The episode begins with the closing moments of last week's one. While I normally don't like this trick, (especially considering the previously sequences) it worked here as it was shown from Jack and Kate's perspective instead of Dan's and their subsequent capture. It should probably be pointed out to someone that we're well aware Widmore is the bad guy, but they keep showing him as a complete villain on the island. He smacked Jack in the face completely unnecessarily as Jack had his hands up, clearly the writer's are making sure we don't like this guy!
Back at the barracks Sawyer and Juliet were being held for questioning. Seeing a main character badly beaten is never a nice site, but it was only a few cuts and bruises which'll probably have almost healed by next week. Then there's Phil who's making a good case for being more of a bad guy than Widmore! While I'm a bit surprised it took them so long to start on Juliet I think the point was the other Dharma guys (mainly Horace) simply aren't bad guys.
Elsewhere on the island Hurley, Jin and Miles were getting ready to head to the beach when Dr. Chang found them. It seems that the two hours he's had to think since Daniel ambushed him were enough to convince him the twitchy scientist was telling the truth. Still, like 24, a short timeframe is needed due to the small amount of time each episode covers. Of course it was all validated by the superb way he got Hurley to admit they were from the future. It wasn't too hard to get Hurley to confess, but it was beautifully within character. We know Hurley isn't the quickest thinker under pressure and he doesn't like lying so him blurting out the truth was perfect and hysterical!
After being captured and very harshly treated by a nameless Other Jack told Eloise what she needed to hear about them being from the future. While Hurley's admittance was done with humour, Jack's was done more tactfully. To keep the show within some semblance of reality it couldn't be easy for Eloise to believe him, nor for Jack to tell her. As usual though the scene was written brilliantly and worked believably. Credit to all involved, especially the woman who plays Eloise. Having only been on the show for one episode and to manage to portray a character that's already been played by two other actors so well can't be an easy thing to pull off, and yet she managed it. Her English accent seemed to have improved a bit from last week too (always need to have a pop at the accents!).
Then Eloise, Richard, Kate, Jack and the nasty Other go out into the jungle to find the hydrogen bomb, but not before we get confirmation that Ellie and Charles are a couple at this point in time. While not a huge point (I think most Lost viewers could've guessed how they both had a son) it was a nice bit of confirmation to fill in a small blank. As they reach their destination Kate refuses to go any further, acting as the voice of reason. This makes complete sense seeing how far Jack seems to have gone; as Kate points out he's taken over Locke's old role on the show as the believer. Of course the Others don't want her to leave after finding out one of their secrets and threaten to shoot her. The gun sot goes off without seeing exactly where it hit. This is another trick I'm not always a fan of, as it seems like a cheap way to do a reveal, but it actually worked mainly due to how awesome the reveal was!
I new Kate wasn't going to get killed but she may have been hit in the leg or something, so to then show the Other hit the ground and reveal Sayid arise from the bushes holding his gun was superb! As already mentioned that Other was made particularly unlikeable which gave his death extra impact. Add to that to then see Eloise and Richard's expression of both shock and fear that someone actually got the drop on them was amazing! Having missed a few episodes super-Sayid returns in fantastic style!
So Kate decides to leave and Jack and Sayid (who know seem to have made up) go with Eloise and Richard into the underwater cavern to find the bomb. The cavern looked very similar to the Monster's lair with more hieroglyphics about and I'm sure I'll need to watch the episode again to take in everything that was seen around the bomb.
After Dan's warning and Miles and co backing him up, Dr. Chang evacuates all non-essential personnel from the island including his wife and son. Miles seeing his father save him and his mother and that he had to yell at her to get it to happen was well played. It could've worked as an overly emotional moment with Miles crying or something, but considering the pace of the episode a small moment was all that was needed. So the people on the submarine include Kate, Sawyer and Juliet and it appears to be well on its way back to the mainland. However despite seeing the CGI sub submerge I'd wager those three will find a way off of it and back to the island.
Of course unlike most episodes since the time travelling stopped this one didn't just take place in the 70s. We got to see a fair bit of action from the present day island (or 2007/8 more accurately). There was a nice bit of plot hole filling with Locke telling Richard where to find him from the season premiere. I was a little bit worried this was going to be overlooked, but ended up being played as more of a plot point than just answering a plot hole and so felt integral to the episode. That said I don't think we needed to see as much of the stock footage as we did, even though we can know read more into Nestor Carbonell's performance. Also it would've been nice to actually see Locke disappear from an outside perspective and this seemed the best time to show that. Unfortunately it seems the Lost crew are as against showing teleportation type effects like this or the apparitions appearing as the Supernatural crew are when it comes to Angels vanishing.
There was also a few smaller points addressed in the present. For example confirmation that from the Other's perspective Locke has been away for three years. While I can't imagine they'll have time to show what has happened in that period on the island next week, hopefully it will be addressed next season. It would also seem that the castaways the Others took haven't been experiencing the time jumps as everyone else did. Again this is something that will hopefully get answered; why only some characters were jumping through time and not all of them.
While the present day stuff did take up almost as much screentime as the 70s stuff, there were really only two big moments. The second was Locke demanding to be taken to Jacob and having all of his people come with him. This felt like a nice moment for Locke that fully fit in character as he's never been one to keep people out of the loop. Of course it doesn't go over well with Richard or Ben. It also gives us yet another large trek into the jungle for the finale, reminiscent of both season 1 and 3, maybe it's an odd numbers thing! Of course Locke's real reason for visiting Jacob is revealed to Ben in the closing moments: that he wants to kill him. While telling Ben this would seem like a mistake it's necessary for the audience to know it. That said maybe it's a bluff. Maybe he knows what en will do with this information and be able to use that against him, who really knows?
So the episode managed everything it needed to then. It told a solid story involving almost every main character and set everything up nicely for next week's finale. Hopefully we'll get more information on why Locke wants to kill Jacob as it seems to have come out of nowhere a bit, but I'm sure we'll get a satisfying answer. Add to that the threat of what's happening in the past could well unravel the future, although I seriously doubt it. The writer's would have to be on many different drugs to think that negating the last four years of the show would be a good idea!