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The Mindy Project 2×14 “The Desert” Recap



Also known as the episode that pretty much everyone was waiting for.

Picking up from last week’s episode, Mindy is determined to win Cliff back and prove him wrong about their relationship, but Danny has other ideas. He wants Mindy to go with him for emotional support when he meets his dad. Although Mindy is very interested, she has to get back to New York because she was “lucky to be with Cliff.” Danny reluctantly agrees to drive her to the airport, but it’s clear he has an ulterior motive.

He ends up driving her to his dad’s house in the desert, instead. He’s intent on punching his dad in the face, but it’s not him when he opens the door. It’s Danny Castellano. Yeah, it’s Little Danny and she’s a girl. Danny’s dad started over with Little Danny and it seems that he’s a better dad to her then he was to Danny. He invites them in to have some potato chip pie, and although Danny tries to back away, Mindy forces him inside. He really couldn’t do this without her.

Meanwhile, at the office, Peter and Morgan get stuck in the restroom because the door handle falls off. It’s late in the evening so no one’s in the office to help them out. Luckily, they hear Cliff in his office and decide to call out to him. That is, until, he starts singing heart-wrenching renditions of Jewel songs. It would be too embarrassing for Cliff to call out to him after listening to him wail for hours. During that time, they decide that Mindy must have broken up with Cliff, seeing as how badly Cliff is reacting to the breakup. They are finally freed by a cleaning lady who thinks they were having sex in the restroom. They rush out, only to find a sullen Cliff in the elevator. Morgan and Peter decide to take him out for a guys’ night out to cheer him up.

After a somewhat awkward lunch, Mindy gets ready to head over to the airport as Danny starts chugging more and more beer. He drunkenly decides to take a walk in the desert as Mindy drives away. Why would you leave him like that, Mindy?

Later on, Mindy gets a call from Danny who’s lost in the desert. She tries to get him to call his dad, but he stubbornly won’t. He would rather try to find his own way out. After he hangs up, Mindy turns around to try to find him. I have no idea how Mindy found him in the dark, but she did. When she does, Danny gets mad at her for taking so long. His other frustrations come to light too. “Coming to save me is a little more important than to run home to a guy that clearly doesn’t want to be with you anymore… He dumped you. Forget about it.” Mindy’s very offended by this jab and responds with her own, “When we first met, I thought, ‘Wow. That guy is so handsome and smart. How could he be single?’ Then I got to know you better and I realized you’re mean… You’re worse than your dad because your dad changed.” Oof. They walk off in silence into the desert.

At the bar, Cliff tells Peter and Morgan that it was him who broke up with Mindy, not the other way around. Peter and Morgan get angry with him and leave.

Danny and Mindy end up getting caught on an army reserve, so Danny’s forced to get his father to bail them out. When he appears, Danny’s dad apologizes for never being around for Danny. Danny forgives him because he’s a better dad now to Little Danny. In an effort to be more in the family, Danny goes to Little Danny’s soccer game with Mindy. Danny’s seen carrying soccer balls around as Mindy watches him and smiles.

Okay. I’ve really tried holding off on my shipping feelings, but this is the airplane scene and I really can’t stand it any longer. I squealed like crazy throughout the episode, but even more so now. This episode built up the Danny/Mindy storyline so well. It showed, through very discreet ways, how they are perfect for each other. In fact, they’ve been perfect for each other for awhile. Danny knows that Mindy hates it when her phone starts smelling like her breath. And Mindy knows that the only way to get rid of Danny’s hiccups is by scaring him. All of these little moments throughout both seasons come to a beautiful culmination in this airplane ride.

Mindy apologizes to him for calling him mean. He’s not mean, he’s great. Which parallels the two other times he’s called her great. She knows how much it took for him to make peace with his dad and, she may not know this, but she was a major factor in this. If she hadn’t been there, Danny would’ve just stalked off after getting a hug from his dad and would’ve probably never talked to him again. She got him to be a better person. She broke through that emotional barrier he had kept up for so long.

Danny then apologizes for what he said about Cliff. “You weren’t lucky to be with him. He was lucky to be with you.” He then helps her write her letter to Cliff explaining her feelings. In reality, though, he’s professing his feelings for her. Mindy’s writing a letter to herself without knowing. “You know you’re right for someone when they force you to be the best version of yourself. That’s how I know we’re right for each other.” As I said before, Mindy helps Danny become a better person – one less jaded and cynical, by just being with him.

Cliff receives the letter and immediately calls Morgan and Peter telling them the good news. Cliff decides that he has to win Mindy back.

To thank Danny, Mindy heads to the back of the plane to get him a tonic water. While she’s gone, a jolt of turbulence hits. This causes Danny to grab onto his armrests, but Mindy’s not there to hold his hand. He looks at her empty seat and his empty hand and realizes what he has to do. He rushes to Mindy, who’s trying to figure out what water to get for him, and kisses her very gently. When they part, Mindy nods slightly while Danny strokes her cheek, implying that she wants more. And we want more! They do give us more as they continue to make out in the back of the plane.

At the end of the episode, in a very When Harry Met Sally way, it shows Danny telling Mindy, “When I first met you I thought you were a screechy headcase. And then you became more tolerable and we’re good, right?” In between his words are little clips from the past episodes showing their progression. Right at the end is the clip of them making out in the plane with the words “Happily Ever After?” on top.

We won’t know until after the hiatus, which ends April 1st, but I believe it will be a “Happily Ever After” – apart from, you know, Cliff wanting to win Mindy back and all.

Final Thoughts

  • “Did you kidnap me?! That is an Amber Alert!” “Okay, come on. That is for cute little blonde girls. It’s not for you.” – Mindy and Danny
  • I need to try this potato chip pie.
  • Little Danny has Danny’s red reading glasses. Cute.
  • “I’ve got a carton of kittens at home who think I’m their mom. I’m their dad! – Morgan
  • “I will do anything to win you back. I will vacuum!” – Mindy
  • “I was trying to follow the Big Dipper, but I don’t know what it means!” – Danny
  • “Every so often, whistle that song from The Hunger Games so I know you’re not dead.” – Mindy
  • Danny’s Rue whistle is hilarious. I thought he was a fan of the series.