In an episode entitled This Island Is Death, it's not much of a surprise that some unpleasant things happened - the main one, of course, being that Charlotte, who uttered the titular phrase, died. I was hoping she would get cured somehow, or at least stick around for a while longer. Alas, no luck. I did find her comments about her childhood interesting. I still feel like there's a slight possibility that she could be Ben and Annie's daughter; it would've made them teenage parents, probably, and she would have left the island right around the time Alex was abducted. It seemed like Charlotte had blocked out her childhood, so it could be conceivable that she didn't recognize Ben. But unless she had her name changed, how could Ben not know who she was? He even tried to killer. So yeah, it's probably a pretty flimsy theory. But she's gotta be connected to somebody.
Also a bummer was Danielle's massacre of her shipmates, though we knew that was coming. The "sickness" appears to be alleged possession by Smokey; I don't know if they cracked up or she did. Robert did try to kill her, but only after she killed at least two of their party and was about to kill him. So he might have been desperate, not crazy. It did seem to me that the voice calling from underground was Smokey; the "I'm injured" was a laughable understatement, and the whole thing just seemed like a trap. Since they were at the Temple, I thought Jin might flash forward and meet up with a bunch of Others, but joining up with the castaways was better. His reunion with Sawyer was a rare and beautiful moment of jubilation. He got together with them faster than I expected, but I didn't mind.
The flashes got way out of hand in this episode; they were starting to give me a headache! John going down into the well seemed like a very bad idea given the frequency of the flashes, though there was something grimly funny about the sight of Sawyer tugging on that rope. I also thought Juliet's comment about their luck in landing in a time when the Orchid existed was a rather amusing indication that they were about to jump into a pre-Orchid moment. And the little exchange between Sawyer and Miles when Sawyer asked him to translate for Jin was good, though I knew about that one already, since Daniel Dae-Kim mentioned it in an article in TV Guide.
Smokey and Charlotte were mighty interesting, but perhaps the oddest thing of all was Christian showing up to guide John through the getting-off-the-island process. His delivery of the line questioning John's decision to listen to Ben was classic. I've been thinking of Christian as a sort of mouthpiece for Jacob; I'm starting to wonder if he actually is Jacob himself. That seemed to be implied in his conversation.
The off-island stuff was great too. I wasn't surprised to see Kate take off. A little more surprised about Sayid, but then he still has a deep grudge against Ben. I liked Sun's conversation with her daughter; it was the sweetest we've seen her in a long time. And I'm glad we got to actually see Ji Yeon; I was starting to wonder if there was something fishy about her absence. I thought it was great when Ben stopped the car and had his little pity party. And I did feel sorry for him, though given what Christian said, I can't help but wonder if his agenda doesn't quite line up with John's. I also loved when Jack said, "I thought John didn't come to see you?" and Ben replied, "He didn't, Jack; I went to see him!" Way to get off on a technicality... I think my favorite off-island moment, though, was when Desmond suddenly busted in out of nowhere and demanded to know what Ben, Jack and Sun were doing, and Ben said he figured the same thing he was doing. "You're here to see Daniel Faraday's mother?" he asked, provoking a startled facial response from Ben suggesting that he didn't realize Ms Hawking was related to Faraday. And of course, he didn't answer. But they all went into the church together, one happy little band - for the moment. I was hoping for some interacting between Desmond and Ms Hawking, but the disoriented look on his face when he saw her will suffice for now.
I guess that's about it for now, but I really enjoyed this episode and am anxious to see the next episode, which, according to IMDb, is John-centric. And also in two weeks. I was unaware of that; I guess I'll have to be extra patient!