How I Met Your Mother Boss Talks Time-Jumping Episode, Barney/Robin/Ted Triangle

How I Met Your MotherHow I Met Your Mother is getting ready to serve up one of its time-trippiest episodes yet this Monday (8/7c, CBS). The hour will feature “a lot of flashbacks and flash-forwards,” executive producer Carter Bays promises TVLine.

Here’s the conceit: As part of their every-three-years tradition, pals Ted, Marshall and Barney embark on “trilogy time,” a get-together during which they watch the Star Wars saga – it’s only Ted’s favorite movie ever – and speculate about what their lives will be like in another 36 months.

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“The premise of it is how, throughout life, you’re always imagining what things are going to be like down the road,” explains Bays, “and you never quite guess correctly.”

Naturally as the characters do their guesstimating, the show will employ some crafty storytelling as it travels through time. “It’s a little more [of a] conceptual episode,” says the boss. “It tells its story in a slightly different time frame.” And judging from this statement, we might be seeing the gang in some particularly interesting incarnations: “The actors all get a chance to stretch themselves a little bit.”

Of course, former cad Barney need only look to the present to see how far he’s come: The episode marks his official move-in date with girlfriend Quinn (guest star Becki Newton). And, though Bays insists “they are very happy as a couple,” there have to be some challenges ahead following such a short courtship, right? “There’s always stumbling blocks,” he replies. “That’s what makes it a good story. But I can’t say anything more than that.”

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Meanwhile, don’t close the book just yet on Robin and Barney – or even Robin and Ted! The currently single gal has been dealing with Barney’s new romance remarkably well, because she “wants the best for [him].” But, while her intentions might be noble, there’s still the “lingering question” of her feelings for her old flame.

As for her other ex, Ted, she may not have reciprocated his confession of love, but a relationship between them is still “always on the table,” teases Bays. “It’s a love triangle. As long as they’re all in each other’s worlds, there’s always going to be that tension between these three characters. It’ll take something big happening for that to go away.”