Claire's return was a surprise. She goes AWOL for an entire series and then pops up to save Jin looking like a cute and fuzzy Grizzly Adams. She also made me think of her as the 'new' Rousseau, wandering the jungle being all badass and bonkers. The last time we saw her, Claire walked off in the middle of the night with her (dead) dad Christian leaving Aaron behind, witnessed by Miles but not us and was next (and I think last) seen with him in the cabin by Locke. She seemed perfectly (oddly) happy to be there and then drops off the radar for all of season 5. What does Dogen, the Japanese guy, mean when he says that what happened to Claire is what will happen to Sayid? What happened to Claire and why did she leave Aaron behind, or perhaps the better question is why was she required to?
Thinking about Claire leads me to think about the cabin. All manner of shenanigans went on in the cabin. It's where Ben said he went to speak to Jacob even though he didn't because Jacob spoke to Ben through Richard. It's where John went with Ben and heard 'help me' before turning on a torch and causing whatever was in there to freak out. It's also where Hurley went and saw Christian and someone with a beady eye appeared at the window and (understandably) scared the shit out of him. And, as said above, it's where Locke saw Claire with Christian.
What's interesting is that the cabin is always described as Jacob's Cabin yet Jacob lives at the foot of the foot, so to speak. He was there when The Black Rock came to the island and he was there when Ben stabbed him. But he's never been seen at the cabin that I know of. I think the cabin belongs to his Nemesis, the man in black. In smoke form, he exists around the temple but to get around the island he uses Christian and 'parks' him at the cabin, so to speak. Maybe the cabin was even a prison to the MIB's non-smoke form, whatever that may be, hence his 'help me' to John. It also (kind of) explains why the cabin was burned; he got out, hence the ash circle being broken. How the circle got broken... not sure but maybe it's not there to keep MIB out, but to keep him in. As the smoke monster he's locked to the temple (Fiona thinks maybe his real body is there which is an annoying plausible reason) and as Christian he can wander the island but not leave. As Locke, he do whatever he wants.
Speaking of The Black Rock, the explanation to how a ship ended up buried in the jungle has never been given but if the island can be sunk, it can surely be raised and if it can be raised, maybe it raised up under the ship.
Dug the fact that when you see the island underwater, you go past a shark with the Dharma logo on it's tail, probably the same one that attacked Michael and Sawyer when they were on the remains of Michael's raft.
With the alternate timeline, what happened to Christian's body? Unless there was some cascade of events in the 'non-crash' world that led to the body being left off, could it be that it was 'taken' from the plane as it flew over the island, even though it was submerged? We know that folks who 'should' be on the island can be whipped out of their seat and dropped in various places (and times, for that matter) so maybe the fact that Christian is dead and thus an empty vessel explains why he can still be 'claimed' to use the translator's word.
And speaking of Christian, who controls him? Jacob or the MIB? I go with MIB. Jacob's much more of a 'nudge people to do the right thing' kind of bloke. He pops off the island to have minimal but telling interactions with the likes of Hurley, Jack, Locke etc whereas MIB is a much more 'do this, do that' type, as seen by him openly telling everyone they're going to see Jacob and then telling Ben he wants him to kill Jacob. Aside from the big slice of 'wtf' with Claire, Christian pops up mostly in terms of moving the island. It's him that tells John this is what has to happen when they meet at the cabin and it's him who talks John through doing it (though refuses to help him physically) and actually moving the island with the wheel. Again, this is much more the direct intervention style of the MIB. He also seems to have bugger all time for Ben, who's rubbish wheel pushing set the island bouncing through time in the first place.
But those time slips allow us to meet Rousseau and the French guys when they first get to the island years before Oceanic 815 crashes. One of them's standing on a beach listening to the numbers broadcast. This is the broadcast that Hurley's buddy in the asylum, Leonard, keeps repeating after hearing them whilst in the Navy at a listening station, which makes Hurley use them to win his millions. Have another listen to the broadcast the French guy gets on his radio; I reckon that's Hurley talking.
And now we come to Adam and Eve. These are the two skeletons found in the caves by Jack when he leads the survivors there for fresh water, which he found by following his dead dad. As you do. Anyway, these bodies have a pouch on them and in the pouch are two polished stones, one black the other white. The bodies aren't mentioned again but I think they're Bernard and Rose. The timeline's good enough that if they died in the 70s then they fit the bill for Jacks 40-50 years old theory for the age of the bodies. How they got left in the 70s when everyone else seems to have jumped back is a mystery but then again shitloads is on this island.
Ah, one more thing; right at the beginning, just after the crash, Locke unpacks a backgammon set and explains to Walt that the game is 'two players, two sides, one is light, one is dark' and, obviously, that goes for the whole island. In many ways, the way people are being manipulated, either gently as with Jacob or blatantly as with MIB, reminds me more of chess than backgammon, but then chess complies to Lockes explanation, too. What's interesting is what light and dark actually means and who is who. Who is good, who is bad of Jacob and the MIB? Do such rules apply to them?
Is it me or did it look like Jacob resurrected Locke rather than 'interact' with him as he did with Hurley, young Sawyer and Kate etc? I think Locke hit the deck and died. It was a long, long fall.
And maybe that's why Locke was so important, to both Jacob and MIB. Jacob marks him as his in a very deliberate way. With everyone else he just sort of nudges them along, but with Locke, by neccessity, he brings him back. Locke comes or is brought to the island, is healed and feels a kinship with the place to such an extent he is the only one who never wants to leave. He belongs there, is the new leader of the others. And it's Christian/MIB who gets him off the island so that Ben can kill him, though why he does so is unexplained. One minute he's all supportive and helpful, the next John mentions Eloise Hawking and Ben strangles him.
Regardless, when he goes back to the island it's in a coffin and, dead, MIB can claim him as he claimed Christian. Now not only does he have a physical form, but he has one that the others will welcome and follow AND one that Jacob thinks of as his own. Maybe the difference is Jacob claims those near death and saves them and MIB claims those who are dead and uses them. And maybe Sayid is the first time he's been able to claim them before death.
Young Ben is shot by Sayid. Alpert takes ben to the temple and warns that he will not be the same afterwards. Seems obvious that what happened to Ben at the temple that saved his life is what happened to Sayid to save his. Also safe to say that when Ben went under, the water would have been clear. That the water wasn't clear for Sayid can be attributed to Jacob's death, but did the clear water not infect Ben at all and he just grew up to be the twisted, Machiavellian bastard we know and love or was there something else in the water? Maybe that's how Jacob does business; doesn't so much claim them and use them as mark them as 'his'.
More to come as the season unfolds...