Great episode. First let me start by saying that seeing the 'monster' was indeed a major letdown like many had predicted. I would have preferred a dinosaur to smoke and mirrors. However, I'm more glad they bit the bullet and finally SHOWED us something, whatever it turns out to be.
But there was alot of meat to this show. Eko's flashback was cool, not just because it reminded me of City of God, but because it was worthy of his character- badass.
I'm glad we got some clarification on Charlie. His character has been going downhill for a long time now, it's nice knowing that was intended and not just poor acting or writing.
Kate and Sawyer...ugh that made me sick. Instead of cutting his hair, they should have had her picking lice out of it.
Most interesting are two issues that were raised but not directly addressed. Namely, no one offering to help Mike look for Walt and Locke changing the lock on the gun room.
What's Mike been waiting for? Why didn't he try to recruit some volunteers or go alone, after grabbing a gun? What has he been waiting for? It can't be that message on the computer since he didn't know he'd be getting it. If it was me and by the next day after my return NO ONE offered help finding my son, F them I'm going alone.
Second, access to the guns themselves. Eko knows they are there, so what's the point of changing the lock? If I'm Eko and I want a gun, and you are the one standing between me and that gun, you have put yourself in serious danger. Better to let me have free access so that I have no reason to see you as a threat. You don't want me to have a gun because you don't trust me? Then why allow me in your camp to start with, does anyone think Eko needs a gun to kill someone?
Finally, I'm thinking the images in the smoke are psychic projections from the 'subject'. Locke saw whatever that made him happy and now Eko has had the same experience. That makes me doubt the purity(for want of a better word) of the vision, since an evil man has had it as well as a nonevil man(how else to characterize Locke?). I think it's simply a reflection of some kind of idealized self-image inherent in both men. I think the pilot was feeling mainly fear and pain when he saw it, so that's what he got back.
I predicted the cross being Eko's version of Kate's plane the second I saw it. I also knew Charlie had that stash as soon as he started lying about that statue. That predictability was offset by Eko's slick knife work, which I didn't see coming.