There were two homes that stole the spotlight in tonight’s episode of How I Met Your Mother: The Fortress of Barnitude and Woodworthy Manor.
The former took the spotlight after Robin brought up the fact that she was uncomfortable living in what she later referred to as Barney’s “disease-riddled bangpad,” which I’m sure will also one day be the name of a Bachelor Pad spin-off. Instead, she said she wanted a clean start. “So we have to find an apartment where I haven’t banged someone; how do you feel about Cleveland?” he joked before agreeing.
But Barney’s flexibility was short-lived.
After he failed to find someone worthy of living there (in other words: He offered it to Ted; Ted said no), Barney decided that he didn’t want to give up his Bachelor’s Wonka factory and told Robin that he changed his mind.
Robin eventually took it upon herself to start showing the apartment, and while many interested parties showed up to the open house, Barney scared them away by showing them all the despicable features it had to offer. Among them? A welcome mat that recorded body fat percentage, a green screen that tricked girls into thinking they were in lavish locations/have just survived the end of the world, and “escape from bitch mountain,” a chute that led from under Barney’s kitchen sink to the outside world — perfect for a fast get-away from over eager one-night-stands. Barney, you’re a terrible — albeit clever — person.
That was kind of the point, though.
Barney successfully scared away most of the prospective buyers — except for one, a couple who claimed they were going to tear the space to pieces. While Robin was happy to have an interested party, the thought of ripping apart something that so deeply represented Barney — good and bad — bummed her out. So she turned down their offer.
Upon hearing this, Barney was touched. And he confessed that he, too, had done some thinking: The Fortress of Solitude was where Superman went to be alone “and I never want to be alone again.” He was giving up the apartment.
I was so happy Robin and Barney’s story unfolded this way, but as I was watching Marshall and Lily struggle with a domestic spat of their own, I was hoping it wouldn’t unfold in a similar manner.
You see, Marshall was feeling more and more neglected because Lily’s new job with the Captain was occupying so much of her time — and turning her into an art douche. He was having to put Marvin to bed with Ted acting as a lullaby understudy and was crushed when Lily cancelled their date to pursue an art lead. (Date = banging in Ted’s apartment.)
But as much as Marshall’s position was one with which I sympathized, the feminist in me was hoping the situation wouldn’t end with Lily giving up her job. Spoiler Alert: It didn’t. Whew!
In the end, however, Lily did stand up for her right to have human working hours and celebrated with a viewing of Woodworthy Manor, HIMYM‘s Downton Abbey and a small but great part of the episode. (Truth bomb: If you are someone who watches Downton Abbey and frequently talk about it in front of people who don’t watch, you might as well be talking about stolen gooseberries and gardening competitions. *It really does sound that boring. )
Two quick burning questions before I turn this over to you for your comments: Did you fall for the “adoption” fake-out at the beginning of the episode? (Guilty!) And do you agree with Barney that the Superman films are uneven? The latter is not that important, I’m just curious.
*Just playing devil’s advocate. Please don’t hurt me.