Tuesday, March 11, 2014

How I Met Your Mother: "Daisy"

Quick Review: A superb episode, finally ending one of this season's long-running plots.

Episode Synopsis: Marshall recruits Ted and Barney to help him to get to the bottom of the mystery of where Lily disappeared to when she bolted in the middle of their argument.  -tvguide

Spoiler Alert. I know, every week I keep telling you that there are spoilers ahead. And that's because these reviews are a lot like Lily - they can't keep a secret. Seriously, if it happens in the episode, there's a good chance this review will say something about it. That's why you don't want to tell this review any of your secrets, because it's going to blab them. It's a great review in many other ways, I've gotten to know them over the past 3 years, but that doesn't mean I trust it not to spoil things for you. So if you have any secrets you feel you have to get off your chest, don't tell it to my review; that information is not safe.

Full Review: Where did Lily go the night she and Marshall had their big fight? Why did she suddenly change her mind about moving to Rome? How has she been drinking constantly without getting roaring drunk? Or alcohol poisoning? Tonight, we finally get a great answer to all of these questions with one startling discovery: Lily is pregnant.

Lily's first pregnancy was no surprise. We knew she'd be pregnant ever since the episode the Manatee Theory, so when we learned the big news, it was expected. This second pregnancy, though, was yet another of the show's long cons. Unlike Barney's Proposal and Bachelor Party, and Robin's rehearsal dinner, though, this one lasted the entire season (or most of it) but was set up from the beginning.

Lily's gum chewing in episode 1 was to hide the fact that she'd been throwing up. Her insistence that she could keep a secret was proved true because of the secret she was carrying. And let's not forget that she's been drinking constantly but hasn't gotten black-out drunk; either she had a high tolerance, or those drinks weren't alcoholic. I did not see it coming until Ted found the pregnancy test in the daisy, and like all good cons, it's obvious in retrospect.

My biggest gripe with the Marshall/Lily plot this season was the quick resolution: Lily changed her mind about moving to Italy. I like that we not only found out what changed her mind, a pretty big life event, but that it was Marshall who changed his mind upon learning the news. This is a man who loves his wife more than anything, and he is willing to give up his dreams to support hers. Especially because his biggest dream, really, is to be a family man like his father. We knew that Marvin Sr. was always devoted to his kids and his wife, and I like that Marshall is doing the same.

I especially like the tag at the end, in which Marshall and Lily, not to mention his mom and her dad, are fluent in Italian. They are one big, happy, weird family over there. It's nice that we get definite proof that Marshall does move to Italy with Lily. Plus, it was a great setup to learn their daughter's name: Daisy.

Ted and Marshall seem to have a tradition: they name their daughters after important inanimate objects. Ted named his daughter Penny, after the lucky penny he found that kept him in New York. (A theory confirmed by the creators.) He must have gotten the idea from Marshall (or Lily) who named their daughter Daisy, after the plant that revealed all. As names go, they could do worse.

Robin also learns that she could do worse, as she and her mother have a heart-to-heart about her father. Over the course of the series, we barely knew anything about Robin's father except that he was exceptionally strict and perpetually disappointed in Robin. Now we learn that he was also a carbon copy of Barney, and each revelation that convinces Robin she is marrying her father might be what prompts her to tell Ted that she can't go through with the wedding. Despite her mother's assurances at the end of the episode, Robin's doubts refuse to subside.

Tracy Ullman was her usual brilliant self, and she was wonderful as Robin's rather insane mother. We see where Robin gets some of her own issues, but clearly not her accent. It's a shame we didn't get more of her before now, but that was always one of the draw's of Robin's character: we knew so little about her past. That made her the perfect character to have an amazing backstory when needed, such as one of the show's best creations: Robin Sparkles.

The boys had themselves a fun plot as well, with a lot of good banter between Ted and Barney especially. It's always good to get more of The Captain. He's now engaged to Becky, everyone's favorite "Boats, boats, boats!" girl, which makes perfect sense since he liked boats. (They're his answer to everything.) We also got more aweseomeness out of William Zabka, whose answer to everything is dirt biking.

It's a shame that we didn't get to spend more time with Zabka, because I think he'd be a great addition to the group. (In fact, I'd love to know that he fills the void left by Marshall and Lily.) He would be like James Van Der Beek in "Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23," playing an exaggerated version of himself and becoming one of the gang.

Sadly we didn't get anything with The Mother, either in the present or future. We're still reeling after last week's bombshell, but if this episode is any indication, we shouldn't automatically assume the worst just yet. We might be in for another big twist; let's just hope it's not the twist of a dagger in our hearts.

This fantastic episode was not only funny, but it answered many of my issues with this season and resolved a long-running storyline very well. It wasn't a cheap ending nor a cop-out, and I'm impressed with the resolution. As I've said previously, this final run of episodes has been fantastic, and a great justification for this ninth season. It really has saved the show's legacy.

It's still hard to believe that we're just three weeks away from this show's final resolution. If this last run of episodes are any indication, it's going to be good.

Episode Breakdown

Best Psychic: Linus - how else would he know to show up at the door with Lily's drink

Worst Idea: Dueling the Captain

Best Late Night Activity: Dirt-biking

Best Detectives: The Mosby Boys (and I thought we agreed we weren't going to do that anymore.)


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