More "Lost" thoughts
A lot to chew on in the finale.
I think the flash-forwards are like "Heroes" - playing around with different possible timelines. The other people here think it would be a total cheat if the future shown doesn't come true. The other question is whether the show will switch from flashbacks to flash-forwards in future episodes. That would be a nightmare for plotting, since the flash-forwards could never show what happend on the island until the island timeline caught there.
The consensus here is that Charlie stayed in the flooded room because that was the only way to make Desmond's vision of Claire being saved come true. Of course, Claire getting on the helicopter is certain to prove to be a very bad thing, so Charlie is going to die in vain -- except maybe for his last warning to Desmond. Did he know that? The room was already flooding, I think, so maybe it was too late for him to change his mind.
I've been thinking about the Looking Glass hatch. Clearly, Ben is trying to cut off communication with the outside world. I think he sent the women down there recently - since the plane crashed. He also manipulated Locke to blow up the submarine and was less than broken up about the Pearl going. What was blocking Rosseau's radio transmissions for the last 17 years remains a tricky question. Clearly, the Others had communication with the outside world and clearly they don't anymore.
I think this all goes back to the boat. Those aren't Penny's people, but they know Des is on the island. Could be Dharma, could be other Others. I think figuring this out is the key to understanding where the story is going now.