Way back in December of 2017, Derick Dillard was fired from Counting On after directing a transphobic Twitter rant at fellow TLC star Jazz Jennings.
In a surprise move, Derick's wife, Jill Duggar, decided to quit the show in a gesture of solidarity.
On this week's episode, however, fans were surprised to find that Jill made a cameo on the series -- albeit a rather brief one.
This development was especially surprising in the wake of Derick's recent comments about the network that made his in-laws famous.
So did all that trash talk pay off? Will Dillard be the next to return to television?
Here's what we know about the situation thus far:
The Comeback Kid?
It's been almost two years since Derick Dillard was fired from Counting On. And by most indications, viewers haven't missed him much.
A Quiet Exit
Viewership numbers have held steady in the weeks years since Derick's dismissal, and there was no major outcry on social media.
The Real Victim
In fact, it seems like the only person who was negatively affected by Derick's exit from the show was Derick himself. These days, he's paying the bills as a Grubhub delivery driver.
Trimming the Fat
Actually, we suppose the entire Dillard clan was affected by TLC's personnel decision.
After all, Jill made the short-sighted decision to quit the show in a misguided gesture of loyalty. As a result, her household quickly went from two incomes to zero.
Little Income Coming In
These days, Derick is attending law school between his Grubhub shifts, so while their might be a nice salary in his future, it'll be several years before he gets a hold of that particular carrot.
An ACTUAL Job!
Derick HAD a good job working as an accountant for Wal-Mart, but he quit in order to chase those sweet reality TV dollars.
Unfortunately, it seems that gig wasn't quite as lucrative as he was anticipating.
A Raw Deal?
Derick now claims that he didn't make all that much money during his time on TLC, because Jim Bob does all the negotiating on the family's behalf -- and he keeps most of the cash earned by his kids and their spouses.
Of course, it seems that Derick is taking a revisionist view of the past, as he also claims he wasn't fired and that TLC "begged" him to continue making the show.
An Open Dialogue
As you can see, Derick has recently taken a keen interest interacting with his fans on social media.
Asking the Tough Questions
That trend continued this week when Jill appeared on Counting On, and fans questioned Derick on whether or not he would be following suit.
The Direct Approach
“On the latest episode we saw Jill,” one fan tweeted. “It was nice to see her. Is there a chance in between your studies you and Jill will be seen? Hope you find answers soon and are doing well. I pray your school studies are going well.”
An Evasive Answer
To the surprise of many fans, Derick dodged the question and replied to the tweet with a simple "Thank you."
Ya Never Know With This Guy
Following several weeks in which Derick gave long, thoughtful replies to most tweets asking about his relationship with TLC, the non-answer came as something of a surprise.
Letting It Slip
The evasiveness has led many to the conclusion that Derick has a secret -- he's planning to return to TLC.
Jumping to Conclusions
Obviously, that seems like quite a stretch. Especially since there are other good reasons why he may have chosen not to answer the question directly.
1. He Might Be HOPING to Get Re-Hired
For starters, it's possible that Jill's return to the network has offered Derick some hope that he might get a second chance, as well.
Obviously, he's a prideful guy, but raising two kids is a pricey venture, and despite what Derick claims, we're sure TLC pays better than Grubhub.
2. He Doesn't Want to Ruin Jill's Deal
Hey, at least one of Dillards is back to earning those big reality TV bucks. Derick might be worried that if he continues lashing out at the network, they'll retaliate by firing his wife.
Now That You Mention It ...
If we were vulnerable to believing in conspiracy theories, we might even suggest that TLC might have re-hired Jill in order to shut Derick up.
3. Derick Is Preparing to Tell All
Derick recently revealed that he's planning to write a tell-all memoir about his time with the Duggar clan.
Perhaps he's concerned that if he spills all the tea on Twitter, he won't have anything left for his future bestseller?
The Mystery Remains
We're not sure, but there's no denying that Derick's latest tweet is decidedly out of character.
More to Come ...
And you can be sure Counting On fans will continue to speculate about its meaning (and read way too much into it).