How I Met Your Mother Review: “The Fortress” (Season 8, Episode 19)

While those two plots are some of the best that we’ve seen all season, this wasn’t an episode where there was a lack of laughs, rather it’s one of the wittier episodes of the season. The show always does well when there’s a series of recurring jokes throughout the episode, and in this episode we had three quality jokes that were built on from start to finish.

The first joke is the devices of Barney’s apartment. We’ve seen a bit of how awesome his home is, but tonight we got to see a whole array of various devices that only Barney would ever own or think to make. From the Ho-Be-Gone Sleep System (it shuffles unwanted women out of the bed and into the wall) to the Room With A Screw (a green screen on the balcony which can give the appearance of any destination) each gadget is funnier than the last and showed more of the classic Barney that I feared would be lost when he was engaged.

The second recurring joke is the Captain’s increasingly eccentric requests. At first he just wants Lily to go to art galleries to see works by unknown artists, but then he sends her to a prison, and eventually he wants her to see things like what a zebra at the zoo is creating.

The last joke, and perhaps my favorite, is Marshall and Ted’s obsession with a new show called Woodworthy Manor about an aristocratic British family at the turn of the 20th century. The intense plots of each episode vary from finding out who framed the chimney sweep to the riveting question of who deliberately over-watered the rose bushes. A hilarious joke on Downton Abbey, that basically sums up how people who aren’t fans of the show view its fans. As Ted said, “Grab a seat, you’re only going to need the edge!”

The whole fake gay relationship between Ted and Marshall is one of my favorite moments of this season. Ted’s British accent, and the ability to pick up a woman with it, was excellent. The fact that they were able to get everyone at the open house to applaud everything they said in support of gay rights and in the process make Lily look horrible had me in stitches (though I don’t think people usually stop what they’re doing and clap when someone points out that being gay isn’t a choice).

This is definitely one of the best episodes of the season, mixing a quality plot with some very witty jokes. Hopefully How I Met Your Mother is able to build off the success of this episode and carry that for the rest of the season.

Other Random Notes

  • He’s a cricket player who secretly hates his life.
  • “I only posted that 14 times on the forums!”
  • “Barney, I’m getting wet.” That line stopping the sprinklers is hilarious.
  • The Fortress of Barnitude could’ve become the Fortress of Solited.
  • “I love you, and I’m giving up my apartment for you, and the Superman movies are uneven.”
  • I want a giant head projector for every conversation I have, serious or not. In fact, if any reader wants to buy me one, I will do a personal review of episode into your living room.
  • “Someone get this lady a storefront, because she needs to mind her own business mhmm.”

Check back next week  for my thoughts on the next episode in the eighth season of How I Met Your Mother.