Stella's not out of Ted's life just yet.

Just when you thought she was out ... they pull her back in.

Sarah Chalke's Stella resurfaced at the end of CBS' How I Met Your Mother this week, and at a most interesting moment. Throughout the entire episode, Narrator Ted had set the stage for an encounter which, had it hot happened, his kids wouldn't be here today.

Now, mind Adult Ted's words carefully: Never did he tell his kids that this latest story — in which food poisoning, Barney's 200th conquest and an intervention all led his younger self to this run-in — was about meeting their mother. After all, Ted has already met (and dated, and gotten engaged to, and been left at the altar by) Stella.

So, might this reunion beneath the tell-tale yellow umbrella instead kick off a new chain of events leading Ted to actually meet the Mother? CBS confirmed Tuesday that Chalke will guest-star in the next episode, as will Jason Jones, who in previous episodes has played Stella's babydaddy, Tony.

The plot summary: "An old acquaintance who feels he's ruined Ted's life" — Tony, let's presume — "insists on helping him find a job."

Maybe that job opportunity brings Ted and his true love together? All a CBS rep will say is, "Stella plays a very important part in Ted's future."

Then again, maybe the bigger question on HIMYM fans' minds is: When will CBS give the show a Season 5 pick-up?