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'How I Met Your Mother' recap: A romantic gesture or a terrible prank?

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"How I Met Your Mother" season 9 continued Monday, Dec. 2, with episode 11, "The Rehearsal Dinner," and while Barney spent the entire episode insisting Robin had thrown a surprise laser tag rehearsal dinner, she was the one in for the surprise.

Saturday 8 p.m., 22 hours before the wedding

As this "HIMYM" episode began, Robin scolded Barney for ending up cuffed in the security office of a laser tag place for causing a disturbance. They were late for their rehearsal dinner, and he insisted that she was just trying to surprise him like she had for his bachelor party. She had wanted to get married in Canada, but it was just easier to have the wedding in New York, and while she had compromised on that, he wasn't budging from his desire to have a laser tag rehearsal dinner—even as they were setting up the actual rehearsal dinner at the inn.

Barney had gotten Robin back for his bachelor party with an absolutely horrible prank. He had a suitcase on the bed and told her he couldn't go through with the wedding and she had to move out, only to reveal puppies in the suitcase. Sure, puppies are cute and all and sure, a prank is a prank, but that was just wrong. He figured Robin was going to get him back with the laser tag rehearsal dinner, so when they ran out of ice, which he had thought would lead him to the ice store next to the local laser tag place, he ran out, even though the ice store was six miles away and there was a helpful sign outside the place with the really cheap "laser tag" sign.

Robin had to go bail Barney out, and as she argued that they needed a marriage based on honesty, trust, and "all that Lily and Marshall crap," Barney revealed that he had been acting like an idiot for a very good reason: he had a surprise for her. He handed her ice skates and revealed they were in fact at an ice rink. She had been snowed because he knew how much she wanted to be in Canada, and so he brought Canada to her. So once again, it took a few tricks, but just like the proposal, Barney got to the romantic gesture in the end. Also, like with the proposal, all was forgiven pretty quickly once Barney revealed what he had planned.

Meanwhile, Lily insisted she could keep a secret, despite the many examples when she couldn't (though when it came to an important one, like Ted's, she didn't tell anyone), but all her frustration and annoyance was really about Marshall, as she finally revealed to Ted and Robin that Italy likely wasn't going to happen because he was becoming a judge.

"How I Met Your Mother" season 9 airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBS. What did you think of episode 11 "The Rehearsal Dinner"?

Read more about How I Met Your Mother.

© Meredith Jacobs 2013

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