TV Recap: “How I Met Your Father” – Season 2, Episode 9 “The Welcome Protocol”

The group is desperately competing for a ticket to a party that Val (Francia Raisa) is attending. While Jesse, Sid, Charlie, and Ellen (Christopher Lowell, Suraj Sharma, Tom Ainsley, and Tien Tran) fail at the pushup competition, it’s Sophie (Hilary Duff) who claims victory.

Val describes the nightmare it was to try and dress a Broadway star named Daphne (Wendie Malick), but fought through the pain and was able to find a dress that she would love for the premiere. As Sophie and Val leave to plan for the evening, Sid is trying to organize something fun for him, Jesse, Charlie, and Ellen.

Jesse wants to bring over the girl he matched with online Dana (Jessy Hodges), and while everyone, including Ellen, is happy to see him move on from Meredith, they wonder if Jesse is moving too fast. Though they try to discourage him, Jesse invokes ‘The Welcome Protocol’.

Sophie of 2055 (Kim Cattrall) explains that ‘The Welcome Protocol’ is a complex method for whenever one member of the group wanted to dazzle a new love interest. Sophie describes how when Ellen brought Rachel (Aby James) into the group, each member had a specific role that is designed to ingratiate the new person. (This is hilarious, and yet another excellent example of how the show is filled with very talented witty writers.) No one wants to use ‘The Welcome Protocol’ but Jesse persists and gets his way.

At the party, Sophie is checking out the food, when Robert (John Corbett) interrupts her and takes her plate. Telling her the food isn’t ready and adds some flavoring. Telling her that he is the chef, doesn’t appease Sophie and she leaves. Making her way back to Val, before Sophie can explain what happened, Daphne interrupts. She tells Val how wonderful the party is going, and then wanders off. Praising how well Daphne looks, Val and Sophie are horrified to discover that another party guest is wearing the exact same dress.

Back at the bar, Jesse introduces Dana, and the group is forced to execute ‘The Welcome Protocol’. Sid attempts to play his part but strikes up a conversation with Dana over a decoration on the bar, that no one else has ever noticed, and thinks that Dana is great.

Panicking over the dress, Val and Sophie concoct a scheme to get rid of the other person who is wearing the same dress as Daphne. Scooping up a bowl of sauce Sophie spills sauce on the other woman’s dress and then covers her with the coat she is wearing. About to celebrate their success, Val notices another woman wearing the same dress as Daphne.

Sid confers with Ellen and Charlie and his initial thought of Dana being awesome is confirmed by the others. The three friends think Jesse should marry her and when they tell him, Jesse tells the friends that he’s not feeling anything special for Dana anymore. Suffice it to say, Sid, Ellen, and Charlie are not thrilled with Jesse. He forces his friends to shift to ‘The Fake Emergency Protocol’.

Sophie spills sauce on the second guest with the same dress, and Val encourages the party guest to change dresses with Sophie. Left in the closet waiting for Val to bring a coat from coat check, Sophie is wondering how she ended up in her underwear hiding in the closet. (There is a hilarious moment where Sophie tells Val that if she gets bedbugs again, that Val can’t tell anyone because she doesn’t want that to be her thing. Francia Raisa is biting back the laugh, and noticing these moments is what makes the jokes even funnier.)

In the party, Daphne sees the two other dresses and gets angry at Val then storms off. Half-naked in the closet, Sophie is waiting for Val to return, when Robert walks in. Startled, she screams at him to turn around, and he quickly exits the room.

Val tries to make amends with Daphne, but the star threatens to ruin her career. Daphne talks about the plight of her career, and how she only took the role in a musical about silly putty because her representative told her it would help her career. Val offers a compromise that she promises to help save her career if Daphne promises not to ruin hers. They agree.

At Pemberton’s, ‘The Fake Emergency Protocol’ is initiated, and while Jesse is just about to leave Dana is met by a family member who says that her grandmother is in the hospital. Jesse thinks that Dana is trying her own fake emergency and wants her to come clean, but quickly learns that Dana’s emergency is real, and he is a jerk.

Sophie gets a chef outfit from Robert and decides to hide in the kitchen with him to avoid Val’s problems in the party. They bond while making ranch dressing. (The chemistry between Duff and Corbett is great and should make for a few interesting episodes to come.)

In the party, Val encourages Daphne to invite the two others dressed like her to the stage and make light of the situation. After the guests leave the stage Daphne starts singing, and Sophie and Robert get to know each other a little closer by making more flavors of ranch dip.

Despondent over his rush to start a relationship with Dana, Jesse and Ellen chat about why he acted the way he did, and he confesses that he was in a rush with Dana so that he could get over Sophie. Thinking he still has feelings for Sophie, Jesse isn’t sure what to do, and Ellen encourages him to tell Sophie how he feels. At the same time, Sophie is busy kissing Robert in the kitchen. (Conflict and awkward gazing from across the room, or are we going to get Jesse trying to one up Sophie with another fantastic guest star? I’m hoping for the latter.)

Bill’s Final Thoughts:

The Sophie Jesse story is far from being over, and I am going to make a prediction that Jesse may not be the father of her child, but he will end up with Sophie at the end of the series. HIMYF follows many similar patterns from HIMYM, and while the shows are very different, the signs are obvious that Jesse and Sophie belong together just like Ted and Robin had to get together at the end of their show.

John Corbett is a great guest star, I just hope we get an equally funny romance for Jesse.

Ashley Reyes needs to be in more episodes. Sid can’t survive without Hannah.  

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