Did I mention how much I loved the end of last week's episode?
"Do you recognize him?"
"Yes. That's the man who killed me."
Now... about this week's episode...
... GIANT STATUE! HOLY CRAP!
I think it's now safe to assume that anyone who thought Sawyer was going to be the subject of the four-toed giant statue was wrong. The statue is waaa aaaaay back in time in the Island's history. And after just a glimpse of it, they're launched forward in time again, and they land sometime in the early days of the Dharma Initiative's struggle with the Others. And this time, when they land, they land in a way that makes them feel like maybe John Locke pulled off what he was trying to pull off. Maybe he put the needle back in the groove, because everyone's headache goes away, and there are no more flashes.
Now that the writers aren't bound to one structure that's the same each time, they are free to play with time in all new ways, and this time, the episode revolves around jumps either "Three Years Later" or "Three Years Earlier," each time as punctuation to whatever we've just seen. And it really works. It pays off that jump in chronology each time, and it sets up a sense of where the story's going, but not how it's going to get there. The introduction of LaFleur is pretty wonderful. Sawyer just took back ownership of a significant piece of the show's mythology. He's not just a survivor. He's a guy who knows how to live along the way. He's just as driven by his feelings about the Island as Locke ever was. He's just not as vocal about his crazy.
[more after the jump]