The latest episode of Haruhi brings the start of a new and much anticipated arc, The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya / 涼宮ハルヒの溜息 (- no Tameiki), originally expected by many to air much earlier in the second season’s schedule until the looping of the Endless Eight became evident.
The episode is clearly marked as “Part I”, so a continuation is obvious, putting into some confusion where exactly the few unaired episodes from the first season will be shown in the reportedly 28-episode long broadcast.
Aside from the obvious fan relief to see another multi-part arc commence, sharp eyed 2ch-goers did note one likely in–studio reference from KyoAni: these seemingly Mio and Yui lookalikes in the train near the end of the episode:
Many comments regarding the significant resemblance between the character designs used for the new Haruhi episodes and that used for K-ON! are also circling about, perhaps making this cameo all the more fitting.
Some other screencaps from the episode: