Who would have thought ''Star Wars'' could bring so much drama?

By Michelle Profis
April 10, 2012 at 04:58 AM EDT
Ron P. Jaffe/CBS
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So, How I Met Your Mother, we meet again. You left us three weeks ago with a cliffhanger saying that Robin and Ted will not speak for a long time, and when you finally return you give us…nothing. Still no more information. Well, okay, you did tell us that in in three years Ted will be married with a baby. But you made us trek through the muddy slew of flashbacks and flash forwards before we got to that. Got your boots on? Let’s go.

8 p.m. Every night. A man emerges from a building, walks seven paces to edge of the sidewalk. He pauses, places his hands on his hips. And smiles. Like clockwork. Rain or shine. Who is this mysterious man? Why does he wear a Cheshire Cat grin? And why does it baffle a spying couple across the street?

The man in question is one Barney Stinson. And the secret behind his routine? He’s passing that good ol’ gas. Lest we forget that he’s living with Quinn now, and EVERYONE knows the cardinal rule between newly minted couples is to keep farting to a minimum. Or at least find me the couple who follows a different set of rules.

But I digress. Barney heads to MacLaren’s to hang with Lily and Robin and gives them the lowdown on living with Quinn. Basically, he ain’t lovin’ it. He has decided that, (I’m rolling my eyes as I write this) despite the fact that Quinn has given up all of her prized possessions because she knows how Barney likes his stuff, she still can’t keep one thing in his apartment — her coffee mugs. Come on, man! A girl likes her coffee!

Good thing he’s got the sage advice of Lily the Wise, who instinctively knows that Barney is poo-pooing the mugs because he doesn’t want to have to buy new ones when the relationship purportedly ends. Barney’s response to Lily’s astuteness was the very obvious, “Here’s the thing, it’s my apartment and I need to assert my dominance as a man.” And Robin took the words right out of my mouth when she forcefully looks Barney in the eye and tells him to never repeat that statement to any girl. But it’s too late. He already said those words to Quinn (who shrieked at him), and when he tells Robin and Lily that he said that, well, they yell at him, too. It’s all too much girl power for Barney so he storms off to go talk to the guys (Ted and Marshall), yet, they also yell at him. Get the point already, Barnabus.

Barney looks to split from the guys (he’s going to the Y for a schvitz), but before he can make his departure, Ted makes an announcement that apparently holds some major weight within the group: It’s Trilogy Time, which consequently sets off a string of mostly pointless flashbacks, flash forwards, and just too many flashes altogether.

NEXT: What exactly is Trilogy Time?

So what is Trilogy Time? It’s a tradition that started in 2000 at Wesleyan University when Marshall and Ted decided to forgo cramming for an econ test (they failed) to watch the Star Wars trilogy. And from that, a pact was made. Every three years, the two will sit down and “tril” it up big time. No matter what. At this point, there was only one thing left to do: Imagine what their lives would be like in… (Disclaimer: A string of confusing real and fake flash forwards follow.)

Fake 2003:  Opens with a newspaper with the headline, “President Gore Signs Historic Bill Into Law.” (The irony!) Ted has long hippie hair and is designing skyscrapers, while Marshall is a successful and mustachioed lawyer, married to a pregnant and black-bobbed Lily, who notably mentions that the trio all share adult-size bunk beds. Enter Robin, err I mean Rhiannon, who wields an electric guitar, dons dreads, and rocks a nose ring. And I doubt I was the only one who noticed the massive sandwich hangin’ out on the table. This, friends, is what Marshall and Ted envision their lives to be like three years after their time at Wesleyan. But we all know that’s not what happened. So they jump to…

Real 2003: Back to familiar territory, Ted plays “Hot Cross Buns” on his guitar, and Marshall, rather than wanting to watch the trilogy, is growing in patchy facial hair and is still a law student wannabe. Barney, on the other hand, is throwing some babe out the door. The guys seem down and disheartened, not in the place they thought they would be next time they gathered for Trilogy Time. So there’s only one thing to do. Imagine where they’ll be three years later when Trilogy Time comes back around. So let us go to…

Fake 2006: A chandelier glistens from the ceiling, classical music plays in the background, a newspaper reads “President Dean Calmly Addresses the Nation,” and a (still) mustachioed Marshall enters, announcing that he’s an environmental lawyer. No, he doesn’t bring in the big dough, but fear not! He lives off the money he made on his historic seven-week run on Wheel of Fortune, which also earned him knighthood. Rhiannon/Robin and Lily are also there, and all four of them mysteriously now fashion a British accent. Except Barney, who’s still kicking the girls out of his apartment. But, you know, back to reality and what life in 2006 was really like…

Real 2006: It’s Trilogy Time again, but in this reality, we revisit the horrific and nightmarish time when Lily and Marshall were broken up. (The sheer terror!) It’s also that time when Robin and Ted were going at it like rabbits. But that was put on the back burner as Ted and Marshall envisage what life will be like the next time the Trilogy would come back around in…

Fake 2009: It’s pretty trippy, guys, and not because there’s a newspaper that says “President Kucinich Kicks Ass, as Expected.” Lily will be back, but married and preggers with some douchey guy named Trey’s baby. Trey’s graphic tee and trucker hat are apparently so potent that even the fetus on Lily’s sonogram is sporting one. Oh, it’s worth mentioning that in fake 2009, Barney’s flavor of the week is named Maya and she has back boobs. Yep. But we all know what happened in real 2009, so let’s get to a flash forward that actually moves this plot along…

NEXT: Things stop getting polite and start getting real…

Real 2009– Trilogy Time in 2009! Lily is back with Marshall, but Robin and Ted are kaput. Ted and Marshall are trying to cue up the movie, but waiting for Robin to start. She’s not there because that was the summer that she and Barney were secretly shtupping under the guise of decoupaging. Since Barney is all artsied-up, Ted and Marshall head to his apartment to watch the trilogy on his big screen TV. What they don’t know is that Robin is hiding under Barney’s iconic Storm Trooper suit, which was oddly bizarre and funny at the same time. Before they gear up the 382-minute saga (any Star Wars geeks out there want to confirm that number?), they ponder where they’ll be in 2012 when they next sit down to watch.  “I’ll be 34 — if it still hasn’t happened for me by then, something is seriously wrong with me,” jokes Ted. The guys all break out in ironic laughter and, in one of the funnier moments of the episode, a laughing Storm Trooper silently and heartily guffaws behind them.

We’re back to the present where Ted (after all the reminiscing) is starting to seriously panic about the lack of progress he has made. And in the most harrowing fake flash forward of them all, Ted envisions himself three years from now, balding, sitting on his couch, and nearly submerged in piles upon piles of newspapers (one of which reads, “America Regrets Giving Bush Surprise 3rd Term”) and empty cans, creepily calling Cobbler Customer Service. He also rings Marshall for Trilogy Time, but Marshall, Lily, Robin and Douchey Guy are all sailing the Cape. Poor guy. Ted also predicts how Barney will continue his random girl streak, but wait! We zoom back to present day Barney to hear him say that he doesn’t want that anymore. He doesn’t want that to be his future. He realizes he wants to be with Quinn.

Barney bursts back into his apartment (reminder that we’re in present day now) and starts throwing his coffee mugs on the floor in front of Quinn. He plans on being with her for a long time, he says, so the coffee mugs must go. The two embrace, a tender moment approaches…and Barney accidentally lets one rip. Yep, they’re a real couple now.

Back over to the bros, Marshall tells Ted that 2015 is going to be his year. The final flash forward is upon us, yet this one is real. Barney, Ted and Marshall settle in for Trilogy Time, except this time Ted is holding a beautiful baby girl. Guys, I mean, it got me. It really did. Also important: Barney was very conspicuously hiding his ring finger. I’m not exaggerating when I say I was physically craning my head around the TV in the bizarre hope that I would be able to see Barney’s hand. One hand we did see, however, was Ted’s, and that boy is sporting some bling on his ring finger. Eureka!

HIMYMers, my initial reaction after watching this episode was one of annoyance that there was little plot progression, but upon reflecting, I admit that it’s growing on me. The final scene alone opens up a timeline rich in dissection and mathematical equation. How old did that baby look? When would Ted’s wife have had to become pregnant? AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHY DIDN’T WE SEE BARNEY’S RING FINGER?!

Deep breath, Michelle. Ok, HIMYMites, grab your notebooks and TI-83s. Let’s theorize in the comments below!

QUOTES OF THE NIGHT: 

Is he trying to communicate with someone? Is he trying to communicate with me? WHY IS HE DOING THIS?! – Random apartment guy

“I’m going to the Y for a schvitz.” – Barney

Barney: Hey guys, this is Maya. You’ll be seeing a lot more of Maya. [Maya leaves] And they never saw her again. WAAZZZAAHHH!

Ted: Okay, seriously? At least tell me you’re going to change the what will by then be 9-year-old beer commercial reference.

Barney: While it’s just us guys, let me ask you something. We’ve all had that same fantasy about having sex with a girl in a storm trooper costumer, right?

Ted and Marshall: No, never.

Barney: Guys, come on. No girls around, just us bros. Safe space.  Let’s stop being polite and start getting real.

“Well you’re very welcome for my comment. Wait, don’t go! Do youuu like cinnamon?” – Ted, on the phone with customer service

Lily: We’re pregnant with baby #5!

Ted: But baby #4 isn’t even out yet?

Marshall: I’m just that good!

Barney: Guys, you’re gonna be seeing a lot more of Quinn.

Marshall: Dude, we’ve been to the Lusty Leopard. We’ve seen plenty.

Barney: I kind of walked into that one…Buh-Bye!

Episode Recaps

Ted, Robin, Barney, Marshall, and Lilly remind us all of the joy of slap bets
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seasons
  • 7
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  • 09/19/05
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