I liked it - a lot. Anytime my jaw drops during an episode - it's a good one.
The Dharma clock red hieroglyphics were awesome, the tree frog squish was stunning, Locke defying Jack is always a good thing... I liked it a lot!
I thought about this for a while before voting... and I went with "Definitely one of their best", and I don't hand those out too often.
This episode was an intense character-exemplifying episode for all the characters with major screen time:
For Sayid, we see his internal struggle with his desire to not torture contrasting with his desire for information. His need for information winning out in the end, motivated by his pent-up rage at the situation which led to Shannon's death. I found Sayid's final scene with Charlie particularly important - his previous torture of Sawyer led to his self-imposed solitary because he was ashamed of his actions.. but not this time. There will be no solitary, only more determination. He did not break Henry Gale, but he will. He knows that there is a 'greater good' here.
For Jack, we see his desire to be the healer, which foreshadows a potential problem he may have as the leader of an 'army'. As tough as Jack talks, would he truly be able to take up arms and injure the 'others'? Despite all of his huff and puff, perhaps he doesn't have the 'guts' to actually do what is necessary.
For Locke, we see once again that he is in tune with his faith that there are no coincidences. He doesn't need the confession to know that this guy is an other - he just knows. He shows that it is he, not Jack, who is capable of doing what needs to be done even if that means doing the wrong thing for the right reasons.
For Sawyer, we see that he still needs help in everything he does. He always needs a partner. He can't find the tree frog on his own, so he enlists Hurley (against his will, initially)... And in the end, he betrays his partner - Hurley offers to take the frog far away, in an effort to spare the frog's life, only to have Sawyer literally crush that effort. Sawyer, presented with an opportunity to do the right thing, chooses not to. This doesn't bode well for Charlie's partnership with Sawyer... how will Sawyer betray Charlie? I think we know the answer to that one, though.
For Hurley, we see someone who will help out even someone who he doesn't like, and who will always try to do the kind thing... only to have it turn out bad for the very person he's trying to help - in this case, a frog.
The tension between Locke and Jack was palpable, coming to head when Jack forces Locke to choose between his faith (the button) and his desire for information. A brilliant play by Jack, and completely believable, as opposed to the contrived motivation for Sawyer last week.
Sawyer's outpouring of emotion over burying Shannon was very convincing, and truly showed the audience that Henry Gale was (most likely) lying. His face said it all, and Sayid knew it. And I, for one, am happy to draw Henry Gale's confession out. If he had given up the goods in one episode, the 'will' of the Others would be marginalized, and they wouldn't be seen as very formidable foes.
This was an episode worthy of the many awards this show has gotten. This is what it is all about.
Liked the flashbacks but that was about it. Why crush the frog? Hated, hated, hated the torture scenes. Why yet another new character? Need to read everyone's take on the timer. Missed the female characters.
Have to vote Below average by Lost standards. Went into this ep with too high expectations.
okay. after looking at people's responses to insiderscoop's post (that's my compromise, don't read the post itself, but the responses) i was all set to be let down, big time.
in a way, i was. i feel cheated by the timer. and i feel cheated that we didn't get more infro from "Henry Gale" which I'd bet money isn't his real name and the WoOz references are to clue us in that he's lying.
That being said--I'm so glad they truly dealt with Sayid's grief from Shannon, and I was riveted by Naveen throughout the episode. I felt my boy Sayid had been neglected and the show made up for it. So despite some 'mythology arc' letdowns, I was thrilled with everything else (though Sawyer seemed out of character all episode until he squashed the frog).
And, of course, things seem to come in threes, so perhaps next time the timer really will run down, and we still have "Henry" in captivity. AND THE PREVIEW FOR THE NEXT EPPY LOOKS AWESOME.