Neil Patrick Harris made a surprise return to his HIMYM character Barney Stinson in the Season 2 premiere of Hulu’s How I Met Your Father, and it appears he will play a pivotal role in the spinoff series.
In the final beats of the episode titled “Cool and Chill,” the timeline shifts to a year after the events earlier in the episode. Sophie leaves her mom Lori (Paget Brewster) a hysterical voicemail saying she thinks she is dating her father before suddenly crashing into a luxury SUV. When the driver’s side door opens, the victim is revealed to be Barney. He shrugs and tells Sophie, “Dude!” just as the bumper falls off the Audi onto the sidewalk.
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When future Sophie (Kim Cattrall) is asked by her son who that guy is she replies, “We’ll get there soon enough.”
Harris played Barney for nine seasons of HIMYM. After first meeting Ted (Josh Radnor) in a pub, he quickly considers himself part of the gang. The serial womanizer of the group, Barney usually rejected any form of commitment and had a string of debauchery in the early seasons of the series. His on-again-off-again relationship with Robin (Cobie Smulders) eventually turned into marriage, though the pair divorced three years later.
In an interview with TVLine, series creators Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger revealed Barney will be back for more episodes. Though the duo is keeping mum as to the role Barney will play in How I Met Your Father, they confirm he is not Sophie’s father.
“We’re not telling a teen dad story. I think given Lori’s age, that’d become a pretty uncomfortable story,” said Aptaker.
And with Barney being divorced from Robin, the creators teased how his return will expand on his story in the present day.
“Whenever we talk about bringing back a member of the original crew, you want it to serve two purposes: You want to give some tidbits about what is going on in their lives, where they’ve landed and where they’re at, but it’s also about how they impact the How I Met Your Father story, and how they send one of our characters in a new, unexpected direction” Aptaker shared. “Similar to Robin last year, we’ll learn some more about where Barney’s at, but it’ll also have a major impact on the trajectory, and main narrative, of our season.”
As fans await further details regarding who Sophie was talking about when she said she thinks she’s dating her father, the casting of John Corbett in How I Met Your Father is teased as a love interest. Could he be the aforementioned daddy?
How I Met Your Father airs Tuesday nights via Hulu.
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