Doing something that's virtually unheard of, the writers left all of last season's main cast, save Daniel Dae Kim, seen in some very brief new footage, at home, instead focusing on what the tail section survivors endured during the first 48 days following the crash of Oceanic 815. The result: one of the show's best episodes.
Revealing that those in the tail section have been through much more horror than we people we came to know last year, we really come to see how large the presence of the "Others" on the island is, while also getting to see that even without the aid of guns, they are defeatable. And left to survive without the benefit of having a doctor, a trained soldier, or supplies from a wreckage, we get a sense of appreciation for the struggle and the will to live of the "tailies". From the paranoia of correctly suspecting that they have an Other in their midst, to believing Boone's fateful transmission to be a trick, we see just how emotionally wounded they are and how distrustful they've become as a result. Most of all, we really understand why Ana Lucia shot as hastily as she did.
Both Sam Anderson, usually seen in minor authority-figure type roles, and Cynthia Watros, who's spent the past several years on "Titus" and "The Drew Carey Show", show themselves to have true dramatic acting in them and left me impressed.
In the end we're left with both a great set-up and understanding of the 4 remaining tail section survivors heading towards their likely integration into the rest of the survivors, and something to look forward to seeing again on the season 2 DVDs.