The Mindy Project: 'Leo Castellano Is My Son' Review

Entertainment Weekly

You would think any parenting storyline following the first two episodes of The Mindy Project's triumphant season four return would be unquestionably spectacular. With an Eliza Coupe guest appearance to match? All the more reason why the latest episode, "Leo Castellano Is My Son" slightly disappoints structurally and topically, but still provides the laughs when needed for a series that usually knows just when to deliver.

Mindy Lahiri is officially on maternity leave in the latest episode thanks to the newest addition to the cast, little Leo Lahiri/Castellano. While maternity leave sounds somewhat relaxing in nature following a birth, this time off provides a challenge for our leading lady as she battles the aching desire to go out with the newborn and partake in some spontaneous adventures... like, say, her favorite actor siblings' new book signing. Without access to her TV, laptop, or booze, due to Danny's strict baby-proofing system, who would blame her? Against Danny's advisement, she of course must sneak out for the love of Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal's new cookbook, "Grillin' Haul." Why was Danny so against this particular excursion? Well, it's responsible to assume he doesn't want her or the baby to be exposed to potential sickness before the vaccinations are in. But, on a minor note, Danny can give Jake Gyllenhaal credit for "Southpaw," but he's not in for "Brokeback Mountain," just FYI. Mindy returns and ends up locking her son in the apartment accidentally. Oh, Mindy. Ross and Rachel much?

Meanwhile, the rest of the gang at the office is up to... well, a bit of this and that, I guess. We mainly have Jeremy in a bit of a seemingly precarious relationship roadblock with Whitney (Cristin Milioti), as Tamra (referred to as 'Tamar' by Whit) is lead on to believe that girlfriend may just be cheating on our English charmer. Okay, I may have given him the title of "English charmer" because that's his designated character type, but I would have to say, through four seasons, I've not really accepted Jeremy's presence. Ed Weeks' dry delivery is sometimes passably funny, but for the most part, he seems consistently underdeveloped and usually underutilized when it counts. I don't think he can be relied on for most sub-plots, but, to be fair, not many of the others (ie. Tamra, Beverly) could either. I think Mindy, Danny, or Morgan need some involvement in order for these stories to work.

Surprisingly, Morgan wasn't the bright spot of this episode. He had his moments, but some jokes went on a little too long or didn't quite work as well as you might expect. I love punches about Morgan's income, but the two in this episode seemed a bit unnatural and made the joke seem like it may be getting stretched thin, which I hope it's not. Ultimately, the title for scene stealer goes to the great Eliza Coupe, who is not the first Happy Endings alum to grace the show (we need Adam Pally back). She perfectly played the role of the young, noisy, "busy" neighbor, in contrast to Mindy and Danny who are becoming "that old married couple." I'd love to see Coupe return and explore the dynamic between them more, as she eases up on Mindy throughout the episode and leaves a potential friendship to mine from for additional stories. If Mindy continues on maternity leave for another few episodes, I hope they have Eliza around to entertain her (and the audience) rather than leaving Mindy in boredom.

There was questionable use of the "nanny cam" that Danny installed in the apartment to watch over Mindy during her first day of maternity leave. It was mentioned only a couple of times but wasn't a hitting topic of conversation by the episode's end. I think simply the uneventfulness of maternity leave was the focus in this episode, and it worked at times, but it wasn't as hitting as the birthing method/marriage debates of the previous episodes. However, that may be an unfair expectation for the show to always be having a controversial topic front and center. We want to laugh and enjoy this half hour of television, and that's ultimately the true expectation. Overall, I don't think the episode was on par with the first two of the season, but my love for Mindy Kaling and this show prevails all flaws that the storytelling may have at times.

Notable Lines:

  • "It certainly has a lot of the n-word like a Kanye song. Oh, no, but it has a message of a Common song!"
  • "You want to settle down? I thought you were (provocative) for modern female empowerment reasons, not for old-fashioned sad ones."
  • "It was all package and no care!"
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What did you think of the latest episode? Feel free to share your thoughts below!

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