How I Met Your Mother episode “Rally” begins in the back of a limo with Ted (Josh Radnor) and the Mother (Cristin Milioti) popping champagne in celebration of her book publication, cheers-ing to “best year of our lives.” When The Mother warns Ted not to go on a bender, “Rally” flashes back to 10 hours before Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin’s (Cobie Smulders) wedding – with Barney incoherent after a night of heavy binge-drinking.

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Returning from taking in the sunset on the beach, where Ted finally let Robin go, he and Robin find Barney curled up on the floor. Clutching a fire extinguisher with one hand stuffed into a loafer, Barney doesn’t even wake when they tell him his belt and shoes don’t match.

It’s 10 hours before the wedding, and the crew congregates around Barney passed out on the bed to try to figure out how to get him ready for the family photos that are supposed to take place in two hours. Marshall (Jason Segel) vows that he’ll never get that drunk again in his life – nor to ever lose his hair.

While running to become a New York Supreme Court justice years later, Marshall loses all of his hair. Early polling results make it look like he’s about to get crushed, so he starts drinking. Turns out, the polls turned around and he's elected. During his acceptance speech, Lily (Alyson Hannigan) holds up an intoxicated Marshall who thinks he’s going to be presiding over Gotham.

Barney's Hangover Fixer Elixir

Back in the present, the group talks about Barney’s “Fixer Elixir,” the hangover cure that’s saved all of them at some point over the last several years. Barney explained to Ted – after Stella left him at the altar – that his ancestor Barnard Stinsonheimer created it in the 1940s in his “Too Many Manhattans Project” and was subsequently awarded the Bro-bel prize.

After briefly considering pulling a “Weekend at Barney’s” for the wedding photos, Ted and Marshall go off to try to find the ingredients for the elixir while Lily and Robin try to wake Barney up. Flying down the stairs in a hotel cart, having his head dunked in a bucket of ice water, a roaring bear and the threat of having his tie cut off all fail. Shocked by Barney’s state of drunkenness, Lily seconds Marshall’s vow.

Flash-forward to when Lily and Marshall drop their son off at college. After offering him some wise parental guidance about not drinking underage, Lily and Marshall head to a local bar for some tequila shots. When her son walks into the dive, Lily drunkenly spins around on her bar stool and shouts, “You son of a me!”

At the Fairhampton Inn, Ted and Marshall are scrounging up the ingredients for Barney’s elixir. Aside from the “secret ingredient” all they need is grease. In order to get grease, they’re going to have to eat all the bacon at the hotel breakfast so that the chef has to cook more bacon. Ted had never tasted bacon, but after his first bite he says, “I have seen the face of god.”

A Lily & Robin Makeout Wakes Barney

Meanwhile, Lily suggests to Robin that they make out. Before they get to it, Robin makes her own no more getting this hammered vow, which she breaks just two years later in Argentina. She and Barney get wasted and wind up on the floor of a hotel room with a crying baby. In the present, Lily and Robin kiss and up pops Barney.

With everyone back in the room, a temporarily lucid Barney reveals that there was never a secret ingredient. They deduce that Barney had lied to them because he loved them and wanted them to believe that they could rally. With wedding photos in 20 minutes, they need to think quickly.

'Weekend At Barney's'

Robin, Marshall, Lily and Ted convince Barney that they pulled off the legendary “Weekend at Barney’s” stunt, which resulted in Robin’s dad telling Barney he’d earned his respect. The lie enabled Barney to rally an hour later. He’s oblivious to the fact that the pictures were canceled and that Robin’s dad actually kicked him in the crotch.

When Ted begins to make his no-more-binges vow, there’s a flash-forward to the day after his limo ride with The Mother. It’s The Mother – not Ted – who’s hurting from a hangover. Just before the kids come running into their bed, Ted gives her “Barney’s Fixer Elixir.”

How I Met Your Mother airs Mondays on CBS at 8/7c.

– Chelsea Regan

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