What I still don't know for certain is whether MiB really wishes to leave, or to just get rid of the candidates, or both. From his past conversations with Jacob we can cling to the fact he really does want to leave, but that to make that happen he also needs to put an end to all this candidate nonsense ("I'll kill them, too") by putting all of them in one place together and letting someone else kill them.

 

So what does this mean for Jack being "with him" at the end of the episode? Why would he save Jack at all if his goal is to get all the candidates killed? One could take that to assume he really does want to leave, and really does need the candidates alive to do so. But then that would beg the question of why he needs to be reminded by the Ghost Kid in the Jungle that he can't kill them, when it should be clear he doesn't want to. The logic continues to go in circles.

 

Also, when Flocke is running to help Jack on the beach, I yet again noticed how encumbered he is by carrying around that backpack, and yet again I ask, why does he carry it? He's a smoke monster for goodness sakes! What does he have in there which he truly needs or can't get some flunky to carry for him?

 

So it sounds like you believe Flocke gave Sawyer the project of taking the boat to the rendezvous point knowing that Sawyer would betray him?

 

Yes. He even let him choose a partner. Duh, he took Kate. And Flocke's answer to Sawyer's question of why don't we all head for the boat together was lame, lame lame - "we'll move faster in smaller groups." Horse hockey. This was either a test or a plan. Either way, it was not left to chance.

 

What's with Claire telling Jack that just listening to Locke means you have now been successfully recruited?

 

Yeah, that doesn't sit right with me at all. Since when does hearing a sales pitch equal buying, especially in a universe where free will is not just a nice sentiment, but a major rule of the game? Even Claire and Sayid, a.k.a. "the claimed," don't seem to be beyond making new choices. Sayid shows several times in this episode that even his unfeeling heart still has some connections to his brain. And Claire - who is a strange one anyway for the way she seems to alternate between crazy and lucid (kinda like Danielle did, I guess) - makes the choice to cast her lot with the promises of Kate and forego those of the MiB.

 

I think Claire's line to Jack of "like it or not, you're with him now" functions less as a comment on Jack's allegiance, and more as foreshadowing / prophecy for what happens at the end of the episode where Jack jumps overboard, swims back to the main island, and ends up, literally, "with" Flocke. But even then, even after Jack is rescued from the mortar shells by him, I simply don't believe our hero has been in any soulful way tainted or claimed.

 

I didn't dig that Jack-Claire reunion so much. Felt like it would have meant much more in a previous episode. Not sure it worked for me. And the fact that Claire keeps talking about how everyone else abandoned her really bugs.

 

Are we to believe that Adoptive Services is on the same floor of the same building as Ilana's law office, and that her law office also happens to be the one where Christian's will was on file?