The thing I am unsure about in terms of what happens next is Locke's plan. The most obvious idea to me would be tracking down the rest of the candidates and either making them join him or be killed. Perhaps he is trying to pursue Jack and Hurley.
Next week's episode is "Dr. Linus" and it will have to be a Ben centric episode and we will see Ilana's next move. I love Michael Emerson's performances because of his amazing ability to creep you out and make you laugh at his macabre humor at the same time.
Speaking of great performances, Martin Keamy's return was very satisfactory. He is really intimidating and oddly charming at the same time. Sort of like Ben.
Before I start getting into some theories and reflections, I should point out to you that I am writing this as I go. I don't plan it out, I just sort of put my thoughts on paper. It's important to realize this because it is very much a stream of consciousness. Some of the thoughts may linger and other I will immediately take back. As I said, I do not have the benefit of knowing everything since they have not given us enough pieces to really put it all together.
Now, what can be gleaned from the episode? Once again, reflections are used in the episode and the flash sideways contrasts with the on island character. However, in this episode something was different than the previous flash sideways in that Sayid has somewhat of a dark ending. The other episodes with Jack, Kate and Locke have generally turned out positively, showing a positive change compared to their on island persona. Sayid is distinctly different in the alternative timeline, but he still gives into killing Keamy again.
One of the ideas that I have heard is that the two timelines will have to converge once again at some point. The other is one where the actions of the folks on the island actually lead to what happens in the flashsideways. I am prone to putting my stake with the former, because once again last week's episode, I believe Jack saw where he was in the alternative timeline. As well, there is a interesting incident from the start of the season when Kate woke up and it sounded like she was underwater. With the recurring images of water and reflections and parallels, I am wondering if the two timelines are actually not two timelines at all, but rather parallel consciences. Sort of like the souls of the people are fighting for their for their souls and outcomes for their off-island analogs. That the two are intertwined with each other. Ok, that's starting to sound too strange. I'm going to put that one on the back-burner.
This next piece is going back to last week and the Lighthouse. One of the important things about traveling to and from the island has been the bearing. When Michael left the island he had to follow the bearing of 305. Same for the freighter people to go to and from the island. If they wavered at all, it would be have dire consequences. However, if the bearing 108 is important (of course Jacob could have been lying about that and arbitrarily chose a number because ultimately he just wanted Jack to smash the mirrors) then maybe there is something to leaving out the different bearings. If anything, maybe the more important number of candidate is 305. Whose number is assigned to that? Is it Michael's? Is it someone else really important?
When Desmond tried to leave the island he wound up coming back perhaps because he could not find the right bearing and maybe there are only a handful that will actually lead you off the island. And if there is only one or a few that do, it would be interesting to know which bearings they line up to and what number they correlate with the candidate list.
Well, that's where I have to leave it for now. We're right in the middle of the season and this is where they are really pulling out all the guts of the mystery, so it's hard for me land on a solid theory right now. But of course, that is what the writers are trying to do. So good job?