First of all: whiskey-tango-foxtrot. Double whiskey-tango-foxtrot.
Locke is back. To be specific, the taking-out-local-wildlife, take-charge, island-mystic Locke, as opposed to the button-pressing, film-watching, hatch-dwelling Locke of last season. It seemed like the "faith" torch had passed from Locke to Eko (note that both of these guys have stared into the hyperactive chimney smoke). Er...not quite. At this point, I'm not seeing how the writers are going to explain, in plain natural terms, how Locke et al keep receiving visions that tell them what to do. As I mentioned in a previous Lost-related post, there must be some mind control mechanism at work on this island. Don't forget, Charlie had vivid hallucinations in "Fire and Water" ordering him around, Eko got some guidance from his brother from beyond the grave, Hurley had a convincing series of interactions with someone who never existed, and a previous vision caused Locke to find the airplane that killed Boone. If you want to trace this pattern back even further, recall that Jack's dead father led him to the caves in an early episode in season one.
On a smaller level, I eagerly await an explanation of how people inside an imploding hatch end up outdoors. Why is only Desmond nekkid? Why is he naked at all? Why is Locke mute? Keep asking those questions for us, Hurley and Charlie.
You know, I'm not sure the show needs more characters. Prove me wrong. I wonder how Rose has been lately?
My prediction was that the next time Locke appeared, he would have lost control of his legs because of the hatch implosion. And the corresponding backstory would have shown how he lost control of his legs in the first place. I'm not a writer, but I thought it would have worked fine that way. This show is so kooky. People who get frustrated with the lack of conclusive answers are missing the point. The fascination is in watching the show toss in dumbfounding mysteries all the time, and wondering when the entire tangle will either be straightened out or finally snap into a ruined heap of dangling threads. First season, Locke pounded on the unopened hatch until a bright beam shone out to answer him; second season, we eventually discovered that someone living in the hatch had heard him and merely switched on a light. Here's hoping that the underlying Answers all make as much sense.