There are so many alternate titles for this episode: Come On Irene, Daddy Issues, Slapgiving Came Early This Year...but I think the best would have to be "Holy Crap, I Didn't See That One Coming!" But I'll wait till after the jump to elaborate, so read on...
The episode cold opens with Barney being chased down the street by two goons and then saves a kid by using the ducky tie and then a bird flies away with it. At MacLarens - Lily finds the tie in the garbage, BUSTED! Barney is so anxious to get rid of the tie that he offers Marshall a slap. Ted's voiceover revisits the slap bet (if you don't know what I'm talking about, start from the beginning of the series and then come back) and Kevin (who was missing last week) deduces that the reason that Barney doesn't want to wear the tie is because he's meeting Nora (who is till missing)'s parents and really wants them to like him.
As the result of a random conversation about strange warning signs, including the new one outside MacLarens that prohibits boogey-boarding, we hear the story of what happened during Hurricane Irene, interspersed with the ongoing slap vs. ducky tie debate. In standard Standing Blogger form, here goes:
Ted is a former boy scout who is prepared for the worst and wants everyone to leave the city and head to his house in Westchester. He has a rental car with 5 seats parked outside, his emergency backpack and awesome pink boots (which made me think of the red cowboy boots - again, start from the beginning), which he claims will make him easier to rescue. Everyone is skeptical and winds up at Barney's insulting Ted, calling him a wimp, but when Barney's dad calls to tell him the storm is going to get worse, Barney agrees with Ted. But Ted met a hot girl, so he kicks Barney out of the car. Robin thinks this storm is nothing, but gets a little upset when her dad doesn't call. So, Barney pretends to be her dad and she gets pissed at him too. Then, Mayor Bloomberg announces that there are no more evacuations and they are stuck, and then the power goes out.
At the same time, Marshall's health insurance has lapsed and he has two weeks till he gets onto Lily's plan, so he gets scared and turns into a strangely clingy Edgar Allen Poe. That and he thinks he's going to be attacked by a bear. Hmmmm. I wasn't so into this storyline, until, during the hurricane, Marshall surprises Lily with a bubble bath in Barney's bathroom. And now we know when the baby was conceived. In Barney's bathroom. That is a little icky. Moving on.
The gang romps around in the rain now that the danger has past. Ted's VO tells us that when he went to check on the house, he discovered that an oak tree had landed on his living room and had they gone there, they would have been crushed (I guess there was no need for the sledgehammers after all). Marshall decides to go boogie-boarding and crashes through MacLaren's front window (hence the reason for the new sign).
Back at MacLaren's (present day), Kevin leaves the gang. Marshall allows Barney to remove the ducky tie, in exchange for 3 slaps (and that's on top on the one that Marshall has remaining, as Lily, the slap bet commissioner, notes). Barney gives in and Marshall wallops him. And then does it again. Yowza! Barney is in pain, but he and Robin get into a cab, to go to work? Huh? Whatever.
Robin tells Barney that no one seemed to know about the thing that almost happened. Flash back to morning after Irene. Barney and Robin almost kiss, but then her dad actually calls. And that would have been a disaster. Right. Yes, it would change everything and then suddenly, all thoughts of Kevin and Nora are out the window. Now what?!?!
All right readers, what do you think this means for the gang, Barney and Robin and the wedding set to take place at the end of the season?