"Zoo Or False" examines our perceptions of truth, even as it plays with them. The thing is -- does it justify our ongoing devotion?
Nightfall; Central Park Bench: Marshall sits with his head in his hands (which I'll try to remember to address at the end) as Saget!Ted narrates: "Kids, you may be wondering how many of these stories I'm telling you are true. It's a fair question. After all, there's a fine line between a good story and a baldfaced lie." And Kids, because you may be wondering, there are light years between a good episode, and this one. Flash to...
MacLaren's: Barney chats up his latest mark, a pretty blonde named Sarah (Collette Wolfe) as Saget!Ted continues: "I've never met anyone who could work that line better than your Uncle Barney. Heck, he could jump rope with it." Barney convinces Sarah that he's Neil Armstrong, and is now currently aging backwards, because he went through a wormhole or some gamma rays on his way back from the moon. I'll be right back, after I stick my head in the oven, but only because it has an electric rather than a gas range. Damn it.
The Apartment: Ted, Marshall, and Lily listen to Barney's bragging. No matter how many space-related double entendres he throws at them, they don't believe any girl fell for such a story. Ted: "Why do you feel the need to lie, all the time?" In response, Barney pulls out his cell phone, producing the pictures to prove that he and Sarah "made sweet love." Great, that phrase has now lost what little meaning it retained.
Robin comes in, bitching about her job. Marshall thought she'd be psyched, because she just interviewed the mayor, but Robin reveals it was only "Mayor MacWoof" (E. E. Bell) who wears a dog-costume and teaches kids not to litter. In a flashback, we find out he didn't do either of those things on Come on GET UP New York. Instead, he shilled insoles (from Bon 'Appy Feet). When the "mayor" tries to demo the shock absorbency of the insoles with a hammer, he smashes the prop table. Robin yells, "Cut," but cameraman Mike (who seems to be the new Ranjit, but no Ranjit -- if you feel me) has long stopped paying attention to the interview segment, and is, instead, flying paper airplanes across the studio. "Sorry, Robin. I got bored." Robin doesn't blame him. I think. I'd rewind, but I have to get my paper airplane out of the lamp on my occasional table, before it catches fire. Robin is dying to do one decent, newsworthy interview. Ted's ready, willing, and able -- and not because he caught seven peanuts in his mouth -- in a row (Marshall is impressed). No, he's been selected to build a scale model of the Empire State Building for the largest recreation of the New York skyline in the world.