Re: Rate the Episode!!!
I gave the episode a 7. I liked it, but there didn't seem to be a lot of real story other than transitioning toward the endgame. The Tower was neat, but at this point there's a bit of "hey, here's another mystical ancient monument that may hold important clues!" fatigue.
And what's the deal with Jacob? What does it mean when a Greek-style god is "dead" but still selectively appearing to a chosen person and directing events toward a certain end? How was Jacob different or more powerful when he was "alive"?
Alt-Jack and his alt-son were interesting (and damn, that kid looked eerily like Matthew Fox!)--but the story was interesting only because we know about Jack's personality and background. I don't expect to see alt-son again and I don't particularly care.
Claire was creepy but not much more so than we had been led to expect. We knew we'd be running into her soon, so that was no huge surprise.
I do love the Sideways storyline in general. I think it really shows us a lesson about how we think our lives fall short of our desires, but they're pretty wonderful compared to possible alternatives. I doubt that any of the Sideways people think they're living in Utopia--not Locke, who still can't come to grips with his disability, or Jack, who's still divorced and has a difficult relationship with his son, or Claire, who's still pregnant and alone and penniless. But their lives would seem like heaven to their Lostaway counterparts who have gone through such misery.
On the other hand, I think the existence of the Sideways storyline is further evidence that the story is going to end tragically for ALL of our Lostaways. We used to wonder about who would heroically sacrifice himself for the greater good--Jack, Sawyer, Locke, even Ben--but now it looks to me like it will be everybody. I think the Sideways storyline exists to make that bearable for us.