Cool: The episode’s opening sequence. First comes the crashing tail section, shattering the calm of the tranquil beach. Then comes a jittery, post-crash chaos as survivors wade to shore and tend to the injured, all of it goosed by shaky handheld camerawork and jarring jump cuts (thank you, Saving Private Ryan).
Cooler: At last we find out who Boone was talking to on that radio conversation from last season. “No, we’re the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815!” Poor Boone.
Coolest: The Others had a list of people to take. That’s definitely goosebump–worthy. But then comes Goodwin’s explanation that only the good people are taken (“Nathan’s not a good person... that’s why he wasn’t on the list”). The implication seems to be that only the amoral, guilty, and sinful are left behind, which conforms to the fan theory that the island is a kind of purgatory where the characters are allowed a second chance at redemption. Trippy.
Huh? The tail-section survivors are terrorized by the Others in a way that Jack, Kate, Locke et al never were. Why is that, aside from the fact that the Others seem to target lesser known actors who get smaller paychecks from ABC? Did the tail-section survivors simply have the bad luck to wash up on the wrong side of the island closer to the Others’ camp? At least these guys can handle themselves. Charlie shot Ethan, but the tail-section survivors manage to kill four Others with their bare freakin’ hands (and one sharp stick).
Throwaway that May Be Important Later: What’s the deal with that 20-year-old Army knife Ana-Lucia pulled off the dead Other? Is the military involved in this somehow? Agent Mulder wouldn’t be surprised, that’s for sure.
Best Line: “If I were a savage I would’ve cut off his finger already. That’s tomorrow.” – Ana-Lucia explaining her theory on the complex intersection of compassionate civility and prisoner interrogation to Goodwin. A runner-up here would be Goodwin’s reply: “We’re not savages.” Is he perhaps trying to send a message about the Others? Are they simply misunderstood victims in all of this?
Rising: Ana-Lucia – In a remarkable turnaround, Ana-Lucia reverses several episodes’ worth of irritating negativity by proving herself a decisive woman of action. Sure, she got it all wrong with locking up poor hapless Nathan. But she sure made amends by correctly sussing out Goodwin’s true identity and then dispatching him in a manner worth of a Die Hard movie (see "sharp stick" reference above).