Don’t call it a love triangle just yet.
The final moments of Monday’s How I Met Your Mother could have been interpreted many ways. As Victoria boarded a bus out of Ted’s life, she left him with parting words, “There is a reason it didn’t work out between you and me. It’s Robin. She’s so much bigger in your world than you realize.”
Your post-episode confusion is exactly what creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas intended.
“We chose our words carefully as we always do, and it’s all right there,” Bays tells EW exclusively. “Obviously we’re not telling the whole story right away because there’s still a lot of story left, but I think Robin had always been an integral part in Ted’s life. If you look at all the moments that he’s kind of come close with girls, Robin has always kind of been there at the moment where it fell apart. If you look at him and Zoe, if you look at him and Stella, it’s definitely a monkey on his back that he needs to figure out how to move past, or, not move past.”
But that’s not something fans will see right away. Bays says just like the audience, it will take Ted some time to figure out the truth behind Victoria’s words. “As we left it, the narrator is very much aware that Robin will become an issue for him, specifically for him and Barney, and that triangle will not work out. But Ted has not internalized this yet. He laughed it off, if you remember, when Victoria told him that. So it’s not like next episode is going to be Ted asking Robin out. It’s a little more complicated than that.”
How complicated? For one, Bays says those worried the show will be revisiting the Barney-Robin-Ted love triangle should prepare for twists. “It’s not as clear cut as that, and there will be some other elements,” he says. “The way we’ve been talking about it, there is this central triangle between Ted, Barney, and Robin that’s always been there…and it will start rising to the surface.” But, he warns, “it will end up not being a triangle so much as some other geometrical shape. A square or a pentagon. Or it could be a pentagram – a love pentagram between Ted and Robin and Barney and their dark lord Satan.”
But this is not something fans will see in the next episode, which Bays says is more about Robin and Barney. “This is where I don’t want people to get frustrated. Where we left of is Ted, Robin, and Barney just goofing around having fun at the bar. I feel like is setting a fuse that may take a few episodes to explode, we’ll put it that way.”
(Benjamin Wood contributed to this report)
How I Met Your Mother fans, follow Sandra on Twitter for a weekly take on the show: @EWSandraG