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The Mindy Project - Danny in Real Life - Review: The Penultimate Episode Brings Back Chris Messina




Chris Messina proved his acting prowess once again as he made an emotional return as Danny Castellano for the penultimate episode of “The Mindy Project.” The previous episode, where we find out his mother Annette has cancer and Mindy knows about it, was a hint of how Danny would return. As the episode begins, he’s been waiting in Mindy’s office for both of them to come back from a chemo session.

He’s pissed that he was left in the dark but quickly forgives Annette for wanting to protect him but doesn’t offer the same courtesy to Mindy, calling her a traditore aka traitor. His reunion with the rest of Shulman & Associates employees is brief. Tamra and Jody seem happy to see him, Jeremy offers him a cup of tea that he “absolutely does not want,” Colette’s excited to see Dr. C but Danny reminds her they barely know each other. It’s Morgan’s genuine reaction on seeing him that made me the happiest. He gives a Danny a small kiss and as he leaves, Morgan echoes my thoughts “it’s good to see him.”



Danny doesn’t understand why Annette and even Dot want Mindy at the chemo sessions. It’s pretty obvious to me. Mindy brings lightness and fun to something this dreadful. She brings “Gilmore Girls” for them to binge-watch. Danny, on the other hand, cannot stop using the word cancer and bums everyone out. He rudely asks Mindy “what she’s doing here in the first place” when she tells him to chill out, leading her to walk out.

At the next session, which is Mindy-free but includes Danny’s younger brother Richie, Dr. C has found a brand new way to depress everyone: reading out healthy smoothie recipes even though he can’t pronounce agave. Pfft, what’s “Gilmore Girls,” He’d rather watch “Jag.” Instead of cupcakes, he’s brought jicama. Richie finally calls him out on it and Annette declares him to be the worst part of chemo, telling him to leave.



Later that night, Danny almost breaks down in front of his ma, admitting that he isn’t equipped to deal with his mother being sick. He’s angry and scared. This scene gave room for Messina to breakdown beautifully. This conversation also takes him back to Mindy. He goes to her and apologizes for his behavior and to let her know Annette needs a double mastectomy. He wants her to be there because “you have a good effect on Ma...and on me.” AND CUE THE SPARKS.

Meanwhile, Jody has decided to go to Africa for the Physicians on the Front-program with his age appropriate girlfriend Mary (Ana Ortiz) and Colette is going with him. This pisses off the doctor’s because not only is it sudden but the clinic will be left without nurses since Morgan and Tamra are getting married soon and will leave for their honeymoon. Jeremy is especially angry. Anna makes him realize it’s got nothing to do with the practice and it’s because he’ll miss him.

Jeremy runs in the rain to “Africa,” a brilliant scene, to run to Jeremy and let him know that they’re best friends. It’s incredibly sweet and a real hard reminder that this show is ending. Colette realizes she doesn’t want to go to Africa so she makes Morgan accidentally shoot her in the toe. Ultimately, she confesses to her big brother that she wants to stay here. But they’ve never really been apart. This is a huge step for the Kimball-Kinney siblings but I’m glad they’re taking it.



Also, Anna throws a sophisticated ‘braby’ shower for Tamra: a convenient baby and bridal shower (which conspicuously is missing Cousin Sheena!), which is where all of this drama happens, including Mindy being the only one who stands up for Jody’s mature decision by saying all the successful relationships around him (Morgan/Tamra, Jeremy/Anna) finally rubbed off on him and they can’t hate on him for wanting to move on.

He comes to thank her for this the next day only to drop a huge bomb on her. He’s pulling his shares out of their joint venture Later, Baby because he’ll need the money in Africa. But worry not, he tells her, because New York has taught him that women can do anything. TWIST!

That’s it, folks. Only one more episode to go before we bid adieu to Mindy Lahiri and gang. How do you feel about it ending and what are your final hopes for the finale? I suspect a Mindy/Danny reunion is around the corner.


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