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‘The Mindy Project’ Season 3 Episode 15 Recap: “Dinner at the Castellanos”

mindy project dinner at the castellanos

Still reeling from the news that she’s pregnant, Mindy (Mindy Kaling) now has to worry about how she’ll tell Danny (Chris Messina), but she always seems to catch him at the wrong time. Which is why she decides to surprise him in New York for the weekend.

And, of course, when she gets there, they’re not alone. The Castellanos are there, too.

After Little Danny (Madison Moellers) got suspended from school for hitting her teacher, Alan Castellano (Dan Hedaya) thought it might help if Danny talked to her about what she did. So, Mindy’s big news is going to have to wait.

While, Danny’s showing his dad and sister around the office, Mindy gets a call from Annette (Rhea Perlman). Because she can’t hold anything back, Mindy admits to her that Danny and her weekend getaway was put on hold because of visitors. Although this sounds a little suspicious because Annette doesn’t seem to be the very generous kind, she invites all of them over for dinner that night.

Mindy tags along too, because why not? She wants to be part of the family and sometimes family just shows up. But they’re all shocked to see that when they get there, Annette’s dyed her hair blonde. She’s trying to show her ex-husband that she’s been a lot better off without him — she’s even gotten herself a new boyfriend, Dr. Robert Ledreau (Fred Grandy).

Mindy’s really enjoying herself because she feels she’s being included as part of the family now. And yet, she doesn’t feel like it’s enough. She could be closer. So when Annette asks Danny for help in preparing her traditional eel meal, Mindy volunteers. The only way to prepare the meal, though, is by killing them with a mallet in the bathtub.

If you had your doubts that she would do it, how dare you. She killed them and set a new record. The best compliment Mindy gets from Annette is, “You sure you’re not a Castellano?”

While they’re bonding, Danny and his dad are also talking over a model train set. His dad doesn’t think he’s a good enough dad for Little Danny based on his past experience walking out on Danny as a boy, which is why he asks Danny if he can take her in for awhile. Danny agrees to do it for as long as she needs to be there. Mindy walks in just as he says this, but is furious that Danny would take this on without talking it over with her first.

They don’t get much time to talk it over because it’s dinnertime and that goes horribly. In an effort to get Little Danny to admit that she’s been faking her “emotional problems” to get what she wants, she holds her phone over water, threatening to drop it. This is enough for Little Danny who yells, “I slapped my teacher because I hate living in the desert, and I hate that my dad’s 2000 years old and he yells at the newspaper, and I hate that my TV only gets 50 channels. It’s not fair!” In a furious rage, Little Danny slaps Mindy who slaps her right back.

Danny pulls her away and tells her it might be a good idea if she leaves. It’s a family matter and they have to figure it out. She does leave, but when Annette gets wind of what went down with Danny agreeing to take Little Danny in, she follows her outside.

Annette tells Mindy to come back inside because she completely agrees with what she did. Life motto: when someone’s being a brat, slap them. I really like that it was Annette and not Danny to include Mindy in the family. Danny tried doing that before, but now it’s coming from someone who actually understands what Mindy’s going through. That’s also how she comes to realize that Mindy’s pregnant after she complains about it being too hot. Castellano babies are known to be like an angry furnace in your stomach. Filled with joy, she hugs Mindy and excitedly runs off yelling that she’s going to be a grandma.

Once back inside the house, Annette gains some courage to rip off her wig (it was a wig, thank goodness) and tell her ex-husband and son what she really thinks. Basically, it’s a stupid idea to keep making Danny take care of his younger brother and now his half-sister, while he’s got a girlfriend who’s pregnant. Yes, Annette did spoil the surprise, but who knows when Mindy would get the opportunity to tell Danny herself.

Completely shocked, Danny takes several subways and looks for Mindy in both of their apartments until he ultimately finds her in the doctor’s lounge. He’s not angry, like she thought he would be. He’s ecstatic. “We’re a family.”


  • “It’s only stalking if it doesn’t work. You make her love you.” Sound advice, Mindy. Also, I was so pleasantly surprised to see Peter in this episode. I had already started missing him.
  • “I hated gym class. My thighs would rub together and the sound was like a squeaking balloon.”
  • I really enjoyed that this episode didn’t have a B-story. There was just no time to fit one in. It would’ve detracted from the main storyline.
  • “Don’t step to me, I just murdered a bunch of eels tonight.”
  • Chris Messina always bring such honesty and vulnerability to Danny that it was just so touching to see his reaction to the pregnancy. Let me cry!