The Mindy Project Season 4 Episode 4: Breast Milk To The Face

Photo: Jordin Althaus/Hulu.
A lot of shows struggle with how to incorporate a baby into adult character's storylines. The Mindy Project is taking a somewhat different approach. It's taking the story that women have been dealing with offscreen for ages and making it the focus of the show. When Mindy (Mindy Kaling) became a mother, the show's writers decided they weren't going to make her and Danny's (Chris Messina) son one of those babies who's rarely discussed unless he handily plays into a storyline for comedic value. Nope; The Mindy Project now revolves around a struggle many new mothers have: Should Mindy go back to work or stay home and take care of Leo? Mindy even references how flip movies and TV shows have been about the ability to "have it all" (an expression I loathe). "Being a working mom is really tough," Danny says. "I don't know," Mindy replies. "According to movie posters, it's just like, carrying a briefcase and a baby bottle at the same time." Of course, moms everywhere know there's much more involved in work-life balance than that, and that's what Mindy finds out as the episode unravels. She also deals with some other very of-the-moment mom issues, like breastfeeding in public and cyberbullying on Pinterest (although that one was just a tossed-off joke). It's also worth noting that the person who chastises Mindy for breastfeeding on the subway is the new doctor at Schulman & Associates, Jody Kimball (Garret Dillahunt). Seriously, does no one at this OB/GYN practice have any knowledge of what happens to the human they help bring forth into the world once it's out of the womb? Surely an obstetrician would want to see a baby being fed when he was hungry, rather than being forced to cry so his mother could maintain her modesty. I just don't get this idea. It's like the creators completely forget to even pretend what fake jobs the actors have. What they really needed, though, was a reason for Mindy to butt heads with Jody in a way that would lead to a string of events building animosity between them. All of which culminated with Mindy squirting breast milk in his face (yup). In the heat of the moment following the breast milk incident, Mindy decides to stay at home with Leo for a while. It's a decision she later regrets, but she can't bring herself to tell Danny that she changed her mind when he gives her his push present: a tattoo of Leo's name on his chest over his heart. The episode ends with Mindy and Danny hugging. His eyes are closed, so full of emotion is he that Mindy has decided to become a stay-at-home mom. Her eyes are open, and so full of regret that she's agreed to it. It must be nice to be financially secure enough to not even have to discuss the practicalities of living on one income, but maybe that'll come in next week's episode. Or perhaps I need to stop being so practical and remember that I just watched a woman squirt breast milk in her coworker's face after she got angry with him.

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