Honestly, I thought this episode was a little flat. Perhaps it was because John's reemergence as the Island's man of faith was accomplished by simply demonstrating that he was the chosen one all along, not through any significant action on his or the Island's part. There were also parts of the episode that confused me, and not in a "holy crap!" way. More like in a "I thought we had settled this" kind of way.
That confusion was actually caused by Abbadon's appearance to Locke in the hospital. Prior to this, his appearances had been harbingers of sorts. He shows up to question Hurley in the hospital, asking if "they are still alive". So maybe he works for Whidmore. This view is given further support when we learn he recruits Naomi and the others for the freighter. But now we see him "recruiting" Locke, telling him to head to Australia for a walkabout. This is after Richard has shown up to Locke at two different points in his life (looking the same in the 1950's as in the present), trying to recruit him, presumably for the Island.
Of course, there is no guarantee that Abbadon and Richard are both on the same side. Richard could be trying to recruit Locke for the Island, while Abbadon works for Whidmore. Both know Locke is special and are trying to get him to join their side. So maybe I just no-prized that little puzzle. Locke's status is certainly unclear, as shown by Richard's reaction when 10-year-old Locke picks the knife. (Nice bit in the principal's office too, with the "You Can't Tell Me What I Can't Do!" line again). Although, come to think of it, that's not a very fatalist sort of attitude. Sounds more like a Jack line.
Then there was the mayhem on the freighter, which gives us lots of questions:
- What's that thing strapped to Keamy's arm? It can't be good, whatever it is.
- What's the secondary protocol? I didn't notice it at first, but that symbol on the protocol was the same symbol Ben had on his jacket when he showed up in the desert. Presumably, it's some place on the Island we haven't seen yet.
- What happens to Desmond? He isn't one of the Six, yet he swears never to go back to the Island.
- Nice how Keamy's gun misfired when he tried to kill Michael. The Island won't let it happen.
- What's up with Claire? Just chillin' in the cabin, leaving her baby in the woods.
- I am interested in Jack's father's connection to the Island. It would be fun to go back and look at Jack's earlier flashbacks to see if we could pick up more info.