THE MINDY PROJECT: 5 things in “Leo’s Girlfriend” that reminded us of the good old days

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You know how I said last week’s episode was my favorite THE MINDY PROJECT episode this season? I take it back and raise you with this week’s episode. The latest installment revolving around the debate as to whether Mindy is a good mother being a working mother and all, and also FINALLY saw the return of Chris Messina’s Danny, reminded me of the good old days, in particular the heydays of season two (which is probably my favorite season of them all) and why I fell in love with the show in the first place. Read on to see what those reminders were…

THE MINDY PROJECT — “Leo’s Girlfriend” Episode 604 — Pictured: (l-r) Mindy Kaling as Mindy Lahiri, Elias Janssen as Leo — (Photo by: Jordin Althaus/Universal Television/Hulu)

Taylor Swift references
“How many preschoolers do you know that know all the words to Taylor Swift’s ‘Red’ album?”
Throughout the seasons it has been no secret that Mindy is a Taylor Swift fan, and just like Swift herself this past year (up until six weeks ago), the constant references to the megastar went quiet. That is until this week. (Thank goodness.) The pop culture references in general were pretty great this week and also included a shoutout to Jessica Chastain. Anticipating who Mindy is going to name drop or reference to next has always been a fun element of the show.

Mindy and Danny bickering
Sure the above reminder was a pretty great highlight to me personally, but let’s not beat around the bush – the obvious standout throwback of this week’s episode was Mindy and Danny constantly arguing like an old married couple. (Too soon? Sorry.) From them throwing digs at each other about each other’s divorces – sorry, I mean annulment, Danny – to him reprimanding her on being more responsible, it was a delight to have Messina’s Danny back on the show and as if he hadn’t been pretty much AWOL these past two seasons. “45 minutes early is early. 15 minutes early is on time. On time is late.” We’ve missed you grumpy grandpa Dan!

Annoying each other again.

A post shared by Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) on

THE MINDY PROJECT — “Leo’s Girlfriend” Episode 604 — Pictured: (l-r) Mindy Kaling as Mindy Lahiri, Julie Bowen as Daisy — (Photo by: Jordin Althaus/Universal Television/Hulu)

Mindy being the underdog and having to prove herself
As confident as she may be, Mindy often finds herself in situations where people undermine her and she has to fight to prove that she’s not as dumb as they may think. (C’mon guys, for all her shallowness she is a doctor so give her some credit, she’s smarter than she acts!) This week’s episode sees Mindy facing off against the judgy parents (and staff) at Leo’s school, Bleecker Friends Quaker School for Toddlers. The episode provides great commentary on modern families and how this isn’t the 1950s where women stayed at home to look after the children, working mothers are a thing today, as are stay-at-home dads. Leo’s new “girlfriend” Daisy (played by Julie Bowen, star of ironically – or maybe not – MODERN FAMILY) is actually not a fellow classmate but a parent and leader of the judgey parents club, who has taken it upon herself to be Leo’s surrogate mom since Mindy is “too busy working”. Outraged at the passive aggressive digs on her role as a mother by the judgey parents club, Mindy agrees to provide homemade gluten free and nut free snacks for the school’s next function, which happens to be the next day and is a tree planting ceremony for the cherry-blossom tree sent by the school’s Japanese sister school, the Sliding Screen Shinto School for Pre-Businessmen. Mindy has good intentions of attending the event (okay, so Jeremy made the snacks) but gets caught up at work, much to Daisy’s delight. Daisy wastes no time in bad mouthing Mindy when she arrives and Mindy ends up shoving her and as things get physical, they collide with the sacred tree that has just been planted. Whoops, but also typical Mindy hijinks!

At the end of the day, Danny has Mindy’s back 
Remember those days before Danny turned into a chauvinistic jerk who refused to support Mindy as a working mom? I miss those days and that Danny. After the altercation with Daisy, Mindy is called to the principal’s office, who wastes no time in questioning Mindy’s parenting skills. Ex-squeeze me? Danny is in the office with her and surprises us by defending Mindy to the principal, citing that she may be a working parent with a demanding job but she’s an excellent mother to Leo, making sure that he’s fed and knows the lyrics to Taylor Swift songs, amongst other things. While I’m a Mindy/Danny fan, I have said that things need to change before these two get back together, namely Danny’s old fashioned ways of thinking. If this moment is anything to go by, we may just be heading in the right direction. I sure hope so! At the end of the episode, Danny turns up at Mindy’s apartment with a pizza and as the episode fades out, we see the pair enjoying each other’s company and sharing a meal together. Long-time fans of the show, may have noticed the similarities of this to an episode in season one where they are dining at Danny’s favorite pizza place on Valentines’ Day.

THE MINDY PROJECT — “Leo’s Girlfriend” Episode 604 — Pictured: (l-r) Xosha Roquemore as Tamra Webb, Mindy Kaling as Mindy Lahiri — (Photo by: Jordin Althaus/Universal Television/Hulu)

Morgan and Tamra
Following on from Tamra kissing Morgan last week, the pair are now hooking up in secret – although Colette clues on when she finds Tamra’s necklace in Morgan’s sheets. Anyway the sneaking around and hooking up sound familiar? Yeah, we thought so. Same with Tamra trying to put a stop to it, but this time she has a more valid reason because she still wants go ahead with her insemination plan. In typical Morgan fashion, he does not take it well and constantly interrupts while Tamra is having a meeting about sperm donors. Things take a turn when Mindy is preparing to inseminate Tamra, only to find that Tamra is already pregnant! Didn’t I say in the season premiere that I predict these two will become closer? Yep, it’s Morgan’s, not that anyone knows that and Tamra certainly doesn’t want him finding out either. In a more sweet moment, Morgan brings Tamra flowers to congratulate her on being inseminated and tells her that she’s going to be a great mom and Tamra gets thisclose to telling him the truth but in the end doesn’t. I’m sure he’s going to find out though, calling it now.

New episodes of THE MINDY PROJECT are released on Hulu (USA) and SBS On Demand (Australia) every Tuesday.

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Ange is the Girl from Oz who travelled the States. Teen dramas, rom-comedies and superhero shows are her weakness. She also loves a good crime and medical drama and probably watches more TV than she can handle... You can contact her at