[SPOILERS for those not caught up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ahead.]
Season 4 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been unlike any previous season. The show spent the entire first half of the season introducing Ghost Rider to great reception, and now has completely flipped their focus to Life Model Decoys and the plot that Dr. Radcliffe and Aida have imagined. The inclusion of LMDs has been a long time coming for the series, with showrunners Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen having indicated they've been wanting to explore this storyline for some time. Long before Aida was created however, fans already thought that LMDs could be present on the show in the form of Patton Oswalt.
Oswalt appeared in each of the first two seasons of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as one of the possible thirteen Koenig brothers. He has so far portrayed Eric, Billy, and Sam to equal likeness and personality, leading fans to speculate that the Koenig "family" is really the first line of LMDs. After not appearing in season 3, the Koenig family is coming back and will finally reveal the secret to their lineage.
EW is exclusively reporting that Oswalt will reprise his role as Billy and Sam Koenig in an upcoming episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. titled "Hot Potato Soup". Oswalt's return will air on January 31st and will focus on the Koenigs getting involved with a quest to get the Darkhold, bringing Coulson and his team back into contact with the former agents. Not only will they be involved in the story, but Whedon and Tancharoen say they will finally reveal the family secret. EW has also been able to reveal a photo from Oswalt's return, seen below:
For fans that have stuck with S.H.I.E.L.D. since the early days, the return of Oswalt is long over due. The Koenig brothers are hardly necessities for every episode, but Oswalt is a welcomed presence every time and turned the characters into fan-favorite supporting players. By the looks of the picture and their lack of appearances recently, the Koenigs may have left S.H.I.E.L.D. entirely and since took on a life as a singer, or more fittingly a stand-up comic (further blurring the lines between Oswalt and his characters).
With LMDs being the primary focus for the foreseeable future, it is fitting that this is when S.H.I.E.L.D. would bring the Koenigs back. The mystery of their family is one of the biggest lingering questions that the show has created, so it will be interesting to see if they are in fact the first LMDs and take that title away from Aida. In either instance, this should at the very least provide for a fun episode thanks to Oswalt's sense of humor - though it could also turn out to be an incredibly important episode that change the perception of these characters from seasons past.
Agents of SHIELD season 4 continues Tuesday, January 17 with “The Patriot” at 10:00 pm on ABC.