How I Met Your Father Is Risking Repeating HIMYM’s Saddest Barney Moment

Warning: Contains spoilers for How I Met Your Father episode 9.

In How I Met Your Father episode 9, the series is at risk of repeating Barney and Robin’s second break-up from the original series. How I Met Your Father has some big shoes to fill, arriving almost a decade after the end of the original How I Met Your Mother, which ran for 9 successful seasons. This leaves How I Met Your Father having to walk a delicate line between paying homage to the original series as it uses the same framing device while still defining itself as something new and different.

How I Met Your Father episode 9 sees Jesse (Christopher Lowell) and Sophie (Hilary Duff) dealing with the fallout of their kiss at the end of the previous episode. Having decided that they want to date, Sophie makes plans to break up with Drew (Josh Peck) and then meet Jesse for dinner. It is hard, but she manages to separate from Drew, acknowledging that they’re not right for each other but arrives at the restaurant to find that Jesse is not there. Meanwhile, Jesse has met up with his ex, Meredith (Leighton Meester), having learned that she regrets turning down his proposal and she suggests that they go on tour together and try to work things out.

Related: Is How I Met Your Father Repeating HIMYM’s Most Controversial Plot?

This whole storyline between Sophie, Drew, Jesse, and Meredith is extremely similar to the narrative that plays out in How I Met Your Mother season 7, episode 10, “Tick Tick Tick…,” between Barney, Nora, Robin, and Kevin. After Barney and Robin sleep together, the two decide to break up with their partners to be together. While Barney breaks up with Nora, admitting that he cheated on her when he returns to the group he finds that Robin has decided to stay with Kevin. The moment when Barney realizes that Robin is staying with Kevin and he has made a huge mistake throughout is crushing for him. While an element of homage and tribute is to be expected between How I Met Your Father and its originator, the major storyline between Sophie and Jesse risks being too close to the Barney and Robin story, and if Jesse leaves with Meredith then it will ultimately just feel repetitive to viewers of both shows.

Additionally, this choice leaves How I Met Your Father in a difficult position going into its season 1 finale. The How I Met Your Father season 1 finale will either have to confirm that the show is repeating the same story beat for beat, or will have its hand forced to acknowledge once and for all whether or not Jesse is the eponymous father. While, regardless of what Jesse did next, Sophie was right to break up with Drew as she knew he wasn’t right for her and had cheated on him, it might make it hard to cast Jesse as fully sympathetic in later seasons if they get back together.

Ultimately, repeating the Robin and Barney storyline around Kevin and Nora might be a mistake for season 1, but it can also help to set up season 2. At the start of How I Met Your Father season 1, Sophie has a lot of faith in the idea of love, while Jesse is cynical about the whole concept. By having Sophie stood up by Jesse, and Jesse get back together with Meredith, the show can reexamine that dynamic by flipping their feelings on love. While it might work for the show in the short term, How I Met Your Father’s future might depend on them reliably putting more distance between the new show and the storylines of How I Met Your Mother.

Next: Did How I Met Your Father Just Reveal Who The Dad Is?

How I Met Your Father releases new episodes Tuesdays on Hulu.



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