There was a lot to chew on in that episode. After studying the screen captures over on the Lost Easter Egg Blog, I'm convinced the shadowy figure shown was Locke (with a wig, apparently), but there was also a split-second image of an eye, and the eye looks like Desmond to me. Circles within circles, people.
Few other thoughts:
- Mikhail and the Others didn't seem to know anything about the chopper pilot, so her story seems to be true, rather than a ruse.
- I'm betting we don't see Locke again until next season. I think it will be beach action the rest of the way.
- As that implies, I'm also betting Locke is very much alive, despite being shot and lying in a mass grave.
- So what happened to Ben's little girlfriend? She's pretty clearly gone by the time he offs his father. Did he knock her up at some point and thus begin his obsession with fertility studies?
- Why does Dharma continue the food drops?
- Obviously, what's up with Richard not aging and the "Hostiles"? My guess, the Hostiles did a time warp and came back when Ben was older, hence the whole thing about "a lot of patience." Tricks with time are clearly a big part of what's going on on the island.
- Oh, and my prediction is that the ring of material around Jacob's hut is gunpowder. Don't know what that means, but I'm pretty sure.