If there is a character on a television that has evolved so much on a show, yet hasn't disrupted the undeniable love fans have for them, I believe Danny Castellano on the Mindy Project is a top contender. Whether it is dancing to "Try Again" by Aaliyah, or stripping to "American Woman," or going on about how he fears the ocean out of respect or his Ma's lasagna, Chris Messina proves in each episode why it was so easy for Mindy Lahiri to fall in love with Danny. In Tuesday's episode, nothing was more clear, as Danny's character — a character who used to never get into his personal life in earlier seasons — evolved into a self-aware man. Oh, and he did a killer moonwalk.
The episode began with Danny complaining about Mindy always being late. It's been seven months since they started dating — where did the time go! — and he still can't stand her constant tardiness. But once Mindy takes it upon herself to make Danny late for work one morning, and Danny still manages to make it into the office on time, we — as viewers — are given one of those incredible Danny Castellano moments that only Messina could pull off. Check out Danny's reaction when he makes it into work just in time.
I've never been more amused/ in love with a character doing the moonwalk in short running shorts, probably because I've never seen that combination before, but still, he slays it. The thing to love about Danny is how passionate he is about something. So when it comes to rubbing in his timeliness into Mindy's face, he goes all out.
Another thing Danny is extremely passionate about — and it is something we saw a little bit of in the second season — is his relationship with his father. After Dr. Fishman — played by Niecy Nash — forces Danny to take a seminar on mental stability, led by none other than Brendan Deslaurier (the midwife upstairs), Danny realizes his anger towards Mindy's tardiness stems from his father's abandonment. The scene was absolutely perfect, and really emotional, as Danny recounted when he sat on his porch all night waiting for his father to meet him and go see Ghostbusters. "If you really love someone, why would you keep them waiting? Why would you keep them waiting?" Danny says on repeat, with a hint of dramatic music in the background. It was perfect — as always — acting by Messina, and a great plot move forward for Danny's character.
Danny eventually explains his revelation from the group therapy session to Mindy, and she — like all of us — just wanted to give him a hug for how genuine and heartfelt his character has become from the beginning of Season 1. Except, lucky enough for her, she actually does get to hug him.
Images: Isabella Vosmikova/FOX