Guess what? It went to my head.
When’s this idiot gonna lock me down?
The one thing I’ve been looking for from Danny Castellano for so long is the moment where he finally learns Mindy enjoys the gestures, but that’s not what she actually wants. She just wants to be part of the plan. Not a last minute decision (The Desert), not the panicked last ditch attempt to right a wrong (Danny and Mindy), not an apology (We’re a Couple Now), and not an afterthought (What About Peter.) She just wants to be part of the plan. Part of his future. It breaks my heart that he struggles so hard with this because it’s all he wants too. He just self-sabotages in such a spectacular way that he hurts the person who, if he could just admit it to himself, has been the whole plan. For years.
Wow, Jean. You believing in me? Hope it doesn’t go to my head.
I think it’s entirely appropriate that we begin the episode with Mindy’s search for evidence that Danny is investing in their future. He does these little things that should add up to a readiness for the next step (he’s relinquished his side of the bed, ‘I like you on a Staten Island porch’) but every big thing he does indicates that he’s not thinking of it that way. He’s basically taught her through his actions to read the gestures, not the intent. When Jean comes to her with an opportunity, the kind that says “I believe in you,” it’s not just tempting, it nudges at something inside Mindy that was always there, and is my favourite thing about this season: Mindy’s growing sense of self and courage to invest in herself.
I was just excited to show people what I was capable of.
I just want to pause here in recognition of how beautiful the scene in Mindy’s office was, how important it was for Danny to see what this actually meant to her, and how important it was for Mindy to speak honestly about what she wanted. Easily my favourite scene of all 3 seasons.
Now he’s still not there yet, but I think this moment helped Danny face his fear, and do the thing he’s always feared the most: letting her leave and having faith that she’ll come back. Did he do it the right way? Was it for the right reasons? Maybe. Maybe not. But he did it, even though it cost him something he doesn’t willingly spend and I hope that Mindy can see this as what it really is: Danny is investing their future, because he’s investing in her.