At the end of Season 3, many a Mindy fan was distraught to think that Fox was cancelling the show. But lo and behold, Hulu came to save the day for Season 4! The show picks up where we left it at the end of Season 3 (these reviews will be somewhat spoiler-esque, so if you haven’t watched yet, LOOK AWAY!). Ok now that we’ve gotten rid of the haters, let me weave a tale…
Ok not really an epic tale, but we start Season 4 with a brief recap of Season 3’s shenanigans. Mindy and Danny finally (FINALLY) get together, they unexpectedly become pregnant, Mindy starts her own fertility clinic above Schulman and Associates and Danny is his normal committmentphobe self. Cut to Danny arriving in India to confront Mindy’s parents and this is where we come back to the Mindy Project.
For fans who have stuck with Mindy for the last 3 seasons, “While I was Sleeping” really does reward you. A lot of the issues that have festered throughout the last season, in particular, are somewhat resolved or at least addressed. For one, we finally get to meet Mindy’s parents, Tarun and Sonu Lahiri (played by Ajay Mehta and Sakina Jaffrey). As one can expect, they definitely explain a lot of Mindy’s personality. Mindy’s mother, for instance, auditions for Bollywood and commercials back in India and has the same confidence we often see in Mindy.
The episode is really half Danny’s adventures in India and half Mindy’s vivid dreams of what could be. When we left Season 3, Danny had skipped Peter and Lauren’s wedding in Texas to go to India to confess his love (and father status) to Mindy’s parents. Understandably, Mindy is distraught when she finds out Danny is not in Texas and believes he’s run away after their fight over the marriage issue. She goes to sleep that night thinking ‘I should have fallen in love with someone else’. Well in a definite 13 going on 30 moment, Mindy ‘wakes’ up in bed with her ‘husband’ Matt Sherman (none other than Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Understandably freaked out with an added trademarked ‘exsqueeze me?’, Mindy proceeds to discover that Matt and Mindy met on the plane where Mindy and Danny were supposed to kiss, thus setting their entire relationship in motion. Very Sliding Doors but horrifying for true Mindy and Danny fans (like this reviewer).
So we go further down the rabbit hole and see what’s what, Matt is a producer for Real Housewives and the couple live in Grammercy Park (“that’s Jon Stewart, eating a hot dog!”). Mindy still works at Schulman and Associates and has a frosty relationship with Dr Castellano (NOOOO!!!).
Back in India, Mindy’s parents have decided since the father won’t step up to the plate (many a sports metaphor), they are going to try and set Mindy up with an arranged marriage. Of course, they ask Danny to help. With ‘binders full of men’ and Danny is conveniently rejecting the lot of them. Cue our favourite male nurse, Morgan arrives at the Lahiri residence to find Danny and bring him back to New York. Morgan has ingratiated himself with the Lahiri’s (“Morgan never forgets my birthday, last year he sent me a framed poster of The Rat Pack”). Since he knows the truth about Mindy and Danny, he decides to help the Lahiri’s find a husband for Mindy.
We proceed further into Mindy’s dream and she discovers that she is cheating on her husband with Dr Deslaurier. Not wanting to be the bad person Danny says she is, she decides to confess to her husband. It somewhat backfires on her when she finds out that her husband has slept with other women as well, stating that they have an open relationship (cue another exsqueeze me). They argue further and we discover that Matt and Mindy’s relationship revolves around group sex and letting Mindy do what she wants, instead of kids she wanted a recording studio and her South Park pinball machine. They storm off and Mindy realises that she needs to find Danny.
Morgan and Danny, meanwhile, are interviewing a husband candidate for Mindy (Kunnal Nayar from The Big Bang Theory). The interview goes well until Danny shoots him down at every turn and finally confesses that he is the father of Mindy’s baby. Tarun and Sonu defend themselves and Mindy to Sendhil (Nayar) when he claims they were trying to “sell him a lemon”.
Back in New York, Mindy rushes to find Danny (whether to absolve herself or try and win him over) and finds him on a date with none other than Frida Pinto who plays herself perfectly. Understandably, Mindy sees the parallels, noting that she has often been confused for Pinto, but has to explain herself despite Danny not knowing what she’s talking about. One of the funniest scenes in this episode is where Mindy sits on Frida in order to speak to Danny (“she’s killing me, Danny, she’s so heavy!!!”). They finally have their heart to heart and Mindy is woken up (figuratively and literally).
Danny is back in New York with Mindy and she is understandably rattled by her dream. She has decided she doesn’t need to be married to be with him, she just wants to be with him. Of course this is when Mindy and Danny fans were upright in their seats (again, this reviewer) because we FINALLY see Danny breaking down his emotional barriers and working through his past. He knows he loves Mindy and the baby and wants them to be a family and finally proposes. Cue epic squeals from the audience (just me? OK…) and a pan to the window.
Hulu have really outdone themselves, giving this amazing show the outlet it deserves to explore a story that, whilst hilarious and improbable at times, really goes to the heart. The episodes are actually longer too (previous seasons had 21 minutes episodes, this season is 28 minutes), giving audiences more Mindy which can only be a good thing. Here’s hoping that the rest of the season is as engaging and well written as “While I was Sleeping”.