We needed a beat to get to the next part of the story... which will get us closer to current time for the comic.
Doing a comic that I try to have things more or less line up in the same amount of real life time as the comic has is difficult when there's months of strips that take place on a single night or over a few days-- let alone adding in delays. So there's a time skip every once and awhile to make up for it.
There's been a short one at the start of this arc and we're experiencing some things currently that are effectively in the past still...
I'm working up to the events we saw in the epilogue of the last arc... i.e.: bearded George, but for it to make sense (at least in my weird brain) I needed to go back and tell this story.