’s weak link, proved to be marginally better (and we’re talkin’ a slim margin) than the main plot as we get a little insight into Danny’s gruff exterior when Betsy and Shauna stumble across an intimate letter to his ex-wife which Morgan promptly mails, providing the only humorous element to the episode.

The action starts off on a promising note as a horse-drawn carriage ride takes a turn for the worse on Mindy’s date. Cut to mean boss Danny making his office staff work on Saturday (and banning them from Facebook to boot!) and the action heads off on an inane direction. Danny finds Morgan at Mindy’s apartment building said bunk bed and sends him scurrying back to the office by threatening to take away his health insurance which could have dire consequences for Morgan’s urethra (don’t ask.) Then, in a macho show of IKEA prowess, Danny proceeds to build the bed…badly. As soon as Gwen arrives, it collapses on her and breaks her arm. Danny rushes her to the hospital, leaving Mindy to awkwardly tend to her disagreeable goddaughter.

patchWhile the show may be flirting with coupling up Danny and Mindy eventually, he had much better chemistry with an eye-patched emergency room patient (Allison Williams from “Girls”). He even seemed flirty with a Vicodin-addled Gwen, but lest we dismiss him as a callous ladies man (a role originally destined for Jeremy who was MIA from this week’s episode), we see his soft squishy side when the office gals find an unmailed letter to his ex-wife in which he confesses heartbreak over finding her in bed with another man. Claiming he will never be able to fall in love again, we wait for the “gotcha” which never comes. Instead, Morgan impulsively mails it and then invents an absurd lie about a “mailer” who broke into the office to randomly send unsent mail. Mindy promptly rushes to make sure her fan letter to Chris Pine, complete with naughty photos, is still safe, while a confused Danny fends off a hug (and kiss?) from Morgan.

It was admittedly entertaining to watch Mindy struggle to bond with Riley as she exposed a serious lack of maternal potential, but this aspect got lost amidst the scattered storylines. Here’s hoping “Mindy” can get back to showcasing its heroine’s hapless single girl adventures in a more comedic light…