The Mindy Project Season 1 Review “The One That Got Away”

For the final episode of “The Mindy Project” of the season- possibly ever- it was only appropriate that we have a bittersweet ending on the aptly-titled “The One That Got Away.” It also makes perfect sense that we’d open the show with a rom-com clip by the masters: Tom Hanks & Meg Ryan. (The late writer/director Nora Ephron also earned a direct shout-out later in the show.)

Mindy’s titular one that got away was Sam, a boy she met at camp, after her parents reluctantly let her go- to one for Jewish kids.

Mindy: “When I was 13, my one dream in life was to go to sleep-away camp. My parents said no, because they were afraid I’d get molested, which is crazy, ‘cause I was not that cute a kid.”

Actually, little Mindy was adorable…or at the very least, adorkable. Fellow camper Sam certainly thought so and the two became fast friends. Eventually, she lost touch, but always wondered what happened to him, as he was one of her first big crushes. Then he likes one of her pictures on Facebook of food (!) and the two reconnect, agreeing to meet up. Jeremy is understandably dubious.

Jeremy: “These Facebook connections, they rarely pan out. I once thought I was going to meet with a Welsh supermodel. Next thing I know, I was having dinner with a man with no torso. I was ‘catfished’ before Catfish.”

Mindy goes nonetheless and we see Sam grew up to be…Seth Rogen. That’s good, right? I mean, he’s funny, at least. He seems like a decent match for Mindy, and Sam the character is pretty cool to boot, as he turns out to be an Army vet, just back from Afghanistan. But is he available?

Sam: “I don’t have a girlfriend. I have six kids, though.”
Mindy, laughing: “Shut up.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Danny’s patients have a decidedly unexpected request- they want his help conceiving. Not the old-fashioned way, mind you, but rather the sperm donor variety. Danny is flattered, and having given up hope somewhat on having kids himself, he says yes. But was it a rush to judgment?

Speaking of rushing, Mindy is planning all sorts of stuff for them to do, some of which does sound amusing, and so very Mindy.

Mindy: “We should go to the mummy exhibit at the Met. The wall is really low, so you’re not supposed to touch them, but you can just, like, get right in there. Nobody checks.”
Sam: “We’ll get cursed if that happens. You know that, right?”

Alas, the Army is not finished with Sam, it seems, and he’s only in town briefly before having to return. She is upset and they part ways. Once Mindy fills everyone in on what a great guy he is, this does not go over well with anyone, even Betsy.

Betsy: “Remind me to never lose touch with you- then reconnect, like, 20 years later!”

Mindy reconsiders and tracks Sam down at a Tattoo parlor, where he’s so excited to see her, he stops before his tattoo is done, reading “arm” instead of the intended “Army.” Sam reasons: “It’s still accurate.” They go to a double feature of rom-coms, but of course, the aforementioned Ephron’s Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve got Mail.”

This and a shout-out from a fellow Army vet are all Mindy needs to be all that she can be for her country. Afterwards, she and Sam pillow talk, as he imagines all that Mindy’s bedside bear might have seen over the years.

Sam: “He must have seen a lot of dudes roll through this piece. (Holds bear up to his ear, like he’s talking to him.) A married guy? A surprising amount of black guys? A whole team?” (LOL.)

Later on, he berates her choice in movies, saying she could use a little more guy-friendly stuff up in this piece as well. He ain’t never lied, especially when she tears into one of the most beloved guy movies EVAH, the immortal Caddyshack.”

Mindy: “I would rather take my MCAT again than watch ‘Caddyshack’.”
Sam: “I actually don’t know if I can go back there (to Afghanistan) and fight my heart out, knowing that an American thinks that.”

Mindy will not be denied, and poor Sam, who was trying to fix her air conditioner at the time, falls out the window! I can’t decide if he actually lost his balance or fainted because of Mindy’s hatred of Caddyshack.” Probably a little of both. Danny is bemused by this turn of event when he runs into Mindy at the hospital.

Danny: “You threw a soldier out a window? Wow. One day with you and you messed him up worse than Al-Qaeda.”

While waiting to hear about Sam’s condition, Danny confesses about the sperm donor thing and Mindy is floored, telling him that he can’t possibly be seriously considering doing this. She decides to kill some time by meeting by the would-be donorees and telling them why that would be a terrible idea, giving them a laundry list of unfortunate attributes Danny has, like excessive sweating, anger issues and other dubious qualities.

Mindy: “He has tiny ears and he’s a really selfish lover. So, let me ask you: Do you really want Daniel Castellano to be the biological father of your angry, sweaty, emotionally-needy baby?”

After that, no, they most certainly do not. Crisis averted, and it’s back to the hospital. Selfishly wondering if maybe Sam would be injured enough to stay put a few more weeks, she voices her upset to Danny, but Sam overhears, having only suffered a mild sprain in the fall and free to go.
He lets Mindy know that he has every intention to return to Afghanistan.

Mindy: “Ha Ha. Way to turn my words against me.”
Sam: “Way to have words that are very easily turnable.”

Things aren’t looking good, and Sam ultimately sneaks out while Mindy is sleeping in the waiting room. He does give Danny a note to give her. In it, he details how fun it was to see her and how he bailed so that she wouldn’t have to see him cry again after the movies earlier.

Sam: “No one wants to see a guy in the Army cry, because it’s just bad for our nation, honestly.”

Danny isn’t thrilled by this turn of events and is instantly uncomfortable.

Danny: “You’re gonna cry? You want me to leave?”
Mindy: “No, but it’s weird that your first instinct when a woman is crying is to abandon her.”

And with that, we were off into the sunset, possibly for good if the show doesn’t get renewed. Hopefully, it will. The sitcom world could use more voices like Kaling’s. There’s not enough funny-smart girls on TV as it is, and Lena Dunham can’t do everything. I think they should give the show another chance. Hell, they gave Whitney one.

What did you think of “The Mindy Project”? Not just tonight’s show, but in general. Should it get renewed? Do you think it will? What did you make of Mindy and Seth as a couple? Is he a keeper, if he were to come back? Or do you like Mindy better single? Let me know in the comments!

And Mindy, I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for your show- despite that unfortunate “Caddyshack” thing…no, no, I’m Alright. Don’t nobody worry about me…save it for Mindy.

About The Author

Mark Trammell is the resident entertainment critic at UAB, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he is also a Graduate Student and does a vid-cast movie review show. His impossible dream is that "Twin Peaks" will one day be resurrected and pick up where it left off. Until then, he drowns his woes in anything remotely similar, from "Buffy" to "Lost" to "Pretty Little Liars." This has not always been a good thing-cough, "Ringer", cough- but now at least it can help pay the bills.

  • dee

    i don’t watch much television these days. but i really enjoy this show. i’d be sad if it went away. i like having at least one thing i can count on to make me laugh each week. this show is it.

    • Mark Trammell

      Agreed. This & “New Girl” are the only comedies I really look forward to. I’m just not big on the sitcom, which is exactly why it’d be a shame to lose this one, as it’s not your typical sitcom. Hope it makes the cut next season. Shows like this need time to grow.