It’s hard to believe that How I Met Your Mother will be ending its nine-year run at the end of March. That means we have just over a month of this show left. Not everything has been perfect, but this final season has been, overall, a joy to behold. We’ve seen some great callbacks to seasons prior and many a heart-warming moment. When “Rally” opens, we are just ten hours from the wedding and things are in a state of panic. Barney has been found, passed out from his night of drinking. He’s in no condition to take his wedding photos, so the gang bands together to find a way to wake him up and cure his hangover. In a lot of ways, “Rally” manages to rally the show as it gets ready for this final leg in the race. Everybody (minus Barney) is united with one goal, which means we get several scenes with everyone in the same room. Such a thing has been rare in Season 9 and it’s greatly appreciated.
Part of what made “Rally” so good was how manic it was. The energy was high and the editing was spot on, especially as we were flipping through flashbacks, flashforwards and in-between scenes. More often than not, HIMYM feels right when it’s flying right past you, jumping around in time. I know that’s something that gets said a lot, especially from me, but it’s just so true. It would feel weird not to mention when this show is doing its thing in the best possible way. It’s one of those episodes that just works without a ton of effort. And when you throw all the references to previous jokes and situations, you can’t help but smile. Try and tell me you didn’t enjoy Lily achieving her dream of kissing Robin and I will call you a liar. Better yet, how great was the role reversal at the end? Robin taking on Lily’s weird lesbian obsession was perfectly executed and was worth all the years that Lily’s been pining after her.
But perhaps the best call back comes as a point of character growth. Barney has always been telling stories to his friends – outlandish stories blatantly ripping off historical fact – and usually at the most inopportune times. In the past, Barney has shared his hangover cure, Stinson’s Hangover Fixer Elixer, with his friends whenever they were so hungover they felt like they could die. It’s concocted from ginger, Tantrum soda, bananas, funyuns, grease and a secret ingredient. In the present, Marshall and Ted search for the ingredients while Lily and Robin attempt to get the secret ingredient from Barney. What we eventually discover is that the secret ingredient is a lie – Barney loves his friends so much that he would lie to them to make them feel better. When you realize that, all his stories, all his elaborate schemes and falsifications, came from a good place. It’s not a huge revelation – I’m sure a little bit of thought would make this apparent to even the average viewer – but it’s one that is disarming to hear.
Now knowing just how much Barney cares about them, the gang decides to lie to him. Unable to rouse him, they cancel the wedding photos, thus pissing off Robin’s dad, who kicks the comatose Barney in the nuts. But they tell him they managed to pull off Weekend at Barney’s, allowing him to believe his dream came true. It’s funny; this seems like a pretty good start to the wedding. Everyone’s is good humor and working together. Keep in mind, this wedding day is supposed to be the worst day of Ted’s life, the day he hits rock bottom. We still have five episodes to go in Season 9; I wonder what’s going to go wrong?