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'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Zoo Or False' Recap

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 13th 2010 12:04AM
'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Zoo Or False'
Many of the episodes of 'HIMYM' this season have been slapsticky and silly, but mostly in a good way. It's part of the effort of Carter Bays, Craig Thomas and their crew to not get so bogged down in the "mythology" of the Mother story, allowing them to touch on it much less than they used to. It also sets up some nice standalone episodes for syndication.

Sometimes the silliness works, sometimes it doesn't. This time it worked. And because it worked, I won't get the phase "mugged by a monkey" out of my head for quite a while.

There really wasn't much of a story here: Marshall gets mugged; Lily's so freaked out she says she's getting a gun; to keep her from getting a gun, Marshall says he got robbed by a monkey at the zoo; Marshall recants the story because he didn't want Lily to get the gun. The added twist? Robin loved the story so much, and was so desperate for an interview, she brings him on her pathetic 4 AM show.

And sweet poor Marshall... he was so at odds with himself at the end, wasn't he? Didn't want to embarrass himself on Robin's show and he didn't want to lie. He didn't want Captain Bobo, the monkey of interest in the investigation, to be shipped away from his sweetheart Millie ("Her name is Millie?" Marshall sadly asks when the zookeeper explains Bobo's plight). Yet he still doesn't want Lily to have that gun. By the end of the episode, we really don't know what happened, and we're pretty happy that we won't ever know.

If anything, the episode was about the whopper stories we tell people. "People want the lie. They need the lie!" said Barney. And, as we've seen for the last five years, Barney's all about the lie. But he's not just lying to girls in order to get laid; he's exaggerating to his friends, too, as we found out with the Neil Armstrong / threesome story. The gang have seen through Barney before, but not to this degree. However, it's not like they're reacting so surprised that he's laid some whoppers on them before, so maybe it's not such a big deal.

Barney's shenanigans this week were even sillier than the monkey story, but they made me laugh, especially his desire to portray the monkey robbery like it was a Charlie Chaplin film, complete with ragtime piano. So I'll give that my Best Barneyism of the week.

More fun stuff:

-- Good line by Marshall when Barney asked him if his robber had a ski cap: "Yes, because I was robbed in 1947 at the corner of Abbott and Costello."

-- Despite the fun of seeing Ted play out 'Sleepless in Seattle' on top of his Empire State Building model, I was wondering the entire episode why it was there. I found out when Bobo climbed up to the top with a doll in his hand and swatted away paper airplanes. It was a long way to go to get to the joke, like flying between Houston and Dallas via Santa Fe.

-- Speaking of the dolls, there was no explanation for why the doll guy was back again. Did the FBI need more time to go through his apartment? Or is Robin's show just that bad that they asked him to come back?

-- Marshall tried to deny his love of pizza, but no one believed it. "There's a cartoon of you on our pizza boxes," said the delivery guy.

-- Seeing the montage of Marshall accidentally hurting Lily makes me feel better about my relationship, as I've accidentally scratched and elbowed and kneed my fiancee too many times to count.

-- Let's hope that monkey doesn't "join a gang and do a swing-by." Thanks for that great line, Lily.

-- When did Barney come up with the three-way belt? And when he and Lily come up with that triple high five?

-- Barney: "I'll believe Jack Palance is dead when I see the body."

[Watch clips and free episodes of 'HIMYM' at SlashControl.]

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one of my favorite episodes of all time, but then again i do work at a zoo :D you gotta watch out for the monkeys (inside jokes my boys know what im talking about lol) marshall without pizza is like lucy without ricky! my only question for barney on this one is how in the hell could he let celeste thorson slip between his fingers? ted really needs to find the mother already because the sleepless in seattle dolls was just freaky he's gonna turn out like that doll guy robin interviewed. she looked really hot in this one btw

May 28 2010 at 1:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i think the doll guy was there only because ted placed him there in the "way he told the story" - as he remembered it in the telling to his children.

April 14 2010 at 11:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jessica's comment

Love the end where the king kong was played out on Ted's Empire State Building model. And we got a little more insight to Barney and his lies.

April 14 2010 at 10:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The zookeeper is TV's Jon Dore!

April 13 2010 at 5:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It was "coupon" - only reason I know this was because I watched this episode twice last night & both times I laughed at that line... The Pizza Guy looked so hurt by Marshall saying he didn't like pizza.

I still love the way this show is written. You can watch it as a regular & love all of the throwbacks or you can watch a one-off and still be in on most of the jokes.

April 13 2010 at 3:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"...stupid monkey!"

April 13 2010 at 1:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You neglected to quote all of the things they said in the bar about them catching "Marshall's mugger" i.e. "He's behind bars." "There was a tail on him." "It's a jungle out there."

I love it when the gang goes on a roll like that.

April 13 2010 at 12:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

LOVED ZOO OR FALSE Lilly looks psycho with a gun. =) Marshal has lost his mind, we all know Teds a dweeb but, Barney losing two birds with one space rock was classic! That little asian chick was ridiculously hot, what was he thinking!

April 13 2010 at 11:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I heard pizza box...

AND I was upset the sword stabbing didn't make the montage flashback also... besides the cork to the eye, that's the one that is most ingrained in my mind! Although I did enjoy the other (*new) ones...

But besides a few high points, this episode was a dud for me, and I hate to say that because I love this show SO much!


April 13 2010 at 10:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought the pizza guy said that marshall was a cartoon on their flyers?

April 13 2010 at 9:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Amsted's comment
Joel Keller

He might have. I thought I heard "coupons" then I remembered it as "pizza box." So "flyer" also makes sense.

April 13 2010 at 9:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

@Mark Cohen

I think it's S5, not S3.

April 13 2010 at 9:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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