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'How I Met Your Mother' 'Rally' Recap: Stinson's Hangover Fixer Elixir Snaps Our Hiatus Hangover

With How I Met Your Mother down to its final few episodes, we’ve entered the victory lap period. There are still mysteries yet to be solved and secrets yet to be revealed. What’s the moment Ted and The Mother finally meet look like? Why is Ted telling his kids this story? When does Marshall deliver the final slap? Where did the pineapple come from? Maybe we’ll get answers to all those questions, but maybe — like LostHIMYM will now focus its attention on going out on its own terms. Like Jack and Kate going back to the caves in those final few episodes of Lost, HIMYM took its own trip down memory lane (and even threw in some Lost-esque flashforwards in the process) during “Rally.”

We saw Ted and Robin make a pretty half-assed attempt to find a drunken Barney in “Sunrise.” If they hadn’t been so caught up in their own issues, Ted and Robin would’ve realized that Barney never left the Farhampton Inn and was snuggled up with a plant in a hallway the entire time.

Finding Barney was only the beginning of the group’s challenge in “Rally.” With family wedding photos just hours away, Robin had to figure out how to get her fiance to the point where he could at least function enough to take a few pictures. The gang quickly realizes that the one man who could actually help them snap Barney out of his worst hangover ever is Barney. Over the years, Barney has used Stinson’s Hangover Fixer Elixir to rally his friends out of their worst hangovers. Unfortunately, Barney always kept one ingredient a secret. He may have shared the knowledge that Funyuns and Tantrum soda went into the elixir, but without the secret ingredient, the gang wouldn’t be able to wake him up.

As the gang dealt with gathering the ingredients they could for Stinson’s Hangover Fixer Elixir and trying to coax that last ingredient out of Barney, they each swore they would never again get that drunk. “Rally” made use of these declarations to jump into the HIMYM future.

For Marshall, we saw him watching the results of a New York State Supreme Court judge election come in. Despite trailing a still handsome Brad (Marshall’s old law school/brunch buddy), a now-bald Marshall wound up winning that race. While thinking he was going to lose, though, Marshall got pretty drunk, leaving Lily to deal with her husband talking to the press about being the new commissioner of Gotham and enlisting the Batman to help shovel snow.

Lily’s flashforward showed us her and Marshall dropping a grown-up Marvin off at Wesleyan College for his dorm move-in day. Despite Marshall and Lily’s warnings to not get drunk with strangers, the duo immediately went to a dive bar and got drunk — only for Marvin to wander in a see his parents doing so. Maybe it’s just me, but wouldn’t Marshall and Lily try to find a few sandwiches instead of getting drunk if they were back on their old college campus? Maybe see if Doctor X was now podcasting?

Robin’s drunken flashforward was a bit more random than Marshall and Lily’s, showing her and Barney waking up hungover on the floor of a room in Bueno Aires, Argentina. Any fan of HIMYM immediately knew something was amiss when Robin responded to a crying baby by picking it up as if it was her own child. Yeah, not their baby. And the woman screaming in subtitles wasn’t very happy that Robin and Barney were in her home.

Ted’s flashforward was different from his friends, with his story book-ending the episode. “Rally” kicked off with Ted and The Mother (one day we’ll find out her name, right?) in a limo. The couple was celebrating the release of The Mother’s book, which Ted swore would solve world hunger. After chugging down his glass of champagne, Ted reminded his wife that he had once made a vow to never again drink so much he got a hangover. At the end of “Rally,” we saw that Ted had kept his promise, as he was the one nursing his wife out of a hangover with a glass of Stinson’s Hangover Fixer Elixir.

All of the flashforwards in “Rally” would have been funny HIMYM vignettes on their own. They wouldn’t have answered any questions, but they were still enjoyable. I can’t get enough of seeing Ted and The Mother together, especially when the show throws in Penny and Luke. HIMYM made Stinson’s Hangover Fixer Elixir mean something when Barney revealed that “Stinson’s Hangover Fixer Elixer is a lie. That’s the secret.” According to Barney, he had been lying about his concoction. Why? “I love you guys,” Barney told his friends.

The gang slowly realized that every time Barney had nursed them back to sobriety with the Fixer Elixir, it was when each one of them was at their lowest moments — Marshall thinking he had bombed the bar exam, Robin worrying about going back on the air. Ted even realized that Barney used the Hangover Fixer Elixir to help him out of his hole after Stella left him at the altar.

Barney Stinson is a real person. It’s amazing how much effort HIMYM has put into that transition over the past few seasons, but they’ve really succeeded in transforming a one-dimensional (yet very funny) womanizer into a fleshed-out person. Over the weekend, I caught a rerun of the HIMYM episode where Barney goes over to his dad’s house for dinner. The dinner goes sour for Barney once he realizes that he never had the childhood he wanted. After taking the basketball hoop from his dad’s new family — the basketball hoop Barney never had as a kid — Barney takes the hoop back to the house Ted is renovating and gives it to his friend. “A kid’s gotta have a hoop,” Barney says. That moment still crushes me.

It turns out Barney’s been that real person for much longer than any of us realized. In fact, even his friends didn’t see that until the past few years. The Barney and Robin that we met way back in Season 1 would never have gotten married. It took nine years to get them to this point, and now that Barney’s sobered up, we can finally get on with the wedding.

As for Barney sobering up, the gang did him a favor and told him they finally carried out Weekend at Barney’s to make the family wedding photos a success, with Barney’s laid-back and quiet attitude even earning the respect (and the highest of high fives) from Robin’s dad. In reality, Barney was so hungover, they had to cancel the wedding photos and Robin’s dad kicked Barney in the balls.

Notes and quotes 
Marshall trying to crack a joke about Robin’s dad’s drinking habits: “Bloody mary? Sounds more like a bloody scary”

Marshall during his drunken victory press conference: “Come again, for Judge Fudge.”

We now know that Marshall earned his Big Fudge nickname thanks to the time he ate an entire block of fudge to celebrate being accepted into Columbia.

We last saw Tantrum soda during the Season 5 episode “Duel Citizenship.” Ted and Marshall used to drink it during their road trips to Gazola’s pizzeria.

Marshall to College Marvin: “Your father did a lot of puking in these halls … from binge studying.”

Ted to Marshall after Marshall tossed him a bottle of Tantrum: “Dude, you’re a grown man — why are you throwing a tantrum?”

During his childhood, Ted’s mom told him he was allergic to bacon, donuts, Halloween candy and not saying thank you. Upon realizing that his bacon allergy was a lie, Ted went to town on the Farhampton Inn’s bacon stash.

Ted during his bacon binge: “How could you, Mom? You had the map to Heaven and you didn't show me the way?”

Ted when Marshall volunteers to eat some of the bacon: “I finally found the one, Marshall. Her name is Bacon.” It would have been quite the twist if it turned out Ted actually married bacon instead of The Mother.

To wake up Barney, Robin and Lily kissed, finally fulfilling Lily’s fantasy. After the kiss, though, it was Robin who found herself wanting to do it again while Lily thought once was enough.
'How I Met Your Mother' 'Rally' Recap: Stinson's Hangover Fixer Elixir Snaps Our Hiatus Hangover Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 2/24/2014 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. Maybe it was just me, but it seemed like Barney and Robin actually have a baby in the future. Neither of them were surprised when the baby started crying, and it was heavily implied that they DO have a child. "Don't worry, I'll get her", "Who's baby is this?".

    I don't know. I thought the flashforward was telling us that they did have a child, they were just in the wrong room, comforting the wrong one.


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