I have to say I really enjoyed this episode. We had Claire and her relationship with her mother and aunt. Claire as a semi-goth. We had confirmation of a theory from way back in the Ana Lucia flashback of Season 2: namely that Claire and Jack are sister and brother. Heh.
The adventures of Sayid, Danielle, John, and Kate continued. Mr. Patch Guy started spilling his guts and started to seem much more like a scary Other from Seasons 1 & 2. While the big thing was supposed to be his almost ratting out John for having been paralyzed, I was much more interested in the other things he had to say. For instance they use a submarine to travel to and from the island (Can't travel by boat or plane?). It requires a beacon which was knocked out two week ago - presumably when the hatch exploded (Can't navigate normally?). There is a list of people who are acceptable to the Others (Based on what?). There is someone other than Ben who is the "great man" (Jacob?). The chosen or good ones are free of self-destructive emotions like "anger" and "fear" ("We're here to watch").
The scene was also good because once again we saw someone - Kate this time - standing up and asking a question that we as the audience want to have answered. "You wouldn't understand" instead of being a conversation killer gets a good strong "Try Me."
Moments later we find the sonic sentinels that guard Otherville, and one of the more gruesome deaths we've had on the show - no wonder they moved it to 10/9 pm. Kate's solution to the trap was simple but clever, and having her climb over first was one of the more suspenseful scenes we've had in a long time. Locke has been so untrustworthy lately, I thought for sure he was going to sabotage the tree bridge before everyone could get over.
The finale was classic. The team make it the edge of Otherville, and Kate sees Jack running toward them. He's escaping! No, he's playing football with Mr. Friendly! Wha--?!?
The look on Kate's face was great. Disgust, disappointment. Reminded me of the sister in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
Back on the beach, the story of Claire and the birds was good but not great. I liked it because it was smart to identify migratory birds as a means of communicating to the outside world. That's something that would make sense even if you weren't on an island with smoke monsters, Dharma hatches, and crazy Others. But I'm a little tired of her yelling at Charlie, and I still don't think Desmond's visions make any sense. Claire's note was a nice summation of the show overall and in the end this episode seemed to be about righting the ship and setting up the next big confrontation between our heroes and the Others.