The Joan Cusack character
I enjoyed the show’s opener about Mindy’s frequent visits to the lobby of the Empire State Building hoping to meet Mr. Right and getting questioned by security for “monitoring the building.” It was a cleverly written comment on our time that a romantic comedy-fueled interest in the building, which should just be weird, is suspicious behavior, especially for a non-white woman.
This episode developed Mindy’s character in a stronger direction, showing that she isn’t so desperate to be in a relationship that she’ll overlook a huge issue like Jamie’s obvious jealousy about Lucy and Danny’s chemistry. She doesn’t want to waste romantic opportunities on the wrong guy, and when she gets Jamie to realize and admit his love for Lucy, she handles it well. She’s irritated but not upset about the loss and keeps her sense of humor enough to see that she’s the Joan Cusack character in Jamie and Lucy’s story.
Meanwhile, Danny is depressed about the end of his relationship with Eyepatch, showing us more of his sensitive side. When Mindy begs him to go out with Lucy to help keep her from spending so much time with Jamie, he agrees even though he thinks he’s not ready. Although his date with Lucy goes well–they hit it off, sharing a love of Paul Simon and lamb–he’s unfazed by Jamie interrupting their kissing by professing his love for Lucy. Instead of focusing on this first post-Eyepatch dating failure, he turns his attention to cheering up Mindy, taking her to the restaurant where he met his wife and revealing more of his own sense of romance. Mindy agrees that Eyepatch was wrong about Danny–he’s not mean, she just didn’t know him well enough.
This episode continued last week’s question of whether men and women can be just friends, showing that in the case of Jamie and Lucy, the answer is no. What if, in the case of Mindy and Danny, the long-term answer is yes? That would make for some fun viewing, if they continued to both root for each other and spar about their differences. I can dream.
I was a little nervous going into this episode given the topic – Valentine’s Day – in a show where the lead character wants her life to mimic a romantic-comedy. I was glad to see them continue the trend of turning things a little upside down, though. Everyone in this episode who worked hard to cultivate a relationship and make a memorable Valentine’s Day fell short, while those who seemingly let things just happen had a better experience. You covered the effort that Mindy put into making her night with Jamie special, and that clearly didn’t pan out. Incidentally, I too was quite pleased with the way that Mindy handled the situation. I agree that it was an encouraging step forward in Mindy’s character development that she was unwilling to compromise on the Jamie-Lucy friendship just for the sake of not being alone. Furthermore, when Jamie realizes his love for Lucy and parades through the streets of New York in a scene straight out of classic cinema, Mindy seemed annoyed. I’m sure part of it is because he’s not pining after her, but it also seems that she recognizes the absurdity of the way he’s behaving.
In a parallel story line, Morgan puts a lot of effort into hitting on the woman from the morgue, even going so far as to enlist the help of Jeremy to win her over. While we were led to believe that he wanted to take her to the proverbial batting cages, he in fact wanted to sincerely take her to the batting cages – that’s his idea of “the good stuff.” Morgan was looking to build a relationship and was disappointed to find she just wanted him for sex. As in Mindy’s case, his efforts are also rewarded with disappointment. My first instinct was that this is great development of Morgan’s character to see his sensitive side. But in reality, he’s all sensitive side – I get the impression that any “bad boy” moments he had which landed him in prison or on the streets were the result of him going too far trying to help someone out or please a friend. Morgan going overboard to win over the morgue girl for more than a quick fling in the janitor’s closet seems completely consistent with his character.
On the other side, you have Jamie and Lucy who don’t appear to have much invested in their dates with Mindy and Danny, respectively. But at the end of the night, they finally come to the realization that they want to be together. This was no great revelation – after being introduced to them last week we were really just left wondering how many weeks we would be forced to watch Mindy be their third wheel. Frankly, I was glad to see Jamie go and move away from this story. Despite some funny moments from BJ Novack, I’m ready to see the next actor/actress from The Office get their cameo. Let’s see, we’ve had Ryan, Andy, and Erin so far… I’d like to see Creed playing a high-powered Wall Street executive who sweeps Mindy off her feet Mr. Big style. After a rocky beginning with his mourning the lost relationship with Ms. Patch, Danny also took it easy and didn’t try to hard to make Valentine’s Day memorable – and his payoff was getting to make out with Susan Sarandon’s daughter, which was probably just the rebound he needed.
Finally, I thought the final scene with Danny and Mindy going to Danny’s favorite pizza place tied it all together nicely. It’s the worst pizza in the city, the decorations are tacky, but sometimes memories are made in the unlikeliest of places when you aren’t bending over backwards to make it happen. Danny sums it up best – “The most romantic place in the world, you don’t know it’s going to be romantic ahead of time.” For the first time in a while, I didn’t come away from this episode with the uneasy feeling that we’re spiraling toward Danny and Mindy getting together. The scene with them at the pizza place really did feel like a couple of friends just out getting a slice, and I liked that. I guess I fall into the camp of people who hope that men and women can just be friends…