"How I Met Your Mother" The Fortress (TV Episode 2013) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • It's weeks before Barney and Robin's wedding, and one of the many things they still have to decide is where to live. The one thing Robin insists is that they don't live at Barney's apartment. So it goes on the market. However, Barney doesn't want to sell it to just anyone, but someone who is worthy of what was and will always be in his heart his "Fortress of Barnitude". Robin has a slightly different idea, which isn't as easy to achieve as she would like when she and others learn more and more about with what Barney has equipped his apartment. Meanwhile, Lily hasn't spent much time of late with her family because of her job with The Captain. She seems to be at his beck and call, and doesn't seem to mind. Marshall understands, until it affects a planned evening out. So, Marshall decides to cheat on Lily with someone who Lily knows.



The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Barney and Robin are weeks away from getting married, but still don't agree on some big issues. Robin wants to talk about where they're going to live. She doesn't love some things about his apartment, including the fact that his bed is apparently placed on a train track. He explains the system, which rolls the entire bed into a hole in the wall in order to be replaced by an empty bed after he's done with one of his ladies. Barney tells Robin he'll sell his place if it'll make her happy, then ponders where they could find an apartment where he hasn't banged someone.

    "How do you feel about Cleveland?" he asks, before quickly correcting himself. "Nope, Ted's mom."

    Ted helps Marshall play Marvin to sleep because Lily isn't home. Ted suggests they watch "Woodworthy Manor," which Ted has been obsessing and posting about on online forums. Marshall can't watch it because he promised Lily they'd watch it together, but she's been working too much for The Captain on her art consulting gig.

    Lily finally gets home drunk. She agrees to watch "Woodworthy Manor" with him, but The Captain calls again.

    Barney tells Robin that he's looking for a worthy buyer for his place. He tells her he tried to convince Ted to take it while using his "Superman"-inspired Jor-El floating head camera trick, which he operates by standing in the closet and filming himself in front of a green screen but Ted wouldn't do it. Robin reminds him she gave up her two-bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side "that was rent-free and the landlord hand washed all my delicates which is probably why it was rent-free." She goes on about relationships being about trust and compromise and Barney pulls the lever to roll her into the wall.

    Ted is about to babysit for Marshall and Lily, but Lily calls again at the last minute and says she can't do it. Ted tries to talk Marshall into watching "Woodworthy Manor" with him, but Marshall says it would feel like he was cheating on Lily. Ted continues tempting Marshall by saying this week they're going to reveal who framed the chimney sweep for stealing Lord Stoutshire's gooseberries.

    "And reveal the winner of the local gardening competition," Marshall says. "I don't know how they're going to pack all that action into one episode."

    Ted gets cozy on the couch and turns on "Woodworthy Manor." He urges Marshall to "just let it happen."

    Robin has set up an open house for Barney's apartment. He thought she'd finally given in to his orgy idea. They argue over this a little. Marshall and Ted are there pretending to be a couple looking at the apartment to boost the value Ted has taken on a British accent and is pretending to be "Emsbree Postlethwaite," inspired by "Woodworthy Manor." Lily finally shows up and Marshall decides to go along with the role playing with Ted. After realizing that they're posing as a gay couple, virtually everything Lily says from that moment on is misconstrued as homophobic with Marshall and Ted getting applause from the rest of the open house guests every time they stand up to her.

    Lily decides to get back at Marshall by making fun of the Minnesota Vikings, and he turns the tables by telling her he watched "Woodworthy Manor" and spoiling the big reveal "I know who deliberately overwatered Lady Chillsbury's prize-winning roses. It was Parson Smallsby."

    A woman at the open house is into Ted, loving his British accent but for the fact that he's "gay." She tells him she'd be all over him.

    Barney, meanwhile, is grossing out many of the attendees by demonstrating what he thinks are the best features of his apartment, including a green screen out the window that displays different locations so that he can trick women into think he's whisked them around the world, and a garbage chute that allows him to escape his own apartment the morning after sleeping with a woman who's too chatty in the morning. He also shows off the way the fire sprinklers are triggered when the words, "I'm looking for a deeper commitment" are said aloud. It also works with "I'm too tired," "let's snuggle" and "I'm a week late."

    "Barney, I'm getting wet," Robin says as the water pours down.

    "And that turns them off," Barney says, as the water stops.

    Barney's Jor-El camera suddenly shows instead of Barney's floating head Ted and the woman making out in his closet. Barney opens the closet door and Marshall gasps, "We have a child together!"

    Later at the bar, Marshall and Lily start clearing the air but he reveals more spoilers. Barney also tells Robin that he loves her and is giving up his apartment for her. She then tells him about the couple that agreed to buy his place, but she tells him about that couple's plans to tear apart his place. She started to realize that it was a pretty genius place and when they said they were planning on making a place that's fit for humans, she decided to take her place at the Jor-El camera and tell them to get out. She tells Barney that if she asked him to change too many things about himself, he wouldn't be the man she fell in love with. She says it turns out she appreciates even some of the more sociopathic things about him.

    Lily gets another call from The Captain, but she tells him she can't work because she needs to spend some time with her husband. Ted laments that they're all happy and wonders when he's going find "something real."

    The woman from the open house shows up, calling him Emsbree and asking him if he's ready to see what it's like to be with a woman.

    "I suppose there's a first time for everything," Ted says in his British accent. He gets up to leave, but not before Barney gives him a big hug and exclaims, "My son!"

    That night, the gang gathers at Barney's to watch "Woodworthy Manor," but Barney and Robin use the garbage chute to make a break for it.

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