After nine seasons and over 200 episodes, we are down to the final quarter. The last seven episodes of How I Met Your Mother, and the question is: will this long game finally give us a good payoff?
In tonight’s just-aired episode “Rally” (episode 202 if you are playing at home) we see the team trying desperately to find Barney items to cure his hangover in time for a photo shoot.
The episode opens with Ted and ‘The Wife” opening a bottle of champagne, celebrating the best year of their lives in New Year 2021. He tells her he won’t get that drunk as “He made a vow.”
This whole episode focuses on the group all ‘vowing’ they will never get as drunk as Barney has since he is so comatose nothing is able to stir him. Through the voiceover, we get a series of clips of what Barney remembers. They include his point of view of a water dunking, running down some stairs, a bear roaring, and Robin and Lily kissing.
To keep us informed of the timeline, the graphic tells us there is only 10 hours before the wedding.
Marshal is the first to make the vow that he will not get that drunk again and will have a full head of hair (why would someone associate the two?!). Flash-forward to 2020, with Marshal going for State Supreme Court Judge. He got drunk because he thought he was losing the race but at the last minute he comes through. Which then means he has to give a drunk interview--live.
Back in the present, Ted reminds everyone that Barney has a ‘Hangover Elixir.’
Flashback 4.5 years before: Barney goes into one of his farfetched stories (this time parodying the Manhattan Project) about how they made the elixir to make the ultimate hangover cure. Ted (and in other flashes, the group) all try it and it works really well for everyone.
In an attempt to move him, Robin and Lily wheel Barney onto a dolly cart and it falls down the stairs. Dragging him back up, the next attempt is doing some “tricks” Robin’s dad use to do to her to ensure she wasn’t late to school- dunking his head into cold water, putting his eyes open to the TV screen with a bear roaring, and threatening to cut his tie (although hers was a CabbagePatch doll).
After the attempts fail, Lily makes “The Vow”- Flash-forward to 2030- Wesleyan University- Dropping Marvin off at college. They tell him no underage drinking, as no good comes from getting drunk in a bar (although he points out all her stories started like that). The moment they drop him off, Lily and Marshal are doing shots in a bar. Marvin walks in and they both swear at each other (“You son of a Beetch/Me”).
Marshal and Ted get all the ingredients required, except grease. They go to the chef, who says they have no grease except in the bacon and says there wont be any more unless it all gets eaten before breakfast finishes (the next ten minutes). Ted wants Marshal to eat the bacon, as he is a competitive eater. Ted himself has never had bacon (due to his mother lying to him saying he was allergic to make him eat healthy) Ted isn’t sure if he will like Bacon (Marshal and the chef break the fourth wall and look at the camera). He tries it and heavenly light comes down.
Back in Barney’s room, Robin makes the Vow – Flashforward to 2016 in Buenos Aries- they wake up on the floor with a baby crying. They act like it's theirs, until Robin realises and asks who’s baby this is--it turns out they are in the wrong room and an angry Argentinian lady kicks them out.
Ted is really enjoying the bacon (to an uncomfortable degree) and the chef comes out with the grease. Ted wants to eat more but gets a stomach ache (with his voiceover saying it was the first and last time he ever had bacon).
So after 9 seasons of Lily trying to get it on with Robin, the two finally make out (in an attempt to wake Barney and in no way a cheap grab at ratings); it works long enough for Barney to come to and tell them the secret ingredient is nothing. They ask why did he lie, and he drunkenly says it is because he loves them.
It turns out he gave them the drinks at their worst moments of their lives (Marshal thinking he messes up his Bar exam, Lily having to take the school children on a fieldtrip, and Ted being left at the alter).
Not knowing what to do, they end up doing a “Weekend at Barney's” (a parody of the film Weekend at Burnie's,
where a group of friends convince everyone that a dead guy was alive). One hour later he is back to normal and really excited that he finally got to experience it--however, it turns out it was all a lie, and they cancelled the photo shoot.
Flash forward to 2022, New Years Day: Ted gives the wife the hangover elixir with the voice over saying sometimes you lie to help the ones you love.
The pre credit scene is Robin. She is the one now wanting to kiss Lily, with Lily now having lost interest.
My Final Thoughts
How I Met Your Mother is like a windup toy. It started really strong, went on for ages, and now is slowing down, and you are just watching it to see where it will stop. I think this season is one of the weakest, mainly because the writers have run out of jokes. The humour feels forced and they are putting way too much filler to give it its running time.
We did not need to see these mini stories about how they broke their vow. All we needed to see was how they got the elixir and why Barney was giving it to them--that would have been enough. It would have been clearer, tighter, and more sincere. Instead, I was bored with Marshal’s campaign, hated Lily for being a hypocrite, and Ted’s book end scenes with the wife could have been taken out and nobody would miss them. (Although I did like Robin and Barney’s scene in Buenos Aries, that was pretty funny). Also, breaking the fourth wall…really guys…REALLY?! Barney can get away with it as he lives in his own little world, but not you, and certainly not for a cheap joke like that!
And I want to talk about that kiss…. It wasn’t sexy, it wasn’t believable, and of the kiss itself, it was less than 3 seconds long. I have sneezes that last longer than that! Why was this in here? Are the writers truly that desperate for you to watch that they tease you with a lesbian scene?! I thought this show was so much better than that!
Overall I give this episode a 2/5. If you skip it, you won’t be missing much and if you really want to see a better kissing scene, do a ten second YouTube search.
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