How I Met Your Father is back with episode 6 “Stacey” which sees Sophie and her friends building on their relationships.
In 2050, Sophie (Kim Cattrall) continues her story about meeting the father, where she tells her son that advancement in technology has allowed the ghosts of relationship past to creep into the present.
Back in 2022, everyone is at Pemberton’s. Sid (Suraj Sharma) and Hannah (Ashley Reyes) are reunited for the weekend. After rearranging surgeries, Hannah was able to fly to New York for a couple of days so the couple could make some wedding arrangements, including checking out a possible venue. Jesse (Christopher Lowell) thinks he should be invited for the overnight trip but is passed over for Sophie (Hilary Duff) and Drew (Josh Peck).
Hannah’s appearance has opened some insecurities in Sophie. Hannah was good friends with Drew since college and mistakenly called Sophie by Drew’s ex-girlfriend’s name. This mistake has sent Sophie down a rabbit hole on Instagram looking to gleam as much information from Drew’s past online posts.
Meanwhile, Charlie (Tom Ainsley) is celebrating his first paycheck from the bar by hosting a dinner party. With Ellen’s (Tien Tran) help, they invite Valentina (Francia Raisa) and Jesse, as well as his new girlfriend Mia (Margo Harshman). Unfortunately for the guests, Charlie has little money, and rather than buying cheaper food, the guests have small amounts of high-class cuisine.
Even though the table is made of cardboard, and the food is miniscule, the dinner party seems to be going well. That is until it’s revealed that Mia had slept with Ellen, and Jesse doesn’t know. On the venue research trip, Sophie learns that Drew had been to this resort with Stacey. When she asks him about it, he denies it and makes Sophie worry even more.
Sid makes a connection with the owner of the resort. Describing how he bought Pemberton’s when he was in medical school, Sid reflects on the pain of med school, and the relief of doing something that he loves, which is running the bar.
At the dinner party, Jesse learns about Mia and Ellen’s past relationship, and Charlie and Valentina hit a bump in their relationship when Valentina learns that Charlie has moved to multiple countries because he was in a relationship with a woman. The dinner party ends with Valentina walking out, and life isn’t getting easier for the two couples away at the bed and breakfast.
Sophie accidently texts Drew’s old girlfriend, and then fails miserably at hiding her mistake, only to find herself in the hall with Sid, lamenting what they did wrong in their relationships. Sid has learned that Hannah was upset that he never talked to her about quitting med school and buying the bar, while Sophie talks about how since this relationship with Drew is getting serious, she was worried that somehow the rug would be pulled out from under her.
Valentina is upset to learn that Charlie has followed multiple women around the world. Thinking that their relationship was special, Valentina now questions the seriousness of the commitment. When Charlie shows up at her apartment, he tells her that moving to New York with her felt right, something he never felt with anyone else. To prove how much she means to him, Charlie burns his passport. (It dramatically says the past is the past. Also, Tom Ainsley is hilarious in this scene.)
Both Sid and Sophie know what they need to do. Sophie returns to Drew, where Drew admits that he was at the resort before with Stacey, but that it ended in a fight that ended his relationship. Sid apologizes to Hannah for not consulting her, and both couples end the night happy and content in their relationship.
We get to see Ashley Reyes back as Hannah for the first time since the pilot. It’s about time. Sid has seemed alone, and finally Suraj Sharma gets to explore his character’s arc. Though they get few scenes together, Reyes and Sharma are a great couple and deserve more screen time.
Last week showed little of Drew, and he was missed. Having Josh Peck back for a significant portion of the episode was great because we get to see Hilary Duff explore the depth of Sophie’s feelings. This is a girl who since childhood has never had any stability in her life. Now when it looks like Drew might be ‘the one’ she’s afraid of losing it, thus does stupid things that could sabotage her relationship. Technology is not the gift that we think it is with relationships. There’s no context to the pictures on Instagram, just a photo that leads to wild speculation by the viewer.
The dinner party scene was hilarious and proves that Tom Ainsley needs more screen time.
How I Met Your Father continues to bring the laughs, while showing the depth and degree of difficulty a relationship in 2022 can be.