How I Met Your Mother Season 7-09 ‘Disaster Averted’ Recap

This week showcased a monumental moment in the history of How I Met Your Mother as Robin (Cobie Smulders) and Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) reunited for a kiss. It came at the end of an emotional evening for Barney who finally rid himself of the ducky tie and may have been suffering from a concussion following a pair of brutal slaps from Marshall (Jason Segal).

You may recall earlier this season that Barney lost a bet to Marshall and Lily (Alyson Hannigan). The outcome of the wager required Barney to wear the ducky tie for one year. Unfortunately for Barney, he’s now two days away from meeting Nora’s (Nazanin Boniadi) parents and he needs to get rid of the awful tie.

In exchange for three additional slaps, on top of the slap still awaiting him from his slap bet loss to Marshall several seasons ago, Barney can get rid of the ducky tie. The price however, was a pair of slaps that likely left Barney’s head ringing as Robin helped him get home in a cab. That said, Barney seemed plenty lucid when he and Robin’s lips met.

Barney and Robin’s kiss was the result of a memory of a kiss the two almost shared a few months earlier following Hurricane Irene. As future Ted tells it, you haven’t truly lived until someone somewhere puts a sign up because of something you did. Outside of McClaren’s there is a sign that says “Absolutely NO Boogie Boarding.” Naturally, the sign is a result of something done by Ted (Josh Radnor), Marshall and company. It happened in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Ted is a nerdy weather watcher and when he scoped out the satellite photos of Hurricane Irene he tried to convince his friends to get out of New York ahead of the storm, mostly by convincing them of his boy scout talents.

Ted: “A boy scout is what?”

Robin: “Unpopular?”

Lily: “Beaten up?”

Barney: “Going to the movies with his mom?”

Ted: “A boy scouted is always prepared”

Robin: “Prepared to spend lunch in his locker?”

Marshall: “Prepared to die a virgin?”

Barney: “Prepared to paint his sister’s nails?”

Ted’s Boy Scout skills, for what they’re worth, have helped him fill a backpack with needed provisions for a roadtrip to his mostly forgotten house in Westchester; yes, he still has it. Barney, of course, has a different plan; it involves holing up in his apartment with beer and his giant TV.

Meanwhile, Marshall is acting weird. Well, he was at the time of the boogie boarding incident. Marshall had just quit his job at GNB and had two weeks where he had no medical insurance. This caused him to fear that he could be injured while having no coverage, which in turn caused him to cling to Lily while lamenting the fragility of life:

“He’s like a clingy Edgar Allan Poe,” says Lily.

Specifically, Marshall was concerned for bear attacks. You might wonder; why bears? If I have to guess, I’d say it was because a guy in a bear suit repeatedly attacking Marshall in dream sequences is a funny visual, as is the writer’s commitment to bringing the bear back as much as possible throughout the episode.

As the hurricane continued to close in everyone was getting calls from their parents checking on their safety, everyone except Robin. We know from our few encounters with Robin’s dad (Ray Wise) that he is not the sensitive, worrisome type; he’d once dropped Robin in the woods in Canada and had her fend for herself with only a knife.

Robin tries to pretend it doesn’t bother her as each of her friends’ leaves momentarily to take concerned calls from loved ones but eventually it does get to her. Barney calling her, pretending to be her dad certainly didn’t help things. Hiss apology however, a sincere moment of honesty, regret and concern, is what led to the near kiss after the hurricane. The memory of that sincere, romantic moment led directly to the kiss in the cab.

We know Barney is getting married either at the end of this season or sometime during the next season. Does this kiss mean that Barney is marrying Robin? Is Nora out of the picture? And, we need to talk about Kevin (Kal Penn). (Ha! Movie-d)

“Disaster Averted” was a relatively thin episode that ended with a major moment. Looking at the episode as a whole, Kevin was merely a storytelling device, Ted has no story other than being made fun of and Marshall and Lily’s story was only good for a few chuckles with the bear-suit guy.

That said, you can’t deny that Barney and Robin’s kiss is a big moment and one that is a game-changer for this otherwise minor episode. “Disaster Averted” is far from a How I Met Your Mother classic but the kiss plus a few solid laughs at Ted’s expense and the guy in a bear suit make another solid effort that happens to be the setting for one monumental moment.

Random notes:

  • Where in the hell did Marshall get a boogie board?
  • Barney’s fantasy included 1920’s gangsters and a guest appearance by a Sydney Greenstreet impersonator.
  • Did the How I Met Your Mother writers have to blow the dust off of the old “Don’t panic” something happens, “Ok everyone panic!” line? That joke is older than Edgar Allen Poe, who also got a dusty shout out this week.
  • Hurricane Erickson would be a great baby name.

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