On tonight’s How I Met Your Mother season 9, episode 20, “Daisy,” we are reassured that Marshall and Lily have one of the strongest television marriages around.
The episode opens with the focus on Robin’s mother. However, it quickly spirals into a different meaning. Perhaps you saw it coming, perhaps HIMYM still keeps you on your toes, but either way it was a heartfelt episode that reminds us some marriages are together till the end.
Is Robin marrying her father?
There are three hours before the ceremony and Robin, her mother, and Lily are discussing Robin’s parents’ failed marriage. However, the more her mom details the red flags that should have tipped her off that Robin’s father was not husband material, the more freaked out Robin becomes. Perfectly reasonable, considering how similar their relationship sounds to Barney and hers – the perennial womanizer and the ‘girl who is a friend’ laughs at his scandalous stories for years before eventually falling in love. Textbook love story!
Not to mention, her dad disappeared for three hours on her parent’s wedding day, claiming he has to teach someone some manners. This means when Lily calls to find out where the men are (more on that in a second) and Barney relays that exact info, Robin’s fears get sent into a tailspin.
When Barney finally reunites with his bride and her mother, he rushes to hug her. Robin’s mom happily claims, “He’s a hugger – nothing like your dad.” We see the relief rush over Robin and all is well. They just have to make it down the aisle.
Sailing into the Captain’s quarters
Marshall, Ted, Barney, Ranjit and Billy Zabka are enjoying a nice brunch when Marshall fixates on figuring out where Lily went during their fight and what changed her mind about staying in New York.
It’s the villain Billy Zabka to the rescue! He saw Lily at the convenience store, miles away from the Inn, exit with a bag and enter a car. It’s when Marshall narrows his eyes and asks what the license plate said – Ahoy – that we realize the Captain has returned! Lily may have been working for him for a couple of seasons now, but without an appearance, we kind of forgot he was a part of these people’s lives.
The men jump to the conclusion that the Captain and Lily had some kind of affair that is ridiculous in its own right, and Marshall is seething with rage.
Marshall is acting irrationally! Surprise! Doesn’t he always when it comes to Lily? Though, because it’s a testament of their marriage, we’ll allow his ridiculous behavior.
Barney asks if Marshall wants to go the Captain’s, punch him, and then return to the Inn for the wedding. Because that’s a perfectly reasonable wedding day activity, they just have to teach someone some manners.
But the Captain assures Marshall that nothing happened between Lily and him. Why? He’s engaged to ‘Boats Boats Boats’ girl! Yet another woman he and Ted have, well, shared.
Marshall may believe the Captain, but he sees the swords hanging on the wall and simply cannot resist challenging him to a duel. Never mind the fact he’s a three-time gold winning Olympian. Does that mean we should refer to him as gold-winning Olympian Captain George Van Smoot? Because that is a mouthful and yet entirely fitting of this lovably pompous character.
But this all leads up to the real plot of ‘Daisy':
What did Lily buy and why did she only visit the Captain just to use the bathroom for an inordinately long time? Well, she has been separated from Marshall for an extended time. As Ted points out, once she is separated from him long enough, she takes up smoking to calm herself. It also explains her touchy mood this wedding weekend.
Ever since he left with baby Marvin to visit his mom (earlier in the week, we presume) Lily has been sneaking smokes on the fire escape of the apartment, in the bathroom of the train, and tonight, during her fight with Marshall. But where’s the proof? Well, eco-conscious Lily wouldn’t throw the cigarette butt out the window, or in the trash, or in the toilet. She’d put it in the potted daisy flower to allow it to decompose into the dirt.
Or so we think!
If you’re like us, you caught on pretty early that Ted’s story, while plausible, was a bit too suspicious. So when Ted stabs his hand into the plant, expecting to pull out the cigarette, we weren’t that surprised when it was a pregnancy test instead. A positive pregnancy test.
Suddenly, that smoking session in the train’s bathroom becomes evidence of morning (or motion) sickness. She chews gum to hide the smell of vomit, not cigarette. And she runs out on Marshall during their fight to take a test and once and for all see if she’s expecting baby number two.
Also: all the drinks Linus has been providing her throughout the weekend have been non-alcoholic, which was a bit of a red herring throughout the entire season that threw viewers off this potential path.
Marshall declares that they will be going to Rome to fulfill Lily’s dreams, even if their eventual daughter will be born there.
Flash-forward a year, and Marshall, Lily, Marvin, baby Daisy and Lily’s dad and Marshall’s mom are in Italy, impressively fluent in Italian.