Season 8, Episode 19
Pour that spot of tea and select a tasty biscuit, because it’s time to discuss a scintillating episode of How I Met Your Mother called “The Fortress.” This episode was some good ole’ fashioned HIMYM fun, crossed with my other favorite kind of fun: Downton Abbey!
Fortress of Barnitude
Now that we are mere weeks away from the long-awaited wedding of Barney and Robin (eek!), it is time for the duo to get down to some serious couple issues. Adoption? Nah, but that is an answer to a crossword puzzle. Robin wants Barney to sell his infamous bachelor pad so that they can start married life in a new home, one not tainted by his many patent-pending womanizer features. It doesn’t help that Robin fears where the train tracks under the bed lead. Finding a place to buy where Barney has not banged a woman is a tall order, but even more difficult is Barney’s mission to find a bachelor worthy of his apartment. Barney the great and powerful seeks to sell his place to Ted and re-name it the Fortress of SoliTED, but Ted wouldn’t touch it with a gallon of Purell and a bucket of holy water.
Meanwhile, last we left off, Lily accepted a new art buyer job working for the enigmatic Captain. Her gig has been keeping her quite busy and away from her boys, so Ted has filled in playing Lily’s part for Marvin’s night-night song [nice call back!]. Lily has been so M.I.A. that Ted even convinces Marshall to watch new episodes of the addictive period drama Downton Abbey Woodworthy Manor with him instead of his wife. I absolutely loved every moment of this storyline—it makes perfect sense that Ted and Marshall would be bros who dig this show. From the music to the absurd names and the discussion of the riveting plotlines like who will win the garden show, HIMYM nailed our American obsession with that other enjoyable show. Who else will be playing Marshall’s drinking game when season four returns: every time the Dowager would be less than pleased…DRINK!
A Really “Open” House
Both storylines nicely converge at an open house that Robin coordinates much to Barney’s chagrin. But Barney refuses to let go of his condo without a fight. He proceeds to scare off droves of young couples by showcasing his many, many custom home features that, um, get rid of the tramps that Barney has hosted over the years. There is a body fat scale at the front door, the “escape from witch mountain” tunnel through the oven, and an elaborate voice-activated sprinkler system that turns on with phrases like “we have a child together” and shuts off with “I’m getting wet.” I think my personal favorite is the “room with a screw” green-screen effect over the balcony…and also the idiot girl who thinks that Paris is Vegas.
Ted and Marshall stop by the open house with baby Marvin, sans a busy Lily, to help Robin make a good impression on potential buyers. Between Ted deciding to embrace a Woodworthy Manor character and Marshall’s nice zingers, the other attendees assume they are a gay couple. When Lily shows up and gets pissed, Marshall is further spurred on to continue with the gay couple act. The highlight is definitely the very accepting crowd of potential home buyers who applaud Marshall and Ted against Lily’s inadvertent put downs. Ultimately, secrets are revealed about upcoming episodes of Woodworthy Manor (gasp!) as acts of betrayal until finally Lily and Marshall make up and agree that they just miss one another.
And, as has been the case ever since Barney and Robin got engaged, Barney once again admits that he is ready to make a full commitment to Robin. But this one time, Robin realizes that she appreciates and respects the genius behind Barney’s ‘booby traps’ and they decide to keep his condo.
What did you think of HIMYM tonight? Do you, like me, want to see a web series of Woodworthy Manor?