TV Recap: “How I Met Your Father” – Season 2, Episode 6 “Universal Therapy”

Sophie of 2050 (Kim Cattrall) the episode off asking her son what he knows of the American healthcare system. He responds that it’s free for everyone and he doesn’t have to think about it. (If only this were true.) Sophie explains that before President Ariana Grande passed the “Heal You Next” Act (This would be awesome if it came true.) Sophie tells her son how she used to have to hustle to get free therapy.

Back in 2023, Ellen, Val, Charlie, and Jesse (Tien Tran, Francia Raisa, Tom Ainsley, and Christopher Lowell) are playing a drinking game when Sophie (Hilary Duff) arrives back from her date. Telling everyone that the date with Oscar (Victor Rasuk) started off great, but when they kissed goodnight, he poked her in the chest with his oversized necklace. Sophie describes it as being so big that even Flavor Flav would have complained.

Thinking she can’t date someone who wears a giant necklace, Sophie’s friends proceed to give her their opinion of the situation. Jesse and Charlie crash and burn in their help. Ellen offers some advice, which involves her therapist, and Sophie begs Ellen to consult her therapist. Despite her crippling problem with people pleasing, Ellen agrees to help.

At Pemberton’s Bar, Sid (Suraj Sharma) has returned from a trip to see Hannah and is shocked by the poor reception from the regulars at the bar. Charlie is happy to see his boss back but has a secret. When Sid walks into the back room he sees that Charlie had been swindled by a sales rep, and bought ten cases of mint rose wine. The wine is awful. (Mint rose? That’s funny. The spit takes are just as funny too.)

Val is busy at work getting ready for a busy week, when Jesse enters. Since quitting his jobs and then leaving Meredith’s tour, Jesse is looking for work, and Val wants to know why he didn’t go back to teaching. According to Jesse, he didn’t leave on good terms with Drew (Josh Peck). Drew tries to tell him that quitting for a music career is a bad idea, and that no matter what happens he will end up coming back to teach at the school. (Josh Peck is very funny in this scene.)

Not wanting to face Drew, Jesse takes a temporary job with Val, and begs her not to share with any of their friends. At therapy, Ellen discusses Sophie’s problem disguised as herself, and gains some valuable insight. Sid is desperate to know what to do with all the mint rose wine, and Ellen suggests that he add a celebrity’s name to it to help sell the drink. Both Sid and Charlie come up with Judge Judy and now name the wine ‘Judy Juice’.

Sophie goes on another date with Oscar and asks him about the necklace. He explains that his mom passed away six months ago and that they turned her ashes into the massive diamond that is the centerpiece of the necklace.

The next day with her friends at the bar, Sophie questions Oscar’s choice, to which Ellen tells her to go for the relationship. Customers start to request the ‘Judy Juice’ and while Sid and Charlie are busy at the bar, Sophie begs Ellen to ask her therapist if the necklace makes Oscar a sweet guy or a serious mamma’s boy. Taking the therapist’s advice, Sophie continues her relationship.

The bar is hopping with patrons who are praising the ‘Judy Juice’ and Sid decides to order more cases. Jesse is experiencing the intensity of work, when he makes mistakes, Val is less than kind. Her boss stands over her shoulders and encourages her awful behavior.

Sophie wakes up in bed at Oscar’s and when he asks if the necklace is weird, she parrots the advice of Ellen’s therapist. Loving the advice, Oscar takes off the necklace.

Jesse can no longer take Val’s abuse, and when he calls her out for her horrible treatment, it takes Val a few moments to realize what a monster she is being. Trying to apologize, Jesse tells Val that it is okay. Her cruelty is just the tip of the iceberg for his terrible run of bad luck. Wanting to know how they can fix themselves, both Jesse and Val dump their problems on Ellen to ask her therapist. Sophie comes upon the group and tells Val and Jesse to step away from ‘her therapist’. Then Sophie proceeds to ask Ellen to ask her therapist for more advice.

Back at the bar, Sid and Charlie are pouring their ‘Judy Juice’ when the real Judge Judy comes in. Wanting to know if they own this place, Judge Judy is curious to know how her face and name ended up selling wine. Asking for a glass, Judge Judy confirms that the wine is awful. Wondering why anyone would drink this bad wine, Sid tells Judge Judy that the customers don’t care because they are blinded by their love for her. Sensing an opportunity, Judge Judy steals the carton of wine, with Sid and Charlie chasing after her.

At therapy, Ellen walks in and lays out all the problems of her friends. When she returns to the bar, Ellen relays the advice she gained and then her friends take that advice seriously. Ellen gets dropped from the therapist because of her friends.

Sid and Charlie watch as Judge Judy takes to the airwaves to sell ‘Judy Juice’ herself, and Jesse, Ellen and Val meet with Ellen to tell her that they got her therapist to take her back. (Seeing how they convince the doctor is funny, and seeing how crazy Hilary Duff acts is hilarious.)

Jesse goes back to the school and sees Drew about getting his job back. Val stands up to her boss and announces she quits, which gets her a promotion. Sophie doesn’t take the advice from the therapist, and ultimately Oscar breaks up with her.

Bill’s Final Thoughts:

Of course, Sophie is the one person who wouldn’t take the therapist's advice. Naturally it ends her relationship. That’s okay because we don’t need to see Oscar again. This is the time when Sophie settles a lot of personal issues so that she can grow into the person she wants to be.

We got more time with Ellen, no time with Hannah, and a fabulous guest star. Judge Judy needs to come back and appear again. It would be perfect to see her turn into a foil for Charlie and Sid.  


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