When you think about it, this episode mostly served as filler - filling in the gaps in storyline that a lot of us had theorized, but had no confirmation for, over the course of this season and last. We learned that Tom is gay (in a totally unnecessary and weird scene), that Michael was indeed Ben's man on the boat (and how he communicated with Ben on the Island), and that Michael made it back to the real world before setting off on the Frieghter. Aside from the shocker ending, it was pretty much 95% flashback filler without any huge reveals.
So what is there to discuss?
- For starters, who killed Karl and CFL (maybe) at the end of the episode? Weren't we promised a CFL flashback by the writers seasons ago? Will that now be told through an "Island flashback" or something? Or is CFL not really dead? Smart money is on Frank taking a group of Freightors to the Island (remember how he was on a "mission" last episode?), which ties into the scene of the Freightors taking target practice during the flashback. Frank likely had no idea what the mission was, but this means there are Freightors on the Island, and they're looking to kill some Others.
- The Oceanic Six = Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sayid, Sun, and Aaron (at least per the episode preview at the end). I guess I'll allow this for now, mostly since I've been drinking all day.
- The Island doesn't let you die until it wants you to die... does that mean that Tom and the other Others who died at the end of last season had already completed their "missions"?
- The writers creatively sidestepped the whole "warp zone" subject matter by starting with Michael back in New York, but it clearly happened based on the timeline of this episode. That's the only way to allow Michael to return back to the "real world" two months after he disappeared (per his mom) since he left the Island roughly two months after the crash. Even still, the timeline is really tight - Michael was gone for two months... which means it was November 22 when he returned to NYC - then got on the boat and spent about a month there leading up to present Island time, which is about December 28. But it would still work enough that we just have to deal with Funky Space, not Funky Time.
- Walt is not on the Island. The aging of Walt will NOT be an issue, as he should only appear in flashforwards from here on out.
- Ben (and the Others) are really the good guys. My theory from the start stands! Widmore planted the Fake Crash Site, he's the one who will ruthlessly kill, and he's the one who wants to exploit the Island.
Okay - it might be a bit before my full analysis, but those are my initial thoughts. Back to basketball.