Tonight The Mindy Project returns after a break, following up on the Big Moment that came before the show's big midseason break. In doing so it transforms Chris Messina from that guy into the guy.
At the end of the last episode that aired, Mindy and her co-worker Danny (Messina) shared an explosively romantic kiss on an airplane, just after Danny had helped her compose an email to get her old boyfriend back. The first episode that airs tonight picks up right where the last left off with Mindy and Danny mid-lip lock.
This was inevitable. The Mindy Project is a show that consciously plays with romantic comedy tropes, so it only made sense that Mindy and Danny, her sometime adversary, would end up together. Danny was always the Joe Fox to Mindy’s Kathleen Kelly. Mindy Kaling's favorite rom com is You've Got Mail.
For what it’s worth, Messina had a brief role in You’ve Got Mail as an inept book store clerk at the very beginning of his career. But long before joining a network television comedy, the prolific actor has a long history in romantic comedies—often of the indie variety—but not usually as the male half of the couple you are rooting for. He is the friend or relation or the other guy.