First off, I was very pleased with this episode. It revealed a lot about the Others, filled in some back story on Jack, but left plenty to look forward to (no surprise).

So, what did we learn last night?

The Others have some kind of weird suburban Stepford kind of community going on.  However, right on the perimeter of the neighborhood are a series of cages and experimentation facilities. At one time or another these have held bears, but they obviously work for humans too.

Clearly, the Others have contact with outside society, or t least their amenities. They have a book discussion group, and the one they were discussing last night was a Stephen King title, so my sense is they get access to recent stuff.  Also, things like fresh bacon, the coffee press on Fake Henry’s table, etc, not to mention the Oxford shirts and khakis, make them far from a primitive society.

Did anyone notice some of the Others who were not present in this community???  wonder where they are.

Speaking of Fake Henry, we learned his name actually is Ben, and he’s definitely in charge.  I theorize in my upcoming book about whether or not he and his group of Others were capturing Sawyer, Jack and Kate to create an alliance in order to fight another group of others. However, at this point, they’re treating Jack and company more like animals than allies.

Jack’s prison cell is underwater, and they referred to an aquarium.  Apparently it’s a station, called the Hydra, where they do work with sharks and dolphins.  Jack asks Juliette, his caretaker , about their connection to the dharma initiative, and her only response is “that was a long time ago.”

I think we can assume at this point that the Others in this community in fact were part of Dharma, and most likely she schism between them and the rest of Dharma likely took place during the “incident” in the 1980’s, referred to in the orientation videos.

Did anyone else notice the tattoo on the inside of Jack’s forearm? It looked like some cartoon version of a constellation.  Either I’ve been under a rock during the first two seasons, or this is something new.  Lots has been made of his tat on his shoulder, and of course, we now know that it’s actually real.  If he keeps getting inked, they’ll have to bust out the airbrushes, or they’ll have lots of back story to create to explain his body art.

We get to see a little more about Jack and his craziness surrounding his marriage, including his attack of his father, which led to Christian falling off the wagon after 50 days of sobriety. It allows for a little more compassion for Christian, and adds some more tragic flaws to our hero character.

Finally, the case file they have on Jack is interesting.  Could this all be information they’ve picked up by observing him and eavesdropping on the island, or do they really have contact with people on the outside who have this information.  Certainly, Ben’s (Fake Henry’s) congratulations of Juliette for her good work with Jack suggests they’re trying to find something out from him or use him for some purpose.  What it is we don’t know yet.

I have one thought.  It’s possible they get all of the nice stuff they have through air drops, just like the survivors found.  Perhaps the Dharma folks are dropping this stuff in, and the Others actually don’t have access to the outside on their own.  The other possibility of course is that they do have contacts off the island, and that they simply choose to be there. The serenity of their community before they witness the breakup of flight 815 overhead suggests they’re perfectly happy there.  I have my suspicions, however, about how tied in to the outside they really are.

Any other thoughts or theories are certainly welcome.