Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is wrapping up after its seventh and final season, and the Season 6 finale twist guarantees that the good guys have an uphill battle ahead of them. In the sixth season finale, the team wound up traveling back in time and landing in 1930s New York. By throwing time travel into the mix without requiring unreliable monoliths, S.H.I.E.L.D. could theoretically bring back pretty much anybody. Not a whole lot is known about Season 7 at this point, but one surprising actor revealed he'll be back: Patrick Warburton.
Patrick Warburton revealed he'll be back on S.H.I.E.L.D. in Season 7 at a Dublin Comic Con (via ComicBookMovie.com), saying this when asked if the time travel element opened the door for his return:
Yeah I'm coming back. I shot some stuff recently with those guys. That was a lot of fun.
Patrick Warburton appeared in two episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 as General Rick Stoner. He didn't appear in the flesh, though, but rather via hologram messages recorded back in the 1970s. Part of the armed forces and S.H.I.E.L.D., Stoner was partly responsible for the construction of the Lighthouse with Project Reclamation.
So, how will Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. bring back Rick Stoner in Season 7? There are two obvious options. It's entirely possible that Stoner recorded more hologram messages than the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents discovered back when they held the Lighthouse, and the Lighthouse was captured by the Chronicoms in the Season 6 finale. Maybe the Chronicoms could stumble on some Rick Stoner messages, bringing Patrick Warburton back to record messages.
That said, Patrick Warburton did say that he'd shot some stuff "with those guys," and that makes it sound like he was actually interacting with the cast rather than just filming messages. Besides, would Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. really give the good guys a time machine, bring back Patrick Warburton, and not have it happen in the 1970s?
The agents could be jumping around in time quite a bit in Season 7, and they have every motivation to find out what went into the construction of the Lighthouse. It would both make sense and be fun to see them interacting with Rick Stoner. I'm definitely leaning more towards a Stoner in the flesh rather than Stoner via hologram.
And if S.H.I.E.L.D. is willing to revisit one character in the past, why not others? Specifically, why not Peggy Carter?
Although Peggy debuted on the big screen of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, she was fleshed out on the small screen with the fun but sadly short-lived Agent Carter series. Hayley Atwell has appeared on S.H.I.E.L.D., and Peggy is one of the founders of S.H.I.E.L.D. itself. Bring back Peggy Carter as well as Rick Stoner!
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. already finished filming the final season, so it's now a waiting game to find out who does or does not return before the final credits roll.