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The 5 Best Parts of 'How I Met Your Mother' Season 9

How I Met Your Mother is off this week, the first Monday the show's skipped since its ninth and final season began back in September. The show has raced through the first half of this season, leaving us with just 12 episodes of HIMYM left before the show wraps things up forever. (Well, not forever — there's that How I Met Your Dad spinoff ...)

HIMYM's final season has been a mixed bag for fans. We've gotten to spend time with The Mother and enjoy some final time with the gang we've been hanging out with for over eight years. At the same time, though, the show has wasted episodes on plotlines that fans just don't care about.

With no new HIMYM episode on tonight, Popculturology has put together The 5 Best Parts of How I Met Your Mother Season 9. Check them out, and come back here next week to see if things stayed awesome when HIMYM returned.

5. The flashbacks
While Ted, Barney, Robin and Lily have been stuck at the Farhampton Inn, a place that holds zero meaning for the gang or for fans of HIMYM, the show has sprinkled in flashbacks during Season 9. Thanks to these flashbacks, we've had the chance to revisit our favorite places like MacLaren's and the apartment above the bar.

In Platonish, HIMYM jumped back in time with an episode that not only took place at MacLaren's and the apartment but also reintroduced running jokes like Ted and Robin's saluting of each other whenever phrases with military titles were mentioned. It felt good to be back in a version of HIMYM that reveled in the lives it had built for its main characters instead of trapping us in some dumb hotel.

One flashback in particular was very important, but we'll get to that later ...

4. Lily's chat with Ted
At the end of Last Time in New York, Lily confronted Ted about his plans to move to Chicago. She had earlier discovered that Ted was checking off a list of things he had to do for the last time before leaving New York City. The list included ridiculous Ted Mosby-esque things like saying good-bye to the Empire State Building, but also had a few touching items like having a last Scotch with Barney.

"You wrote down all these things to say goodbye to, but so many of them are good things. Why not just say goodbye to the bad things?" Lily asked Ted. "Say goodbye to all the times you felt lost, to all the times it was a 'no' instead of a 'yes,' to all the scrapes as and bruises, to all the heartache."

Yeah, I'll give you a second to choke back those tears. I've had my issues with how Lily has developed as a character, especially during Season 8, but I've always thought that she and Ted connected better than any duo on the show. Ted listens to her. He respects her opinions. Sure, it'll be Ted finally meeting The Mother that keeps him in New York, but I know that Lily's talk with him in Last Time in New York played a huge role in keeping Ted from moving away.

3. The ending to The Rehearsal Dinner
The Rehearsal Dinner could've been a disaster of an episode. Once again, HIMYM was stirring up trouble for Barney and Robin, unable to just let these two crazy kids get married without a problem. When the episode revealed that Barney had actually been playing a surprise Canadian-themed rehearsal dinner for Robin, it was easy to forgive the show for the episode's problems.

Barney has often reverted to a childlike state, trying to get his parents back together or hinting that there might be a ring bear instead of a ring bearer at the wedding (OK, I'll forgive that one), but with the rehearsal dinner he planned for Robin, Barney showed that he truly cared about his (hopefully) future wife. He put aside his own hopes for a laser tag rehearsal dinner and pulled together every bit of Canada he could find for Robin. If they couldn't go to Canada for the wedding, Barney did a pretty awesome job of bringing Canada to Robin. Even Alan Thicke showed up.

2. Barney's talk with The Mother
It turns out The Mother was already playing a huge role in the HIMYM universe, even before Ted met her. In Platonish, Robin and Lily challenged Barney to increasingly absurd pickup scenarios, which Barney continuously accomplished with each. It didn't matter if he had to talk like a dolphin or not use the letter E, Barney was at the top of his game.

Then he ran into The Mother at the corner store.

After he was challenged to pickup a girl while buying diapers and carrying a bag of samosas, Barney attempted to get The Mother's number. In the nicest way possible, she rejected him. Probably because she heard him refer to her as "a target." Then The Mother told Barney that everything was going to be OK, which stunned Barney. In his mind everything was OK.

The two talked some more, with Barney spilling his guts about how he was in love with Robin. Since last season, we knew that Barney had created The Robin, a final play to propose to Robin. We learned in Platonish that it was The Mother's talk with Barney and the fact that she told him that winning over Robin "is going to take everything you’ve got. This is going to take all of your time, all of your attention, all of your resources. ... You’ve got work to do" was what set Barney on the path that would lead to him and Robin becoming engaged.

The other twist in this episode? Ted had decided that he wanted Robin, but unlike in the past when he rushed things, he would take things slow this time. Ted had decided that he would allow the universe to play out and that he had plenty of time to win Robin back. He had no idea that his future wife had just sent Barney off on a mission that would end any chance that happening.

1. Anytime Ted and The Mother are together
The moments when Ted and The Mother are together are the moments that fans of HIMYM have been waiting eight years to see. Josh Radnor and Cristin Milioti have instant chemistry together, and it's easy to believe that Ted and The Mother are meant for each other.

Unfortunately, we've yet to see the pair together in the present day, with HIMYM only showing them together in flashforwards. The second half of the season premiere kicked off this trend, revealing that Ted and The Mother had returned to the Farhampton Inn one year after Barney and Robin's wedding.

The best flashforward came in The Lighthouse. After spending an episode watching Ted try to just settle for a woman who just happened to be there, HIMYM jumped ahead (an uncertain and possibly timeline shattering amount of time) to show that Ted had returned to the Farhampton lighthouse with The Mother. And then, in the middle of Season 9 and without ever showing us how Ted met The Mother, we watched Ted propose. Unlike Barney's proposal to Robin, it was simple.

And it was HIMYM Season 9's finest moment.

— Tim Kuchman and Jacob Kuchman contributed to this story.
The 5 Best Parts of 'How I Met Your Mother' Season 9 Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 12/09/2013 Rating: 5

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