The Moth Chase

Elevating the Art of Procrastanalysis – Academics wasting time on pop culture

If we’re still single in 5 years and we haven’t found anybody, can we make a pact… and kill each other

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The Mindy Project - Episode 1.09 - Josh and Mindys Christmas Party - Promotional Photos (1)_FULL

Well, we’ve suspected that the other shoe was going to drop at some point with Mindy and Josh’s relationship and this week it finally happened. Everything started out nicely with Josh renting out an ice skating rink for a little private time on the ice (a la Happy Gilmore). But just as this romantic scene was interrupted by a hockey team storming the ice, Mindy and Josh’s relationship came to an abrupt end by the end of this episode. The action this week centered around the office Christmas party, which Mindy offered to host at her house – in part because when Danny is in charge of party planning they end up listening to 3 hours of Jakob Dylan’s dad on the iPod. This is Mindy’s first chance to show off Josh to her co-workers (some of whom suspect that he doesn’t even exist), and they all seem quite impressed by him. I especially liked Betsy’s reaction of “He looks like an example photo at the barber shop.” However, the party hasn’t gone on long before Mindy mistakenly listens to a voicemail on Josh’s phone and learns that he has another girlfriend.

Mindy is obsessed with the message, listening to it repeatedly and eventually talking to the “other woman” over the phone. Mindy handles the eventual confrontation with Josh remarkably well, and calmly tells him to leave the party. Of course he can’t make it out the door before the “other woman” storms in, expertly played by Ellie Kemper (Erin from ‘The Office’). The truth comes out in front of all the guests during the ensuing argument, and we learn that Josh has been with his other girlfriend for much longer, thus making Mindy the “other woman.”

Somewhere in the midst of Ellie Kemper “homewrecking” Mindy’s apartment and the angry pillow fight that follows, Josh makes a run for it. I suspect this is the last time we’ll see him on the show – his infidelity combined with cowardice seem to have sealed his fate. It’s frankly a little bit of a disappointment for me, because I had really come around on Josh. His romantic gestures toward Mindy were endearing, and I enjoyed their witty back-and-forth. But maybe this is what shows Mindy that the grand gestures you come to expect from romantic comedies (showing up for a Halloween party dressed as Inigo Montoya or renting out an ice skating rink) don’t really happen in real life, or at the very least that they come with a disappointing, darker side. Her rom-com worldview seemed a little diminished at the end when she steered away from the well-worn “If neither of us are married in 5 years, let’s get together” pact with Danny for a more morose “if we haven’t found anybody yet, can we make a pact… and kill each other.”

Predictably, Danny is there to comfort Mindy when she’s at her lowest point – likely laying the groundwork for him becoming her love interest going forward. I’m still not particularly excited about the possibility of the two of them getting together. But I’m even less enthused about a drawn out will-they-won’t-they storyline. So if we’re going down that road, I hope that they just rip off the band-aid and get it over with.

I’m not sure whether it was the comedic potential of an awkward public breakup or just wittier dialogue, but I found this episode to be much funnier than the last few weeks. I think that every character had a great one-liner (except Jeremy, who is still just kind of there). I thought this was a pretty strong episode, and I enjoyed it. However, it did leave me wanting to visit the “fake Popeye’s on Queens Boulevard” where Morgan would be working if Mindy hadn’t hired him. Who doesn’t love some fake chicken!


Oh Josh, we hardly knew ye. It was a shame to find out that the funniest character on the show, after being introduced as a jerk, but then appearing to be a good guy, was in fact a jerk.

This episode brought the disappointment of losing a witty character, and it also gave him an unsatisfying exit, with him slinking away from the fight that engulfed the Christmas party. Rather than directing their anger at Josh, the cheating boyfriend, the women directed their feelings of betrayal at one another. Though neither of them knowingly wronged the other, one of them ended up in handcuffs, and the other had her apartment trashed. Sadly, this is the way women often treat each other in real life. You may be right that we’ve seen the last of Josh, but maybe the Mindy Project will satisfy this viewer by letting us see Josh get his comeuppance in the next episode. It doesn’t even have to be delivered in an only-on-television form, with the two women coming together to put Josh in his place–I’d happily watch Josh squirm at the hands of either one of them.

Now that Mindy and Josh’s relationship has met its end, the scene is open for Mindy and Danny to get together. Like you, I’m not very excited about a drawn out dance of will-they-or-won’t-they, but I suspect that’s what we’re in for. Danny was on his way to meet an unnamed person, presumably a date, when Mindy’s meltdown about the voicemail from the “other woman” brought him back. If Mindy should decide, after Danny’s kindness–and awesome gingerbread house-making–in this episode, that she’s interested in him, I’m guessing he’ll be unavailable. But perhaps we won’t have to endure that storyline soon, as Mindy proposed that Danny and she establish not a romantic back-up plan but a murderous one. If this show really sets itself apart by not pursuing romance between them, I’ll be impressed.

Plus, it would give the Mindy Project an opportunity to explore in greater depth a question that Dr. Mindy no doubt has pondered during repeated viewings of When Harry Met Sally: can men and women really be friends? For Mindy, if the man in question is Josh, Jeremy, or Dennis (Ed Helms), the answer is clearly no, but if it’s Morgan, a yes seems solidly in the cards. In this episode, Danny showed real promise as a friend and business partner, and it actually would be interesting and novel to see those relationships progress for their own sakes.


Written by jwgoss

December 11, 2012 at 11:54 pm

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