TV Recap: “How I Met Your Father” – Episode 4 “Dirrty Thirty” (Hulu)

Sophie (Hilary Duff) is about to celebrate her 30th birthday, and her best friend Valentina (Francia Raisa) plans to host a ‘Dirrty Thirty’ party themed around the Christina Aguilera song and video “Dirrty.” Sophie is looking forward to her party but is more excited by the blossoming romance with Drew (Josh Peck). They get along well, and the future looks positive for her.

Sid (Suraj Sharma) is excited about his engagement to Hannah (Ashley Reyes) and wants to tell everyone about it. Sid even went so far as to have an engagement ring made for himself that is hard to miss and often the butt of every joke.

Their dinner date is a roaring success and Sophie is finding herself more and more attracted to Drew. He wants to see her again the next day, which is the same day as her party. She’s worried about inviting her new boyfriend to a raunchy themed party. But when in love, it’s hard to refuse, and Sophie invites her new beau.

Arriving home, Sophie informs her friends that the theme of the party must change since Drew is now coming. The last-minute changes not only affect the party theme but a desire to make their apartment look more mature. Valentina and the gang scramble to class up the apartment and party so that Sophie isn’t mortified.

On the evening of the party, the appropriate changes have been made, with everyone in their finest clothes. Jesse (Christopher Lowell) tries his best to help his sister Ellen (Tien Tran) meet someone new. He fails to be the best big brother. (Jesse does play a form of ‘Have you met’ to introduce Ellen to a random stranger, it’s the little moments like this that foster the connection with HIMYM that make smile. It’s the perfect amount of homage.)

Valentina and Charlie (Tom Ainsley) are at a crossroads in their relationship. They decide to use this party as a chance to meet other people, but Valentia can’t control her jealousy as she watches other women talking to Charlie. This new desire leads to the couple rendezvousing in the bathroom.

While he may have failed at helping Ellen meet someone knew, Jesse tries hard to reconnect with his sister. He doesn’t know much about her since their parents divorced when they were young, and this lack of knowledge has upset Ellen. She sees Jesse as uncaring and distant, which shocks him.

Remembering what it was like when their parents brought Ellen home as a baby, Jesse reminds her that when their parents divorced, he was young too and missed her greatly when the family broke apart. Starting to rebuild their relationship, Jesse takes the time to teach Ellen how to use the Metro swipe for the subway, and when that fails miserably, he shows her how to hop over the turnstile and make a run for the subway.

Sophie spends most of the party worried that she is going to embarrass herself in front of Drew, and when he accidently burns himself on the overheated pipe, Sophie goes into full blown panic mode. On the roof of her building, she explains to Drew how she is feeling and that she was trying to impress him the whole night. Drew is the grown-up relationship that Sophie has always wanted and doesn’t want to mess it up. After admitting to Drew what the original theme of the party was, Drew, who appears to be mature and responsible, explains to Sophie that he’s a huge fan of the Christian Aguilera song, and the two sing the song which leads to a kiss.

Bill’s Perspective

The fact that How I Met Your Father focused an entire episode around the influence of ‘Dirrty’ fills me with faith and hope that this show will last for years. The song from 2002 is a mainstay for anyone who grew up in the nineties and went to college in the early 2000’s. That song was played at every bar I patronized from 2002-2005. (I promise Mom and Dad it was only a few bars.)

The group dynamic is well established by now. We see how Valentina and Charlie are working on their relationship, and finally Jesse and Ellen get their story expanded. I loved seeing how they reconciled with their past, and the show allowed them to break away from the group to be brother and sister. We need more antics from Jesse and Ellen.

Christopher Lowell has a tough job playing Jesse. While initially he was interested in Sophie, I was glad to see that Jesse hasn’t become the mopey obsessed stereotype constantly pining for the girl. There is a certain show (Friends) that used this ploy for far too long. Jesse has a life and seeing how Christopher Lowell and Tien Tran were allowed to explore their brother sister relationship was great.

Who is the father? Who knows, and I don’t care right now because I’m loving this show and I want it to continue for years to come.

Bill Gowsell
Bill Gowsell has loved all things Disney since his first family trip to Walt Disney World in 1984. Since he began writing for Laughing Place in 2014, Bill has specialized in covering the Rick Riordan literary universe, a retrospective of the Touchstone Pictures movie library, and a variety of other Disney related topics. When he is not spending time with his family, Bill can be found at the bottom of a lake . . . scuba diving