‘How I Met Your Father’ Season 2, Episode 8: Recap & Ending, Explained: Does The Gang Get Over Their Fears?

Episode 7 of “How I Met Your Father” Season 2 had the gang reminiscing about all the bad things that happened to them on Valentine’s Day. Jesse, who was going through a breakup, was spearheading the hatred towards the said day, and everyone jumped to contribute their story. Ellen, who was away from her girlfriend Rachel, is deeply upset about being in two different states and makes sure everyone reveals their worst Valentine’s Day experience only for her to feel better that day. As they start divulging their worst days, a lot of news comes out as a surprise to most of them. The stories surely brought the gang closer and helped them learn more about each other.


Spoilers Ahead

Fears They Carry

The older Sophie continues talking about her life with her gang and how she retells the story of a time when she had refused to pick a skill that she now considers crucial for her. Sophie comes back from a tiring shoot that involved kids. But it is not the shoot that exhausted her; it is the commute she had to undertake to make sure she reached the venue on time and came back home after the gig. Sophie thinks being a New Yorker would not require her to learn how to drive because the city offers plenty of options for one to travel from one end of the city to another. But the gang disagrees, except for Valentina. Sophie and Valentina got themselves a learner’s license in college, but they never went beyond it and did not bother to pick driving as a skill they would need even when they planned to leave the city. Sophie and Valentina have an irrational fear of driving, and because of it, they never want to face the fear but instead live in the bubble of depending on the public transport system that has made their lives very convenient so far. Once their fears come up, they start talking about the rest of the gang’s challenges, which they have not been able to face.


Ellen has a problem confronting her colleague, and since Ellen has multiple issues with conflict, she keeps mum and lets her colleague do their thing without raising the matter with her. Sid has a problem chugging beer, as he finds it difficult to drink a glass full of beer in one go. Charlie, on the other hand, cannot shave his face, and he always asks Ellen, his roommate, to do so for him. Charlie was raised practically like royalty; he had an in-house barber who was always ready to take care of his grooming needs. Now that Charlie is not a part of his family anymore, he finds it hard to shave his face and refuses to do it on his own. Either he must depend on Ellen or not shave at all. Jesse, on the other hand, was a hula-hoop specialist in his childhood, and one day he failed to do a maneuver that stopped him from going for the nationals. This maneuver has been the bane of his existence ever since, and he has not been able to master it. The group does not understand his obsession with mastering that trick, but they take it up as his challenge. Jesse will have to master it to make sure they all finish the job.

All six of them come to realize that their challenges are not major ones and that they can get over them. The gang is not yet ready to face the challenges, but they are given an offer that will make them take up the challenge of facing their fears. Sid and Jesse always had a system while in college called “rewardishment,” which meant they would reward themselves if they finished a task, and if they didn’t, they would punish themselves. They plan to execute this plan to make sure everyone in the next 48 hours realizes that their fears will be conquered. If everyone accomplishes their said task, they will make a mega bed out of all the mattresses they own, but if any of them fails to finish the task, all of them will have to drink from the dripping mat on the bar, which has spillage from all the drinks served. Keeping this in mind, they start working on facing their fears. The gang has a task in hand, or they will have to drink a drink that will offend them and make them puke with disgust. The whole point of the gang coming up with a challenge is to make sure they will at least try to face their fears and overcome them because they are too young right now not to be facing fears that come their way. They want to experience what life is like beyond the fear that they have crossed. If they succeed, this will surely push them to face anything that comes their way with the utmost ease.


Season 2, Episode 8: Ending Explained

The next 48 hours are crucial for the gang because they have been given the task of coming face-to-face with the fear that has been bothering them for a while. For some, it has been only a while since they figured out their fear; for others, they have been living with the fear for a quite long time. They don’t want to end up drinking that disgusting pile of liquids and alcohol they will be forced to drink if any of them fails. The gang is having a hard time keeping up with the fact that they will have to eventually make sure to at least try doing the things they dread. Losing is not an option for anyone.

Sophie and Valentina head to a driving school, only to realize Valentina has a vision problem. She cannot see words or numbers on the board as needed to pass the vision test. Valentina reveals she cannot let her eye get checked because she cannot let anyone touch her eyes, be it herself or the doctors. Valentina changes her challenge, which is gathering strength to be able to touch her eye, which will help her wear contacts. Valentina cannot believe something as trivial as this one is her fear. She challenges herself to wear contacts without the help of anyone. Sid tries to chug a glass of beer with Charlie and Jesse encouraging him, but he fails to do so. He ends up drinking beer like he is drinking a glass of wine or champagne, sip by sip. His inability to chug a beer is considered blasphemous to Jesse, who enjoys drinking a bottle of beer.


Sophie finally enrolled in a driving class, but she seems to have a block in her head when it comes to turning left while driving. She has not been able to do that for a while, and she does not know the reason behind it. Even during a driving lesson, she is unable to turn left, even when her instructor suffers a heart attack, and to reach the hospital; she will have to take a left. Sophie is struggling to face her fear, but the punishment seems harsh and disgusting, which pushes her to make a solid decision for herself. Jesse is trying hard to master the maneuver, but slowly he is losing hope of ever mastering it. He ends up thinking he might be the reason everyone will have to drink the disgusting drink.

Charlie, on the other hand will have to handle a weapon of some sort, which is a razor, but making sure he doesn’t hurt himself. Jesse and Sid show him the trick, but Charlie’s hands start shivering, which forces them to abort the task for a few minutes. Charlie is anxious to do the job, and the only solution to this would be to start by shaving his legs, which will help him gather strength and courage. Charlie starts mastering it before he causes an injury while shaving his leg. Sid takes him to the hospital to avoid him suffering any severe blood loss. Sid is wondering at this point if there is a name for this ailment that makes him unable to chug a beer. Charlie starts shaving the chests of men in the hospital who are being prepared for heart surgery. This somehow helps Charlie get over the fear, and he is successful in shaving his face. Ellen, though, has the toughest task because, in her matter, she will have to face another human being and confront their ill-mannered behavior at work. Ellen tries to get her brother’s help. The said colleague brought a snake to the desk she and Ellen share, and again, Ellen is unable to confront the woman she has boundary issues with. Ellen asks Jesse to be in her office to make sure she feels she is in the right environment to confront her colleague. Unfortunately for the siblings, the snake bit Jesse. Fortunately for Jesse, the snake’s venomous bags were removed, but this incident helped Ellen finally confront her colleague.


Charlie adds a pinch of pepper to the drink consumed by Sid, and that spicy drink is cooled down by Sid chugging a glass of beer. Charlie helped him get over his fear of chugging beer, and there was no untoward reaction to it. Charlie helps Valentina place the contacts in her eyes, but he forgets he had a pepper in his hand before placing them. This forces Valentina to go to the emergency room. After tons of fluids and sprays that are used to cure her eyes, Valentina is finally able to place the contacts in her eyes. Sophie is finally helped to drive by Jesse, and she realizes she feels more comfortable driving with someone who is not pressuring her to turn left. Jesse has a calming effect on her, and she ends up getting over her fear of not just driving but also turning left. Sophie learns from Jesse that he has started dating, which Sophie considers normal, keeping in mind that he has been broken up with for a while. She only hoped Jesse and herself would consider themselves available and not be conflicted about what they wanted. Sophie keeps her feelings to herself because she is not sure if she will hurt him again or if it will lead to an unwanted incident like before. Finally, Jesse is yet to conquer his biggest challenge, which is to master the hula hoop maneuver. He knows he can master it, but his mental block has caused him to fail in the past. With the encouragement that comes from the fact that no one will have to drink that awful drink if Jesse succeeds, he is finally able to do the maneuver without any stress blocking. Jesse feels he has finally accomplished something, and from here on, he can face more of his fears without much hesitation. Unfortunately for all of them, it is past the deadline when Jesse finally masters the trick, which forces them to drink the disgusting drink, the one from the dripping mat placed on the bar table. The gang ends up suffering from bacterial meningitis because of the drink. The point of this task as a group was to face their fears, no matter how big or small they were. They tried their best, and all of them overcame the fear of facing the task, which made them happy eventually. Their challenge goes past the deadline assigned to them, but it is their satisfaction of wanting to and succeeding.

What Can We Expect From Episode 9?

As the show is approaching the season finale, it will be interesting to know if Sophie and Jesse will get together and on what terms. They like one another, but they can’t seem to find the right time for them to make the first move. Sid and Hannah might also reach a point where they have to decide whether to work on their long-distance marriage or not. Ellen, Charlie, and Valentina will face their dilemmas in relationships with someone. Valentina will possibly come to terms with the idea that Charlie might fall in love with someone else, and Valentina will finally move on to seek a relationship that will help her grow as a person.


Final Thoughts

Finally, we have the episode where the humor works, and the narrative is being taken ahead. The screenplay in Episode 8 of “How I Met Your Father” Season 2 was neatly written, and the humor at no point felt forced. The comedy writing in this episode felt like a breath of fresh air for the first time in the entirety of this season. The comic timing of the jokes worked, and the performances aligned with it. The comedy writing shined through the episode, and it is hard to overlook any of the moments that worked. This episode stood out for the reasons mentioned above and the fact that the actors were able to deliver the jokes with perfect ease. We are looking forward to the penultimate and finale episodes to know where the story is headed from here on.

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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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