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How I Met Your Father “The Perfect Shot” Review: Pipe Dreams and Belief

How I Met Your Father 1×08 “The Perfect Shot” Spoilers Ahead

How I Met Your Father 1x08 -- “The Perfect Shot” - Episode 108 Sophie (Hilary Duff), shown.
(Photo by: Patrick Wymore/Hulu)

Sometimes, fans of a series need to wait seasons to watch their primary ship even hug, and then a kiss follows shortly after; other times, it happens eight episodes into the first season. That’s the case with How I Met Your Father, which could either be a great thing or an utter disaster, but I’m choosing to put my eggs in one basket and trust that this is the story they’ve wanted to tell all the way through.

Following last week’s episode, Sophie is fixated on finding the perfect shot before a school event Drew’s invited the entire group to. Valentina’s boss continues to be the absolute worst while Charlie proves he’s everything. Sid and Ellen try to keep Meredith (Leighton Meester) away from Jesse, all while he accompanies Sophie on a last-minute trip to the dentist after she chips her tooth. In an episode that thematically orbits around seeing people for who they truly are, the circumstances that unfold between Sophie and Jesse prove that they’re right for each other.

Most of us can relate to Valentina’s struggle in this episode as she voices to Charlie that all she’s done is work under abusive circumstances in hopes of going somewhere. Because that’s New York, and that’s the creative industry in a nutshell. People have experienced more of this type of emotional abuse and trauma in their fields than a smooth transition from point A to point B. That is, if they don’t give up in the process, which understandably, many do because it isn’t easy—it’s hard, and sometimes, the people in higher-up positions consistently win. Look no further than certain directors and producers who are seldom reprimanded and continue to work even after sexually assaulting or abusing multiple women.

Valentina probably shouldn’t have stolen the bag, but good for her for vocalizing the terrible situation she’s consistently in, and for seeing that Charlie does have her back through everything. But ultimately, as this episode keeps showing us, the life of a struggling creative person is very, very real. And the best thing to have by your side through all of it is people who support you. People who are willing to step up and help or people who’ll be by your side to protect you against ex-girlfriends and abusive bosses.

And How I Met Your Father 1×08 shows us that this group’s belief in each other is an unwavering gift that’ll keep on giving, which is especially the case for Jesse and Sophie. (He needs to be the father, or I’m going to lose it.) But that detail aside for a moment, their scenes this week were pure magic in a way only a well-written relationship development could lead to. We could talk in length about Jesse clearly drawing inspiration from her lucky bangle last week in “Rivka Rebel,” and I was a mess the second he started listing the way she views the world and how amazing she is, but I was a goner after that final shot.

It would’ve been enough to leave us at Sophie declaring to her son in 2050 that the only time she stopped questioning if she was going enough to make it as an artist was when she was around a certain someone. As we see (and know), a certain someone is Jesse. He’s her perfect shot at the end of the night (as he was in “The Fixer“), and she’s his second chance.

The eye contact before Jesse kisses her shows us plenty because, in the short amount of time we’ve known these characters, we’ve seen their fears in a relationship more than anything else. It’s his way of putting action behind his words as he physically shows her how fervently he believes in her. It’s why we can decipher that she is not only worth taking a chance on, but he’s also visibly upset at the thought of someone not seeing the greatness in her the way he does. And taking this risk with each other, even if it leads to nowhere, is everything right now because when Sophie chooses to kiss him back, it cements the detail that nothing matters as much as the desire to be closer does. They could come back to reality later with his car, her chipped tooth, their hopes and dreams, plus all the drama with Drew.

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They’re comfortable being themselves around each other, but at the same time, there’s an undeniable spark between them that’s hard not to notice. They’re kindred in a way that’s tied directly to an effortless belief in each other. To be surrounded by people who believe in you is a beautiful thing, and it’s especially something people should look for in a partner. Though Drew supported Sophie’s lifestyle in “Dirrty Thirty,” the shift in How I Met Your Father 1×08 “The Perfect Shot” shows us that he’s a bit pompous still deep down.

Now here’s the catch—do I think Jesse and Sophie will immediately get together? No. We’ve all watched enough TV shows and seen kisses like this to know that sometimes, they lead to a “we shouldn’t do this,” or “your friendship is too important to me” place. They’re undoubtedly special to each other, and neither will want to ruin what they have for something that could potentially end. We’re all hoping he’s the father, and if that’s the case, they’re either ending it now and finding a way towards one another later—or, the series will choose to subvert expectations in the best way by giving us a sitcom where couples are actually allowed to be happy. (If they did, blessed be, but something tells me that’s not the route they’re taking.)

How I Met Your Father 1×08 “The Perfect Shot” shows us the importance of belief by placing dreams front and center of a crooked path that seems to be leading nowhere. It shows us that creative passions aren’t a pipe dream, but rather because of various opposing forces, they are harder to succeed in. That isn’t to say that “real jobs” are easier—many of us have been on both ends of the spectrum, but in some cases, there are better circumstances outside of this field. But belief matters above all of these things and right now, it’s infectious.

How I Met Further Thoughts

  • Y’ALL—I HAD TO GO ON A DAMN WALK TO CALM DOWN AFTER THAT KISS.
  • Charlie knowing about designer bags is something we should’ve expected.
  • Hilary Duff is the only person who could somehow still be adorable with a chipped tooth.
  • Valentina’s boss needs to be fired like yesterday.
  • I adore how much Sid wants to protect Jesse. 
  • Again, the friendships on this show are EVERYTHING.
  • FEELINGS. So many feelings.

Now streaming on Hulu: What are your thoughts on How I Met Your Father 1×08 “The Perfect Shot?” Let us know in the comments below.

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Gissane Sophia View All

Gissane (pronounced Geese-enny) or, as people often call her, "Goose," is a Christ fan above all and a romance enthusiast who's taken her Master's degree in English and love for essays into writing lengthy analyses about pop culture.

She is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Marvelous Geeks Media and the co-host of Lady Geeks' Society Podcast. She drinks too much coffee, wants to live in a forest, and cries a lot because of her favorite characters. She's a member of The Cherry Picks and can also be found writing features for Looper.

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