The Revelations of Peter
A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
The Mindy Project continues to be revelatory while exploring the strains of single motherhood, destroying trope after trope of the romantic comedy. Parenthood comes with a ton of responsibility attached and often the impacts on the most minute, trivial details of one’s life aren’t thought of until the ecstasy of the child’s arrival begins to wear off a little. It’s the small details that really begin to unravel, or the things one simply took for granted. People often say that parenthood is life-changing, yet the absolute nature of that can often go are left unspoken. There’s the cute moments, but then there are the numerous moments when you realize just how much of your life is devoted to a singular individual. Everything goes up in smoke and trying to keep any semblance of an actual schedule can become completely hectic. Then there are times when your old friends jump in back into your life, expecting everything to be the same. You try to explain to them how that is no longer possible, but because they haven’t experienced the same circumstances, they don’t entirely grasp your experience. Mindy has a bit of an experience with that with Peter, who in effect for his first guest appearance becomes a bit of a child for her but in a similar breadth becomes an adult who has to open his friend up to the realities of her world that she knows but has yet to completely acknowledge.
The slight replacement of Danny for a stretch of the narrative with Jody was at first one that was going to backfire considerably, but the writing around the character and his interactions have toned down his person of a walking personification of sexism into more of an actual character. That Jody would believe his sexual effect on women to be enormous makes perfect sense with how he generally thinks fairly highly of himself, to a degree that makes one want to punch him on a regular basis. As Colette’s sexuality wasn’t that surprising in hindsight, Jody engaging in sexual behavior his background wouldn’t support is equally unsurprising. In his case it wasn’t something biological like sexual orientation but an affair with his sister-in-law. But somehow Chris Schleicher’s script manages to take that aspect of Jody’s life and turn it into a viable character development piece for him and Mindy. Jody realizes that him chasing his sister-in-law is not him chasing a viable, understanding relationship. It’s him chasing the idea of his sister-in-law that sparks a romantic passion in him that doesn’t translate into the reality of what is before him. It is now time for Mindy to confront the reality of what she wants versus what she’s telling herself she wants and sort the discrepancy out before it’s too late.
Peter’s second appearance, beginning with a random showing at the Schulman & Associates meeting, was a stronger outing. The episode centered around Mindy’s old apartment, a source of pride and accomplishment for her and contention between her and Danny. Danny sees the idea of the perfect Mindy in his mind and he has slowly shaven off all other aspects to her and the apartment is a symbol of those shaven parts he has thrown into the wind and a symbol that Mindy doesn’t entirely need to be dependent upon him. That’s why it rattles him and more specifically, his concept of manhood. Mindy and Peter pretending to be widows to sell her apartment is hilarious while it lasts, but before Peter goes back, he has a nugget of advice for his closest friend. Mindy doesn’t need a babysitter like he does. She’s tough, brilliant, and resilient. Her being in a relationship as an equal makes sense. Her being in a relationship where she abides by all of her partner’s decisions is not and they both know it. And Mindy realizes how the concept of Danny and the reality of Danny have arrived at such a sharp juxtaposition. In his quest to not be his father, Danny is going so far in the other direction that the end result appears to be the same. The bold, tough, and totally capable woman with whom he had founded such a strong relationship with appears to be drifting farther and farther away and no amount of romantic surprises can make up for the gap he’s widening so far.
Great/Not So Great Moments Not Mentioned Above (Later, Baby):
+“Can someone take Peter off my hands?”
+“I like comedy that has something smart to say about society”
+“We share a Brita!”
Great/Not So Great Moments Not Mentioned Above (Jody Kimball-Kinney is My Husband):
+Little Sriracha and Gratitude studying abroad
+“Is Leo’s father a politician trying to look less white?”
+“You do know what those priests do, right?:
+Vibrating seat chosen with Oscar Isaac’s face on it
+“The race card
+“That happens sometimes when the parents are immigrants.”
+“That disturbed Middle Eastern prostitute was right.”
+“Did you know that Bill Clinton’s wife is running for President?”
+“You’re so drunk you could accept a Golden Globe.”
+“I don’t like your metaphors for me.”
Great/Not So Great Moments Not Mentioned Above (The Departed):
+Mindy counts time in between holidays with Reese’s holidays shaped peanut butter cups. I should do that.
+“Who would Danny be a stunt double for? Anna Kendrick?”
+“It was painfully obvious.”
+The Morgan song
+“My name is Peter and my wife is dead too.”
+The Intern and Everest
+“They are bold, tough, and totally inappropriate for work.” I really do love Mindy and Peter’s friendship.
Episode Title: Later, Baby
Written by: Tracey Wigfield
Directed by: Ryan Case
Episode Title: Jody Kimball-Kinney is My Husband
Written by: Chris Schleicher
Directed by: Marco Fargnoli
Episode Title: The Departed
Written by: Lang Fisher
Directed by: Claire Scanlon
Image Courtesy: EW