How I Met Your Father: Season 1/ Episode 4 “Dirrty Thirty” – Recap/Review (with Spoilers)

Sophie pretends to be sophisticated at her thirtieth birthday party, Jesse and Ellen bond, and Charlie and Valentina figure out their relationship status.

Community Rating: 75% (1 votes)

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Sophie (Hillary Duff) talking to Drew (Josh Peck)

Sophie pretends to be sophisticated at her thirtieth birthday party, Jesse and Ellen bond, and Charlie and Valentina figure out their relationship status.

Aired 2/1/2022
Network Hulu
Directed By Pamela Fryman
Written By Isaac Aptaker

Elizabeth Berger

Amelie Gilette

Introduced This Episode
Holly Dakota Gorman


Sophie’s Turning 30 – Sophie and Drew

On their first date, Sophie and Drew hit it off, and Sophie invites him to her thirtieth birthday party. The problem is Sophie thinks her party – themed after Christina Aguilera’s “Dirrty” music video – is too trashy for sophisticated, mature Drew and pivots last-minute towards a more “grown-up” party (complete with a classic grown-up book nook).

Party mishaps force Sophie to come clean and admit that she doesn’t feel as put-together as Drew. He assures her that being put together is sometimes overrated, and the two kiss on the rooftop.

Jesse and Ellen’s Sibling Backstory Revealed – Jesse and Ellen

Jesse is excited to be Ellen’s “wing sib” at Sophie’s party, their first birthday party together since Ellen was five. Their mom moved her and Ellen to Iowa, leaving nine-year-old Jesse behind with their dad and resulting in a decades-long estrangement between the two siblings.

Jesse (Christopher Lowell) and Ellen (Tien Tran) talking about making up for lost time
Jesse (Christopher Lowell) and Ellen (Tien Tran)

When Jesse tries to set Ellen up at the party, she’s upset to find out that Jesse doesn’t know much about her. Ellen goes off on him, angry that he wasn’t there for her as a big brother when she was growing up.

Jesse counters, saying he asked about his little sister every day but stopped when he saw how it made their father sad. Ellen is forced to realize that Jesse was also only a child when their family separated, leading to a reconciliation between the two.

Valentina and Charlie Flirt Around – Valentina and Charlie

Valentina spurs Charlie’s attempts to pin down their relationship status as Sophie’s party approaches. Frustrated, Charlie chats up another girl at the party, which Valentina finds oddly arousing. The two agree to watch each other flirt with other people until Charlie and Valentina end up together in the bathroom – where they’re interrupted mid-sex by Sophie and Drew.

After Sophie and Drew leave, Valentina and Charlie have a serious conversation about their relationship and finally decide to be “together together”… to the disappointment of everyone they’ve been leading on all night.

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

Valentina, you are completely insane… I’m very into it.
— Charlie


Community Rating: 75% (1 votes)


Jesse and Ellen’s Relationship

We finally get some backstory on Ellen and Jesse and find out that their childhood was messed up. Their relationship hadn’t been very clear, so this new context is beneficial in understanding that although the two may be siblings, they haven’t been close since they were kids.

Going forward, the show now has the opportunity to explore what it means to be a sibling as we see Jesse and Ellen learn how to be a good brother/sister, giving the show more emotional depth overall.

Low Points

The Future Cut Scenes Disrupt the Flow

Future Sophie (Kim Cattrall) realizing she forgot a part of the story
Future Sophie (Kim Cattrall)

I wish How I Met Your Father would get rid of all the cut scenes to the future. They are not interesting visually or story-wise, and they interrupt the flow of the rest of the show.

It’s a crutch that the writers have been relying on too heavily to provide structure to the episodes. It’s the opposite of “show, don’t tell,” and after all, it’s the present storyline that viewers are mainly invested in, not the future one.

It Never Goes Outside the Box

I’ve been cutting How I Met Your Father some slack as it’s gotten going, but this is already the fourth episode of a ten-episode season, and I have to say, the show is currently nowhere near the creative levels of How I Met Your Mother.

Whereas How I Met Your Mother frequently experimented with the central premise of storytelling in innovative ways – like when Ted edited, retold, or straight-out forgot parts of the story – How I Met Your Father has largely been stuck thinking inside the box. Everything Future Sophie says is taken at face value, eliminating a huge part of the appeal of the original show.

Put another way, How I Met Your Mother was interesting because it felt like we were inside Ted’s mind – seeing his memories through his subjective perspective. How I Met Your Father, on the other hand, seems more concerned with an objective account of events. In this show, Future Sophie is just another character that we see, rather than a central narrator who we experience the world through.

Sid is Just There

It’s easy to forget Sid’s in this episode at all. He’s relegated to bartending at the party, and (almost) everyone thinks his “man-gagement” ring is lame. And, that’s it!

It could be the writers are struggling to balance all the main characters, but you have to admit that Sid’s role and the “man-gagement” bit are both pretty weak in this one.

[ninja_tables id=”62900″]

Sophie (Hillary Duff) talking to Drew (Josh Peck)
How I Met Your Father: Season 1/ Episode 4 “Dirrty Thirty” – Recap/Review (with Spoilers)
Four episodes in and the show hasn't done much to establish its own unique style, overly relying instead on cut-and-dried subplots that never come together to become something greater.
Jesse and Ellen's Relationship
The Future Cut Scenes Disrupt the Flow
It Never Goes Outside the Box
Sid is Just There

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