In every great rom-com, the leading man always has that one eye-opening moment. You know, the one where he realizes the girl who's been right in front of him this entire time is "The One."
And in The Mindy Project's Tuesday night episode, Danny Castellano (Chris Messina) finally experiences the moment with his fellow OB-GYN and perennially witty thorn in his side Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling). All it took was Mindy pretending to be his pregnant girlfriend and a forced hug for Danny to see Mindy in a new light. Too bad her eye is currently on lawyer Cliff (Glenn Howerton). So what's a jaded, cynical divorcee to do?
We chatted with the Fox hit sitcom's executive producer Matt Warburton and star/writer Ike Barinholtz about what's ahead for our current favorite pairing on TV, including Danny's "big move" and what the series would look like with Mindy and Danny as a couple. Spoiler alert: It's not a Taylor Swift song.
"This is a story we wanted to do for so long, like we broke this story last season and we just didn't have the right time to do it," Warburton reveals of last night's big Danny and Mindy storyline in "You've Got Sext," which was penned by Kaling. "We always wanted to tell that story and it just felt like early to middle of the season this year was the right time to do it."
Barinholtz, who plays fan favorite Morgan on the series, says the creative team knew the time had come to address the will-they-or-won't-they elephant in the writer's room. "Eventually, you can only tease people for so long. So there will be something. There will be a definitive moment happening in the not-too-distant future," he explains. "And that will really, I think for true fans of the show, be a big release, but it will also build up even more expectations."
And the show won't shy away from Danny's newly discovered feelings for Mindy in the coming episodes, saying, "I feel like Danny really exposed himself in this episode and at the end he kind of realized Mindy has her head elsewhere, so that's kind of a weird position for him to be in."
Speaking of having her head elsewhere, Warburton teases that Mindy will be "trying to find a way to make this Cliff thing work," but Danny will make "a big move."
"The story between now through Christmas is going to be Mindy's machinations and interest in making that work and Danny is sidelined because what does he do when something like this happens? But leading up to Christmas, he's definitely going to have a big move to—in his weird, closed-up way—express something."
Wait, will we see Danny Castellano's version of a grand romantic gesture?!
"No promises, but he's going to do something. We just finished shooting the Christmas episode and we're really proud of that one. It's going to be a big moment for the show."
But even if Danny makes a rom-com worthy gesture, Warburton says the pairing will never have a romance destined for the pages of a storybook.
"The two characters are so grown up, they're adults; they're in their 30s, they've been through a lot," he says. "The fairy tale option isn't not really on the table. They're so different from each other, so anything that happens won't be the end. There are million ups and downs no matter what."
And if it were up to Barinholtz, The Mindy Project would become The Mindy and Danny Project.
"Personally for me, if the show next year was Danny and Mindy as a couple, I think that'd be hilarious because they are maybe the worst possible people to be in love, but they are so funny, they're so different that I personally would love to see," he admits. "I don't think that's the case, but I think if you're a fan of the show you're going to be rewarded very soon."
The Mindy Project airs Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. on Fox.