How I Met Your Father – Season 2 Episode 8 “Rewardishment” Recap & Review

Did Sophie and Jesse Have A ‘Moment’?

Episode 8 of How I Met Your Father season 2 begins with Future Sophie telling her son that it’s never too late to learn a new skill. Turns out, in the present, Sophie still doesn’t know how to drive. Which is exactly why she turns up after a gig at a child’s birthday party having taken four trains, two cabs and one creepy uber. When asked, she and Val both say they never learnt how to drive because “it’s the worst”. Sophie, in particular, can’t deal with left turns and trusting strangers not to kill you at the intersection.

When Charlie wonders how two adults can’t drive, Ellen reveals he can’t even shave his own face. Apparently, he had a live-in barber. Charlie retorts that Ellen hasn’t been able to confront her co-worker Rhonda who keeps her feet, and other foodstuffs, on the desk. Sid’s snort provokes Ellen into accusing him of not being able to chug a beer.

All of this makes Sid and Jesse convince the others to try their unique motivational technique called Rewardishment — if you do the laundry, you get steak for dinner, if not, you (Jesse and Sid) tase each other. They give each other 48 hours to accomplish their goals. If they succeed, they have a sleepover with all their beds pushed together to form a mega-bed (naturally, this is Ellen’s idea). If not, they have to drink the contents of the bar’s revolting drink mat (this one is Sid’s). Jesse pumps them all up to do it but eventually gets called out. He admits he hasn’t accomplished one thing — the vertical lasso catch and release from his hula hooping days. Sid starts the timer.

In their apartment, Jesse tries to do the hula hoop trick but fails. Sid takes one sip of a beer and chokes. Charlie’s hand shakes so hard while holding the razor that Sid and Jesse are forced to pull it away. Ellen practices confronting Rhonda’s chair but when the woman turns up, Ellen is deterred by the cage with a pet snake that she keeps on the desk. It’s safe to say that things are not going well.

Ellen then asks Jesse for help with expressing her anger just as he takes his out on the hula hoop. Meanwhile, Sophie and Val sign up for driving school. When it’s time for the eye test, Val tries to cheat and fails miserably. Sophie asks her about it and realises that Val is too scared of touching her eyes to use contacts.

Back in the apartment, Val tells Sid she is changing her goal. Charlie comes out to the living room with shaving cream on his legs, to practice. He starts doing it and cheers erupt from Sophie and the others right before his leg starts to bleed, profusely. Sid rushes him to the hospital.

At the hospital, Sid and Charlie are down about not being able to succeed at their goals. When they hear a nurse tell a patient that someone will arrive to shave him, Charlie finds another way to practice.

Ellen and Jesse try roleplaying her confrontation with Rhonda but the surrounding of Jesse’s apartment prevent her from getting into the right state of mind.

Charlie pretends to be a nurse and shaves another patient’s chest hair, successfully! They return to the bar with Charlie sporting a freshly shaved face. As Val tries to put a contact lens in with a clear two-inch gap between it and her eye, Charlie’s good mood leads him to serve champagne for the three of them. Sid takes one sip and exclaims because of how spicy it is. A quick flashback shows a singing Charlie putting peppers into Sid’s drink. Back in the present, he hands Sid a chilled glass of beer and he chugs the whole thing down without even realising it. Ecstatic with his success, Charlie tries to help Val with her contacts but only gets pepper in her eyes, warranting another visit to the hospital.

Sophie’s driving lesson seems to be going well despite having two students making out in the backseat. She avoids taking a left turn but her instructor starts getting a heart attack and the nearest hospital is on the left!

At Ellen’s office, she hands Jesse Rhonda’s jacket and cap but the woman herself shows up. She finds her snake, named Sona Plane, missing and inevitably Jesse gets bit.

The whole gang meets at the hospital where Sophie reveals the student in the backseat had to drive for her. Val is annoyed about all the gels and drops and washes that her eye needs to go through but the happy result of it is that she’s finally able to put the contacts in. Ellen, too, reveals that when Rhonda called Jesse a sissy she proudly stood up for her brother — while he was on the floor, in pain from the snake bite. Jesse and Sophie are the only ones left. Jesse offers to teach Sophie how to drive.

In the car, he uses a soft and gentle voice usually reserved for his elementary school kids to guide Sophie into taking a left turn. She does it! And then does it again. And again when they suddenly find themselves on a one-way street. Jesse offers her a bottle of sparkling cider as a celebration.

Leaning against the car, drinking, the two of them talk about Jesse’s hoop trick. He says he used to be able to do it but won’t be able to now. It’s a mental thing, he explains. As a child, he dropped the hoop when he realised that his mom didn’t turn up to the show. So no one in his family was there to watch him. Sophie asks to see it and he shows her a video of the trick on his phone. As she watches, Jesse watches her. She looks back and they have a moment until a ping on Jesse’s phone signals a match from a dating app. They break apart and Sophie says she didn’t know he was back on the apps. He says it’s been a while since Meredith.  They decide to head back.

At the bar, Jesse admits defeat and is about to line up the drinking mat shots when Sophie convinces him to at least try the trick. Encouraged by the entire troupe, he does so — and succeeds! They’re all celebrating when Sid realises that it’s ten minutes past the deadline which means they need to drink the drippings. They take the shot.

Future Sophie tells her son that this is how she learned to drive. And also how they all ended up back in the hospital with bacterial meningitis.

The Episode Review

Stories that have the entire gang involved together are definitely more fun than otherwise. Like in the previous Valentine’s Day episode, the set-up in this one was clever. It tied all the characters together really well while also allowing the individual stories to breathe.

Ellen’s story felt a bit weak compared to the others. The rest had moments of humour and joy that struck the bull’s eye and made me laugh out loud on several occasions.

Needless to say, we’re all excited about Sophie and Jesse’s feelings getting sparked again. They make an adorable couple but sometimes their pairing seems so obvious that it makes me think the showrunners will make the father somebody else just for the shock value. But, there’s ages to go for that.

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You can read our season 2 review of How I Met Your Father here!

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