Niecy Nash guest stars as Mindy’s new lesbian boss on “The Mindy Project”

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Welcome to a very special lesbian episode recap of The Mindy Project! I’ve enjoyed this show since it premiered and, despite getting off to a rocky start, it has turned into one of the funniest shows on television. While Mindy has featured supporting storylines about Danny’s gay brother Richie, it has yet to feature any gay women, so it’s exciting to see this underrated show put a fresh spin on the “straight girl gets mistaken for gay” one-shot episode we’ve all seen before.

We open with Danny and Mindy driving home from a wedding, when they are pulled over by a cop. Mindy assures Danny that she’s never gotten a parking ticket because she uses the winning combo of lying and crying to scare away the cops. Sure enough, when the cop approaches, Mindy bursts into fake tears and weasels her way out of the ticket.

Danny and Mindy celebrate with some road sex, only to be pulled over yet again by the same cop. One thing that I really admire about the show is its characterization and celebration of Mindy as a confident sexual being without it being her sole trait, a la Kim Catrall on Sex and the City. Mindy is not only a smart, capable doctor, but also a sex positive woman, something that is quite shocking in its uniqueness. Maybe it’s due to the fact that Kaling is the showrunner and head writer, but Mindy never forces its female characters into the old virgin/whore dichotomy the viewer is used to. Is the character of Mindy Lahiri this generation’s sex symbol? If she isn’t, she should be.

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Back at Shulman and associates, Peter needs a partner for the annual Dartmouth alumni beer pong tournament. Mindy volunteers, but the only woman allowed to play is Shonda Rhimes. Jeremy texts them all to let them know that they are late for a meeting with the new department chief of the hospital. The new chief, Dr. Jean Fishman, is played by the hilarious Niecy Nash (Reno 911!) and is quickly annoyed by Mindy’s late arrival and her inability to turn off her Iggy Azalea ring tone.

Mindy’s unprofessional behavior lands her practice the hospital graveyard shift, so the other doctors demand that Mindy patch things up with Jean. Mindy hatches a plan to take Jean out for an epic girls night to win her over.

Mindy brings Jean a cactus, but Jean isn’t having any of it. Despite this, Mindy manages to wrangle her into girls’ night and they plan to meet up later that day. Peter tries to recruit Morgan as his beer pong buddy, but Jeremy proves to be a beer pong prodigy. He’s also desperate to win Peter back after stealing his girlfriend.

Later, Mindy and Jean are wrapping up their girls night outside Jean’s apartment. Mindy plucks a bug out of her hair, and Jean goes in for the kiss…Houston, we have a lesbian! A befuddled Mindy kisses her back, unsure of how to react.

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The next morning, Mindy tells the office that she thinks she’s gay now, but they assure her that gay experiences are totally normal. Everyone chimes in with a “gay story,” the best of which is Tamra’s, who kissed her cousin Sheena to get onto Air Force Two. Mindy needs to come clean with Jean, but the rest of the practice want her to keep up the charade to protect their newly improved hospital schedule. Jean calls Mindy, who has already assigned her the Divinyls “I Touch Myself” as a ringtone. Lesbian achievement unlocked?

Jean asks Mindy out to dinner, but instead of coming clean, Mindy invites her over to her place to curl up by the fire. Girl, we’ve all been there!

Later that night, Peter and a frat-tified Jeremy roll up to the beer pong tournament. Jeremy has assumed an American accent and the nickname “Barf” while Peter is known to everyone as “Lefty” due to a college masturbation injury. I love playing beer pong, but guys like this are the reason I retired from the game. That, and my liver. But back to the recap…

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Mindy and Danny are hanging out when Danny convinces her that she has to come clean with Jean. While Mindy likes to skate by on little white lies and general weaselry (a girl after my own heart) Danny insists that she cut down on the drama and just be honest…especially when it comes to someone’s feelings. Mindy acquiesces and they head to the hospital.

Meanwhile, at the beer pong tournament, Peter and Jeremy beat Shonda Rhimes, who stops by for a hilarious cameo. Kaling and Rhimes are both Dartmouth alums, and I like to imagine they are BFFs who drink martinis, crank call Aaron Sorkin, and plot the female takeover of television.

Also, Shonda tells the boys that writing pays her bills, but beer pong is her passion. YOU GUYS, SHONDA RHIMES AND I ARE BASICALLY THE SAME PERSON. Jeremy finds out that Peter is called “Lefty” because he gets left by all his girlfriends. Shonda even wrote a pilot about him, but the networks passed because it was too sad. Can she guest star in everything, please?

Mindy and Danny go to see Jean at the hospital, where Mindy tells her that she is straight.

Mindy: You’re an amazing kisser, you have the softness of a woman but the strength of a man. I was actually thinking about it later in the bath…the problem is I’m straight, and I’m sorry if I led you on.

Jean is disappointed, while Mindy realizes in retrospect that their nude couples massage and breast exam might have been sending the wrong message. We then meet Deb-Deb, Jean’s furious wife, played by lesbian guest star extraordinaire Julie Goldman! Turns out that Jean was stepping out on her woman with Mindy, and the dyke drama begins!

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Unfortunately, Danny calls Deb-Deb “sir,” and proceeds to make the situation worse. Mindy tries to calm them down by telling them she’s a masculine woman with a feminine man, but they only end up offending the lesbians further. Deb-Deb storms out on Jean, which means that Mindy and company are doomed to the graveyard shift.

Back at the tournament, Jeremy gives Peter a pep talk and they win the beer pong championships. Peter gets the chance to change his nickname once and for all…unfortunately, he changes it to “Diarrhea.” Better luck next time, bro.

Mindy blames Danny for forcing the truth out of her and potentially ruining Jean’s marriage (although that’s kind of on Jean at this point) but Danny tells her that she shouldn’t have lied in the first place. Mindy calls Jean and apologizes, begging her not to take out her anger on the practice. Jean is pissed because not only is Deb-Deb threatening to leave, but she turned the dogs against her. People, do NOT get between a lesbian and her dogs! That is a sacred bond.

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Mindy tries to commiserate and blurts out that Danny is suicidal over the entire affair. Jean and Deb-Deb spring into action and head over, creating yet another mess that Mindy must lie her way out of. She begs Danny to fake some drama, but refuses. He refuses and leaves her to come clean (yet again) to the lesbians.

Mindy is ready to confess and asks Jean to hate her but not the other doctors. But before she can drop some truth bombs, Danny stumbles out and starts stirring some hilariously unconvincing drama, including but not limited to: being unable to have a baby and losing his virginity to Mindy. He finishes off by tossing a glass of red wine in her face.

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Danny is comforted by Jean and Deb-Deb, who forgive Mindy for her “seduction” of Jean. Danny manages to squeeze in some sexy favors from Mindy, my favorite of which is her help with building Adirondack chairs.

It looks like Dr. Jean will be recurring for a couple of episodes, so stay tuned for more Mindy Project shenanigans!

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