To be quite honest, when The Mindy Project moved to Hulu this season, the only reason I kept watching was because I had access to a Hulu Plus account. A higher barrier of entry would have likely stopped my viewing entirely, as I was almost completely turned off by the accidental pregnancy story line introduced in Season 3 that seemed to be pushing the limits of believability even for this show. All this season I’ve felt the same, especially confused as to why Mindy was spending all her time with a new doctor Jody Kimball-Kinney, played by Garret Dillahunt. It seemed as though the writers felt like her relationship with Danny was stale, and that they were trying to inject some new sexual tension via verbal sparring to spice up the show.
But somehow, with the mid-season finale available this week, I’m newly intrigued. It appears that the episodes where Mindy was frustrated because she was at home with a newborn while Danny took care of his long-estranged father had an ultimate purpose: to show how inherently different they both are. In this newest episode, entitled “When Mindy Met Danny,” the show flashes back to Mindy’s first day at Shulman and Associates. Tightly written the way her Season 2 finale was, it showed how good the show can be when it doesn’t get distracted with its own in-jokes—and also did something legitimately interesting for the future: set up a world where Mindy might be raising her child as a single mom, after she recognizes that being with a man who is overly controlling and always thinks his way is best might not be for her.