TV Review: The Mindy Project 5×09 “The Bat Mitzvah”


As I mentioned last week, it’s nice that The Mindy Project has such a large recurring cast to pull from who can just stop by when the episode calls for it. That’s very much the case with tonight’s episode “Bat Mitzvah,” with the return of Adam Pally’s Peter aka “if Bud Light were an OBGYN.” Pally’s absence on the series has been noticeable, and his return is a delight. Coming through the fire escape (after breaking Mindy’s elevator), he returns like a destructive puppy, making a mess as he happily moves throughout the apartment. It’s especially nice to have him back because while Ike Barinholtz is a good cast member, it’s felt like Mindy lacks good friends to discuss the relationships at the focus. Pally does that well on the show, and Mindy and Peter’s relationship feels as natural as ever.

Peter, despite his approval of Ben as a new boyfriend for Mindy, assumes their relationship is on a time table (so do I). I feel a little annoyed that Mindy and Ben’s relationship is in flux this soon after reconciliation (can we please get one episode between?), but I guess you need conflict. Ben’s daughter’s Bat Mitzvah is coming up, and Mindy, the new girlfriend, isn’t invited. She initially takes it as a get out jail free card, until Peter mentions it is a slight and daughter Lindsay texts Mindy that Ben lied about her having to work. So Mindy does what every panicking girlfriend would: crashes a Bat Mitzvah with a very high Peter.

As the mystery girl and high guy, they raise suspicion from Ben’s ex-wife Patricia and Peter lies that Mindy’s a rabbi. Mindy is cornered by Patricia, who confides to the rabbi she wants to get back together with Ben, and lets it slip that Ben cheated in his marriage. Meanwhile, Mindy’s own ex, Jody, has found his own new girl, a woman who looks and acts exactly like Mindy (more or less). I was so happy to see Tiya Sircar on the show after she did a great job as Real Eleanor in The Good Place. But, Hollywood, she can play more than doubles, okay? She’s definitely funny as Karen and any chance for Garret Dillahunt to be really silly is a delight.

At this point, I miss the Mindy-Jody relationship. They made for a nice odd ball coupling, shared a nice chemistry, and he felt significantly different from Danny. I like Chris Messina and Bryan Greenberg, but there is a sameness to them that suggests Ben’s a Danny replacement, more than a new guy. And the big problem with this episode is, Ben’s a cheater too. We already had the Mindy and Danny cheating scenario, and Mindy cheating on Ben with Jamie. That ended her relationship with Ben, and now she learns he’s a cheater too. I don’t buy for a second that Mindy would be okay with his desire to brush that fact about himself under the rug when she’s so open and honest. And I hate the way he justified cheating on his wife but couldn’t offer any understanding to Mindy for making the same mistake, especially after he considered reconciling with his wife last episode. They’re both cheaters, he just lies about it and creates double standards.

Great, now I don’t like Ben. But I do like Jody, and he clearly still likes Mindy, so let them get back together and try their hand at a real relationship we never really got to see. Or Mindy could just take a boyfriend break and have some single fun. We haven’t seen that in a while, and the return of hijinks with Peter made me miss that aspect of the show. So despite Peter’s welcome return, I have to say, this episode wasn’t a favorite.

Rating: 4.5/10

The Mindy Project premieres new episodes Tuesdays on Hulu.



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