This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of The Mindy Project, including last night’s 2x14, “The Desert.” Enjoy!
“'You know you're right for someone when they force you to be the best version of yourself. That's how I know we're right for each other....'”
In the winter finale of The Mindy Project, a mini roadtrip to visit Danny's (formerly) deadbeat dad, an epic argument in the desert, heartfelt apologies, a co-written apology/love letter to Cliff, and a brush with death (okay, some turbulence on an airplane, endured alone—same diff, though, right?) somehow all led to...
DANNY AND MINDY'S FIRST KISS!!!!!!!
But let's rewind, just a bit, shall we? This show, which seems to have really hit its stride in the last several episodes (“You've Got Sext,” “Christmas Party Sex Trap,” and now “The Desert” are never getting deleted off my DVR), raised the bar even higher with this one, the second part of a two-part episode in which Mindy, Danny, Peter, and Morgan are in L.A. (supposedly for a medical conference, but you know how that goes).
Yep, California—where it just so happens that Danny's father, from whom he's been estranged since the senior Castellano bailed on Danny and his little brother years ago, lives. Did I mention he wants to reconnect with Danny, and that he has a young daughter, Danny's baby sister? THAT certainly complicated things from the start of the episode, as does the fact that Cliff broke up with Mindy long distance after seeing a video of her with her ex Casey (now a Hollywood host??) at a pool party.
Anyway, so on the surface the episode was about Mindy trying to get home to Cliff so that she can try to win him back, and Danny trying to keep Mindy with him for “emotional support or whatever” once he'd finally decided to go see his dad. And then underneath all that you have the real driving force of the episode, which was Danny realizing exactly how much he wants and needs Mindy by his side for everything from facing his dad to wandering in the desert to braving turbulence 10,000+ feet in the air.
And the episode also went to pains to show how these guys will always, always come back to each other, even after huge, hurtful fights where they say things they can't ever actually take back despite not meaning them/saying them for the wrong reasons. Because while sometimes they bring out the worst in each other, most of the time they bring out the very best. Which is basically what Danny tells Mindy under the cover of helping her write an apology to Cliff. (Seriously, check out that quote at the beginning of this post and tell me he wasn't talking about the two of them, consciously or not.)
By the time the episode was winding down, a kiss felt inevitable, and well-earned. When it happened... Man, did it deliver. As first kisses go, it's...well, it was pretty epic (says the major Mindy/Danny a.k.a. Dandy shipper). But don't take my word for it; watch it again yourself:
I mean, the ass grab, guys. I WILL NEVER BE OVER THE ASS GRAB. So freaking hot. Am I right? GUH.
The only question is...what happens next?
The Mindy Project won't be back until April 1 (*sob*), so we'll have plenty of time to speculate about what's ahead for these crazy kids. Will they declare their feelings for each other and give a relationship a go? Will they chalk the kiss up to...whatever excuse they can come up with—temporary insanity?—and attempt to pretend it ever happened? (Good luck with that one.) How will Cliff factor in? The guy flipped when he thought Mindy was still interested in Casey—can you imagine his reaction to learning Danny kissed Mindy AND SHE KISSED HIM BACK? (Rather enthusiastically, it bears reminding.)
P.S. If you haven't read yet E!Online's interview with Mindy Kaling about the episode, I highly recommend the read because I'd love to hear your thoughts. This question and answer were of particular interest to me, since Mindy writes some of the greatest Dandy moments on the show:
Why do you think Mindy and Danny are a good fit?
Oh, I think they're a terrible fit. If these characters were to ever end up getting married, I think they'd at least suggest living married in two separate apartments. But despite their extreme differences, I think Mindy and Danny are appealing together because underneath all their differences, they deeply care about each other. They share zero percent of the same opinions, but they're both very emotional and I think they're drawn to that in each other.
Do you think the writers HAVE to think of Mindy/Danny as a trainwreck to maintain the beautiful tension between them? Would we as viewers ever even WANT them to become the lovey-dovey type, even in their HEA?
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Heather Waters is the site manager for Heroes and Heartbreakers and a 24/7 fangirl. She started 'shipping Mindy/Danny sometime during the very first episode. Tweet her @redline_.