KATE, CLAIRE, & DR. ETHAN: Let us recall that back on the Island, once upon a time, Kate was the one who helped Claire and delivered Aaron. Aaron’s birth had coincided with the death of Boon, so it will be interesting to watch if in this alternate go-round the same events happen (or at least the same ends), with Kate helping/being there to deliver Aaron, and with Boone dying… again.
This episode, in this "parallel timeline," our girl Kate kicked Peg Perego Claire out of the cab, refusing to let her grab her suitcase. Now Kate’s handcuff free, returning Claire her suitcase and offering her a ride. Claire at the doorstep: "Mrs. Baskim?" Nope, Mrs. is now a Ms. And Claire’s in labor. Early labor. 36 weeks, and ready to give up her baby, but she’s also already named him. "Aaron" just popped into her head, as if (cough cough) in an alternate life, she already met him and just "knew." And, well, well, lookie who’s there to monitor her pregnancy: It’s Dr. Ethan, son of Horace & Amy Goodspeed (born early, at 36 weeks himself), the very one who had kidnapped Claire back on the island, way back when. Ethan offers Claire the option of trying to stop the pregnancy, or moving forward with the delivery. She says she wants more time, and he asks for the drugs. Talk about parallel. Imagine him sticking her with a needle (to ward off "the infection"), just as he’d tried to do after kidnapping Claire seasons ago. In both versions, Ethan is eager to get his hands on that baby.
SAYID: Ah, "the infection." This brings us to Sayid, whose body was taken to the temple, after Jacob instructed Hugo to do so. Sayid was "baptized" in the healing waters of the temple (a wee bit drowned), then ressurected… as whom?
Sayid could be: 1) a warped "never the same again" version of Sayid, just like Little Ben. "There are consequences;" 2) pretending to be Sayid, but is really Jacob. Back in the torture chamber, Sayid’s body is getting a bit of a tickle: first some protective ash play, then some currant stimulation, finishing it off with a hot poker. Yes, yes, we get it, torture the torturer. Blah blah. Seemingly, it looks as if they’re testing to see if Sir Smoke It is in there, maybe a diluted amount, something dark. They tell him it was a test, that he’s passed. Sayid leaves, and Lennon says, "I just lied to him, didn’t I?" "Yes." So they’re testing for Jacob or for Smokey, or for a lingering Sayid, or a general lack of freshness.
What if the "Infection" they’re hoping to "cure" is Sayid’s spirit, his soul? And it’s lingering, and they want to kill it, because there’s no room, or place, for real souls on this island? See how fast Drago (or whatever his name is, Dogen?) sprung into action when Jack Sprat tried to swallow the manditory medicine he insisted Sayid take willingly? He made him spit. Then said it was poison in the pill. About Sayid, Dogen says, "We believe he’s been claimed. There’s a darkness growing in him, and once it reaches his heart, everything your friend once was will be gone." How does he know this? Because it "happened to your sister." Claire is Jack’s sister, and last we saw her, we saw a flickering Claire in Jacob’s Cabin… Claire had mysteriously disappeared when she followed Christian Shepherd into the jungle (this could have been Sir Smokey Smokes A Lot, mascarading/inhabiting Christian’s body).
A note on "infections" and sickness: there was all that business of vaccines and quarentines long ago, and there was Danielle Rousseau who went on about her whole team being infected. She implied a severe mental change, as if people suddenly became crazy. Maybe, just maybe, when they were turning crazy, infected, they were moving on, going "home." And to someone who isn’t, it appears as crazy/"infected." Just a guess. More likely, though, it’s as Danielle had suggested, that once her team disappeared into the temple, they never returned quite the same. She was sure Smokey "The Monster" changed them in some way. Overall the sickness makes people act crazy.
Meanwhile, Kate’s off frolicking with a sad, guilty, Sawyer. Enough already with the guilt and blame. Our boy Jin escapes from one of the temple guards, who say they’re protecting them from the black smoke monster. Um, does anyone else remember that the black smoke monster could always be found when people got too close to the temple? That it was there to "guard the temple?" Just as guard Aldo is ready to shoot Jin, Claire shoots both men down, and seems surprised that Jin recognizes her. "Claire?" he asks more to himself than to her. She makes the confused actor squint face.
***Interesting to note that earlier Justin (one of the guards escorting Jin and Kate, helping them track Sawyer) says two things worth mentioning: 1) Aldo, the other guard tries to make like the booby-trappings are Rousseau’s. He’s the one who even suggests they’re put there by Rousseau, wanting Kate & Jin to believe they’re in another time. But Justin allows that these aren’t the French chick’s trappings, "Couldn’t be. She died years ago." So these trappings were placed here to look as if they were Rousseau’s? Then Jin asks about the second plane, the Ajira flight, hoping to find Sun. And again Justin pipes up, saying that flight already crashed on the island. As he says it, the other guard, Aldo, tells him to shut up. 2) Later, when Aldo aims at Jin, ready to kill him, Justin shouts, "Aldo, no. We can’t. He’s one of them." "Maybe, he’s one of them." Then he goes to shoot him, before he’s shot himself, by "Born again Claire."