I think they originally planned to have just 10 episodes this season, but after Adult Swim bumped it to 16 they broke it into halves. (Or it sounds better to say it's one season of sixteen than to say it's one season of eight followed by another season of eight. Or it'll sell more DVDs. I can't seem to find the quote at the moment)
Whatever the situation, new episodes can't come soon enough.
No-one's arguing emotional subtexts. I'm arguing that the line was poorly placed and it kinda dulled the impact. Instead of being in keeping with what was going on at the time it felt shoehorned in for the sake of the "cult following".