How I Met Your Mother-The Fortress-Neil Patrick Harris and Cobie Smulders

Last night, How I Met Your Mother returned in fantastic fashion. “The Fortress” featured several appearances by Jor-El’s floating head from Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. There were also countless cool (and pantent-pending) household amenities. When anything that awesome is involved, Barney’s the main attraction.

The Players:

  • Director: Michael Shea
  • Writer: Stephen Lloyd
  • Cast: Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan, Bob Saget, Lyndsy Fonseca, David Henrie, Kyle MacLachlan, Ogy Durham, Erik Van Wyck, Jessica Gardner, Karen Lew, Cyrus Deboo, Grace Parra, Emily Roche, Bianca Hasse

Episode Title: “The Fortress”

Barney attempts to drive potential buyers away as Robin tries to sell his bachelor pad. Meanwhile, Lil’s new job with The Captain puts a strain on her relationship with Marshall.

The Good:

  • The Fortress of Barnitude: It’s amazing that after eight seasons we’re just now privy to what rid Barney’s apartment of stray skanks. With a flick of the wrist, his bed and date can be whisked away to who-knows-where and replaced by a freshly made mattress. Hoe Be Gone is invaluable to those who are allergic to the awkward morning after. The scale attached to the welcome mat prevents any deceptive clothing from allowing, “bangers remorse,” with the Heavy Set Go.  Taking dullards on a romantic getaway is made easy by A Room with a Screw, a window that projects the scenery of places like Venice and Niagara Falls (Paris doubles as Las Vegas for the particularly daft ones.). The Escape from Bitch Mountain and smoke alarms are great ways to get to safety in a fire, or get away from a clingy girl.
  • Compromise: To truly transition Barney’s character from a slag slayer to happily married man, every staple of his bachelorhood needs to be re-examined. Some may call it overkill, but many need reassurance that after almost commitments with Nora and Quinn that this one’s for real. Things came to a natural conclusion: Barney broke down another barrier of bachelordom and Robin accepted the tomb of lost skanks for what it is—a home. There’s no doubt Robin will find a way to put all those gadgets to good use. Escape from Bitch Mountain turned into a hidden exit pretty quick.
  • Woodworthy Manor: If there’s a consistent star this season, it’s the many tribulations of the Erikson’s marriage.  They’ve tackled career, familial, and baby issues. This week’s struggle to connect amidst Lily’s schedule of art viewings introduced two gems: Lily’s, “glare reduction luminettes,”—which is pretentious for big ugly glasses—and Woodworthy Manor. Of course it was just a parody for Downton Abbey which Barney and Robin might have been able to resist. By the end, Lily learned to balance The Captain’s demands with that of her Erikson men.
  • SloliTed: It’s oddly comforting to watch Ted play the field. It’s usually been under the guise of a sometimes serious relationship. Maybe it’s because we know that his next relationship will be with The Mother. We’re able to take it in as it was intended to be: amusing. When Ted ended the night as Embry, the homosexual cricket player with a Madonna like accent, ready to be taught the pleasures of a woman for the first time, we swelled with pride like Barney. Enjoy it while you can Ted.

The Quotable:

  • “Where do the hoes go?” –Robin
  • “Because there’s only one kind of chubby you want in the bedroom.” –Barney
  • “I’m way too upset right now to point out how many women have seen some beautiful woodwork in there.”—Barney
  • “You know what’s not a choice? Being gay for this kitchen.”—Robin
  • “Nothing gets a girl from on the fence to on all fours faster than thinking everyone she ever held dear is a growing pile of ash.”—Barney
  • “Someone get this lady a store front because she needs to mind her own business.” –Marshall
  • “If you never get a black light you’ll be so happy here!” –Robin
  • “A lot of geniuses were kind of pervy. Look at Thomas Edison. Why do you think light bulbs are boob shaped?” —Robin
  • Robin: “Turns out I accept appreciate even the grossest, creepiest, most sociopathic parts of you.” Barney: “Sounds like someone just wrote their vows.”


“The Fortress” was everything it should have been. Marshall and Lily’s troubles proved that as long as going to the ballet is code for copulating, they’ll be just fine. Barney and Robin’s relationship continues to progress, and showrunners got a chance to let Ted stretch his legs without having to worry about the mother.

Rating: 10/10

How I Met Your Mother airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBS.

What did you think of this episode?