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How I Met Your Mother S09E18: "Rally"


How I Met Your Mother has taught us a lot over the course of nine years. It's taught us that people change, relationships are often messy but ultimately worth it, and that (almost) nothing good happens after 2am. It has, for better or for worse, also taught us that the people we love the most often lie to us for our own protection. I don't know how much of that I believe, but in the case of "Rally," I think it was an important lesson tucked into a very good episode. In fact, you couldn't have asked for a better episode to begin the final leg of Ted's journey toward meeting the Mother. The episode had all the makings of a well-written, funny, and fun HIMYM outing: flashbacks, flash forwards, the Mother, a Barney Stinson history lesson, and everyone interacting together in the same storyline.

When we last saw Barney, he'd ventured out on his own the night before his wedding to have one last hurrah as a single man. He got sh*tfaced (that's a technical term), imparted what he considered to be wisdom to two young men on the search for the Ladies, and then gifted them with a new copy of the Playbook. The entire premise of "Rally" was that Barney had gotten so drunk during this adventure that he wasn't just hungover the next morning—he was passed out for hours. 

Over the years Barney had come to everyone's aid when they were hungover by plying them with the Stinson Hangover Fixer Elixir (created by Barney's relative Dr. Stinsonheimer—who looked an awful lot like Dr. Horrible—during the Too Many Manhattans Project). It contained, as far as I could tell, Tantrum soda, Funyuns, a banana, and grease. This is actually not a bad mixture, even though it looks—and probably tastes—foul, because grease, caffeine, and a banana are all good things to consume during a hangover (I don't know a lot of things, but I do have a PhD in avoiding and curing hangovers). 

For years, Barney had said there was a special ingredient that made the elixir work, but no one knew what it was, and thus the gang spent the entire episode attempting to awaken Barney in order to discover what it was. Dunking his head in a tub of ice water, threatening to cut his tie, and sticking his face in front of a roaring bear on TV did nothing to wake him. Once he did return to the land of the living, he told the gang that the the secret miracle cure was the same thing that exists in your grandmother's cookies and your mother's home-cooked meals: love. This was a silly explanation, and I much rather would have preferred it to be something like a blended grilled cheese, because despite what HIMYM wants us to believe, love is not a cure all. But then again, this is How I Met Your Mother, which has always had a very romantic outlook on life. Although I'm really not sure what's more romantic than grilled cheese, but I don't write the show. 

Despite my skepticism at Barney's hangover cure (I take these things very seriously, okay?), "Rally" was a very funny episode that shed light on a number of things—like how Marshall's Big Fudge nickname came to be—and revisited things like Weekend at Barney's, which for some reason never seems to grow old. It even dealt with Lily's lingering desire to make out with Robin, which was silly, but completely in keeping with the tone of the episode. It was even funnier when it turned out that it was a let down for Lily, but enticed Robin. The episode even found an easy way to incorporate the Mother in to the story by using flash forwards to bookend the episode. This was one of the series' more successful attempts to integrate her, and I think it worked very well when Ted eventually shared Barney's hangover cure with her in the year 2022. 

The idea that we sometimes lie to the people we love to protect them is an odd lesson here, especially given the relatively silly nature of a nearly stand alone episode and the lies in question. Lying to Barney about the wedding photos seemed silly (although it's possible I'm just slightly bummed Barney and Robin don't actually have wedding photos resembling Weekend at Bernie's), especially because it's an easy lie for Barney to unravel once the wedding photos never arrive. Lying about a special ingredient in the hangover cure was equally silly, but strengthened the romantic nature of the series and the very strong bond shared by the five friends we've come to love like family since we first met them at MacLaren's nine years ago. It also taught us that as long as we love one another, anything is possible. Despite all of the episode's silliness—or perhaps because of it—"Rally" was a strong return to the days when How I Met Your Mother was less concerned with the wedding weekend and more with the simple art of making viewers laugh. If the series can continue to integrate the flashbacks and flash forwards as well as they did tonight, while still slowly moving the main plots forward, I think the series has every chance of going out on top (or as on top as can be).



NOTES


– Ray Wise returned as Robin's dad for roughly 30 seconds. That's not nearly enough Ray Wise, in my opinion.

– I think we can all appreciate Ted's first experience with bacon, because let's be honest: We've all been there.

 How great was it to see an all-grown-up Marvin, not to mention Ted and the Mother's children, in the flash-forwards? In case I didn't make it clear enough above, I really, really loved the way the series integrated the Mother this week. The children were just icing on an already very sweet cake.

– I also enjoyed Marshall's speech as Commissioner of Gotham City. Batman really should help out with the little stuff more often.

– If there was one universal truth present in this episode, it's that no matter how many times you vow to never get that drunk, there's always a next time. Thanks for keeping it real, HIMYM.

– Because of the relatively standalone nature of this episode, I do hope the series hasn't just skipped over what made Lily change her mind about moving to Rome. Please don't leave any dangling plot threads, writers!


thekaitling:list:himym-what-did-you-think-of-rally/


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 3/31/2014

Season 9 : Episode 24

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Oh please ... what a rubbish episode.
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ah robin and barney and the baby i got goosebumps - HIMYM writers u tricked me damn u =)
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How did Robin and Barney know the baby was a girl? I think it was a boy and that in 2016 they have a baby girl ;) they did act like parents not just drunk lunatic lol but I loved the scene "Barney whose baby is that?" their baby might just be across the hall LOL poor baby... your parent got drunk and passed out in the wrong room. Classic!
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Barney and Robin are awesome
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I like the way they, for a few moments, tricked us to believe that Barney and Robin had the baby in the future (maybe they will have, who knows). And it also finally proved to all the sceptics that they will stay together
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You missed something huge. We had a Barney Robin flash forward I believe that was the first and it diminishes my hopes that Robin bails on the wedding.
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I thought it was easily the worst episode so far. It was hard to even smirk at any of the "jokes" and it was entirely made out of references to earlier jokes.
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I almost died of laught with "Weekend at Barney´s" joke! I love all this recurring stories... so sad about Lily not loving the kiss
A veri special HIMYM episode
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Caffeine is not a good cure for a hangover. Best to avoid.
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I dont like bacon.
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Do you like turtles?
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It was a good episode, great to see more of the future and interesting to see Lily move on from her lust to make out with Robin.
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Love = a very cold beer.
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Good episode... but I was hoping at the end he would tell them the secret ingredient was love... and more alcohol.
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Great episode, the only weak link was that the kiss shouldn't have affected Robin the way it did since she's already kissed Lily once before (Season 1 prom night crashing episode).
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and also in "Broath" where Barney and Quinn manipulated everyone into doing what they wanted. They even got Ted and Marshall to kiss
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Loved the episode, during the break I've been watching the season on a loop it plays so well when you watched them all together. Best parts yesterday, Robin and her father issues, seriously, I'm Canadian I think Child Services should have intervened. Robin and Barney waking up in someone else room. BACON, best food on Earth, I know Ted's feeling I was 10 the first time I ate bacon and it changed my life!
But writers I need a Robin Sparkle episode please please please... and Simon is he coming to the wedding with Louise?
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In the show's defense, this season they have been trying to check off all of the boxes of ongoing storylines.

Last night they took care of Lilly wanting to make out with Robin. Barney got to participate in an authentic Weekend at Barey's adventure, though it wasn't as successful as he thought. They acknowledged that Barney is actually a better friend to the team than many viewers give him credit for.

So, sum that up with some of the other things they've done this season, and I give them a tip of the hat. It might not be the best season ever, but at least they're acknowleding their long-running stuff.
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Staff
Preach.
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Another really bad episode. There is no elixir on earth that could cure this show's hangover.


If you want more Ray Wise: check out his hilarious bits in Newsreaders, and if you already have, watch it again!
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Also, great flash forward drunk moment with Barney and Robin and what, they have a baby?! But Robin can't... oh, not their baby. Haha, ya got me. Well played sirs.
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Well, still they said 'Every time', or something like that :) Maybe there's more to the story, maybe they adopted :)
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When the whole series finishes some one (who knows how) should put together a video of all the barney histories in the order they "happened"
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I'd love for someone to put the entire series in order of when it happened!
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That would also be cool, and it could end with the intro. Ok someone tech davy with tons of time on their hands get on this. please
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savy
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Got it bacon and alcohol! Gotta try this one, I don't know how I didn't think of this one before, maybe I get too busy in the bacon or in the wine or the fact I eat bacon at mornings and since a particular HIMYM like accident have vowed to never have any alcohol at morning time. Looks like one more good thing can be squeezed out of this already good episode!
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This was a great episode to come back on. I loved all the callbacks, newer and older. I'm really sad that Weekend at Barney's didn't actually happen. That would have been amazing. The bookends with the Mother were superb, and definitely some of the better ways they've incorporated her up to this point. If the rest of the episodes are this good or better, I think it's going to be a superbly enjoyable last run.
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Good episode, nice callbacks to past seasons, looks like we are getting ever so close to Barney and Robin's actual nuptials and Ted meeting the mother. Loved Ted's reaction to eating bacon for the first time, the baby fake-out with Robin and Barney, Marshall going bald in 3 weeks running up against Brad for Supreme Court Judge and then giving a drunk acceptance speech, and seeing Ted and the mother with their kids when they are young. Can't believe the show is almost over, but I can't wait to see how everything comes together in the end.
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History has been rewritten on HIMYM! Haha, I think it's pretty cool to have Ted experience bacon for the first time, twice:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6y-VwkgJgPc
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Loved that episode, it was funny and sweet.
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enjoy the episode was quite funny still a bit annoyed though that the entire season looks like it is going to be about barney and robin's wedding wish it was the first year that ted meets his wife
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I really enjoyed this episode. I feel like the little moments of Ted and the mother's relationship make all the waiting worth it. This was classic HIMYM looks like they are going out with the good stuff.
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Wow, show... you give us an INCREDIBLY crappy episode two weeks ago and you give us this good episode now? Why do you do this to me? I'm betting the next episode's gonna be crappy again, cause that seems to be the pattern since the new year. (Funny slap bet episode, unfunny argument episode, Emmy-worthy Mother-centric episode, incredibly crappy ghost-talking/flying Robin episode, decent hangover episode...)

So, lets see what was so good about the episode. I personally loved Barney's relative Dr. Stinsonhiemer. He seemed like a near-identical copy of Dr. Horrible. I would've liked to know more about that character.

Ted eating bacon for the first time and his reaction was by FAR the greatest moment Ted had all season. I loved the little holy beam of light effect after Ted had his first piece. It was the first time since Slapsgiving that I actually laughed out loud.

The flash fowards were mildly amusing as well (specifically Future-Marshall's drunk Batman speech) but I do admit the ending with Ted, the Mother, and the two kids was really sweet. I want to see more of her in the present, though...

All in all, I give this episode an 8.5 out of 10... though I must say once again THE PROMO COMMERCIAL LIIIIIEEEEEED! We were apparently going to see if Barney really booked a bear to hold the rings, and there WAS a bear... ON TV! Boo, show. Minus 1.5 points.
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I'm allergic to bacon, donuts, Halloween candy... wait a minute, that bitch lied to me! I don't even know if I'm gonna like bacon... (knowing look) *angel music*
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God I hate these gimmicky episodes. A sign of pure desperation. How about basing the episodes on proper writing rather finding one "fun" thing everyone in the group does constantly, yet Ted has failed to mention the last 9 year, and beating the shit out of it?
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Nice to see the teen kids at the beginning of the eps again. Better than usual episode of "HIMYM".
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This season, much like the last three, has been up and down but the best thing going throughout it is all the call-backs to past seasons. Exactly what a show should do in its last season. This was a good episode, not great, and while we'll never get what HIMYM was in its prime, it was nice to see all five characters in the same arc.
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no mention about college-kid-Marvin see his parent in a bar?
with line son of a bitch/son of a me
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One of the best parts
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"Hey, why are you throwing a Tantrum?"
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This was a good one that felt like the old times.
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Barney didn't say the secret ingredient was love. He said it was "nothing". When Lily asked why he lied, why the elixir was a lie, then he said; "Because I love you guys." It was a placebo to get them back on their feet.
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Place-bro.
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I liked it. It felt like an organic episode. This season seems to have been comprised of 'how can we get this joke/character to re-appear' and because of it I think it has suffered overall. This felt like a classic episode and it has renewed my faith that the nostalgia trip is over and we can finally get to the good stuff before the end (only 5 weeks left)
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"If there was one universal truth present in this episode, it's that no matter how many times you vow to never get that drunk, there's always a next time."

That's why, even in my young years, I have already vowed to never vow to never get that drunk again again. The vow stands firm till this day. Try it.
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that was great again BUT I'M IN A RUPAUL STATE OF MIND
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I hope they don't move the plot forward too slowly, they only have 5 episodes left.
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Only 5?!?!!! Oh no!!! I don't think I'm ready yet!!!!
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Ends March 31. I love this show, but I am ready. Some of the episodes this season have been really bad.
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Judge Fudge! And apparently Marshal got the nickname from eating a pound of fudge getting into law school. The gotham city part was hilarious, this is exactly why the show needs Marshal. HIMYM executed it perfectly with the 2 second clips of barney's night and then explaining each of them throughout the episode. And it appears as though Barney and Robin are married later on. The bacon part was also hilarious. It was nice to have a truly funny episode again.
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8 lbs...in 12 minutes.
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Best episode!!!!!! Gonna miss this show :-(
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But what I think I will miss the most is the journey....the journey to see the eventual outcome. Its not always about the destination but about the journey to get there. We have known from day 1 what the story was about and where it was going....but we just didn't know the how or the who. I am going to miss the mystery.
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Best episode EVER!!!
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Like the mom parts showing the relationship (wish the show had that the other seasons,) and like the human part of Barney being supportive; loved weekend at Barneys and Bald Marshall making promises to "Gotham City"! I guess the only downside to the episode is that it's feeling like the season is dragging on the day of the wedding to fill up 24 episodes...just get there already :/
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I loved it. Not the part where the gang realizes barney loves them... it's been 8 years, if they didn't know that by now they may be emotionally dead inside, and I don't just mean Robin.
No, I loved the flash forwards, classic HIMYM. I especially loved them explaining Marshall going bald in three weeks because he was running against Brad in an election. Certainly not because his father the minnesota viking was a bald man ( and save the replies about baldness being from the female side of the family, it ain't true)
Like many others I was checking out Barney and Robin's ring fingers in their flash, and they both had a ring, and they looked like matching rings. We know Ted told the kids Aunt Robin was a world famous journalist, so clearly that is part of her career abroad. Though for a second I was hoping the baby was theirs.
Lily using sonofaB was a funny mom moment. And Robin suddenly being a little bi-curious was too.
My only regret was this, and it wasn't that there wasn't enough of the Mother, no, it was that for a second I was hoping that they would go down the hall to ask Barney's mother or brother for the secret ingredient to Stinson's Magical Elixer, and they would know what it was. I was hoping that for once, one of Barneys whoppers would be proven to be true, like it really was lore he learned about from his mom growing up.

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I am savoring these final minutes of the show.... and I like that we are seeing flash forwards and flash backs, both of which are giving up information and answers.
In do feel like I am not getting a fully inspired writing....which....is making me HOPE that the final episode is ....legen....wait for it....dary. Legendary! For these recent weak episodes, I hope we see a finale to blow minds and raise the bar for finales in the future. Whereas the writers now look back and find inspiration the Cheers finale, I hope one day the writers look back to the finale of HIMYM for inspiration and say "I hope to be as good..."
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The home stretch of one of TVs great shows. Rally kicked off the final run of HIMYM and I'm torn. At first i was going in viewing these episodes as an eager kid waiting to get to the end of the story, but i realized this is after 3/31 there is no more new legendary adventures. So after realizing that i decided to go in and savor every morsel and hope Craig and Carter give us what made the show great and also reveal what we all have been longing to know and see. With that being said Rally was classic HIMYM with a hint of reveal. I loved that we got to see Lily once again play on (and finally act) her lesbian desire for Robin and also have the script flipped and have Robin feeling a little desire for Lily (that may have caught me more than anything). Im glad we got the "Weekend at Barneys" play and we also learned how Marshall got the Big Fudge nickname. I also want to commend the writers for this, we have all been wanting to see more of the Mother and outside of ep200 thats been difficult seeing how she has only met 3 members of the gang and yet to met her future hubby, but i love how they have kept her significant in flash forwards even though the episodes plots have no direct connection to her yet. Rally was probably the best episode to do that. I also loved that we got to see little Luke and Penny and also a grown up Marvin. This episode like i said was a great representation of classic HIMYM and made me realize to cherish it cause after 5 more weeks (6 episodes) there will be no more to come.
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I liked it! Genuinely found parts funny! Guess I'll enjoy the final new episodes we have left and try not judging it too hard!
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I really enjoyed this episode. The callback jokes were executed really well in my opinion (e.g. Lily's desire to make-out with Robin, the origin of Marshall's nickname, etc). There were so many I was afraid they would feel forced by the end, but they didn't. Also, the inclusion of some new gags really helped the old ones go over that much better... like Ted's bacon-allergy.

Overall, I thought it was an excellent episode for HIMYM to return to after the Olympic break.
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Anyone else wish that when Barney did the fake history lesson, his "ancestor" was Dr. Horrible.
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