It’s been pretty obvious that the only thing that would drive Michael to kill Ana and Libby and release Henry was that Walt’s life hung in the balance. In this episode, we find out that this was true: we get the backstory of what happened to Michael after he took off alone in pursuit of Walt.
Michael was captured almost immediately, and was actually being held, gagged and under guard, while Mr Happy was negotiating the Kate-for-guns deal in episode 2.11 (The Hunting Party). Michael is taken to the Others camp, where he is kept prisoner, fed, and asked questions about Walt by a black woman with a soft voice. He is then given the details of the deal: he has to free Henry, bring back Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and Hugo – and only those 4, no more – and in return, he and Walt will be set free. Michael demands to see Walt, and Walt is led in, escorted by a personal guard. Walt looks healthy but says he has been subjected to tests. He breaks away to beg Michael to take him away – he also mentions that the Others are not what they seem – that they are pretending.
Michael has been playing the ‘they took my son’ card all season, and here, he uses it once more to convince Jack that only those four people should go in pursuit of Walt. When Sawyer invites Sayid, Michael appeals directly to Sayid to stay away, once again saying that he has to go after his son in his own way. Sayid gives in, but later tells Jack that he thinks Michael has been compromised.
Michael has a hard time with Hurley. Hurley has no interest in coming along for revenge, and does not respond to Michael’s badgering. But after Hurley says a few words about Libby at the burial ceremony, he tells Michael that he will go.
The aforementioned burial ceremony is a moving moment, with two graves set side-by-side overlooking the beach. We stop and pause to wonder why so many (three) of the female main characters have been killed off. But before we can think about that, Sun sees a sailboat, about half a mile away and drifting toward the beach. This is the cliffhanger ending for this week, and with that, we also have the intrigue of how Jack and Sayid will handle making an alternate plan of attack, all without letting Michael know that they suspect. It is also unclear just how much weight Jack has given to Sayid evaluation of Michael.
In other side-stories, Sawyer tells Jack that he ‘screwed Ana Lucia’, and Charlie gets angry at Eko for abandoning him and the plan to build a church (Eko is now sitting in the hatch, dedicated to pressing the button). But it’s not all bad for Charlie. Somehow, he has managed to get his hands on a Dharma case containing a pneumatic injector and a few vials of what would appear to be vaccine. He tries one on himself, then presents the case to Claire as a gift. Apparently, it makes enough of an impression on her that she grabs his hand and holds it during the burial ceremony.
Vincent brings Charlie a Virgin Mary statue. Charlie follows Vincent back and finds all the statues in the hiding spot in Sawyer’s tent. Locke spends the entire show sitting on the beach. He’s there – but makes no comment – as he watches Charlie throw all of the Virgin Mary statues far out into the ocean. As the burial ceremony is in progress, Locke cuts away his splint, grabs a backpack, and heads down the beach alone.
I’ve spent a fair bit of time thinking about whether Michael would really be able to do what he did – kill two people in cold blood – just for the chance to free his son. It’s hard to say – I don’t know Michael very well. And let’s face it: these people (Jack, Kate, etc.) may be his friends, but he has only known them for a few weeks. I think if I were in his shoes, I would have told them the story and hoped that they would work with me to rescue my son. Who knows what a parent would do. But how will Michael live with the guilt of two wrongs for a right?
Sayid revealing that he has Michael all figured out
Sawyer admitting to Jack that Jack is his closest thing to a friend
Sawyer: So what happened out there in the jungle?
Jack: Exactly what he said happened. He found a camp-
Sawyer: I ain't talking about Mike. You and Freckles. Before you found him, you all were gone all night.
Jack: We were caught in a net.
Sawyer: What the hell is that supposed to mean?
Jack: It means we got caught in a net.
Sawyer: Is that what they're calling it these days?
Eko: Charlie, would you do me a favor? I was hoping you could bring my things from the beach here.
Charlie: What for? You moving in here? Fancy yourself a little bachelor pad?
Eko: Yes. I’m moving in here.
Charlie: Well…what about the church? You said we were supposed to be building it together, man.
Eko: I am supposed to do something different now.
Charlie: What am I supposed to do?
Eko: Bring me my things.
Sawyer: Who's gonna talk?
Sawyer: The funeral. Who's gonna talk?
Jack: I'm sure Hurley'll wanna say something about Libby.
Sawyer: I never even knew her last name. Ana-Lucia.
Jack: It's Cortez.
Sawyer: Cortez. Well there you go…I screwed her.
Sawyer: That's how she got my gun. Ana, she jumped me. We ‘got caught in a net.’
Jack: Why're you telling me this, Sawyer?
Sawyer: ‘Cause you're about the closest thing I've got to a friend, Doc. And cause she's gone…well at least now we get to kill somebody.