This is the second episode recently where someone is dead before the opening credits are shown. Call me crazy, but I really like that the writers are willing to kill off anyone at the drop of a hat. Even though Charlie ends up pulling through, it keeps things interesting.
Major episode themes: sacrifice and faith. Desmond has to learn the value of sacrifice in the monastery when he gives the vow of silence. He also sacrificed his marriage to become a monk and obviously wrestles with the idea of sacrificing Charlie for Penny. It's interesting that Desmond references the story of Isaac and Abraham in terms of sacrifice. Was Desmond's vision a test of his faith in Penny? In the end, he does the right thing by saving Charlie and isn't punished for it.
It may not have been a big revelation, but I'm glad we finally know where Desmond got that whole "brother" thing from.
Sawyer's one-liners about mix tapes and afternoon delight were great. I especially loved the reference to Bernard considering we've heard nothing about him or Rose since last season.
Catch-22 theme: If Desmond lets Charlie die, he loses. If he misses Penny, he loses.
Funniest moments: Jin's ghost story and when Sawyer asked if Jack and Juliet were arguing over who was their favorite Other.
I'm still amazed at the fact that there are so many places in the jungle that the Losties haven't explored yet. Seriously, what do they do all day?
The photograph in the abbey of Brother Campbell also has Mrs. Hawking, the lady who originally told Desmond that he can't control the future. Wonder if that means something or is just a fun little connection?
I have so many questions about the woman who fell out of the helicopter I don't even know where to begin. Can't wait to find out more about this one.
Major episode theme: fate. Desmond is constantly struggling to figure out what to do next, but the next step always seems to find him, and everything works out for a reason (e.g. He gets fired from being a monk, which he thought was his calling, but it leads him to Penny). This is, of course, also a huge theme of the show in general, but it seems to take a particular toll on Desmond because of his visions.
The events of this episode definitely give the rest of the season some serious potential to be spectacular. I'm hoping that this mysterious parachute women, Charlie's fate, Locke's dad (dying to know about this one), and Juliet's evil plan will all fit together nicely like the "jigsaw puzzle" pieces of Desmond's flashbacks. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the "Lost" writers don't let me down on this one.