How I Met Your Father aired two back-to-back episodes on March 28—titled “I’m a Swish” and “Daddy,” respectively—and a huge focus was on the daddy. Not that daddy…. but Sophie’s daddy.
If you’ll recall, a huge overarching and lingering mystery is the identity of Sophie’s birth father, who she very briefly *but very seriously* considered to be her new, older boyfriend, Robert, the chef she met during a gala she attended for the Flubber musical.
Robert, played by Sex and the City’s John Corbett, was the first normal and unproblematic relationship for Sophie, so it was a shame when she eventually identified a potentially huge problem when he reminisced on his time at the first Lollapalooza. Sophie recalled an almost identical story from her mother, also noting that she was conceived at that very Lolla, so the red flags were all there—and even more concerning when he pulled up a photo with Sophie’s mother from that day in 1991.
Sophie, understandably, bolted from his country home, desperately trying to get ahold of her mother for answers about Robert. Her mother *thankfully* shut down the idea that Robert was Sophie’s father—phew, that’s a close one—but she revealed that they explored their bodies with their mouths, and that was a revelation that Sophie and Robert’s relationship could, unfortunately, never get over.
The damage had been done, so they parted ways. Robert telling Sophie to “say hi to her mom was simply adding salt to the wound.
However, a lot of good stemmed from Sophie’s relationship with Robert. For starters, she realized that she wasn’t his “swish”—Robert did actually like Sophie and they connected on a deeper level. It was one of her healthiest relationships… until it wasn’t. She felt what it was like to genuinely be loved. And it led her to the realization that she wants to make a real effort to find her father.
Part of me secretly wished that Neil Patrick Harris was somehow Sophie’s biological dad, but admittedly, that would be a little too far-fetched.
Fans did get insight into their meeting, with the scene from the HIMYF season premiere, finally playing out in its entirety on the screen. Turns out, Sophie didn’t have to pay for the damages she caused after she crashed into Barney Stinson’s car because she delighted him with a juicy story about how she almost dated her father.
There were plenty of laughs when it came to Stinson’s return, but there was also a deeper, more heartfelt connection between him and Sophie as he popped up at a crucial moment in her life and revealed that he understood all too well what it was like to want to find your birth father. While Sophie definitely had some hesitations—what if her dad was a prop comic or something?–there was an outcome where finally meeting him would prove to be everything she’s ever wanted, just as it did for Barney. His success story with reconnecting with his father inspired Sophie to seek hers out.
With so much time having passed since HIMYM, creators attempted to make Barney less crass, or at least make it a point that he’s a work in progress. In the initial moment after Sophie crashes into his car, he reads off a very long list of apologies thinking that she’s a scorned ex looking for revenge. When she assures him he’s not, all of his dirty jokes fall flat as the recovering serial womanizer reveals he wears an STD, shock therapy device, that he describes as an “experimental new electroshock treatment for guys like me.”
“This sucker is programmed with 10,000 problematic words and phrases,” he further reveals, trying to make it through the body shocks.
Barney also reveals that he’s a father to a beautiful little girl named Ellie, so again, the series did a great job merging heartwarming while staying authentic to Barney’s character and making many callbacks to the original series that likely tickled fans.
There were plenty of other non-Sophie-related developments, the biggest of which includes Valentine’s engagement to Swish, a college student that she met on a dating app after Sophie’s relationship with an older man inspired her to expand her age range. I don’t think that’s exactly what Sophie meant, but since Valentina is just in it for fun, it’s also not a huge deal…. until it is. Valentina agrees to Swish’s marriage proposal because she “didn’t want to hurt his feelings.”
She assumed Swish’s proposal wasn’t serious, suggesting that his generation has such a short attention span that he’ll forget about it the next day, but Swish was smitten with a capital S. Instead of forgetting about the proposal, he was getting his grandmother’s ring and planning a real future with her, which adult Sophie, played by Kim Cattrall, emphasized to audiences as it will likely become a major storyline in upcoming episodes.
Other Noteworthy Moments
- Ellen isn’t the only one who knows that Jessie still harbors some serious feelings for Sophie as Valentina found the love song he wrote for her in the bar’s Lost and Found bin. She promised to keep it a secret, but when Sophie announced that she broke up with Robert, she tucked the song back in the box hoping that the next time around, Sophie would fish it out and realize what was right in front of her this whole time.
- Sid met a woman on a plane who was also in a long-distance relationship with someone in Los Angeles, and the duo bonded over how challenging and lonely it could be. Taylor, guest starring Caitlin Thompson from This Is Us, and Sid hit it off, and I think she might be the woman that comes between him and Hannah. I love Sid and Hannah, don’t get me wrong, but the setup is just not working. And it definitely seemed like Sid made that very realization because he looked pretty defeated when he arrived at Hannah’s apartment. I think actually connecting with someone other than Hannah in such a meaningful way made quite an impact on him.
- After seeing how supple and glowing Robert’s skin was, Sid and Charlie got wrapped up in trying to prevent the aging process so that they could look just as good in the future. And they learned the hard way that botox, cryotherapy, and chemical peels aren’t all that they’re cracked out to be. Bless their souls.
It was an eventful midseason finale of How I Met Your Father, but I definitely think the storylines elevated the series and reinvigorated the audience. New episodes will return on May 23 so stay tuned on how it all evolves.
How I Met Your Father
How I Met Your Father Recap – The Welcome Protocol (209)
How I Met Your Father Season 2 Episode 9 finally introduced the highly-anticipated new love interest for Sophie (Hilary Duff).
Sophie’s older new boyfriend is chef Robert, played by John Corbett who also stars as Aidan on Sex and the City.
As someone who has grown up watching Hilary Duff movies, I found myself struggling to get past the reality that Corbett also played Mr. Torvald, her teacher in Raise Your Voice. However, I do think it’s going to be a good change of pace for her to get involved with someone older, considering her love life has been kind of a mess. I don’t expect any 30-something living in New York City to have it together, but I don’t think Sophie’s ever been in a long-term relationship, and she deserves that chance with someone who is emotionally intelligent and also interested in pursuing something serious with her.
Naturally, the timing couldn’t be worse for Jesse to realize that his feelings for Sophie are real and raw and not going anywhere. You really couldn’t have come to that conclusion earlier, oh, say, I don’t know, when you nearly kissed in the previous episode before you were interrupted by a ding indicating that you matched with someone on a dating app?
They always say that you don’t know what you have until you get a taste of something else, and in this case, Jesse realized that dating and trying to convince himself to move on was absolutely miserable.
Jesse asked his friends to invoke the Welcome Protocol to invite the new girl he was seeing, Dana (guest star Jessy Hodges), into the friendship circle. No one was interested since the protocol involved quite a lot of energy from everyone as they all must play the part to impress the newcomer, including talking the subject up, giggling, imparting wisdom, and the works, but since they were all pleased to see him put Meredith in the rearview mirror, they buckled down and came through for him. And much to everyone’s surprise, Dana was a catch. They loved her, with every single one of them trying to pinpoint what the best thing about her was. And to their dismay, Jesse realized that the chemistry between the two of them just wasn’t there.
He then asked everyone to jump ship and help him get out of the date by faking an emergency, informing Dana that his mom was in the hospital. At the same time, Dana’s sister ran into the bar to tell her that her grandma was in the hospital, which Jesse assumed was simply Dana’s fake emergency to get out of the date. Turns out, her very liberal grandma was actually in the hospital, and Jesse simply ended up looking like a tool in front of everyone.
Honestly, dating looks exhausting. Why can’t Jesse just act like an adult and tell Dana he’s just not that into her?
Meanwhile, Valentina was managing a work crisis at the Flubber the Musical party. We’re going to need this to become a live musical stat! And is it a crime if I say I want one of those flubbery green drinks in a cute little glass?
Valentina was dealing with Daphne’s spiral after she realized that two other women at the party were wearing the same dress she was, which threw into question Valentina’s expertise as a stylist. She eventually found a way to mitigate the crisis and make Daphne a woman of the people by owning the fashion mishap and bringing up the two women dressed just like her up on stage to showcase that her style is attainable. I know Valentina works in fashion, but at the rate she’s going and with the personalities she puts up with, she should really consider a career in PR. It might pay more.
The incomparable Wendie Malick also did wonders with the role of Daphne, and you have to give it up to HIMYF for its top-tier guest stars every single time.
Also, the look Sophie was wearing at the beginning of the episode—before she ended up half-naked in the chef’s pantry—was giving Lizzie McGuire vibes. And it’s just further proof that we need, nay, we deserve a Lizzie McGuire spinoff. Give the people what we truly want!
On the heels of the new episode, it was announced that Neil Patrick Harris, who played Barney Stinson on the original How I Met Your Mother, is set to reprise his role in the upcoming two-episode mid-season finale airing on March 28. The series will take a break before returning on May 23.
And hopefully, this means we’ll get some insight into Harris’ role in all of this, along with some clues about the potential identity of the father.
How I Met Your Father
How I Met Your Father Review – Midwife Crisis (202)
How I Met Your Mother Season 2 Episode 2 was pleasantly enjoyable, and sometimes, that’s all you really need from a sitcom.
The storylines were wacky and the jokes kept flowing, but that’s what we’ve come to expect. And through it, we also got some character development—we watched Sophie spiral out of control even further, this time tapping into her compulsive lying tendencies whenever she felt insecure (which was pretty much all the time), while Sid struggled with accepting Meredith back in Jesse’s life.
When you peel back the layers of sarcasm, however, there are some very real issues at play.
Sophie’s insecurity, for instance, is relatable for millennials and Gen Z alike, and especially for struggling artists who want to make it and feel like they have to prove themselves. She just went through a breakup, and even though she and Jesse have only been together for like a minute, those feelings are very real and raw. She’s feeling like a failure as a photographer while Jesse is back together with his ex, a pop star who is booking late-night shows left and right and truly succeeding in her career. It’s not surprising that Sophie feels inadequate and wants to come off as if she’s doing better than she really is.
Unfortunately, the lying catches up to her quickly, as telling a lie usually does. Sophie learns that lesson the hard way when she’s thrust into a midwife situation after promising her neighbor, Ramona (oh, hey Meghan Trainor) to take her live birth pictures. It’s one thing to lie about taking such photos as I’m sure any skilled photographer could wing it, but Sophie took the lie to the next level and suggested that she’s done so many of these, she could deliver a baby on her own.
And in true sitcom format—she had to. Thankfully, Valentina was there to lend a helping hand, and by some miracle, they were able to successfully deliver the baby in a shrimp-filled pool. That live birth was anything but peaceful!
The funny thing about this storyline is that Hilary Duff is actually an expert at live births as she’s had two of them herself, so this must have been a trip to film. As for Trainor, she just revealed that she’s pregnant, and while I don’t know if that was the case when they shot this episode, overall, it must have been exciting for everyone involved. And she got to flex her acting chops! Hopefully, her home birth doesn’t go this way!
Valentina and Sophie were riding high off of the live birth adrenaline, but what mattered most was that the whole situation prompted Sophie to come clean about all the fibs she’s told, starting with apologizing to Ramona and eventually, telling Meredith that she did not, in fact, sell her painting in a bidding war that included the sisters of Sister, Sister.
And just when she cleared the slate, she got the call she’d been waiting for notifying her that her first piece of art was sold. “In your face,” seemed like an immature thing to say to Meredith, but Sophie was simply got caught up in the moment. And honestly, Meredith seems so chill about everything that she either doesn’t know about Jesse and Sophie’s little tryst or she doesn’t actually love Jesse… which brings me to the next plot point.
Sid refused to forgive Meredith and accept that she was back in Jesse’s life, and while his behavior was a little childish, we needed to get to the root of his distaste. I don’t want to say hatred because I don’t think he hates Meredith, I just think Sid is looking out for his best friend and realizes that her intentions might not be pure. Jesse is the kind of person that wants to bottle up his feelings instead of confronting any issues, but the truth is that there are issues. And there were before they got back together, which is why Meredith publicly rejected his proposal and they broke up.
That’s my long-winded way of saying that Sid has a point, especially when we eventually realize that the “burrito incident” goes so much deeper than someone stealing another person’s burrito (which is also rude). When Sid followed the trail of pinto beans, he overheard Meredith on the phone confessing that she faked sick so that she could get out of attending Jesse’s concert because she thought it was a waste of time and didn’t feel like making the trip out to see a bunch of middle schoolers sing.
This coming from a woman who is supposed to love this man and be supportive of him. She knew how much it meant to him, and yet she didn’t care. Meanwhile, Sid got his buddy flowers to celebrate the big occasion. It’s touching. It’s telling.
Sadly, Sid didn’t want to be the person to ruin Jesse’s happiness, so when Meredith asked him not to say anything, he agreed and buried it just like Jesse suggested previously.
I’m sure this is going to come up again further down the lines. I also don’t think Meredith and Jesse will last simply because of her hectic schedule. Her career is about to take off and she won’t have time for Jesse’s small life. It already seems like she doesn’t fit into it—why would a rising pop star still hang out at a neighborhood bar with a bunch of twenty-somethings just trying to figure things out day by day?
There was also a minor plot including Charlie and Ellen, which was loads of fun. It’s always fun to see the whole cast getting some screen time, even when they aren’t all in the same place. As Ellen tried to get Rachel’s attention, the duo accidentally threw a building party, which honestly looked like a lot of fun. I didn’t think they could cramp that many people into such a tiny apartment, but New Yorkers are resourceful.
The whole storyline ended up being a lesson in miscommunication, namely how easy it is to misunderstand a situation. Ellen wanted to look cool and entice Rachel to come over, but Rachel, who was in her head about what to text Ellen, assumed she was the only one from the building not invited and took offense to it. Thankfully, they were able to sort it out face-to-face and went on their first date!
What did you think of the episode?
How I Met Your Father
How I Met Your Father Season 2 Premiere Review – A Legendary Cameo
How I Met Your Father is back at it for season 2—and the drama picks up right where the first season left off with Sophie (Hilary Duff) dealing with her relationship drama.
By the end of the 20-minute installment, she’s “burned through three guys in 48 hours”–her words–which means that this season will see no shortage of romantic woes.
On the bright side, after dealing with the fallout from her short-lived romance with Jesse (Chris Lowell), her split with Drew (Josh Peck) and his terrible spray tan, and her brief rekindled romance with Ian (Daniel Augustin), who returned from Australia hoping to shoot his shot only to find Sophie’s love life to be a mess, she made the mature decision to work on herself and figure out why she ran away from love the moment it presented itself.
It’s so easy to throw yourself into another relationship that you think will make you happy, especially if it’s with the one that got away, but take real courage to take a step back and really reassess your situation. I know that’s deep for a sitcom comedy, but it’s what aids in character growth—and right now, Sophie needs it.
Jesse was right when he said she was complicated, but isn’t that what makes life exciting?
Of course, the biggest shocker of the episode was a “legen… wait for it… dary!” surprise cameo from How I Met Your Mother actor Neil Patrick Harris, who played the iconic Barney Stinson. The flash-forward was teased by 2050 adult Sophie (played by Kim Cattrall) who was telling her son about hitting “rock bottom.” In the scene, she’s trying to get ahold of her mom because she thinks she might be “dating her dad,” (she has yet to find out the identity of her father), which seems to refer to her upcoming romance with John Corbett’s character. This show just loves its Sex and the City alums. Also, Corbett once played Duff’s teacher in Raise Your Voice—and she addressed the fact that they are now locking lips for the series in a pretty comical interview!
Anyway, as adult Sophie recalls the traumatizing moment, in the scene, her valid mini-freak out about her potential new suitor, ends with her rear-ending a vehicle belonging to none other than Barney… at least, we think it’s Barney based on his mannerisms and attire. As he emerges from the car, he buttons up his jacket, raises his arms, and declares, “Dude.”
However, it has not been announced who Harris is set to play in the show, so we’ll have to stay tuned to see if he reprises his beloved character or if he’ll be tackling a brand-new one. But what is very clear is that his return definitely makes us all more excited about what’s to come from the rest of the season.
If you’re the kind of person who mostly focuses on TV dramas, it might take a moment to shift gears into the cheesy and often times over-acted sitcom comedy with a pretty cringe-y laugh track, but the cast goes above and beyond to ground it as best as they can and offer some sincerity through the shenanigans.
Then again, the best moments arise when you kind of give into the ridiculous nature of the series and go with the flow.
The long-running joke about Ellen’s (Tien Tran) sequin satchel carried the episode (how did she make that?!), Sid’s (Sure Sharma) attempt and giving Hannah (Ashley Reyes) a great wedding party provided us with some true breakout moments, and you can always count on Valentina (Francia Raisa) and Charlie’s (Tom Ainsley’s) sexual chemistry to steal the show.
And who knew that seeing a group of New Yorkers do the electric slide at a dive bar would be that enjoyable? Sid really was onto something.
Jesse and Sophie skirted around their awkwardness as best they could, but eventually, the latter revealed that she was upset because she saw him kissing his ex Meredith after she came back to his apartment to declare her love for him. It was heartbreaking to see these two just accept the breakup rather than fight for something that they obviously both want. I know we can’t make it easy because the chase is what will give us material for future episodes and seasons to come, but it was one of those moments where you just want to shake the character and ask them “what’s wrong with you?!”
Sophie confided in Ian that she actually loved Jesse, while Jesse informed Sid that he didn’t think Sophie’s feelings for him were real, which is why he was going to try to give things with Meredith (Leighton Meester) another shot. Some people deserve second chances, but I’m firm in my stance that if someone walked out of your life, you should probably shut that door and keep it closed. There’s no reason to pry it open or even leave it ajar. Once they go on tour—if they go on tour—they’ll likely see that there was a reason they ended things.
However, if the decision to give it another shot means we get to keep Meester around for a little longer, I’m not complaining.
It really is the star power that keeps this show afloat–and I’m not mad about it.
What did you think of the HIMYF Season 2 premiere?
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