Well, at least Robin didn't float away for good. "How I Met Your Mother" went on a three-week hiatus since its Feb. 3 episode, "Sunrise," in which Robin took off like a balloon a little kid decided to let go. Literally. Ted actually let Robin go like that and we saw her float away above the Farhampton beach.
But Robin and Ted have seemingly moved on from "Sunrise" and discussion of their complicated relationship went kaput for now. Instead, "Rally" found the group trying to revive Barney from his drunken stupor. The bro to end all bros couldn't handle his booze and would miss the wedding photos paid for by Robin's father. Thus began Barney and Robin's wedding day.
Throughout "Rally" each member of the gang made a vow never to get Barney-wedding-day drunk ever again, but flash forward scenes show them doing exactly that. For Robin and Barney it happens in 2016 in Buenos Aires. For Marshall it happens in 2020 when he assumes he lost the New York State Supreme Court election (he makes a surprise comeback and has to give an interview wasted, in what appears to be future MacLaren's). Lily would break the vow in 2030 when she and Marshall drop off 18-year-old Marvin at Wesleyan for the first time, and then run into him on the campus bar. (I should note: Marvin's own version of "sonofabitch" was delightful.)
Back in wedding day mode, the gang tried to find the secret ingredient to Stinson's Fixer Hangover Elixir, only to discover the whole magic hangover cure was a lie Barney invented to give the gang strength during their worst hangovers. Flashback to Ted's post-getting-left-at-the-alter hangover and Marshall's pre-bar-exam hangover. "He lied so we'd be okay," Robin said.
Having the gang back together like this, playing off of one another like the vets they are, makes it easy to forget that they were separated for most of the first half of the season. A few solid jokes from the past nine seasons made their way into "Rally" with ease, totally unforced: "Weekend at Barney's" finally happened (or so they told Barney), and Lily found a way to kiss Robin after all these years. These long-running gags felt like little boxes being ticked off, last minute gifts to dedicated viewers who obsess over "HIMYM" lore. Until the finale, we'll take them.Stray thoughts:
- RIP Marshall's hair.
- A+ for bookending the episode with scenes involving the Mother before and after an epic New Year's Eve. Hangovers + little kids seems terrible
- "Dude you're a grown man. Why are you throwing a Tantrum?"
- How the hell has Ted never had bacon? Or Halloween candy? We're pretty sure he's had Halloween candy.
What did you think of "Rally"? Will you make it through the last few episodes of "HIMYM" without crying?
"How I Met Your Mother" airs Mondays, 8 p.m. EST on CBS.