I had a really coherent and well-planned post on this in the shower this morning, but alas, things always get lost between shower and computer. So this may not be as smoothly flowing as I'd planned.
At first watch, last night's episode of LOST might not seem to have revealed much, or given us many hints, or generated many questions. The more the scenes percolate in my head, however, the more clear--or more UNclear--things become.
Some facts for certain:
--Despite many debates on the subject, last week showed us the truth, and Ana Lucia DID shoot Shannon. Lest anyone still think it's unclear, just watch the preview for next week, in which Ana says, "I shot his girlfriend."
--Goodwin was one of the gang that dragged people off and Ana killed him to protect her survivors. He infiltrated the group in a manner similar to Ethan's.
Now, some not-so-factual things.
I used to think there were two groups of Others. The ones with gasoline and bullets, and the ones who operate more primitively. Then Goodwin confirmed that he was part of the group grabbing people off the beach. That seemed to blur the lines between them, since he was obviously good enough to fool the others into thinking he'd been on the plane. Ana Lucia and the others seem to think Nathan was the wrong man, since she knew for sure, in the end, that Goodwin was an Other.
But Goodwin being an Other doesn't mean Nathan wasn't. It's just too coincidental that his name was Nathan and he was from Canada (remember Ethan from Ontario?) and they hadn't seen him on the plane and he was "going to the bathroom" for two hours. Now, two-hour bathroom visits aren't a stretch in real life. But when you've had nothing to eat for a week? Less likely.
Goodwin said Nathan was not a good man, and "that's why his name wasn't on the list." Does that imply that Ana Lucia and the others are not good, either? I don't think so. Eko is certainly an enigma, and maybe Libby and Cindy have secrets that belie what we've seen of them, but I have a really hard time believing Bernard, married to a woman like Rose, is "not a good man." So could Goodwin possibly have been referring to an opposing group of Others when he talked about Nathan?
It's not cut-and-dried, of course. Nathan doesn't seem to recognize Goodwin or know the island as well as the Others, because he asked which way the beach was. But that doesn't disprove my theory, it just means maybe he hasn't been on the island that long.
Another observation: The Whispers. Last week, Shannon and Sayid heard them before they saw Walt. Ana and her group heard them, too. But last night I realized that it was the FIRST time the Tailies had heard the whispers. I think that's highly significant.
I'm looking forward to seeing Ana Lucia and Sayid go head to head. She's got guilt, for sure, but she's not going to let him take his revenge. In the preview, she fires a gun, which is confusing. She said last week "one gun and one bullet won't stop them." When she shot Shannon, the slide was back on the gun, which all the gun experts say shows the gun is now empty. I'm guessing she gets Sayid's gun away from him, and considering his background in the military, that says something about Ana's skill. I doubt she shoots anyone, though.
I'm also thinking I'm not going to like Sayid for a while. Loss has shown every character at their worst, and he's going to be no different. But Michael came around, and Sawyer came around, and Shannon was even coming around, so Sayid and Ana will end up comrades against the enemy in the long run.
I can't wait to see Bernard and Rose, and Sun and Jin reunited. Jack will have his hands full for a bit, and will once AGAIN have to save Sawyer's life. Won't Sawyer HATE that?
That's all I can think of now. I'll edit later if more comes to mind.