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How I Met Your Father “Jay Street” Review: The Support System

How I Met Your Father 1×09 “Jay Street” Spoilers Ahead

How I Met Your Father -- “Jay Street” - Episode 109 -- A parental wrench is thrown into Sophie's plan for the day. Jesse deals with the aftermath of a truth bomb. Charlie tries to get the gang excited about soccer. Hannah (Ashley Reyes), Sid (Suraj Sharma), Valentina (Francia Raisa) and Ellen (Tien Tran), shown.
(Photo by: Patrick Wymore/Hulu)

In its Season 1 penultimate episode, How I Met Your Father doesn’t waste a single moment dropping the kind of bombshells you’d expect from this type of sitcom. While, in hindsight, it’s nothing innovative or unique, it does plenty to continue building up the core love stories within the show.

We don’t know if Jesse is the father still, but we also don’t know if Valentina and Charlie are it for each other either. Despite the romantic arcs on this show, it isn’t a romance; it’s much messier in how it finds its footing, but it represents the corners of our reality too. There’s a lot of talk about how older Sophie doesn’t wear a wedding ring, and while that could mean plenty of things, it’s still not enough to believe the sequel will go down the same route as its predecessor, How I Met Your Mother did. Sophie and the father could very much still be in a happy relationship, sans rings, but that’s neither here nor there.

The penultimate leaves us with critical questions such as, will Jesse show up to the dinner? Why did Charlie make that face in the end? Will long distance throw a wrench in Hannah and Sid’s relationship? We’ll know soon enough, but with the season officially renewed, there will likely be more drama than happier times, even if How I Met Your Father 1×09 “Jay Street” thematically makes it clear that the friendships they’ve found are part of the love story too.

Jay Street and the Importance of Choices

How I Met Your Father -- “Jay Street” - Episode 109 -- A parental wrench is thrown into Sophie's plan for the day. Jesse deals with the aftermath of a truth bomb. Charlie tries to get the gang excited about soccer. Meredith (Leighton Meester) and Jesse (Chris Lowell), shown.
(Photo by: Patrick Wymore/Hulu)

I’ll commend How I Met Your Father for not making Meredith the stereotypical, toxic ex we’ve imagined her as because of the proposal and last week’s episode, “The Perfect Shot.” Meredith has flaws in her own right, but what we see in this episode and what we hear in the short lyrics tells us that she has layers. She is written in such a way for us to care, even a little bit about what she could possibly have to say.

While her regrets don’t justify her actions, it’s reason enough to understand her side of the story. She could’ve, at the very least, tried to explain all this sooner than later, but alas, this is a sitcom that wants drama. When Jesse goes to Meredith for closure, she tells him that she essentially felt like she had no voice despite her position as the lead singer, and she needed to figure things out for herself.

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It’s understandable that she needed to be alone to do this, but what isn’t okay is that Jesse paid the price through humiliation and an inability to play until Sophie walked into his life. That says enough about where he should be going and what he should be doing to find his voice outside of Meredith’s too. Closure is often good, but only if closure leads to a more meaningful choice.

If Jesse goes on tour with Meredith, it should hopefully lead him to choose Sophie not because he was left behind, but because she is the one he wants despite who else wants him too. The choice shouldn’t be a last res; it it should be the only option, in any situation.

A Good Kind of Cheating

How I Met Your Father -- “Jay Street” - Episode 109 -- A parental wrench is thrown into Sophie's plan for the day. Jesse deals with the aftermath of a truth bomb. Charlie tries to get the gang excited about soccer. Jesse (Chris Lowell) and Sophie (Hilary Duff), shown.
(Photo by: Patrick Wymore/Hulu)

Let’s make one thing clear, contrary to what Sid says, there is no good kind of cheating. There’s only cheating you can go back from and cheating that’s so inexcusable, there’s no turning back. Yes, Sophie cheated on Drew, but their fight was big enough to show us (and them) that they clearly aren’t meant for each other. It’s still wrong. It’s not good.

How I Met Your Father 1×09 at least clarifies that someone like Hannah doesn’t, cannot, and will not condone any of it, which she rightfully shouldn’t. But there’s also something to be said about Jesse and Sophie both coming to the admirable conclusions that she needs to break up with Drew before they move forward. The transparency between them at this moment is what matters more than anything else because it’s what makes their connection authentic.

They not only see the world the same way, but for the most part, their moral compasses align as well. So whatever Jesse chooses, whether it’s next week or later on, it’ll give them a cleaner slate. Drew might’ve made a mistake, and it’s easy to forgive him for apologizing, but there are bridges here that might be harder to cross in the future. (And his parents are…something, to say the least.)

Homesick

How I Met Your Father -- “Jay Street” - Episode 109 -- A parental wrench is thrown into Sophie's plan for the day. Jesse deals with the aftermath of a truth bomb. Charlie tries to get the gang excited about soccer. Charlie (Tom Ainsley) and Valentina (Francia Raisa), shown.
(Photo by: Patrick Wymore/Hulu)

The episode gives us a fascinating little moment with Charlie and Valentina that could be worrisome if we take his final look into consideration. However, before that, we need to talk about how these friendships could continue to improve in the future because a support system matters more than anything.

Valentina has Sophie’s back through everything. Sid will be by Jesse to the end of time and vice versa. But with Charlie, these friendships are all new. He’ll steal a designer bag for Valentina, but she doesn’t always see the signs of his struggles when they’re right in front of her, and that’s hopefully something that can change in the near future. To grow as a stronger couple, they’re going to need an understanding more substantial than what they have at this moment.

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Her actions in the final few moments by bringing England to him were lovely, and it could be a great start to extend that support system towards romantic relationships as well. These friendships are equally as significant as the relationships, and the choices each character will make are vital to making this show stand out.

How I Met Your Father 1×09 “Jay Street” is a solid penultimate, but there’s more to this story, and we’re hopeful the writers can get there. The transparency in this episode and choosing not to sugarcoat or blur feelings is an essential step in the right direction and depending on where the finale leads, this could be a surprisingly great season, proving that thus far, it’s still promising.

How I Met Further Thoughts

  • “I’ve been shipping you guys from day one, so for this romance to blossom outside my bar” is a chef’s kiss quote, Sid.
  • “I love when two hot dorks get together.” SAME, Valentina.
  • Charlie saying “soccer” must really hurt him. It hurts me. I get it.
  • Thumb promises are actually a great thing????
  • Hannah and Sid’s candy bar makeups are precious.
  • Sitting on his hand until it goes numb and pretending it’s Hannah’s? Precious. The long distance? I believe in them. I do.

Now streaming on Hulu: What are your thoughts on How I Met Your Father 1×09 “Jay Street?” 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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