• Season 8, Episode 19: The Fortress

    by  • Monday, March 18th, 2013 07:18 pm GMT -4 • Episode Discussion, Season 8 • 1 Comment

     

     

    So, we’re back after a two week hiatus.  First things first.  We know something is up with the site.  Nobody can seem to comment, although we can still post reviews.  Rest assured we’re working on trying to fix this.  In the meantime, you can always head over to the Facebook page (Have You Met Ted – The How I Met Your Mother Blog).

    Anyway, on with the recap.

    What Was Good

    As usual, the humor was good.  The show never lacks for funny moments.  I particularly liked the “Woodworthy Manor” gags.  Lily’s increasingly ridiculous wardrobe was funny too, and I liked that Ted got in a shot on her, especially given how he usually seems to be the butt of the jokes.  Barney’s Jor-El head thing was funny too, and I really liked the “And the Superman films are uneven” gag.  They are, by the way.

    What Was Not As Good

    The episode was one of the more “sitcommy” episodes we’ve seen in a while, in my opinion, with all problems being resolved in 22 min. (30 with commercials – I watched online this AM).  Breaking down the various elements of the story:

    The Lily and Marshall thing was…ok.  There were some really good jokes worked into this, but I was kind of surprised at just how absorbed in the job Lily became.  I get that she finally feels like she has a purpose and such, and that’s great, but balance, honey.  Gotta find the balance.  It seemed a little contrived, given how it was executed.  Not to mention that it was wrapped up perfectly with a bow at the end.

    The Robin and Barney thing was a lot less ok.  I’ve been on the side of this relationship developing for a while, hoping that we’d see either a laying of groundwork or some real issues surfacing, but I gotta say, for all of the people who’ve found this whole relationship unbelievable, this was the first episode where I felt myself saying “Seriously?!  She’s cool with all of this?!”  It wasn’t treated realistically or believably.  Barney’s bang-pad is gonna be their home?  I find that hard to believe, particularly given ALL of the contraptions and such that are part of it, and the history that oozes from the walls (apologies for the mental image).  And at the start of the episode, Robin is dead-set against it, only to relent  because it has a bunch of ingenious devices built in?

    Nope.  Sorry.  Not believable.  Not this time.

    And Ted was…well, not really “in” this episode as far as his own character development.  More on that in a second, though.

    Overall

    I’m a little disappointed in this episode.  I found the way that Robin and Barney’s stuff has been handled to be particularly unrealistic.  I don’t need heavy emotional stuff every single episode, but come on.  At least lay the groundwork for the bigger moments we know are coming.  They’re gonna have a blow-up at the wedding.  We know this.  But when they keep having this “I don’t trust you!  Wait.  It’s ok.  I love you” episodes leading into it, without any sense that their mini-resolutions are half-hearted or that either of them harbor doubts, will it be earned?

    I dunno.  Maybe I’ll look back on this and see it as a work of subtle genius.  Maybe the “sitcommy” nature of their resolutions will be addressed head-on somehow.  Maybe Barney will say “I know I said I don’t want to be alone…but I’m terrified of what happens next.”  Maybe Robin will say “I know I said I was fine with all of this…but I’m terrified that you’re going to bail on me.”  Maybe they’ll both say “What, did you think we could resolve all of this in just a few quick conversations?”

    The Ted thing, though, that I’m calling B.S. on.  JUST last episode, we had Ted saying “No more dating.  I’m ready to get serious.”  Oh, except for this hot chick I’m gonna run a play on to bang THE VERY NEXT EPISODE.  WTF?!  Between this and the “ceremonial playbook,” it seems like the writers aren’t really concerned with their plotting.  And frankly I’m getting a little sick of it.  I’m tired of the characters backsliding ALL the time without the show at least addressing it directly.  WHY are they having these grand revelations and such, and then doing a 180 down the road?  I get that such things happen.  That part’s realistic.  But what isn’t being touched on is WHY it’s happening.

    Maybe this doesn’t count as “dating” (just banging) for Ted.  Maybe it’s just a throwaway gag.  But to me, that’s cheap and this show can do a lot better than that.  Not every episode has to be fraught with meaning and heavy emotion, but it’d be nice if they could keep the story at least SOMEWHAT consistent the whole way through.  When a character says “I’m never going to Pittsburgh again,” and the very next episode you see them in Pittsburgh, you’d better freaking explain what’s going on and why.  Again, maybe they’re just laying the groundwork, and this will be paid off in another few episodes.  I certainly hope that’s the case, anyway.

    I do think we’ve got some good episodes in store, though.  The show has gone through periods like this, where you get “meh” episodes (mehpisodes!), and it always seems to come back eventually.  The writers definitely know HOW to hit the both funny and heartfelt moments.  They just don’t always do so, which is frustrating.  Hopefully next week will be better.  We’re coming into the home stretch here, though.  This was Episode 19 out of 24, so we’ve got a little time to really bring it all together for the wedding.

    Temporary Comment Section:

    Salmonking wrote:

    Good. Enjoyed the show this week…I knew ahead of time it was going to be a “filler” episode, so I was prepared just to enjoy the laughs and not look for any deep meaning. I always enjoy the episodes centered around Barney’s antics.

    Ross wrote:

    With the comment section down I wanted to let everyone have another way of posting comments. It is a little bit of work but if you will e-mail hymvictoria@live.com and put your Comment name as the subject I will do my best to keep a conversation going. Salmonking sent me an e-mail asking about the site while Solo4114 and I discussed what to do next. So keep the conversation going.

    Samba-boy wrote:

    Oh, please… This episode, mmmyeah… Overall it was okay, but it had flaws. Big, disappointing flaws. First of all, I thought Teds place burned down or something last episode? Now he was back in his old room as if nothing had changed. But in fact, that was a flashback. You know why I thought that was a mistake? Because it was missing it’s famous flashback-sound and transition, just like they messed up a few minutes later when Barney was arguing with Robin; You could hear the flashback-sound, but no transition onscreen at all, just a cold flash over to Barney. Really? People messing up the editing on a nationally broadcast sitcom?

    (Okay, I checked and it wás and is a mistake after all: Marshall said he wanted to take Lily and sneak in Teds apartment to bang, bang bangitybang… But uhm, the apartment? The flames? All stuff destroyed…?)

    By the way, real kudos for the continuity by starting with Ted and Marshall stepping out of Marvin’s room after playing the Goodnight-Lullaby, too bad the only continuity we get is from this or last season, seldomly something from before that… But what really was disappointing to see was, indeed, Ted with that girl the very first episode after he stated “No more dating, serious” and blahblah… Come on. Did HIMYM get some new editorial staff or something?

    PS: I’m kinda starting to feel annoyed every time when Lily and Marshall are having these retarded little kid-issues. Fighting over the fact Marshall watched a show without her? (Oh btw, I really start feeling awkward when Ted and Marshall were acting they were indeed a gay couple. A gay couple-joke for two straight men with a baby is classic, but this was a new way to use it in a sitcom) What the… They have a kid together! And yes, I guess the writers don’t want to give Marshall and Lily the standard cliché-storylines of problems with the baby, such as those every fricking couple on a sitcom gets after they get a kid together, but really? Overworked Lily putting down Marshall just like that? With those HIDEOUS glasses? For me, thát was the moment I thought “She’s a mom now”, just like in that other episode a few months ago (Marshall’s accident with the stapler, Lily with the beercans, you know which one I mean)…

    Also the fact it didn’t feel like How I met your Mother at all anymore, just like “Random sitcom #4000″… That really hit me, and that really kills the originality this show once had. So to say it easily, for me Ted has become a jerk (with somewhat witty moments and sometimes annoying fake Brrrrrittish áccent), Marshall and Lily had a lameass storyline which blows away their complete lovestory told in seasons, in just under a few minutes… And for the love of god, why would Barney need a greenscreen to project Paris, Venice and whatnot on it? I truly hope the final 4 of this second-to-last season will be better; Maybe a little less funny but more honest, like it was in the past. If it’s going on as it is now, I’m afraid people will later remind this show as “That show that started legen-wait for it-dary, but ended up going on wáááááy too long, past it’s expiration date”. I’m really sad to say that and to even state that could become a true, legit possibility. …Don’t let us How I met your mother remember like that. It has (had?) the priority to become one of the best comedy’s on TV there have been in years (I mean, hey, sitcoms don’t get compared to an multi-Emmywinning sitcom like Friends for nothing), so don’t spoil that.

    VM Wrote:

    I think you are being a bit harsh on this episode. I personally enjoyed it. One has to remember that one of the reasons why we love HIMYM is because all the characters are somewhat flawed.

    Lily bailed on her engagement just to have a shot at become an artist. You can see that it it’s deeply embedded in her, and something she really wants to do. So I find it quite believable that upon being given a chance, she would immerse herself into this. I might be over-thinking, but it makes sense for her character to feel a certain sense of entitlement given the roller-coaster of a career path that Marshall has been through.

    As for the Robin – Barney part, I think we will get a few of these issues resurfacing eventually. I feel that for the two of them they are as such consigned to the fact that they are going to be together, and hence making a few necessary sacrifices is understandable. Robin herself has also had a bit of a crazy past, and as she says ‘if I ask you to change everything, you will cease to be the person that I have fallen for’ (or something to that end).

    Finally as for Ted, apart from the few plot-holes regarding his apartment, the only excuse for those being that narrator Ted greatly exaggerated the whole incident of his apartment being burned down, I think it makes sense for his character to find an easy OUT. First off, that chick was hot. Secondly, you can see he is getting increasingly desperate to find SOMEONE as the wedding day approaches. And thirdly, this is TED. The guy who chased after Robin repeatedly, who fell back on his ‘that’s it I am over her’ countless times over the years. And now, you expect him to change just because he makes one decision. That guy is totally flawed, and that’s what makes him him.

    I think if you can cast aside those observations, for me this was a solid ‘filler’ episode. The jokes were spot on, and the lasting legacy of Barney’s house and contraptions was really solidified.

    Sam Wrote:

    I agree with what a lot of people are saying. Ted hooking up with the girl was a let down. I know the writers could say a ‘hook-up’ doesn’t count, but it still takes away from Ted’s realization that he needs to get serious.

    I enjoyed all of Barney’s apartment gags, but for Robin and Barney’s home? No. Maybe, given how much Barney makes, they’ll keep the apartment to save all the weird gadgets but live somewhere else….?

     Ross Wrote:

    @VM,

     Yes Lily, Robin, and Ted all have had issue. Ted’s apartment was not as bad as I thought it would be. Most of the damage ended up burning on the street not inside. Ted must have deep pockets to be able to get it back to normal so fast.

     I Loved the Floating Head and the OZ “pay no attention to the man behind the…” door. Let Barney be Barney. I still want to know where the bed goes and how Robin got out without punching Barney.

     @Sam,

     Ted hooking up was awkward again. Same pattern, I did not like it. Great Comments.

    Ross Wrote Again: 

    It is Thursday March 22nd. Good thing for NCAA Basketball because…

     

     It is so quiet on this site right now I though about e-mailing some of you to see if you still are out there. Yes I know the Comment section being down is a bummer. That aside I almost broke my rule of not sending out unsolicited e-mail to some of you for dropping off the Blog-Radar these past few weeks. You can e-mail in to either Ross at the tribute to Ashley Williams Character hymvictoria@live.com or Solo4114 haveyoumetsolo@aol.com so that I can share your comments with everyone on the Blog. Make sure to put your sign in name as the subject. If you forget I will still post the Comment. It just may be delayed while I go find what name you normally put with that e-mail address.

    Basically I am very curious about your reactions to Episode 19. I have been reading some other reviews on the net and have mixed feelings about how this was presented.

     Professor Wrote:

    Not a fan of this episode, at all.

    The whole adoption thing as a tease about whether Robin has told Barney about not being able to have kids bothered me. The writers absolutely need to address this before the wedding.

    Barney’s apartment had all sorts of things to get rid of women in Greatest Couple Ever. He still has the blanket on one side, but now there are two pillows. Easy callbacks could have been made to his one towel and whether he finally got a patent for his spring loaded toilet seat. All of the gags in his
    apartment were way too over the top for me, sitcommy to the max.

    Lily’s new job taking even more of her time than teaching did is also frustrating. I thought one of the elements of her existential crisis (this time) was that she was too busy and wanted more time with Marvin?

    I know some of you love the whole floating head thing, but we’ve seen that closet before haven’t we and it was never there previously. Now granted, he’s called it the fortress of barnitude before so there’s enough consistency, but still, way over the top. I did like the fortress of soli-ted, but of course he’s not willing to live there.

    Ted’s apartment wasn’t destroyed, just most of the stuff in it was broken by Jeanette. The ashes and flaming stuff we saw was only the real playbook blown up by fireworks. It was only speculation on here that Quinn’s apartment was destroyed, I don’t think it is canon.

    Ex husband who never supported your career? Are we seriously having Lily complain again about Marshall not supporting her? I think after Everything Must Go, that should be put to rest. Marshall messed up but then tracked down the vet who salvaged her painting, got him to buy more, and then set up the website to help get her art out there. It isn’t Marshall’s fault the writers have never returned to this plot point.

    Great view? How about assuming none of your viewers understand the concept of a green screen? Sigh.

    Robin loving Barney for who he is was great, but there’s no way she should want to live there.
    So this woman believes that Ted is married and is willing to make out with him while his husband is in the apartment? Yeah, she’s a keeper *sarcasm*. Then she shows up to the bar with Marshall there and they leave together?

    And that’s not half as bad as the other thing. Ted clearly stated he meant it this time when he said he was ready to settle down and right before this gem of a woman shows up at the bar to take him away he wonders when he will meet the one, then he leaves to sleep with a woman he lied to about being married and gay, with his husband sitting at the table? I wondered if they were going to skirt around the whole Jeanette is the last gal he dates thing with one night stands, but I think doing so is cheap. Ted is acting like Barney used to. How is this making him the man he needs to become in order to meet the mother?

    There has been so much backsliding in characters in the past couple episodes that a part of me wants to actually forget about 8.15-8.19 and go from Ring Up (which I didn’t like but I think needs to be there) and the next meaningful episode. I think the only thing we would miss is Lily’s new job and we’d avoid hearing Ted say this whole ready to settle down thing and the second “real” playbook being destroyed.

    I’m not a happy HIMYM camper right now.

     

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