When Kate was all deaf in the tree (and we still hadn't seen Jack) I was reminded of when the hatch imploded and Charlie couldn't hear. I actually thought for a little while that Jack alone had crossed universes and was on the plane (like Des going back in time). But then they found Jack.
I do not understand the point of Juliet even being in this episode. It was a big chunk of screen time for seemingly no reason. Everyone believed she was dead, and Sawyer was really mad about. Then they find she's not dead, she's buried in the imploded hatch. So they dig her out, only to have her die and Sawyer's really mad about it. Um... what? This all seems like it exists solely so Miles can hear her ghost say "it worked". And of course that opens a whole can of worms because how does this Juliet know it worked? I do like that Sawyer kept Miles behind specifically to talk to her. That was a nice moment.
It seemed to become clear that the only reason Hurley could see Jacob is because Hurley sees dead people. At first I wondered if Jacob was an apparition like Christian.
I'm glad that the guitar case ended up being important and not just "because Charlie had a guitar case". I wonder why Hurley had it ready in the van, though. Didn't they come to the island like four days ago? And he just left it in the van?
I love the look on Ben's face when he sees the dead John Locke.
Jacob's nemesis seems to now be officially referred to as The Man in Black. Firstly, this reminds me of other character names on X-Files like Red-Haired Man, Well-Manicured Man, Cigarette-Smoking Man. But secondly, I really wonder if this is a blatant homage to Stephen King's The Dark Tower which we now the writers are fans of.
And we got one other mystery sort of answered: apparently the Man in Black IS the Smoke Monster! Knowing it is a being who has a physical form makes a certain amount of sense as to why it appears as other forms. It also clears something up for me that's bothered me for three seasons. It was always presented that the monster and the island were one and the same (i.e. Locke saying he looked the island in the eye and what he saw was beautiful). But in "Further Instructions", the island gives John a vision that he has to save Eko, then shortly after the monster kills Eko. This made no sense to me, but if Jacob is the island and the Man in Black is the monster, this DOES make sense. They are warring parties. ...Of course, none of this explains why the monster seems to emanate from underground vents near the temple, nor why it makes that clanging sound like a subway train. Furthermore, doesn't this mean we were lied to way back in season one, and it's not a security system?
Jin takes Hurley to the hole so that they can bring Sayid to the Temple. When they get there, we can clearly see this wall and everything, which at least in "This Place is Death" was a little more camouflaged. I'm sorry, this is completely wrong. That is absolutely NOT where Montand lost his arm. If it were, then everyone back in season one would have gone "dude, look at the wall!" Montand lost his arm in the "dark territory". I am glad though they put the arm down the hole (I guess it was knocked there over the years), explaining why it wasn't there in season one.
I like the Japanese Other. I also wonder if these guys are always at the Temple. Aren't these the Others you always expected, given their clothing and all? It makes me wonder now why the show ever went with putting the Others in clean clothes in fancy houses in the middle of the island when we still ultimately get shabby Others living in a Temple.
The moment where the guy slices his hand reminds me of a number of Klingon rituals.
Jack doing CPR and Kate trying to stop him mirrors a very similar moment when Jack saved Charlie after he was hanged by Ethan.
I'm glad we saw Cindy, Zack and Emma again. But those poor kids, having to be Others for three years! THEY should have been on the helicopter!
Alright, now that we've established Man in Black as Jacob's nemesis and Smoke Monster, there are a number of things I'm concerned about. The circle of ash is a protective barrier, yes? But wasn't there one around the cabin? Oh, that was broken. Never mind. So it was the Man in Black posing as Jacob in the cabin? Does that make any sense? And if so, why did he say "Help Me"? Was he just trying to mess with John?
There's a moment when the Man in Black mentions Richard had been in chains. This seriously makes me wonder if Richard was on the Black Rock.
I must say, I'm glad Sayid is alive, though I expected it. After the fake-out with Juliet, I knew they wouldn't kill two like that in one episode. It was only a matter of time.
Okay, back to the alternate universe where the plane doesn't crash. I like Bernard's line when he comes back from the bathroom: "I almost died back there". There are a few similar moments of winking to the audience, like when Charlie says "I was supposed to die". And then we got the big reveal: in this universe, the island is underwater! Okay, why is that? Should we be concerned?
I was taken aback when I saw Desmond on the plane. I suppose it makes some sense, since the race around the world was three years ago, and he never crashed on the island. Does this mean he's back with Penny? Did he win the race? What was he doing in Australia?
This is very picky of me, but Sawyer's hair is far too long on the plane from what we saw in the pilot.
This timeline is an interesting look at what everyone's lives might have been like. It's especially curious to see Hurley always having good luck, since the numbers are no longer cursed. ...but wait... He still won the lottery? The only reason he won was because he played the numbers, but if there were no numbers, then he never hears Leonard say them and he never plays them. Or is his win not connected to the numbers at all? It also makes me wonder why he was even in Australia now, but I think his phone conversation implied it was a business deal. "No dude, Outback's just a name. ...You mean it's like the whole outback? That's crazy."
Isn't Charlie in the wrong bathroom on the plane? Wasn't he in a bathroom at the front of the plane in the pilot?
It seems Charlie intentionally tried to choke himself. Why would he do that? Was he just really depressed that DriveShaft were over? At first I hoped he had just OD'd, but that wasn't what happened. And then he was led away in cuffs for having drugs on the plane! Poor Charlie! Good to see Dom again though.
The moment when Jack was asking for a pen to save Charlie was of course reminiscent of the pilot. I wanted Boone to come in with a pen.
And speaking of Boone, it was funny to have him say that if they plane goes down he's sticking with Locke. Remember season one when everyone wanted to stick with Locke?
Locke DID get to go on his walkabout in the wheelchair? I'm sorry, at first I thought this universe was just what would happen with no island. But that had nothing to do with the island. In fact, the only reason he went on the walkabout was because of Abaddon! So what's up with that?
Likewise, I do not understand why Christian's body was not on the plane. Is the body missing, or the whole coffin? We know that it was on the plane the first time. This would mean something happened at the airport. Again, that has nothing to do with crashing on the island. Unless maybe the underwater island stole Christian's body out of the plane. ...Along with Locke's knives. Is that where this is going?
Where did Desmond disappear to on the plane?
I like Jack telling Locke that "nothing's irreversible". That certainly seems to be the theme of the episode, doesn't it?