“The Jersey Connection” Proves How I Met Your Father’s Greatest Strength Is the Friendships

Sophie, Jesse, Valentina, Ellen, Sid, and Charlie at the bar in HIMYF.
(Photo by: Patrick Wymore/Hulu)

How I Met Your Father 2×16 “The Jersey Connection” Spoilers Ahead

Note from Marvelous Geeks’ Team: With the ongoing WGA strike, it’s imperative that we state we stand in solidarity with all writers asking for better wages and the respect they deserve in this industry. No story comes to fruition without the idea born and nurtured inside a writer’s head. Writers are the beating hearts of everything we love — we stand with and for them. 

How I Met Your Father, like its predecessor, How I Met Your Mother, excels at cementing thoroughly compelling friendships. But one of these shows could do right in continuing to honor the friendships at the end of the series, depending solely on how writers handle the romance. Contrary to what TV tries to sell, in the real world, friends who date friends don’t always stay friends, and friends who date a friend’s ex cross a line that’s hard to come back from. Yet, what happens when everyone has chemistry with everyone on a show like How I Met Your Father? 

It’s not hard to ship almost every dynamic in this show, especially with Sophie Tompkins—the character whose point of view we’re experiencing the show from. At the moment, the show is still teasing toward developing Sophie and Jesse’s romance, but it’s not hard to see the potential between Sophie and Sid—and also, what does the future look like for Valentina and Charlie? Ultimately, like most of Season 2 so far, How I Met Your Father 2×16 “The Jersey Connection” splits characters to showcase the strength in their budding friendships, making it definitive now more than ever that the show needs to be extra careful with the romance.

Sophie Still Has Feelings for Jesse, but Is He the One? 

Sophie and Jesse at the bar in How I Met Your Father 2x16 "The Jersey Connection."
(Photo by: Patrick Wymore/Hulu)

The final shot in How I Met Your Father 2×16, “The Jersey Connection,” proves that Sophie still has feelings for Jesse, but at the same time, it reiterates why their friendship comes first. And this logic ultimately applies to all the characters. The Uber ride that brought these characters into each other’s lives changed the trajectory of their lives for good, allowing them to find people in their corner who’ll love them exactly as they are. In a strictly platonic sense, they all care enormously for one another, proving that there’s nothing they won’t do, even when they maybe shouldn’t.

The episode leads Sophie to watch Jesse potentially flirt with some new while simultaneously showing the audience that she still has feelings for him. Moreover, though they’re on good terms, last week’s episode essentially delivered the cold hard truth that Sid and Hannah might not be as compatible as we thought. There’s still a chance for Josh Peck’s Drew to also return into this equation and complicate things, but his presence wouldn’t touch the core six’s dynamic. Still, the revelations ultimately mean that Sophie embarking on a relationship with Jesse, Sid, or Charlie could result in the worst outcome, as the series has already given us too much of her romance with Jesse.

Now, Charlie doesn’t seem like a contender in the equation because we know Sophie has a son, and if he doesn’t want kids, he’s certainly not going to make an exception considering his big feelings for Valentina still reign. While there’s still a big chance the two of them can (hopefully) get back together and find a middle ground, this puts Valentina and Sophie’s friendship in a solid place because we can likely be sure nothing will jeopardize that. (Or, at least, I hope.)

The two big relationships that seem to divide fans the most are Sid/Sophie and Sophie/Jesse, but factoring in how close the boys are to one another, this wouldn’t be a good look. New Girl continues to be amongst the greats in TV comedies because it never pit two friends against each other for love. In the end, it’s still a series about solid and unlikely friendships with great romances grounding them all to make for a stronger story.

How I Met Your Father Should Show the Audience All Sides of the Story

Sid and Sophie on the street in How I Met Your Father 2x16 "The Jersey Connection
(Photo by: Lisa Rose/Hulu)

If the show ever plans to go down the Sid and Sophie route, we need to see how the entire story comes to pass. How I Met Your Father would lose all its charm and greatness if it follows in How I Met Your Mother’s footsteps by telling us about everything that went wrong when we watched it all go right. If Sophie and Jesse get back together and they aren’t the relationship that’s meant to be endgame, we need to see them fall apart naturally, and we need to fully understand that there are absolutely no feelings involved from either party if she ever does get with Sid.

Otherwise, it’s a bad look to pit two best friends against each other, as previous series have consistently done with women. It doesn’t matter who it’s between—a person should never come in between two best friends. So much of this is a direct result of How I Met Your Father 2×16 “The Jersey Connection” because there’s no way that such a story arc wouldn’t ruin these dynamics if it is handled with immense care. These friendships work because they each have different relationships with one another, allowing them to be just as enthralling as pairs as they are when it’s all six of them in the room.

These friendships work because, thus far, the series shows us everything. We see every split, every story, and how it’s told allows us to understand every unique dynamic carefully. It’s rare for a series to have multiple relationships that can be great. Still, those relationships need to come together through natural progressions that ensure they don’t harm others in the circle. If Sophie and Sid get together, Jesse and Sophie must fully fall out of love with one another in a natural “we don’t work at all” sort of way—no hard feelings. The audience needs to see it and understand that nothing can and will come between the six of them because the relationships shine best because of these friendships and the loyalty bursting toward all of them. It’d make little sense otherwise, repeating the same mistake that How I Met Your Mother did, but maybe even more so.

Now streaming on Hulu: What are your thoughts on How I Met Your Father 2×16 “The Jersey Connection?” Let us know in the comments below.


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