Jan 22 2014 10:36am

Best of You: Mindy and Danny [Redacted] in Mindy Project 2x14!

Mindy and Danny in The Mindy Project Season 2, episode 14, The DesertThis 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...


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.

(Read the full E!Online interview here.)

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. Find her on Twitter at @hwaters_

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Heather Waters
4. HeatherWaters
@MFrampton -- I started/stopped writing this post several times last night because my brain was fried in the best way.
Nicole Leapheart
5. BoxyFrown
I just watched it on Hulu. I fell asleep last night, but whatever. BEST. Episode. Ever! My heart is literally racing like it happened to me instead of Mindy. Danny didn't want to die without having a chance to show Mindy how he really feels. Damn, Danny is a good kisser. *swoon*

I think Cliff wins in the spring though, even if he won't last long.
Heather Waters
6. HeatherWaters
@BoxyFrown -- I think you're right. While Mindy CLEARLY got into the kiss (again: hot damn!), I think she's been completely oblivious about her own feelings for Danny, let alone his for her, so...can't see this ending well in the short term. My guess is she'll want him to totally forget about the whole thing, and he'll be hurt by it, and that'll be a new obstacle for a while. Plus...they're not ready for each other, not yet. Mindy, especially, needs to be able to be happy by/with herself before she'll be able to settle down with someone else, imo.
Nicole Leapheart
7. BoxyFrown
@redline_ you nailed it. I am however, looking forward to lapses in judgement and overwhelming passionate moments that lead to more hot kisses (or maybe one night stands!) *evil grin*
K.M. Jackson
9. kwanawrites
Freaking kiss of perfection. The way she looks at him, how he's just so open then the grab. I'm slayed.
Heather Waters
10. HeatherWaters
Apparently the butt grab was unscripted, guys! Someone on Tumblr transcribed an interview that co-writer Tracy Wigfield gave today. Here's a snippet from that interview:[quote]Jessica Shaw: Did you write in the script that Danny was going grab Mindy’s butt? Because he totally went for it!
Wigfield: Grab her butt?! No that was just pure Messina. No I think we just said that Danny grabs Mindy and kisses her. And then you know…he’s the sexiest guy alive. He knows what he’s doing…*via zengoalie and untilhookmetemma on Tumblr
Heather Waters
11. HeatherWaters
@kwanawrites -- I am obsessed with it today, clearly. And I make no promises about being over it anytime soon.
12. CindyS
I didn't really see the kiss coming because of the whole Cliff angle but yeah, when he came through the curtain on the plane you knew what was going to happen. I figure it will be chalked up to terror of flying or something silly - I think we need a year of Mindy looking at Danny with new eyes like Danny has done this year. And I still think my fav episode was the one about her body where he tells her not to suck in her tummy. And then the next line was awesome.
13. Sarah Rees Brennan
I was more excited by this kiss than I can admit without deep shame to anyone in my life. They do not UNDERSTAND. ASS GRAB!
Heather Waters
14. HeatherWaters
@CindyS -- Agreed on a year of longing looks from Mindy, 'cause, oh, man, Chris Messina was sending her longing looks through the whole episode; dude really upped his game to lead into that kiss. Just about killed me dead.

I think you're right about the post-kiss excuse, at least in the immediate aftermath, but I also think they'll never be able to go back to the way they were before. So I feel like they will be forced to confront their feelings sooner rather than later now. (Or at least I hope that's the case. It has to be, right???)

@Sarah Rees Brennan -- ASS GRAB!1!! Your secret's safe with me. I may or may not have re-watched that scene 5+ times by now.
Laurie Gold
15. LaurieGold
The actor portraying Danny did a tremendous job. All those sideways looks at Mindy on the plane...that look he got when turbulence hit the plane...and his "go for it" kiss. The ass grab was amazing...I think I also saw a little shirt lift. But what really got me was the "face cup." I find that incredibly romantic in a kiss.

I honestly didn't know if I wanted these two to get together. They started the series very antagonistic, but moved together into friendship very realistically. I knew this was going to happen during the Danny-as-gym-trainer episode when he spoke to her about her lack of hair there. Totally inappropriate, totally out of line...totally a lead-in to last night.

I hope their being together doesn't ruin the show, as Nick and Jess' kiss ruined New Girl.
Heather Waters
16. HeatherWaters
@LaurieGold -- Chris Messina was genius! And yes, I completely agree that the face cup was very romantic. They both went there, and I think that made it more intense.

I'll be very curious to to see how many other people have changed their minds about Mindy/Danny, because I remember a LOT of people saying they didn't want to see them get together in other posts I've read. The writers have been doing a lot of relationship groundwork with them in Season 2, though (like you said, definitely in the personal trainer episode), so they've made their intentions pretty clear lately that they're going to "go there" with "Dandy."

Yeah, I do worry about the Moonlighting effect as well, but Mindy Kaling is so so smart that I have to think she and the writers have really thought this through and have some good stuff up their sleeves. This season has been on fire lately, so fingers crossed it just gets better.
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