There were two timelines going on in this episode. One where the plane didn't crash and everything proceeds as normal. Boone talks to John about his "walkabout" and revels that his sister didn't come home with him and I assume that means they didn't sleep together. Jack saves Charlie's life as Charlie almost chocks to death on a heroine ball he was trying to sallow, and then later Charlie tells Jack that he should have died then. So I guess Charlie was always meant to die at some point or another. *sob* Kate escapes from the Marshall and hijacks a cab with Claire in it. Sawyer, Sayid, Hurley don't do much in this part of the episode, but Desmond shows up randomly. I wonder if this is an alternate universe, a "what could have been," or just a fantasy. At the beginning of the episode we get a pan down to the ocean and down into it and we see the Dharma shark and the village and then the giant statue foot all under water. So I think that this is what happens if Jack was right and the Swan is never built.
The other timeline is where all the OMG moments come in. So in this one everyone is apparently back to our time now which is 2005? to them. I'll have to check on that. Anyway, they are all at the blown up Swan hatch and Juliet is under the rubble and Sawyer goes down for her and she tells him that she blew up the bomb to save him and they kiss and she dies. *sob sob* Sawyer is angry at Jack, but he lets them go off to save Sayid and he and Miles bury her and Sawyer makes Miles found out what the last thing she was going to say was. "It worked." I don't know what that means and neither does Sawyer.
Jacob appears to Hurley and tells him that he is dead and that Hurley needs to take Sayid to the Temple to save him. So even though Sayid is clearly dying they wait around forever and then bring him to the Temple where they are captured by some people who live there. Hurley gives them the guitar case that Jacob gave him and there is a giant ankh with a list inside and the Head Japanese Guy (HJG) asks all their names and I guess that they are on the list, because they take Sayid to the spring which is red looking. They drown Sayid and then are confused when he is not healed. Sayid is dead. *sob* Jack is horrible crushed and confused and doesn't know what to do. Meanwhile, Hurley tells HJG and his RHM (right hand man) that Jacob is dead and then they all freak out and start spreading ash and preparing to keep "him" out.
In the meantime, Ben is looking for confused and regretful about killing Jacob, but NotLocke doesn't care. He sends Ben out to fetch Richard. Ben tries to take control of the situation outside and acts like he just didn't murder their god or anything. Richard knows better and flings Ben at John Locke's dead body. Ben is confused. Then Jacob's bodyguards or whatever go in and NotLocke tells them Jacob is dead and they try to shoot him and he disappears then the Smoke Monster comes and kills them all except Ben. NotLocke says "Sorry you had to see me like that." OMG OMG so NotLocke is the Smoke Monster!!! WHAT!!!
Finally they go outside and he greets Richard and says "Hello Richard it's good to see you out of those chains." Richard stares at him and says "YOU?" and NotLocke says "Me" and hits Richard *sob* and then picks him up and tells everyone else he is very disappointed in them.
Final scene: there is a scuffle and then Sayid sits up and asks what happened. DUN! Also YAY he's alive.
I'm assuming that the Man in Black/Jacob's enemy is NotLocke here.
The fact that NotLocke is the Smoke Monster answers some questions but brings up more. I figured that might be the same when Ben went down that hole and saw the hieroglyphics and was confronted by both DeadAlex and Smokey and then Locke shows up right after. It was how he manipulated Ben into killing Jacob. So I wonder when John first saw the Monster and said he saw something beautiful if that was when Smokey picked John out. And he checked Eko out too but Eko was strong and John was weak and that's why he picked John. Also when was he let out of the cabin. John first went in Season 3 to the cabin and there was the line of ash that stopped whoever was inside from getting out. It was assumed Jacob, but is obviously NotLocke. Although Smokey was roaming around so is that the brawn and NotLocke is the brain and so Smokey could never really do anything but look for someone to set NotLocke free. And finally someone broke the ash circle. The MIB "became" NotLocke after Ben killed the real John. So when was he set free? Did Ben really think it was Jacob in the cabin? He doesn't seem to know what is going on anymore. But Richard knows something. He knows who NotLocke really is. I think that Richard was on board the Black Rock and that is when he came to the Island either as a slave so literal chains or NotLocke meant "chains" to be his debt and servitude to Jacob. We find out that NotLocke just wants to go home. I still think that Jacob and the MIB are gods. I had said previously that I thought it was Sobek and Set, but someone said Osiris and Set and that fits too. I"m guessing NotLocke is heading to the Temple now. Maybe that is the way home.
Why didn't Claire want Aaron brought back to the Island? Is it because he is important somehow in the struggle between Jacob and MIB?