Ted encounters the Captain, Barney denies interest in Nora and Marshall is depressed about the mythological Garbage Island.
Recap after the jump.
Let's clear something up first, Garbage Island technically exists, but it is absolutely not twice the size of Texas as everyone wants you to think. Just think for a minute how ridiculous that would actually be. You can read the real story here. It's Marshall who brings up this concept. He is watching a documentary on TV about it and lamenting his lost dream of becoming an environmental lawyer. He starts working on a presentation for his firm despite Barney advising otherwise. Sure enough his proposal that GNB do more for green causes is met with derision. The one guy who supports it is fired and Marshall himself is only spared because he recently lost his father. When Lily admits she threw away a plastic six-pack ring, he goes insane and dives into the dumpster to look for it so it won't contribute to the ocean's problems but finally breaks down and admits he is desperate to achieve his dream because it's all he ever told his father about. He tells Lily that they can't have children until he has achieved it.
Ted meanwhile is proudly going round telling the story of how he and Zoey (Jennifer Morrison) met, his version being that when they were just friends he kept a healthy distance between them but then her husband threw her out and only at that point did he step in like a gentleman. He goes to collect a box of her belongings from her old apartment though and runs into her husband, the Captain (Kyle MacLachlan) who assumes he is there to commiserate. He has a very different story to tell; rather than him initiating separation, it was Zoey who fell for "another man" and left him devastated. Ted realizes that he in fact is the bad guy.
When he quizzes Zoey about this, she confirms it's the truth. He feels terrible about it but is too scared to tell the Captain that he is the other man. When attempting to collect the box for the second time however, he is accosted by the Captain again. His theory is that Zoey is sleeping with the doorman and Ted has to talk him out of confronting him. Ted sits him down and explains that he and Zoey were just not meant to be, they had too little in common; the next girl the Captain met would truly be worthy no doubt. As he makes to leave, Ted admits the truth about himself and Zoey before running away as fast as he can!
Barney had a great time with Nora at laser tag but later denies this. Her refusal to have a drink with him afterwards on the basis of being tired leads him to believe the whole thing is a waste of time. Robin tries to assure him that she wants to see him again, but Barney refuses to admit his interest despite unintentionally smiling every time he says her name. When Robin admits that she has not been with a man for several months, he attempts to proposition her to prove he doesn't care. She casually mentions that another man asked Nora out and that they were to have dinner at a cafe. Barney stakes the place out but they don't show up and Robin admits it was a ruse to see how he reacted. At length, he breaks down and asks Robin for Nora's number.
There was a subplot with Wendy the waitress and the guy fired because of Marshall which was used as a framing device for the episode but it was really just an excuse to reveal that Ted and Zoey's relationship ends, ends very badly and will probably end before or at the wedding which will presumably be the setting for the season finale where it seems Ted will meet the eponymous mother! This episode was a mixed bag. The interaction between Ted and the Captain was fantastic as always, it's a shame he might not ever appear again. However Lily was fantastically annoying in this episode. It's implied that the reason she was so fanatical was a desire to get pregnant, but that's not it was played and it didn't really give off the right impression. In addition I really hope Barney/Nora doesn't become pretext for a rehash of Barney/Robin as it seems to be developing, a pairing I never wanted and absolutely hated.
"How I Met Your Mother" airs Mondays on CBS at 8:00 pm EST.