Brian's Two Word Review: Too easy.
Even without my episode preview, I have to think that 75% of the viewing audience saw the "surprise ending" coming a mile away. From the start of the episode they started dropping hints about Kate and Aaron, and by the time the ending rolled around it was pretty obvious that the final scene of the episode would be Kate saying his name.
Having said that, it was a pretty nice repreive from the past two weeks and their mind-blending finales that left our collective heads spinning... and continuing in the pedal-to-the-floor mentality of this season, we still had a TON of developments.
Miles. Quite simply, he's in it for the money. He's working for a rich and powerful company who is hell-bent on finding Ben (and most likely the secrets he has about the Island), but Miles could care less about Ben, the Island, or the secrets. It makes you wonder what alterior motives the other Freightors have...
Faraday. One of the most puzzling scenes of the episode involved the game of Memory between Faraday and Charlotte. So - Faraday is losing his memory ever since he's been on the Island? He's clearly some weirdly genius science guy - but he can't remember three cards? Is this the funky electromagnetism wrecking havoc? Why isn't anyone else affected by this?
Most importantly, WHY IS HE SHOWING UP IN DESMOND'S FLASHBACK/FORWARD as we saw in the episode preview for next week?! I have a sneaking suspicion we're going to have another trippy "what the hell is going on" episode with Desmond next week where we have no idea if it's a flashback, a flashforward, time traveling, or an alternate future (actually, we can now firmly scratch that last concept out - thankfully - check out this article: http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20179125,00.html )
Four Years. Speaking of timeing, Kate's mom confirmed that it had been four years between the crash and the trial. Since you have to assume the trial would have happened immediately after the return of the Oceanic Six, that puts their return around September 2008. Since Jack is still all normal and clean-cut at this time, that probably puts the crazy bearded Jack flashforward at least a year later... something tells me that when Lost wraps up in 2010, the show is going to be in 2010 as well - meaning it kept up with the passage of time throughout its existence, making it (unbelievably) taking place is "present day" for a span of six years.
This also puts Aaron at about five years old during the Season Three finale scene - making him old enough to be aware that his mom was gone... explaining Kate's "he'll be wondering where I am" comment. Hooray for no Sawyer / Hurley / Ben marriage!
Aaron. So do we now count Aaron as a member of the Oceanic Six? After all, the previews for this episode sorta promised that the next member would be revealed... but I think most of us thought he wouldn't count since he wasn't born when Flight 815 crashed. If Kate's trying to protect his identity by passing him off as her own (which is up for debate), she would probably tell people he was conceived on the Island - making him a non-member of the Oceanic Crew. But if he is included, that means we've only got one slot left.
Claire. And it isn't for Claire. I don't know how or why, but Claire clearly heads for the big outback in the sky before the rescue of the Oceanic Six... and however it happened, it seems like Jack was somewhat responsible (or could have prevented it) based on how afraid he was to see Aaron. You'd also assume at this point, he knows that Claire was his pseudo-sister, and Aaron is his pseudo-nephew, which probably makes the pain all the worse.
Island. There were two HUGE bombshells during Jack's testimony, with the first being the admission that the Oceanic Six were stranded on a desert Island. However, since Jack is clearly unable to return to the Island, I'm guessing Lost Island hasn't become a tourist attraction yet - but how? I'm guessing that the Oceanic Six were taken to some "fake Island" in the general area before they were rescued, and it came complete with fake makeshift shelters and signs that they had "lived" there for a few months... all part of the massive plot to keep the Island secret.
Oceanic Eight. Last but certainly not least, did you catch Jack mention that "only eight of us survived the crash", but "two died in the water"? Why mention this? Wouldn't it be a lot cleaner to just say "only six of us survived the crash"? This might have just been a detail to make the story more plausible (and it's clear that the Oceanic Six have all practiced this story extensively!), but it might also mean that the Oceanic Six come back with two bodies - perhaps casualties of their escape, perhaps bodies that they felt needed a proper burial or return to their families... but it confirms that even though six of our Survivors make it back to the "real world", it's not as though all the rest are just hanging out on the Island... at least two more are going to die.
Phew. I might not even need an analysis after all that.