The Mindy Project Season 1 Review “Santa Fe”

On the latest episode of “The Mindy Project,” the doctors all hit the road to attend a medical conference in “Santa Fe,” with Morgan in tow to help Dr. Reed with his flashy PowerPoint presentation. While there, Mindy’s new BF Casey encouraged her to take her ex Josh up on his invitation in order to attain some closure, given the nasty way things ended.

It turned out Josh was actually in rehab, and had been using cocaine the entire time he and Mindy were together, not only two-timing her with Heather, but other women as well, not to mention having stolen her prescription pad for even more drugs on the sly. Not too cool. Needless to say, Mindy was not happy about these developments, and didn’t get much of any sort of closure in light of all these added insults to injury.

Some great lines, to be sure, but I also loved all the quirky details, like Mindy’s Lolita-style sunglasses; Morgan’s backpack of oddities that included a book on Karate and a square of wood and his “screaming diarrhea” that occurred every day at precisely 1pm- not to mention his tattoo that read, simply: “No More Stealing Cars”; Josh’s painting of what “his spirit” looks like; and Jeremy’s gonzo presentation, which ended with Morgan screaming: “Bull! It’s gonna attack us!” at a medical picture of a female reproductive system after the two spent a little too much time in a sweat lodge. Funny, out-there stuff.

But it was the dialogue that drove it all home, from Mindy’s jealous query to her minister boyfriend: “Are you talking to God behind my back?” and all the way to Morgan’s question of Mindy after the plane hit a bout of turbulence: “Hey, I barfed the bag full- where should I put it?” This was some funny stuff made funnier by the scenarios at hand. Kaling gets that funny lines need funny context to really work, and she nailed that aspect of it in this particular episode.

Some more funny lines I loved:

Morgan: “I’m not an expert (on AV materials). I did work the light board for the Otisville production of ‘West Side Story’, in which we used actual rival street gangs. It never opened, six dead.”

Mindy, to her ex: “Oh well. I wanted to tell you something, but my New Year’s resolution was to stop calling people dicks at work.”

Casey, after Mindy says she’s going to Hell: “Why are you going to Hell?”
Mindy: “I love gossip and I really don’t care about the environment.”

Danny: “Closure? There’s no such thing as closure. That’s just something Dr. Phil made up or the funeral parlor industry.”
Mindy: “Okay, buddy, one rant at a time.”

Danny, on why Mindy shouldn’t drive: “So, you want me to give the wheels to a drunken, undocumented rentee?”

Danny: “Soothing Palm Drive? These street names are killing me.”

Morgan, to Jeremy, after he publically snubbed him: “I had a friend like you back in Otisville. When we were alone in our cell, Melvin and I were as thick as thieves. He was a thief. But we’d walk into the prison yard and all of the sudden, he was Mufassa Al Muhammad, and I was ‘white bitch.’ I’m not a white bitch!”

Rehab guy, after Danny goes on a rant about a group’s non-issues: “Is this, like, from a play?”
Danny: “No, but thank you.”

Jeremy: “I’m kind of the Morgan of the family.”
Morgan: “Really? The garage door closed on your neck when you were a baby? Yeah, right.”

Danny, to Mindy: “Hey, we gotta go. They say I’m a trigger for the patients.”

Good stuff, and plenty more where that came from. I’d have to say this was definitely one of the better episodes this season all around. I loved the basic set-up and both the main set-pieces at the medical conference and the rehab center, and how they just lent themselves to each of the characters doing their thing in their own inimitable way.

I could listen to Morgan be Morgan and Danny be Danny all day. Those two (Ike Barinholtz and Chris Messina) just fully inhabit their characters to the point where they can say and do the weirdest things and totally get away with it every time. They’re definitely two of my favorite characters in a sitcom right now by far.

I also like what they’re doing with the new character, Casey (Anders Holm, of “Workaholics”) as well. All too often Christians can be the butt of easy jokes on modern television or portrayed as complete whack-jobs. I like that Kaling not only made Casey cool, but self-effacing and willing to have a little fun with his religion and have a sense of humor about it all. That’s a pretty bold move on a sitcom these days.

Only a few more episodes left, but the show has been given an early renewal, so fans can officially breathe a sigh of relief. Congrats to all concerned, and keep up the good work, as the show just keeps getting better as it goes on, with the cast in particular getting stronger as an ensemble every week.

What did you think of “The Mindy Project” this week? Let me know in the comments!