Who’s responsible? Teleplay is credited to series showrunners Damon Lindelof (“Flashes Before Your Eyes”) and Carlton Cuse (“Not In Portland”).
What does TV Guide say? “Locke, Sayid and Kate investigate a strange structure and its mysterious occupant; Sawyer competes in a table-tennis competition to get his belongings back. Danielle Rousseau: Mira Furlan.”
What do the promos say? “So who is he?” asks Kate. “Only one way to find out,” replies Sayid. “A face from the past reappears,” says the announcer. “I am certain he is not alone,” adds Sayid. “To defend an island secret,” continues the announcer. “Kill me,” demands a bloodied eyepatch man. “And this survivor’a actions,” says the announcer over several shots of Locke, “have consequences no one can see coming. “Manual override achieved,” announces labcoat guy Marvin Candle/Mark Wickmund. “For mainland communication, enter 38.” “What have you done, John?” asks Sayid.
Who gets the flashbacks? Sayid. We are introduced to another dark chapter in his very dark life.
What’s that accent eyepatch guy sports? French? Ukranian. He says he was born in Kiev and spent some time in the Soviet army.
Is the “mysterious occupant” eyepatch guy? Yes. His name is Mikhail Bakunin. And if what he says is true, we learn something I found very surprising ahout The Others.
What island secret is eyepatch guy defending? His home is a Dharma station, The Flame. It is loaded to the gills with boxes and boxes and shelves and shelves related to the Dharma Initiative. We see a flashlight-waving Sayid randomly pull one notebook titled “Dharma Initiative Food Drop Protocol” and another titled “Dharma Initiative Operations Manual.”
What has John done?? Something that angers Sayid muchly.
Do Kate, Locke and Sayid seek out the structure or stumble upon it? Stumble mostly, though I guess they are technically led by Eko’s Mighty Jesus Stick. But finding the structure isn’t Rousseau’s idea; she says she’s never seen it before.
Wait. There’s a ping pong table? Jin finds it in the jungle while gathering wood. Someone theorizes it was once a component of Swan Station.
Does Charlie die this week? Charlie is almost an extra this week. I think he gets fewer than 10 words of dialog. I’m not sure a regular is permitted to die in a episode in which he or she speaks fewer than 10 words. (But if such a thing were to happen to Charlie it might actually be pretty cool.)
What else is TV Guide not telling us? Bakunin will put a big fat bullet in one of the 815ers.
What’s doing with Jack, Juliet, Ben, Tom, Alex, Carl, The Sheriff et al? Is Juliet freaking out because the new hot-girl tattoo on her lower back is going to make her an object of ridicule and scorn when she gets back to Florida? We do not visit the Others’ camp this week, and we don’t learn what Jack is up to, but I suspect we learn more about them this week than we did in all prior episodes.
What about Jin? Both Kwons are back, as are Nikki, Paulo, Hurley and Charlie.
Any other regulars go MIA this week? Claire and Desmond are nowhere to be found.
So Desmond makes no predictions this week? Correct.
What’s good? The twists, the turns, the episode’s engrossing nature, Bakunin generally and the big chunk of puzzle that Bakunin seems to drag into place. (I also enjoyed Jin’s suggestion for table-tennis stakes, and laughed at Hurley’s final conversation with Sawyer.)
What’s not so good? This week’s flashbacks do not seem to offer significant new clues regarding the nature of the island. Almost never my preference.
How does it end, spoiler-boy? Sayid’s flashlight catches something curious in the jungle.