How I Met Your Father “Rewardishment” Review: Where There’s Family

How I Met Your Father Season 2 Episode 8 “Rewardishment” - Valentina (Francia Raisa), Sid (Suraj Sharma) and Charlie (Tom Ainsley), shown.
(Photo by: Patrick Wymore/Hulu)

How I Met Your Father 2×08 “Rewardishment” Spoilers Ahead

How I Met Your Father Season 2, Episode 8, “Rewardishment,” might be one of the strongest episodes in the entire season solely for what a joyous adventure it is, even when it isn’t. There’s much to unpack thematically, a good chunk of the found family feels, and, more importantly, a whole lot of bonkers laughs. At the end of the day, it’s further proof that whatever happens, this merry band of loons will stick together, and frankly, that’s what matters.

“Rewardishment” is an intriguing tactic to inspire people to get stuff done, like me, by completing this review or these characters and confronting their fears. Because ultimately, knowing you could get bacterial meningitis from drinking the drippings from the bar mat is something that would motivate me too. As would a giant bed, and here’s to hoping that the show gives us a shot of that sleepover at least once throughout the show’s run. Yet, the thing that makes How I Met Your Father 2×08 a special episode is that it’s the ultimate reminder of how much these characters care about each other, much like in “Ride or Die.


How I Met Your Father 2x08 “Rewardishment” Jesse and Sid introduce the gang to an old college ritual. They all spend the next 48 hours attempting to complete various tasks in order to achieve a group “rewardishment.” Ellen (Tien Tran), Valentina (Francia Raisa), and Sophie (Hilary Duff) , shown.
(Photo by: Patrick Wymore/Hulu)

One of the essential details in Season 2 thus far is that we’re continuing to unpack character trauma through every passing episode. We know Ellen hates confrontation, and the show continues to put her in situations that require it, showcasing through her growth that it’s a gradual process. Therapy wasn’t going to do it overnight. There’s still a tremendous amount that she has to understand about herself and her family, and in every scenario, it continues to come up because this is how such situations work out in the real world.

And while everyone’s goals had a little less to do with their personal lives, it’s a good thing the show continues to give Ellen these moments where she’s closer to confronting the more prominent issues from her past. Whether we’ll get those in Season 2 or later, it’s still vital that we continue to watch the breakthroughs. I almost wish Rachel was involved here, but part of the episode’s appeal was leaving the core group to handle everything together.

How I Met Your Father 2x08 “Rewardishment” Sophie (Hilary Duff) and Jesse (Christopher Lowell), shown.
(Photo by: Patrick Wymore/Hulu)

Further, Ellen’s not the only character whose past haunts her, but as it turns out, we get a bit more on Jesse this week when he reveals to Sophie that the reason he could never do the hula hoop trick was that noticing his mom’s absence in the audience set him off. There’s very little we know about Jesse’s past, and surely it’ll connect to Ellen’s later on, but allowing him to have this moment with Sophie when she opened up again in “A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Valentine’s Day,” makes for a stunning callback. Because ultimately, it’s moments like this that continue to make it easy for me to root for them when it’s so seamless for them to open up to each other.

And Sophie, honey, I get it; left turns are annoying, but driving is never this easy, especially in New York City. A for effort, I suppose. At the end of the day, what works best in this episode is allowing her to be the one to state (or back out of it because it’s too corny) that they’re a family. 

How I Met Your Father 2×08 “Rewardishment” gives us one of the best moments during that final scene because the infectious joy on everyone’s face is necessary to authenticate how attached they are to each other. It’s why Charlie helping Sid and the two of them helping Valentina, however, inadvertently, works. And Jesse being the one to help Ellen and Sophie, also ties everything together in the kind of neat little bow we’re not going to get often. After an episode like this, there’s no doubt that complications are coming, but we’ve now cemented that these characters will always show up for each other, even if it’s to their benefit, because their individual joys are all transcendent.

Further Thoughts

  • “What am I a liberal arts professor?” is such a Valentina comment.
  • I stand by my now never-ending plea to cast Tom Ainsley in a historical romance. His valet could shave him. That’s how it is, isn’t it? BUT ALSO, MEN ARE BABIES. Your suffering doesn’t even come close to ours.
  • Jesse staring at Sophie while she watches the video in awe, is my kryptonite. You can’t keep giving them swoon-worthy rom-com moments like this and expect me to go my merry way, not shipping them.
  • I really, really wanted to see the big bed. And frankly, that’s the episode’s greatest flaw.

Now streaming on Hulu: What are your thoughts on How I Met Your Father 2×08 “Rewardishment?” Let us know in the comments below.


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