After almost a decade, the spinoff series from How I Met Your Mother is back with a new story, this time centered on Sophie and her search for love and the father of her son. Sophie’s 2050 narration in How I Met Your Father episode 5, “Good Mom,” frames the story in a way that creates a problem for her character in a way that Ted Mosby’s in How I Met Your Mother didn’t. Sophie is a little older in How I Met Your Father than Ted was in How I Met Your Mother season 1, but she still needs to mature.
Sophie (Kim Cattrall) tells her son about how people can have a blind spot when seeing problems with their parents at the start of episode 5 of How I Met Your Father. She refers to her mother, Lori (Paget Brewster), but her son believes Sophie will admit her shortcomings. She quickly retaliates, declaring herself “perfect.”
While Sophie’s line from How I Met Your Mother is most likely meant in jest, there is some truth in it. While she acknowledged that she still had some growing up to do in the previous episode, “Dirty Thirty,” this episode 5 statement suggests that her character development can only go so far and that she cannot indeed become self-aware of her flaws. Ted Mosby (Bob Saget) didn’t always criticize his younger self’s (Josh Radnor) actions as harshly as he should have.
Still, he frequently acknowledged his youth’s flaws and told his children that he wasn’t proud of how he handled situations in How I Met Your Mother.
In the HIMYF episode 5 intro, Sophie’s line is a problem even if taken as a joke. While popular and amusing, this mindset is harmful to our culture in its own right, as it prevents children from developing their world views or feeling like they can stand up for themselves, leading them to realize only later in life than their parents are flawed humans trying their hardest.
Ted did not criticize many things in How I Met Your Mother as harshly as he should have, with many harmful actions played for laughs. However, it was clear that Ted would not be a perfect man in the future as he questioned his parenting skills when he told his children about his sex life. And said to them that he had done horrible things he wasn’t proud of.
Marshall’s (Jason Segal) moderating presence, which young Sophie (Hilary Duff) is currently missing, could have aided this. Marshall was ready to call Ted on his nonsense, leaving upset girls for Marshall to console after their breakups. But Valentina (Francia Raisa) does not fill this role in How I Met Your Father—instead of being just as likely to be a bad influence as a good one.