Well after taking a couple of episodes out, I knew I had to swipe the blog for this one. We'd been anticipating it for weeks, ever since that pic of the Flame logo emerged, and I gotta say I think it delivered. This episode actually answered a few questions as well as making them for the first time this year!
As with all Season 3 I feel like flashbacks are on the back-burner to realtime plot development, but I did really enjoy this one. Of course, the thing that got me and probably many others was the end - whether or not Sayid did actually torture the woman. Did he lie and then admit cause he thought he was dea anyway, or did he simply lie and say he did it to let the woman move on with her life. I'd like to believe the latter, but either is possible. Its one of those things I don't think will ever be answered, and in a way that's why I like some of the Lost storylines (reminiscent of Every Man For Himself whether or not Sawyer actually willingly let himself be conned by Cassidy to make her feel better).
So, to the main island, let's get the comic relief beach scenes out the way, I loved Sawyer's involvement here, asking who Nikki was possibly a shout-out to fans. Also, is it just me or is he more nickname-y than ever? Last episode I felt like every line he was using a pop culture reference. Maybe the writers missed his wit against Hurley/Charlie so much they're using it overtime now?
Anyway, to the main reason we're all here... the Flame station! The whole thing was sheer excitement. I firstly noted the usual Rousseau "I have never been here before" - 16 years and she knows nothing about the Island apart from where her team actually went before she killed em, whereas two months down the line, the Lostaways have themselves seen nearly all the DHARMA stations (or so I'm assuming...) . But interesting she tries to avoid confrontation, explains in part how she knew the Others controlled the radio tower yet had never seen them - she wanted to avoid them.
Now to Mr.Patch - his information was very interesting before we realise he's an Other. So DHARMA came to the Island at which point the Others were still actually there. DHARMA and the Others for some reason waged war on each other (maybe cause of kidnappings?), resulting in DHARMA trying to "purge" the Others, presumably from the Island. The Others evidently responded and defeated DHARMA, killing them all we can guess. Possibly the incident, possibly the sickness, possibly both mean the same thing. The submarine was also an interesting bit of information, looks like that whole Galaga thing is coming to fruition.
Next thing I gotta discuss is that chess computer. Locke was perhaps the single most annoying person this episode - yes lets leave the tied up Other on the ground to escape cause who can resist a game of old fashioned chess. I loved the unexpected video though when he won and the "Mainland communication" thing - took me by major surprise. I couldn't help thinking (after learning about 77 and everything) why was the Flame so important to DHARMA? They rigged it to explode if it was breached. Why didn't they do that with the Swan or something, surely a more valuable commodity. The Flame was just comms to the outside world, which we're supposed to gather the Others already have anyway before the sky turned purple..... unless the Flame was their way before the sky turned purple...... oohh that was good. So maybe DHARMA wanted to prevent the Others calling out to Mittelos or something... officially copyrighting this theory here and now! Final point of this section, isn't the radio tower obsolete if the Flame can broadcast for thousands of miles? Unless the tower can broadcast the numbers even further out i.e. to the entire world to show that the "one true way" has changed etc.
Miss Klugh returns! She didn't seem very surprised to see Kate alive and well away from the Others, but then again she didn't exactly show much emotion at all. Then of course my head spun as Mikhail shot her - was she sick/dying, would the Others have killed her for some reason should she have returned? I haven't seen a Russian audio translation yet, but I would damn like to know what she said, bet its not a real answer, however. I expect Mikhail will explain more in future eps - he seems quite gobby about DHARMA and such (makes a change huh!). The fact that he gave answers really made me think "wow we might actually get this now".
Lastly, the barracks is the one thing left to address. I would guess this is where the Others are obviously, but it seems a bit close to the Flame. Blast Door Map wise as well as A Tale Of Two Cities shot would suggest the Others live near the North / The Arrow. This is really far from the Flame - but I guess this is me being trivial. My main theorising thing though is, if DHARMA made the barracks and then the Others took over them to live there - where did they live previously??? Did the arrival of DHARMA spark them to move out of the caves as it were, or did they move to the Island permanently inside of occassionally visiting it from the outside world (a theory which I quite like - they never lived on the Island 24/7, but it was theirs, and when DHARMA arrived, they took full claim over it again). I dunno, I'm clutching at straws, but its all very interesting, and I can't wait for more Mikhail spilling the bean scenes.
Final thought: This ep to me proves that the Island is important for something, important enough for DHARMA to wage war to take it from the Others. If it was just a research lab they could have any top secret Island, but something about this one made them willing to resort to any means, including purging (possibly with a virus? Or possibly the Others were willing to use one on DHARMA). Both sides seemed to fight for something, is the Island itself the key to the Valenzetti Equation??? I luck forward to reading Lostpedia theories...