When How I Met Your Father season 2, part 1 ended, Sophie (Hilary Duff) met Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris), who reprised his role from How I Met Your Mother. Their candid conversation led her to come to a huge decision: she wanted to find her biological father. This was resolved quickly in the first episode of the second half of season 2 when she tracked him down as a man named Nick (Clark Gregg).
The story continued to divert from there because, like the adult Ted (Josh Radnor) in How I Met Your Mother, the adult Sophie (Kim Cattrall) continuously went off topic through her story. But the wild ride is all part of the show’s charm.
After narrowing down the search to three men based on a unique tattoo spotted in a photo, Sophie figures out which one is her dad. Nick owns and runs a hot dog shop, so she visits with the gang to scope him out. They put him through a variety of secret tests to make sure he’s a good guy and he passes with flying colors. But Sophie chickens out and doesn’t reveal herself to him.
However, he follows her to the bar and reveals himself instead. It turns out he has security cameras outside the store and saw her psyching herself up to meet him and put two-and-two together. The pair begin to bond, resolving one missing piece in Sophie’s life.
Eventually, while trying to bring her parents back together in hopes of finally having the happy family she longed for all her life, Sophie discovers that they have already reconnected. In fact, they have been seeing one another for a few months. That settles that…for now, at least.
Now that Sophie is happy to have found her father and is starting to build a foundation with him, it’s back to focusing on her personal life. She gets a job as an in-house photographer at Goliath National Bank where Ellen (Tien Tran) works (and where Barney once worked, and potentially still does) finally leaving her sporadic freelance days behind her.
On the love front, she still has feelings for Jesse (Christopher Lowell), but it’s complicated, especially when he starts seeing someone else. She runs into her old flame Ian (Daniel Augustin) at a party, too, and he’s also happily with another woman. Did she make a huge mistake in either case? At least she and Valentina (Francia Raisa) get to enjoy a chance encounter with Lance Bass and Joey Fatone from NSYNC in one of the season’s fun cameo appearances.
Desperate to find something wrong with her, Sophie accuses Jesse’s new girlfriend Parker (Meaghan Rath) of being everything from a drug dealer to a criminal. But it turns out she abruptly moved to town to help her sick mother, which also explains the pills in someone else’s name in her purse. Oops. Sophie is totally embarrassed and further sees Jesse slipping away when he suddenly declares he is moving in with Parker. It’s all happening so fast.
As besties do, however, Valentina knows that Sophie still loves Jesse and thinks if she sees that song he wrote for her, it will give her the courage to tell him. But she can’t find it. Apparently, Drew (Josh Peck) scooped it up from the bar’s Lost and Found bin in hopes that he might still have a chance with Sophie. When she learns about it, Sophie and Jesse argue about not letting one another know how they truly feel.
As a perfect backdrop for their blowout, it’s the middle of a hurricane and the group is huddled in Pemberton’s to wait it out. Jesse angrily leaves to check in on Parker, but just as Sophie rushes out in the high winds and intense rain to find him, she sees him walking back toward her. He realizes he’s still in love with Sophie. He was just afraid of getting hurt. They share a passionate kiss while getting soaked, making for a truly romantic story that Sophie does indeed tell her kid one day.
Despite her self-absorbed nature, it’s not all about Sophie. In side stories, Ellen and her long-time girlfriend Rachel (Aby James) break up, with Rachel simply finding Ellen to be “too much” for her. Valentina is caught up in unwanted wedding planning with eager and in love 20-something-year-old kid Swish (Michael Cimino), though she finally manages to break it off (it’s hilariously revealed that he becomes massively successful and wealthy in the future).
But it’s Hannah’s (Ashley Reyes) and Sid’s (Suraj Sharma) story that’s one of the most compelling of the season. The couple is having a tough time with the long-distance marriage. He visits her once in California but doesn’t fit in with her friends there, including one particularly handsome resident named Eli (Langston Kerman) who makes him jealous. Meanwhile, he has been having an emotional affair with Taylor (Kaitlin Thompson), a young woman he met on a plane. They text daily, but when he realizes it could be something more, he shuts it down.
Hannah agrees to move back to New York once she finishes her residency, but she’s also hiding a secret. She shared a passionate, drunken kiss with Eli at a party the night prior. She confesses to Sid who forgives her, admitting his own emotional transgressions.
However, when Hannah says she rushed out of California immediately after the kiss, Sid wonders why. If it wasn’t a big deal, why did she feel the need to leave in such a hurry? He emerges from the backroom to greet his friends looking upset. Is this the beginning of the end for the season’s power couple, and does this mean Sid could be the father?
The door does, however, close for another potential dad candidate. Valentina and Charlie (Tom Ainsley) broke up in season one because of one fundamental difference: Valentine wants kids and Charlie does not. Despite her puzzling make-out session with Drew in the back storeroom at the height of the hurricane tension, her future is revealed by adult Sophie. “If that hadn’t happened,” says adult Sophie about Valentina and Drew getting together, “Valentina and Charlie would never have had Alex.” She holds up an adorable family photo of the couple with a young son, confirming that they did, in fact, get back together and had a child.
The overarching question of How I Met Your Father is still the identity of Sophie’s son’s father. Even though Jesse is the most logical paternal option, hints and clues suggest that it could be Sid, Ian, Drew, or even someone who hasn’t been formally introduced yet.
But as the series continues, the supporting characters are developing their own stories. After the heartbreaking finale, fans are curious about Valentina and Charlie’s romantic journey and what happens with the once picture-perfect Sid and Hannah. If How I Met Your Father’s second season proves anything, it’s that love is always complicated and never predictable. The show has not yet been renewed for a third season.
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