How I Met Your Mother returned to wasting the viewer’s time with “Daisy.” One may point out that last week’s episode proved everyone’s fear that the entire show had been a waste of time to watch, invest in, talk about with friends in real life and with friends online, review weekly, and so on. One should’ve known we’d been wasting our time four years ago. “Daisy” is the type of HIMYM episode I like least. A simple ‘mystery’ takes the length of the episode to resolve when it could’ve happened within a scene an episode or two ago, and the other story serves as a precursor to the next episode in which that story will be overly and unnecessarily long.
Lily disappeared for several hours after fighting with Marshall. She rode in a black car someplace anonymous and mysterious. The writers didn’t follow her. Marshall worked out the argument with ghost Lily. She returned and quickly assented to remaining in New York City for Marshall’s judgeship. I was content with that. I did not care what changed Lily’s mind. I did not care about not following her wherever she went. No one cares about what I didn’t care about, and the writers cared about where Lily went. So, “Daisy” happened. The mystery of where Lily went in the middle of night is revealed and her decision to stay in New York was revealed.
“Daisy” is marked by two of the shortest first and second acts in the series. The second act break happened two minutes before the clock was a quarter after eight. The HIMYM writers usually put all the fluff in acts one and two so that the third act can have cathartic resolution; however, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas troll the audience using Ted. Marshall angrily heads to the Captain’s place near Farhamption under the suspicion his wife had sex with him. I suppose Marshall thought she felt guilty about her infidelity and decided to stay in NYC because of her guilt. Barney encouraged Marshall’s physically confronting the Captain, which he does, and the Captain reacts cartoonishly, because he’s a cartoon character engaged to a bad punchline. Marshall, after punching his wife’s boss in the mouth, challenges the Captain to a fencing match, still irate by the thought of what he and Lily did in the middle of the Farhampton night.
Meanwhile, Lily learns of her husband’s whereabouts and dreads knowing her secret will be exposed. Ted recalls a series of moments that explains Lily’s strange escape from the Inn. Her behavior while riding with Ted to Farhampton and her chewing gum in the lobby suggested to Ted that she began smoking cigarettes. Lily really dealt with early pregnancy. Her mood in the car was bad because nausea. The drinks Linus brought her throughout the weekend were the non-alcoholic kind. Marshall using Marvin and future children against her as a consolation prize forced her from the room into the nonsensical night. Lily’s decision to buy a pregnancy test and then take it at the Captain’s house was completely unnecessary. The mystery, Ted’s explanation of what Lily did, the whirling montage at the end to show the second child twist had been there all along, was weakened by this very episode. The pieces of the actual story hurt the point of the story, which was the twist. Ted took an obnoxiously long time explaining where Lily went, which seemed like the most overt way of the writers telling its audience, ‘We’re wasting your time now, and we will always waste your time—we’re in syndication!’
The next story to waste our time will be Robin’s wedding day freak-out, which her mother helped start. Tracy Ullman’s turn as Robin’s very English mother was wonderfully joyous. Ullman seemed energetic and excited. I laughed when she was on screen. I never laugh when watching How I Met Your Mother. Robin begins freaking out because Barney and her father lived the same life before marriage. Robin does not wish to marry her father. Robin’s mother, after meeting Barney and hugging him, says, “Oh, he’s nothing like your father.” A one-line resolution to a neurotic Robin story doesn’t work as a resolution. Her mother helped spur her attempt to escape through a window a few hours later.
So, yeah, “Daisy” filled in the blanks. The episode’s time hopped ahead for a tag would make anyone grateful the series won’t extend beyond March.