This week’s post-Olympics return of How I Met Your Mother was entitled “Rally,” and it was certainly a rallying point for the show. There are now only six episodes left, and this was a great way to really tighten the reins on the final act of the series.
“Rally” spends the majority of the episode in the current timeline. That is to say, the wedding weekend. Barney in completely hungover, and the gang is in need of his hangover elixir, but the only person who knows how to make it is him. We’re given a great flashback where Barney is tormenting Ted by diving into a long-winded tale about how the Manhattan Project was really a cover to figure out the perfect hangover cure. All of them are all too familiar with the cure, except none of them were told the final, secret ingredient.
This results in the group trying to gather all of the ingredients they know. Robin and Lily are tasked with moving Barney, but he is fast asleep. They continue to try to wake him, but only result in throwing him down the stairs. Meanwhile, Ted and Marshall are seeking out grease, which the inn claims they don’t use. In all fairness, this whole plot wasn’t bad, just not memorable.
Things really pick up when they decide they have to pull off “Weekend at Barney’s” a play from the Playbook inspired by Weekend at Bernie’s. It was a terrific callback that allowed us to see a rapid fire—and hilarious—set of photos from the family photos they were racing to take.
However, they still need to actually wake Barney up for the wedding later that evening, and Lily comes up with a plan. Lily, who has always harbored sexual feelings towards Robin, convinces her that they need to kiss to wake him up. Finally, she gets her wish, and Barney finally awakens. They demand to know the secret ingredient in case this happens again, and Barney reveals the concoction is a placebo. He just did it to make them feel better because each time he used it on one of them, each character was in their darkest days; like when Ted was just left at the altar.
All of this was wrapped in a bookend of The Mother getting too drunk and Ted making her the drink. For the first time, we see the kids run in as children (as opposed to teens) to embrace their parents. It was a touching moment that reminded us that this may be the ending of how Ted met his wife, but the beginning of Ted’s family.
The show is expected to start playing with fans’ emotions in the upcoming episodes, and I have a feeling this was one of the few remaining “fun” episodes. It was a good way to be welcomed back after the Olympic-induced hiatus. It eased us back into the story and didn’t miss a beat.