SPOILERS AHEAD, so proceed with caution, you Mother lovers!
Season Nine, Episode 20: “Daisy”
Written by Carter Bays & Craig Thomas; Directed by Pamela Fryman
As we creep and crawl to the series finale at the end of the month, HIMYM spends another week stalling, distracting, and answering questions we had already forgotten we’d asked. All of which is pretty on par for how this season has been going, except now it feels far less fun and far more tedious. I can’t believe there are still two more episodes before the hour-long finale.
Sunday 2 p.m., four hours before the wedding.
The boys — Ted, Marshall, Barney, Ranjit, Billy Zabka — are all enjoying lunch together when Marshall brings up his unease with becoming a judge. He feels bad about squashing Lily’s dream to move to Italy, and he’s also uneasy with how quickly she came around to his side. Zabka asks when their fight was, revealing that he saw her leaving the E-Z Pick with a plastic bag and hopping into a black car with the license plate “AHOY!!!” The car must belong to The Captain (Lily’s boss played by Kyle MacLachlan), who happens to have a house out there.
Robin’s mother (Tracey Ullman) has arrived at the wedding. She flew in despite her fear of flying and had a major freak out on the plane (shown in the unfunny opening). She is eager to meet Barney, but he is preoccupied with stuffing saltines in his face in possibly his lamest challenge yet. Robin is surprised that he chose now to do the saltine challenge, but Lily dismisses it as just something random that grooms will do on their wedding day. Robin’s mother says her husband did the same thing on their wedding day, disappearing for three hours after merely saying, “I’ve got to go teach somebody some manners.” He showed up with a dead elk slung over his shoulder.
Marshall is unnerved by Lily’s late night jaunt to The Captain’s manor. Barney suggests that they may have slept together, as absurd as that would be. He then suggests that they drive over to The Captain’s so Marshall can punch him in the face. He then calls Robin to tell her he can’t meet her mother just yet because he’s got to “teach someone some manners.” A disconcerted Robin turns to the ladies and asks, “Are there any elk on Long Island?”
At The Captain’s manor, he is greeting his staff with an awkward good morning song when the doorbell interrupts him. When he opens the door, Marshall punches him in the face. Marshall tells him the punch was for sleeping with his wife, but The Captain reveals that he’s actually engaged to “Boats! Boats! Boats!” (Laura Bell Bundy). (Aside: How weird is it that Ted and The Captain have now shared two different women?) The Captain tells Marshall that Lily called him at 3 a.m. needing to get away. He sent her a car, and, when she arrived, she holed up in the powder room for a long time. When she emerged she jutted right out of the manor. Nothing untoward happened at all.
Robin is worried about what Barney may be up to, but her mother tries to assuage her fears by telling her about how much worse Robin’s father was. Apparently, before he was engaged to her, Robin’s mother, he was engaged to an exotic dancer. He also always took his mother’s side in an argument, never checked with her before making plans, and she didn’t even know what he did for a job for the first 10 years she knew him. Sound familiar? Yep, apparently Robin is about to marry a man just like her father. This makes Robin even more anxious, afraid that her marriage, too, will end in a divorce. Lily is upset as well, sucking down her drink, and Linus shows up with a refill.
Marshall increasingly acts irrationally, challenging The Captain to a duel with the swords above the fireplace. When he learns The Captain was a professional fencer, he begins to regret his challenge. Lily calls up Barney, desperate for him to return and shut up Robin’s mother, who is giving Robin so many doubts. Barney tells her they’re at The Captain’s, and her spirits sink when she realizes she’s busted.
Ted remembers some random moments from earlier in the season when Lily blathered on about keeping a secret and when she chomped on a piece of gum. Suddenly, Detective Mosby has solved the mystery! He dramatically builds the suspense for everyone before revealing the secret. He guesses that there is a potted plant in the powder room and has The Captain retrieve it — a daisy. Ted then reveals that Lily did what she always does when away from Marshall –smoke. She picked up the habit right after he left and has spent the weekend kicking the habit.
Her smoking would explain why she was so irritable on Ted’s car ride, escaping to the train so she could squeeze in another cigarette. She was chewing gum when she got to the Inn to mask the smell. She paid Linus for the Kennedy package to keep her distracted from her nicotine habit. After the fight, she really needed one more cigarette, but she was out of them. So she went to the E-Z Pick for a pack of cigarettes and then smoked one in his powder room. She then shoved the evidence in the plant, where it would decompose naturally. Ted shoves his hand into the pot and pulls out…a pregnancy test!
Lily wasn’t smoking on the train — she was vomiting from morning sickness. When she got the Kennedy package, she asked Linus to make her non-alcoholic drinks as a safety precaution (which explains how she could consume so many without blacking out from alcohol poisoning), waiting to take a pregnancy test till after the wedding. But when she had her fight with Marshall, she had to know if she was pregnant or not. And, upon learning that she was, Lily returned to Marshall, content to stay in New York and raise a family with Marshall.
Marshall rushes back to the Inn to talk with Lily. He’s decided that they will go to Rome after all. She can fulfill her dream because she’s already giving him his dream, again. Once more, they’re the happiest couple in the world.
Barney meet Robin’s mother and gives her a big hug, winning her over just like that. As Marshall and Lily consummate their new arrangement, Robin and her mother hide on the balcony. She gives Robin a little pep talk, saying that for every bad marriage like hers there’s a strong, beautiful one like Marshall & Lily’s. Getting married is like flying, she says, because it may freak you out at take off but it will be exhilarating when you’re actually in the air.
The couples are in danger, yet again. Marshall is suspicious of Lily, and Robin is getting cold fee t —just when we thought we’d gotten past all these relationship bumps. The reveal of Lily’s secret felt far more extravagant than was necessary (mostly because I forgot there was a secret to be revealed), but I guess the writers didn’t have much else to do for their final 24 episodes. Robin’s marriage fears seemed like the only way to keep her in the episode, making her mother and her random British accent all the more infuriating and useless. This season had some ups and downs, but I’m now ready for it all to be over.
Now for some random thoughts and my favorite moments of the night…
No funny lines in this week’s episode, unless you count this one:
Marshall as Ted begins to reveal Lily’s secret: “This is going to be unbearable.” (He could actually be referring to the season itself.)
When we saw Lily walk out of E-Z Pick with a plastic bag, how many of you guessed it was a pregnancy test? So obvious, right?
In the tag ending, we jump ahead one year to Rome, where Marshall and Lily fuss over Funyuns in Italian. Lily’s father and Marshall’s mother are there, enjoying Italy and their grandkids, I presume. The newest addition to their clan is little baby Daisy.
What are the odds HIMYM will pull a Will & Grace and have one of Marshall & Lily’s kids get together with one of Ted’s?