We’ve all been there: you see one of your best friends drunk out of their minds and you vow to yourself that you will never get that drunk, again. And then time passes and you find yourself one night having a few innocent drinks, unaware that you’ll wake up the next morning with a severe hangover, barely remembering the events that led you there.
This is the concept that How I Met Your Mother tackled in Rally, a realistic episode hour that was as fun as this show could possibly get. It featured some of the series’ most infamous bits, from Lily’s obsession with making out with Robin to Barney’s inability to take a bad picture, while still integrating the Mother in a somewhat effective storyline.
After Robin and Ted find Barney unconscious and drunk on the morning of his wedding day, they immediately go into panic mode and try to figure out a way to wake him up. It’s a bit of a ridiculous storyline and it could have been stronger, but it was entertaining nevertheless. It’s revealed that over the years, Barney had comforted his drunken friends with a drink he likes to call “The Stinson Hangover Fixer Elixir” (which looks so green and disgusting you’ll want to throw up at the sight of it). This magical drink is made up of several random ingredients, including one secret ingredient which makes the cure so effective.
But because it’s Barney Stinson and because he’s awesome, he never told anyone what the ingredient was, thus pissing off Lily (among other people). Robin mentions that her totally-good-at-parenting dad used a few tools to wake her and her sister up for school, so she tries them on Barney. Unfortunately, no amount of dipping Barney’s face in icy water, forcing him to face a scary bear on TV, or threatening to cut off his tie can wake the groom up from his hangover.
The gang take this as a lesson to never get that drunk again. However, some pretty cool and wacky flash-forwards reveal to us that each and every one of them does otherwise. Let’s break it down one by one:
– Marshall: In 2020, we see Marshall up against Brad Morris (remember Brad, the lawyer?) in the race for New York State Supreme Court. When Marshall think he’s definitely going to lose considering the early percentages, he gets “that” drunk. But four hours later, and in a surprise comeback, Judge Marshall Ericsson does win the election (hooray), and in his first live statement to the press, says that he’s proud to be the commissioner of “Gotham City” and vows to “make Batman work harder” as well as “make him shine that Bat signal for small stuff, like shoveling snow”.
– Lily: In 2030, Lily gets “that” drunk again. After dropping off their now-college-boy son Marvin at Wesleyan University dorms, Marshall and Lily head out to the bar to celebrate (you know, baby boy goes to college, standard type of celebration). At the bar, Marvin walks in with his friends and sees his mother as drunk as Lily could possibly be. Queue the hilarious son of a bitch/ son of a me bit.
– Robin: In 2016, Robin and Barney wake up on the floor of a hotel room in Buenos Aires, Argentina looking awfully wasted. Then a little baby starts crying in his crib and Robin gets up and comforts him, making us all wonder for a second if this baby is actually hers. It’s a brilliant twist, really, because we know Robin can’t have kids (and Future Ted has said over and over that Aunt Robin never becomes a mom). Then, the baby’s real mother walks in, screaming at the two “drunk idiot Americans” whose room is actually across the hall. Hilarious and clever, a combination that best describes this show when it screws its head on right.
– The Mother: In 2022 and specifically on New Year’s Day, the Mother wakes up with a bad (yet still adorable!) hangover. Ted casually walks up to her in bed and presents her with the Stinson Fixer drink…so romantic. Then little Penny and Luke jump into bed with them in what is perhaps the sweetest and most adorable little scene ever.
So the special ingredient doesn’t turn out to be a tangible materialistic thing, it’s something that we can feel (love). That’s something How I Met Your Mother has been constantly trying to prove to us, that love is the best medicine. Whether or not you agree with this, it’s hard not to like this episode just for what it is: a genuinely entertaining ride.
It’s not an episode that will be remembered long after the show closes its curtain; in fact, this is probably going to be one of those episodes that fans will skip while watching reruns since it has very little story development, a few punch-lines here and there, and a premise that’s kind weak. But in the end, the show was never about getting to the finish line (Ted and the Mother meeting and falling in love). It’s always been about the adventure, about getting there. And for the first time in nine years, I’m actually sad the adventure and the stories are coming to an end. I’m heartbroken that the big day is about as close as Easter, yet hopeful that it ends with a bang-bang-bangity-bang.
Slaps & Bits
– Ted’s “why are you throwing a Tantrum?” was hilarious! Josh Radnor can make us laugh (not just cry)!
– Lily and Robin end up making out in one of their attempts to wake Barney up. This ends one of the show’s longest callbacks in history (Lily’s obsession in Robin), and what made it even more memorable is the fact that it ended up meaning much more to Robin than Lily.
– “Your shoes don’t match your belt!” is another attempt by Robin to scare Barney into waking up.
– It was so fun watching Ted get excited about his first bacon-eating experience because let’s face it, bacon is awesome, and that’s the exact same reaction any of us would have when trying it for the first time.
– The Mother publishes a book in 2021! And on their celebratory night out (and New Year’s Eve), Ted gets massively drunk.
– Anyone else starting to say “We go big tonight!” to their friends too? No, just me then? A’right.
– Gonna miss the little fake-outs that this show occasionally does – like making us think for a second that Robin and Barney have a child.
– Tying down more loose ends, we finally find out where the Big Fudge name came from: “You eat one 8-pound block of fudge in 12 minutes, and you’re marked for life.”
A funny installment that effectively incorporates flashbacks, flash-forwards and the Mother (although that element could have been stronger).