The Mindy Project Season 4 Episode 9 Recap: Little Doorways

Photo: Courtesy of Jordin Althaus/Hulu.
Like absurdly named children and the quest for the perfect nanny, the "applying for preschool before the kid's even out of diapers" episode is a rite of passage for any TV show with New York City parents. This week's The Mindy Project deals with this milestone, and it throws some ridiculously monikered tots into the mix for good measure. I'm looking at you, Gratitude and Sriracha. I mean, it's a great sauce, but we can't all go around naming our children after our favorite sauces. That's what pets are for. Now come here, Caramel. Sit. Speak. Roll over. Who's a good girl? The episode kicks off with Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) at music class getting education-shamed by two moms. They simply can't believe Mindy didn't submit an application to a prestigious private preschool for Leo the second she found out she was pregnant. Does she not love him?! Apparently, getting Blue Ivy into the most elite preschool in the city is Jay Z's 100th problem. I'm pretty sure it's actually Tidal, but that's neither here nor there. Oh, and before you mention going public, know that The Mindy Project does no favors to our nation's school system in this episode. Mindy repeatedly says that she went to public school (and learned how to throw a knife there), and it's free, so why shouldn't Leo attend public school as well? Then, she sees Bev (Beth Grant), another proud public school graduate, write on her computer screen with a marker. At the end of the episode, two public school students try to steal Mindy's extensions. I didn't realize this show was going to get so political about the apparently dismal state of our educational system. It's not actually the "loving parent wanting the best education possible for her child" argument that gets Mindy, though; it's the exclusivity one. These snobby women think that she can't get her son into their silly school? Challenge accepted. Mindy's going to get Leo into Little Doorways Academy for Ethical Children — the only preschool in Manhattan that offers study abroad — if it's the last thing she does. The exclusivity thing proves to be very, very true. Mindy tries all her usual tricks (pretending to be an immigrant from India, lying about Leo's father being a "little person"), but it doesn't work. She's forced to bring Jody (Garret Dillahunt) to a prospective parents' night when Danny (Chris Messina) can't fly back from his ill dad's bedside for the occasion. Unfortunately, it ends up being a quid pro quo situation, and she has to accompany Jody to dinner with his sister-in-law, with whom he's in love. Jody charms Little Doorways' headmistress, but the dinner with his sister-in-law doesn't go quite as well. He declares his continued desire to be with her, but she insists she'll never leave Jody's brother. This sends Jody on an all-night bender, which ends when he arrives on Mindy's doorstep reeking of Jack Daniel's the next morning. Unfortunately, the headmistress stops by for a home visit — the final stop in fast-tracking Leo's application. At first, Mindy is pissed at Jody. He's completely ruining this for her. Then, she forces him to realize that he's not actually in love with his sister-in-law; he's just in love with what she represents (security, kindness, caring, and happiness). Jody, on the other hand, gets Mindy to realize that she doesn't really want Leo to attend Little Doorways; she just wants to prove Gratitude and Sriracha's uppity parents wrong. When she finds out that tuition is $70,000 a year, she officially decides that Leo will be a public school student. Apparently, public school isn't so bad after all. It's free, but you do have to protect your extensions. Everything has its drawbacks, I guess. I went to public school, and I turned out fine — although my nursery school didn't have a study abroad program. Oh well.
Photo: Courtesy of Jordin Althaus/Hulu.

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