‘How I Met Your Mother’ Review: “Daisy”
‘How I Met Your Mother’ season 9 recalls its 20th episode of the final year in “Daisy,” as Marshall attempts to figure out what Lily might have done with The Captain (Kyle MacLachlan) in her three-hour absence the previous night, while Robin realizes by her mother's arrival that Barney might be just like her father.
Last week's ‘How I Met Your Mother’ installment “Vesuvius” saw Ted helping Barney pick a suit for the big day, while Lily tried to appeal to Robin's sentiments for her big day, and a future twist alluded to the Mother's ultimate fate. So how does the latest episode keep the final season rolling down the aisle?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘How I Met Your Mother’ season 9 episode 20, “Daisy”!
Just hours before the wedding now, Robin’s mother explains how she had to be restrained on the plane to get past her fear of flying. Meanwhile downstairs, Marshall attempts to enjoy his impending judgeship, but finds himself concerned with Lily’s three-hour absence the night before. Billy Zabka pipes up to reveal that he saw Lily at the local convenience store during the night, getting into a car with a license plate “AHOY,” leading all to realize she visited the Captain.
Lily calls Barney to let him know that his mother-in-law has arrived and would like to meet him, but seeing Marshall so preoccupied with Lily visiting the Captain, Barney instead offers Marshall a chance to quickly punch the man in the face before rushing back to the wedding. Barney calls Robin to tell her of his change in plans, using similar words that Robin’s own father apparently told her mother upon his own wedding day absence.
Marshall and the others arrive at the Captain’s house, immediately punching the man in the face, while Robin begins to realize that everything about Barney, right down to his youthful pranks and shenanigans, matches her father Robin Sr. before his wedding. Back at the Captain’s house, the man denies that anything inappropriate happened with Lily, but rather she arrived at the house and excused herself to the powder room for several hours. The present Lily calls Barney to update him on Robin’s hysteria, though she grows quiet when she realizes Marshall and the others are at the Captain’s house.
Billy Zabka’s chewing gum gives Ted a sudden realization about Lily, as he boasts to the others that he’d figured out a secret she’d been keeping since before the wedding. Ted successfully deduces that the Captain’s powder room contains a potted daisy, pointing out to the group that Lily always takes up smoking again when away from Marshall for too long. Ted theorizes that Lily had difficulty quitting before the wedding, and deliberately sabotaged their road trip to take the train, affording her additional chances to smoke, and chewing gum later to cover the smell.
After her fight with Marshall, she called the Captain so as to have the car take her to buy cigarettes, which she could then only smoke in the Captain’s powder room to keep her habit a secret from both Marshall, and her future employer. Ted proposes that Lily would only have dumped the cigarette in a potted plant for mulch purposes, but upon reaching inside, Ted instead pulls out a pregnancy test. The group realize that Lily hadn’t been smoking, but rather throwing up, and drinking non-alcoholic beverages from Linus, ultimately taking her pregnancy test at the Captain’s house, which turned out positive.
Marshall and the others return to Robin’s wedding suite to find Lily, as Marshall insists they’ll go to Italy after all and give Lily’s dream a chance. Lily worries about their child being born outside the country, in the process revealing her belief the baby is female. The group leave Lily and Marshall alone to celebrate, as Robin and her mother inadvertently trap themselves on the room’s balcony. Robin’s mother reveals that her brief impression of Barney was nothing like Robin Sr., and insists that her daughter will be fine if she has someone she can truly depend on, which she believes she does.
One year later, Marshall and Lily argue in Italian about his Funyuns, as Lily’s father and Marshall’s mother bring in the children, including baby girl Daisy.
Sigh. It feels entirely too easy to pick on ‘How I Met Your Mother’ by this point, as if attention drawn to any of the series’ ninth season flaws could have any possible impact on the final three episodes, and the series has pulled more than a few arcs out of a nosedive in the past. We knew by the start of the final year that scheduling an entire season to take place over the course of two days would strain narrative credulity a bit, a fact neatly lampshaded by Ted as he recounts the weekend’s events, but “Daisy” seems to be pushing even then.
“How I Met Your Mother’ utilized enough narrative tricks over the course of its nine-year run that we’d inevitably call their bluff now and again, and even the casual fan could likely have guessed that Lily’s smoking wouldn’t provide a weighty enough payoff to justify such an absurdly drawn-out distraction. From the Captain’s apparent presence within driving distance, to a general sense of runtime padding throughout the entire episode, “Daisy” didn’t exactly hide that it had bigger game in mind for the final minutes, though it seems especially questionable that the writing would choose to ignore such lucrative plot points waiting in the wings.
For the first time in the series’ history, we’re finally given to meet Robin’s mother, though the entirety of her suggestion that Barney might share a few qualities with Robin Sr. is handwaved away in mere moments, leaving an even curiouser choice not to feature Ray Wise himself within the story. Not only that, but last week’s “Vesuvius” clearly intended to foreshadow a major plot point for the mother’s future, but doesn’t attempt any further context here, or even any means of incorporating the present character into the action.
Logistical questions of Lily’s drinking through the season, or Marshall’s judgeship and future in Italy aside, at the very least “Daisy” might have intentionally suffered to set up more weighty installments in the coming weeks, as at times it even felt as if the cast had trouble masking their contempt for such a bare-bones installment. The ninth season has proven creatively fertile in a number of respects, and certainly provide a much-needed portrait of the mother herself in a way the original eighth season ending could never have provided, but “Daisy” may yet prove the final year’s driest installment to date, for lack of anything real to add beyond an additional Erickson child we’ll never get to know.
Well, what say you? Did ‘How I Met Your Mother’’s latest installment, “Daisy,” warm your heart to the final season? Does Lily's big news add any additional sentiment to the final season? Give us your thoughts in the comments, and join us again next Monday for another all-new recap of ‘How I Met Your Mother’’s latest episode, “Gary Blauman” on CBS!