'How I Met Your Mother' Season 9 Episode 17 Recap: 'Sunrise'

02/04/2014 08:40 am ET Updated Apr 06, 2014

Not much can top last week's "How I Met your Mother." The 200th episode, "How Your Mother Met Me," left me in a puddle of tears, telling anyone who would listen that it was the best episode in years.

This week, "Sunrise" catapulted us back to present day in Season 9, the morning of Robin and Barney's wedding. The shenanigans we've come to expect from the final season were back -- some in an "ugh" kind of way (ahem ghosts) -- but Ted's confession left me in a sweet spot. More on that soon.

In a recent interview with Vulture, Cristin Milioti, who plays the titular Mother, discussed her character's prior relationships, which were revealed in the 200th episode. The Mother had a once-in-a-lifetime love who died, and Milioti told Vulture, "I did love that because it gives her a Robin. We all sometimes carry these people around with us that we're unable to let go of until the time is right. And then you realize that without them you couldn't have gotten to the place where you were ready to meet the right person."

In "Sunrise," Ted finally let Robin go, metaphorically and literally if we're counting that balloon gag. After realizing Barney disappeared, the two went to search for him on the beach. One thing led to another, and before we knew it, truth bombs were dropped all over the place. Robin revealed the gang kept running lists of all of Ted's girlfriends -- Victoria was the best, Jeanette was the worst. We, as the audience, found out how Ted went to look for Robin's locket -- the journey involved Stella, Victoria AND Jeanette, and seemed to have ended when Jeanette dropped it in the lake in Central Park.

Ted and Robin's relationship has seemed so natural over the past 9 seasons. Their easy nature has been a given, even when other relationships forced them to be awkward. We've known Ted was in love with Robin for years, even when she became engaged, so when he finally told her the real reason why he and Victoria broke up, it's a little ... "That's it?" They broke up because of Robin, in a Ross-Rachel kind of way. Robin got upset, but also let it go pretty quickly. Ted also dropped the Chicago bomb on Robin, to a too little reaction, if you ask me. They watch the sun come up, "Eternal Flame" hums along in the background and Robin flies up in the air like the balloon Ted lost as a child. It's a cheese-fest, but in "HIMYM" fashion, it's our cheese-fest.

Back at the Inn, Marshall, 2014 Ghost Lily, 2006 Ghost Lily (just go with it) and Ghost of Marshall's Dad hashed out the whole Italy-New York ordeal. 2014 Ghost Lily gave some beautiful relationship advice: "If you keep lying to me. If you keep cutting me out of decisions. If you keep using words like winning and losing ... little by little you're going to lose me."

Real Lily came back around sunrise -- who the hell picked her up in that car? Any ideas? -- and told Marshall that there was no way they'd move to Italy. No more lies, Marshall.

Oh yeah, and Barney spent all night at a strip club with two dudes tryna figure out how to get girls. He passes on "Have you met ___?" and it works like a charm. Tim Gunn's appearance was a delight, as usual. In fact, "Would you be a peach and bump this?" may be my new favorite "HIMYM" line. Until next week.

Where do you think Lily went in the middle of the night? Would Ted really be able to just let Robin go like that? Sound off in the comments.

"How I Met Your Mother" airs Mondays, 8 p.m. EST on CBS.

"How I Met Your Mother" 200th Episode