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'How I Met Your Mother' Exclusive First Look: Neil Patrick Harris and Barney's 'lusty endgame'

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This week’s EW features an exclusive First Look at the season premiere of How I Met Your Mother, specifically the awesomeness of Robin (Cobie Smulders) and Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) — wait for it — together in bed. After the two professed their feelings in last spring’s finale, season 5 kicks off with the pair trying to figure out their relationship…but more importantly, doing a lot of making out. “It seemed a dirty, dirty inevitability, a lusty endgame,” says Harris of the bedroom scene. “I will say that now that we don’t have to hide pregnant bellies, we’re gonna show a lot more skin on HIMYM.” (Both Smulders and co-star Alyson Hannigan spent much of last season hiding pregnancies.)

Not that being in a relationship is going to do much to alter Barney’s inherent Barneyism. “He just has so many bad habits as far as strip clubs and shameless flirting goes, I don’t think he’s even contemplated that he would have to curtail any of that,” says Harris. “So that’s an interesting wrinkle. In episode 2, he’s just business as usual — but with a girlfriend. But Barney can’t really exist in business as usual, with a girlfriend. I think the writers have got some good stuff to mine.”

HIMYM co-creator Craig Thomas agrees, saying that although the new season picks up right where the finale left off — with the “cat out of the bag,” so to speak, about the pair’s affair — don’t look for a lot of TV-relationship clichés. “There’s something very fun about two people who are essentially emotionally illiterate,” he says. “They’re different degrees of it — Barney is far worse than Robin in this department. But Robin ain’t so great either. And it’s just very fun to watch these two people pratfall into this relationship. It’s very fun writing a couple that’s as dysfunctional as they are.”

As Harris concludes, “No one wants to lose integrity by having Barney become a different person. Ergo, he won’t become a different person. And we’ll see what happens to that relationship because of it. I think no one wants him to get Mosbyed,” he laughs, referring to the occasionally over-the-top romanticism of HIMYM narrator Ted (Josh Radnor). “Least of all Barney himself.”

For a big, glossy, locker-made copy of this and other first look photos, check out the EW issue on stands now.

Photo Credit: TM & Copyright 2009 Twentieth Century Fox