We open on a gorgeous tropical island tableau, which feels like we're watching one of those beer commercials - until the tail section of Oceanic Flight 815 comes hurtling out of the sky and crashes into the water. That's when the chaos begins - flaming pieces of fuselage and injured passengers everywhere, just as in the very first episode. There are some familiar faces: Bernard, Libby and Cindy. We recognize Eko, carrying a young girl named Emma from the water as her brother looks on, terrified. And we recognize Ana Lucia, who administers mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in a desperate effort to save Emma, who coughs up water and cries for her mother. Ana Lucia promises Emma that she will see her mom again real soon - a promise that loyal viewers know will not soon be fulfilled, because this is Lost and these people have crashed on the very same island where our regulars have been stranded for 48 days.
As we watch those 48 days unfold from the viewpoint of these tail section survivors, we learn that their existence has been very different from the one we've seen so far. These people have been under attack and of the 23 that initially survived the crash, only four will make it.
The first attack happens at night, when they awake to a brutal struggle coming from the jungle near their camp. They run out to discover Eko holding a rock over the bodies of two strangers, his hands covered in blood. He falls silent at the murder, while Ana Lucia emerges as a leader. She examines the bodies to find they have no keys, wallets or shoes. These people were obviously here before them. And while they deal with the terrifying fact that they are not alone on the island, three other survivors go missing.
The survivors bury their dead, forage for food and water and fashion weapons as defense. But it does little to help them, because a second attack comes close on the heels of the first and this time, they take the children. Ana Lucia pursues the attackers and ends up killing one of them during a struggle. She searches the body and finds a list of names and descriptions of every person who has been taken thus far. Ana Lucia concludes that someone amongst them is an enemy. Evidence points to Nathan - who seems to spend a lot of time away from the group and whom nobody remembers from the plane. Ana Lucia takes it upon herself to dig a hole and throws Nathan inside in an attempt to find out the truth. But when Goodwin lets him out, only to kill him seconds later, we realize that Nathan was not the culprit and that Ana Lucia is literally sleeping with the enemy.
The group continues to move and come across a bunker with the familiar DHARMA logo and a radio inside. Ana Lucia and Goodwin hike to higher ground to try the radio. And while they're hiking, we realize that Ana Lucia is engaging in an interrogation of sorts. It becomes a game of cat and mouse until Ana Lucia pieces together the puzzle and makes the one statement that definitively exposes Goodwin as an Other - he wasn't wet when he came out of the jungle. He was never in the ocean.
And for the first time we get the point of view of an Other - they take out the strongest first - the "good people" - and then the children, who he claims are better off now. Goodwin admits to killing Nathan because he knew that Ana Lucia would have eventually figured it out and set her sights on him. Ana Lucia lunges at Goodwin and a struggle ensues. Goodwin falls back onto Ana Lucia's spear, dead - which the observant few will recognize from Episode 205. She returns to the bunker and declares that they are safe now. Ana Lucia finally lets her guard down and has a well-deserved cry, while Eko breaks his forty days of silence.
And that's when our two worlds begin to collide as we catch up to present day: Boone's distress call comes over the radio, and Bernard responds with, "We're the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815"; Jin washes ashore, followed by Sawyer and Michael; Michael, Jin and Sawyer are thrown into the familiar hole; the Others take Cindy; and finally, the fateful encounter with Shannon in the jungle that ends in a deadly gunshot...