'The Mindy Project' Changes Its Tone with "LA Stories" & The Season Hangs in the Balance

Last week's Mindy Projectepidode"LA Stories" had all of us on the East Coast tre jealous, as the doctors from Schulman and Associates left frigid New York (damn it, Janus) for a plastic surgery conference in Los Angeles (I thought they were gynos, though? Whatever). It's fixin' to be a two-part episode, a la Mad Men. I love when sitcoms go out West to discover Truths!

Besides being a chance for Mindy to use her new apps for celebrity star maps, the LA venture is also an impetus for Mindy to coincidentally run into her Big Ex Number Two (number one obvi being was Bill Hader), Casey, whose passion for event planning apparently led him to LA where he opened up a high-end sneaker store called Dope Feat ("They're ugly, but like, on purpose. It's crazy.") Casey also has gone through an "adult-onset growth spurt," which happens only to really, really happy people.

While overall the episode wasn't phenomenal, there were some really funny moments, like Kevin Smith having no one to talk to at the Dope Feat party except for Mindy — who he oddly tries to bond with over being chubs. Then there's Danny, who hates LA, because no one reads there (Mindy responds: "Okay, Joan Didion, because you've read three airport dad novels?")

It seems like a throwaway line, but actually Danny hates LA because that's where his father is. Later on, Morgan oversteps boundaries AGAIN (he's the one that sent the letter to Danny's ex-wife, Chloe Sevigny) and calls Danny's dad. Danny, of course, is furious, and calls his younger brother Ritchie, who tough-loves him and tells him that if Danny doesn't see his father while he's in LA, he never will.

So though there were great jokes but sort of a weak plot, last week's Mindy was promising in that it definitely shows a more serious direction that the show is heading in. Mindy sees Casey in LA in the midst of trying to get current boyfriend Cliff to move in with her which he considers, until he sees photos of Mindy with Casey at the Dope Feat party. He breaks up with her because he has trust issues. He's so Drake right now.

So sure, it moved a little fast, but "LA Stories" provided a mood-change for Mindy. It asked some heartfelt and universal questions — re: Danny, do we have an obligation to forgive our family? Re: Mindy, why do we feel so hurt when our exes are happy without us, even if we don't love them anymore? Re: Cliff, what can be forgiven in a relationship, and when is the trust lost?

I sensed a pretty somber tone at the end of "LA Stories" and I do hope that it doesn't mean Mindy and Danny get together, even though after "Danny Castellano is My Personal Trainer," it seems like that's what's in store from all the sexual tension. I love Mindy and Danny as friends and coworkers that respect each other, and despite sometimes being flat characters, I feel like The Mindy Project has done a good job creating a group of characters that seem to really care for one another's well-being.

We'll see if Mindy shows off her Brazilian bikini wax Tuesday night.

Images: FOX