Still from How I Met Your Mother Season 9 'Rally'
Still from How I Met Your Mother Season 9 'Rally' CBS

How I Met Your Mother returned, after a small hiatus, with its new episode 'Rally,' which aired last night (February 24). The latest episode brings the series closer to its end with only five more left, leading to the hour-long finale on March 31.

In true HIMYM style, Rally was entertaining and engaging with the right balance of humour and the signature 'sweet emotion' moments the series has mastered.

This episode certainly felt like the beginning of the end, as the storyline picked up at 8am, a mere 10 hours before the wedding, and two hours before the wedding photos, reports IGN.

Here's the plot: On his wedding day, Barney has a massive hangover and he needs to be ready and rolling for a wedding photo session organised by Robin's dad.

Apparently, Barney has a magic drink that cures hangovers called Stinson Hangover Fixer Elixer and it is up to the gang to get the ingredients for that drink. Problem is, there is one secret ingredient that only Barney knows.

Of course one of the episode's prime highlights is the kiss between Robin and Lily (as part of their attempt to wake up Barney).

The episode unfolds in classic How I Met Your Mother fashion using a setup that the series has adapted many times before – cutaways to future and flashbacks.

As the gang struggles to help Barney, each of them vows never to drink again. The show takes us through time showing how each one of them breaks that vow at various points in their lives.

In the process, we see Lily and Marshall seeing Marvin off to college, Marshall winning New York Supreme Court Justice, Robin and Barney in Argentina and Ted happy with his wife and two young children, states a Mstars report.

The episode also shows the lovable devilish and sweet side of Barney. The revelation of the 'secret ingredient' and Barney's explanation (even though slightly cliché) is a superbly executed awesome sequence. We find out that Barney offered the potion to his friends at the worst times in their lives because he loves them.

The gang obviously pay him back in kind when they tell him they did "Weekend at Barney's" for the family photos, when in fact he missed the entire thing and Robin's dad kicked him in the jewels.

Watch the promo of How I Met Your Mother's next episode 'Vesuvius' below: