REVIEW: ‘How I Met Your Father’ Episode 4 – “Dirrty Thirty”

The latest episode of How I Met Your Father is a small misstep for the series, but on that can be easily fixed.

Last week, we saw How I Met Your Father start to feel like a true successor to How I Met Your Mother. Between perfect relationship building, good comedic moments, and a whole lot of charm, it seemed as though the show was starting to hit a stride. Can that continue through the entirety of season one? Or did episode four dig a ditch?

Episode 4 started off with Sophie finally beginning to take a partner seriously, so much so that the majority of the episode is spent trying to impress the man. This isn’t a novel concept, as you may recall, this type of thing is right out of the Mosby playbook. In How I Met Your Mother, a young Ted spends an entire episode planning multiple parties over a weekend to try and impress a newly found crush, Robin. Luckily, this similarity stops there. Once again, How I Met Your Father does an excellent job of mirroring parts of How I Met Your Mother without feeling like a cheap copycat, rehashing old ideas. Instead, the show decides to do things a little differently. Sophie was already having a party, her birthday party, in fact. Instead of randomly trying to make her suitor find her more spontaneous, Sophie is aiming to seem more mature to match the personality of her date. She spends time disguising her apartment, looking to match both the “trashy rager,” as she recalls, and the more mature tone she wants in order to impress the man. 

The above seems like a great way to follow the tone of the original, but other parts of the episode fall flat. There are moments sure to take viewers out of the episode, as it loses its engaging tone with the addition of a random scene, forcing it to feel more like a generic sitcom than the charming show its predecessor was. There were parts of episodes one and two that had a similar feeling, but it seemed like most of the early sitcom tropes were starting to feel fixed. Yet, despite its flaws, the latest episode still feels stronger than the earlier episodes. It’s just a shame the show seems unclear of the tone it wants to take on, especially as the series seemed to finally be hitting its stride.

Luckily, while the weird generic sitcom vibe was definitely there, the laugh track issues still seem to be gone. As initially expected, it appears the premiere episode may have been trying a little too hard to land its humor. Thankfully, though, the latter two episodes definitely used the laugh track more appropriately.

Luckily, the relationship-building and supporting cast still feel great. The episode follows Valentina and Charlie as they continue to try and work out their relationship, as well as Jesse and Ellen as they try and form their sibling bond. Unfortunately, Sid seems to have been put on the sideline for this episode; while it makes sense, given his storyline, it’s an unfortunate turn of events.

Valentina and Charlie remain an almost inverse of Marshall and Lily, a couple trying to make it, but instead of being the perfect couple in a more traditional sense, their way of life is a little more “modern,” if you will. Their chemistry is starting to show through the one-tone character that is Charlie. He seems to be starting to settle into his new lifestyle a little more, previously being a rich and rather condescending character that was hard to like. Valentina and Charlie seem to be starting to round each other out, which seems like it could do wonders for their characters.

While Episode 4 feels like a step back from Episode 3, it appears to be a small step back. The show retains its charm while continually making the characters and their relationships very easy to love. Hopefully, the next 6 episodes will manage to capture the charm and continue to improve, potentially leading to a phenomenal ending that will want us begging for more like How I Met Your Mother did in its first season. Considering there are three possible suitors set up for immediate relationships with Sophie, and any of them can come up at any moment, it seems likely the end of season 1 is aiming to get there. It’s obviously too early to tell for sure, but who knows, one might happen before we say goodbye to Sophie and her gang for the season. 

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