I can't tell you how many times over the past few years someone buys an expensive bottle of scotch -- albeit not a twenty-five hundred dollar bottle -- and, at least to me, it tasted like gasoline. At the end of Monday night's episode, we see Ted (Josh Radnor), Barney (Neil Patrick Harris), Robin (Cobie Smulders), Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) celebrating -- in October of 2009 -- with the aforementioned bottle of terrible tasting expensive scotch, over the changes that had (will) occurred over the past (next) year.

Exactly what has changed? We don't really know. We do know that someone still resides in the apartment that Ted, Marshall and Lily currently call home. We already knew this, though, didn't we? We found out last season -- in a similar flash-forward to this season -- that Robin will move into the apartment, someway, somehow, by the time of Ted's thirty-first birthday.

In a flashback (yes, I realize the entire show is technically a flashback) we learn of the time an intervention was held for a friend that had an alcohol problem, which was not helped by Barney's gift of an alcoholic beverage for the guest of honor when he thought it was a birthday party. This results in a series of interventions being held for slightly more inane problems -- Lily's fake English accent, Marshall's weird hat, Barney's magic tricks involving fire -- over the following months.

This culminates with an intervention being planned, albeit canceled, to convince Ted not to marry Stella (Sarah Chalke) and move to New Jersey. Ted discovers their plan -- though at first he assumes it is an intervention dedicated to his wearing of Crocs (HA!) -- and actually tends to agree that, perhaps, he is rushing into things. This attitude becomes contagious. Soon, Marshall and Lilly agree they don't want to move, either. Robin decides she does not want to move to Japan. Everyone is happy ... why change?

Only after heading down to McGee's McLaren's for a round of "the usual" does Ted see that life must move forward and change is a good thing, when faced with a possible future of being an eighty-year-old-man picking up twenty-two year old girls -- which is exactly what Barney was doing at the time, dressed as an elderly man, which was used earlier to trick a girl into believing he was the future and she had to sleep with his younger self lest the earth be destroyed. At that point they all agreed to meet one year later to toast their new lives with an expensive bottle of scotch, no matter where they live in the world. They did meet one year later and we know the apartment is still part of their lives. But who lives there? Robin? Ted? The cab driver that always seems to pick them up, Aziz?

(Note, next week is the Sandcastles in the Sand episode from last season. A hilarious episode that deserves a second viewing, but, When HIMYM is off, obviously, so is this feature.)

Story by Mike Ryan

Starpulse contributing writer