Episode Reviews

Disaster Averted

“Disaster Averted” is a flashback episode that goes into the accounts of what happened when Hurricane Irene blew through New York, causing a combined wide spread panic and apathy among the group as they determine what to do about the situation.

Of course we know that “boy scout” Ted has been prepared for a week for the situation, intending on the group to stay at his house out of the city where it is “safer” and away from the mass chaos and flooding. The rest of the group though, (mainly Barney) scoffs at the idea. The whole story itself stems from Kevin’s inquiry of the “no boogie boarding sign” outside of MacLaren’s. It has been a while since we’ve had a long flashback episode (never mind the whole series is a flashback) spending the entire episode to explain something that could have been done in 3 minutes.

But this is a show about long winded explanation that has to pull in the whole chain of stories that leads to a single event. As such, there is a whole chain of drama that leads to the payoff of a single story, why Marshal was boogie boarding in front of MacLaren’s. Sure any normal group of people would have just said, “we were boogie boarding during the hurricane a few months ago and crashed into the window,” but that isn’t the meta-aspect of the show, and these types of realities are just boring.

The episode also serves the dual purpose of ending the “Ducky Tie” bet as well as reintroducing the Slap Bet. It had been a while since we’ve had a earth shattering Marshal slap across Barney’s face, and after 4 prior slaps, there was a feeling that the final slap would be bittersweet. The writers cleverly extended the life of this great arc by providing an extension to the payment. Barney, desperate to lose the tie, gives Marshal three additional slaps, immediately to his regret.

After two hard core slap actions, we now have new life into the Slap Bet, with two remaining slaps that can happen anytime though out the course of the show. Even if we get a wonderful surprise of a random unexpected slap, we’ll still have yet one more available for our enjoyment.

Surprisingly, Kevin didn’t seem in as much horror as I’d expected watching these events. Earlier he’d mentioned he hadn’t seen acts of violence between the group, but here he now has first had accounts of how sweetly violent the group really is towards each other.

The big reveal though is what does this episode mean between Robin and Barney, with their final scene make out session. It’s been obvious that they continued to have some chemistry, especially with Robin still having serious feelings for Barney. With that scene, we see that both are cheating on their respective others, whom they are both seemingly happy with. To be honest though, I never really though Kevin was going to be around for long, and as much as I like Nora, there was always a sense that the wedding we’ve been teased these last few seasons was between Barney and Robin.

“Disaster Averted” was also a rare instance in the show where a current event gets directly written into the show, where in this case, Hurricane Irene literally happened three months ago. The writers chose this as a focal point, long after they started writing the season as a whole, to build a story arc that extends Slap Bet, answers how exactly Lily and Marshal got pregnant, and removes the Ducky Tie from play all in one fell swoop.

It felt like they used the episode as a dumping ground for a lot of random story ideas, though, and the episode as a whole felt very cluttered. I wonder what they had planned prior in terms of getting out of Ducky Tie or extending the Slap Bet, but I’m glad to see the staff is quick on their feet to incorporate modern events.

Other observations

  • A boyscout is always
    • Unpopular
    • Beaten up
    • Going to the movies with his mom
  • A Boy scout is always prepared
    • Prepared to spend lunch in his locker
    • Prepared to die a virgin
    • Prepared to paint his sister’s nails
  • There’s this “raven” statue in the house
  • “No one wakes up and says ‘I’m gonna be the star of a YouTube video’ “
  • “Hey nerd linger, what’s with the safety boner?”
  • “Pink is just easier to spot from the rescue chopper.” – Incidentally, Lily and Robin really want a pair of the boots.
  • Aw..ted…you are a…giant…whining…bummer
  • Therapisted…
  • “Oh man hurricane Erickson would be a sweet name!
  • Apparently a tree fell on the house, so we’ll probably not see it for a little while.

A big reason why I was pretty late on this was that I was actually in NYC this week, and stopped by “McGee’s Pub” in Manhattan, the inspiration for MacLaren’s, to watch the show.


  • Are you going to seize this slaportunity, or let it slap though your fingers?
  • This was a mistake, I wanna put the tie back on…I wanna put the tie back on…why do I have to be Barney right now?
  • I think i have to go home to reevaluate how i make life decisions
  • He should never let a day go by without calling you, because when I let a day go by without talking to you….um…that day’s…

By Kien Tran

Based in Dallas, Texas, Kien Tran is an avid television enthusiast. After spending hundreds of hours wasting away on a couch, he decided to actually do something creative with his hobby and created this very blog.

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