Season 7, Episode 9
Wowzers! It was a hurricane of epic proportions for tonight’s HIMYM—and I don’t just mean Hurricane Irene! We experienced a downpour of storylines, crashing into each other with great comedic and emotional force. This episode, just like Hurricane Irene, will go down in the record books as a pivotal one for many characters.
While I cannot spend quite as much time preparing this blog post as Ted did preparing his disaster kit, hopefully this recap will cover the essentials. Because I thoroughly enjoyed this episode and there is so much critical ground to cover, I am going to forgo the usual “Smile and Tell/Show and Yell” and hit the major points…
Turns out there is a sign in front of MacLaren’s that says “No Boogie Boarding.” Robin’s boyfriend Kevin notices it and we all settle in for a great story about why there would be a sign on the streets of NYC forbidding this water sport. Ted, being Ted, proceeds to take the long route in explaining this tale, which begins in the buildup to Hurricane Irene a few months earlier. Thus we have an extended flashback within the greater flashback of the series itself. To keep things simple, I am going to break this recap up into “Hurricane Irene Flashback” and “Present Day Flashback,” but these two storylines were nicely woven together. In fact, I started to get a little confused given that Hurricane Irene was not all that long ago, and even wondered why Lily would be drinking while pregnant—except she wasn’t pregnant—quite yet!
Hurricane Irene Flashback:
- Ted is a former Boy Scout, which means he is always prepared for ridicule from his friends. I loved the running gag of the pink rain boots (I guess his fab-u-lous red cowboy boots could not be risked in the severe weather). I also loved his friends ragging on his uber-preparedness—A Boy Scout is always prepared…to paint his sister’s nails? Die a virgin? Spend lunch in his locker?
- Robin’s delicate balance of irritation, nonchalance and vulnerability really formed the eye of the storm. She grew increasingly annoyed with her pals for them thinking the storm was a big deal when in “the Couve” (Vancouver that is) this was merely BBQ-weather. But she also tried to hide her disappointment that her father didn’t call to check in on her even though everyone else’s parents did (even Barney’s newfound father!). To make matters worse, Barney prank called her pretending to be her dad—an action that ended up having surprising implications later.
- Marshall was completely paranoid about meeting a horrible end while living life in the danger zone—the danger zone being going about daily tasks and imagining a random giant bear would attack him. In actuality, he was just freaked out to be in-between health insurance policies after quitting his job earlier that summer. I loved his intensity of feeling like death was all around, and espousing Edgar Allen Poe-like poetry. Watch out for that bear!
- Lily was desperate for some alone time without a clingy and crazed Marshall. She even demanded to stay solo at Barney’s awesome place when Ted gave away Barney’s seat in the escape car to a random hoochie from the building (Barney was quite proud of this Ted behavior, though!). We were treated to a great quick exchange of who would stay and who would go before the power went out and the evacuation window ended. Panic!!!
- And the end result was… “Hurricane Erickson,” a totally sweet name for a baby (thanks Ted). Yes, we learned—as did a slightly disgusted Barney—that Marshall and Lily actually conceived their baby in his bathroom after Marshall drew a bath for Lily to apologize for his clinginess.
- Oh yeah, about that boogie boarding sign! Poor Kevin had to keep reminding Ted to stay on track with his story. Ha! Good luck! I bet Ted’s future kids would love to know how to get their dad to the point. Anyways, Ted explained that the next day MacLaren’s was still closed and the rain was still pouring, so they drank some beers outside and Marshall went boogie boarding on a garbage can lid that went through the window. But more importantly, Barney apologized to Robin for prank calling as her dad and the two shared quite a moment—which was only interrupted by Robin’s actual dad calling.
Present Day Flashback:
- Ducky Tie Meets Slap Bet! Oh how I love how the writers have given us a good dose of HIMYM mythology. Last week we got the return of the Slutty Pumpkin, which dates back to Season One. Tonight we were treated to the reemergence of the Slap Bet, which dates back to Season Two and is arguably the single greatest ongoing plot device ever developed by this show. It made wonderful sense to revisit the Slap Bet in the context of this season’s bet regarding the Ducky Tie. Clearly Barney hates wearing the Ducky Tie, but why was it so important after all these weeks to get out of this latest bet? Kevin the therapist to the rescue! Kevin proved to be the Nancy Drew of MacLaren’s by piecing together Barney’s secret that he was worried about making a good impression on Nora’s parents. Therapisted!
- Slaptastic! Barney realized that he could use the Slap Bet to his advantage because there was only one left. He was even willing to offer Marshall an additional slap if he could stop wearing the Ducky Tie. But with Marshall satisfied with his one remaining slap, Barney tried everything possible to get Marshall to waste his last slap. Major props to Barney for discretely using some of Robin’s blush to offer a tender bulls-eye on his face. Marshall didn’t cave, but he did have a change of slapitude. Since he and Lily were grateful for conceiving their child in Barney’s apartment (OK, it didn’t sound that creepy the way they said it) Marshall said Barney could take off the tie in exchange for three additional slaps. Barney agreed and got slapped two times immediately…then went home to “reevaluate how he makes his life decisions.” More importantly, we can now look forward to two more slaps under the new bet circumstances! Very sneaky, writers—buying yourself more slaps in such a clever way.
- The biggest reveal of all was saved for the very end, when Robin and a freshly slapped Barney shared a taxi. As the two reminisced about their near kiss after the hurricane, their chemistry took over and they actually did start kissing! Where do they go from here? Do they end things with their respective others, Nora and Kevin? Honestly, I wouldn’t be sad to see Nora go, but I am quite fond of Kevin!
This recap is already incredibly long, and I didn’t even share some of my favorite lines from the night!
- “Ooooh mommy it’s dwizzling out, I’m so scared!” (Robin imitating her lame scaredy cat friends)
- “Nobody wakes up and says ‘Today I am going to star in a YouTube video’” (well, except for Marshall)
- “You may knot…with a k…little tie pun” (Marshall is not ready to let Barney remove the Ducky Tie)
- “This storm is not a big deal” (Barney); “This storm is a big deal!” (newscaster)
- “Yes mom, the boots were a big hit” (Ted’s awesomely girlie pink rain boots, which are more easily seen by rescue choppers)
- Ted saves room for skanky Maya…or is it “principle”?
- “I wish I had branched out and made more friends in my 20s” (Ted’s confession in case they don’t make it)
I can’t sign off without mentioning the wonderfully executed and fun opening sequence in which Barney casts himself as an Indian Jones-like hero to explain how his Ducky Tie went missing. And I also want to give a shout out to the show for finally mentioning the fact that Ted owns a house in Westchester! I was starting to wonder if we would ever hear about it again. Honestly, I can’t even believe just how much went down in this episode and how many issues from the past resurfaced in unique ways. It really was an episode with hurricane force, but it was anything but a disaster!