I reluctantly have to agree that this episode left something to be desired. I think part of it was the hype up by ABC that three of the central mysteries were going to be solved, but they weren't really solved all that directly. It seems that
1) The Others think that the children get a "better life" with them
2) What Jack's tatoos say (although in reality they say "Eagles on High, Cleaving space", from a lyrical Poem from Chairman Mao)
3) That the people from the tail section are still alive
4) that the Dharma Initiative is the Others... If you remember when they opened up the conference room door, the podium had the dharma initiative logo on it. It seems like that as well as the part about "we work on this island" suggest that the dharma initiative and the others are one and the same.
Maybe Karl got in trouble for releasing the polar bears. Maybe that's how they got there. Maybe when Tom said "opening doors you have no business opening" and looking at locke in regards to the hatch, that suggested that they claimed some ownership over the hatch and knew about its existence. Ethan was their surgeon we know and was recruiting for some kind of medical research position when he approached Juliet. I think the others are the creators of the Dharma initiative project, but that whatever research they are doing is bad stuff... somehow illegal or immoral , such that they can't just help the losties and let them go. The others mystery is central to the story for this reason. I'm glad that they are covering the others, I just wish they did what they did previous seasons and mix in stories from the beach with the others' story.
The whole thailand scene at the end was bizarre. I felt it raised more questions than it answered. I wonder if they somehow are tied to the dharma initiative in some way. Maybe it's some kind of secretive cabal and all these things that seem like fate are actually by purpose or design. maybe oceanic flight 815 was meant to crash on that island.
I for one disagree that the story is boring. I feel that the supernatural elements really add something to the show. If it was just about castaways on an island with baggage, that would be rather boring. But there are all these deeper levels of something going on, that we can only grasp at but not completely understand. I love it. I just wish it aired more often than once a week, so we could get to the bottom of some of the mysteries raised earlier on.
I think the Others are going to turn out to be not bad people after all. Like they have some element of them that is bad, but really their no worse than the crash survivors. There was some allusion to that in this episode.
But please Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelhof, show us how locke became paralyzed, show us what the frenchwoman meant by "they got sick", show us how desmond was thrown out of the Royal Scots Regiment, Show us more about Juliet and enough with Jack, Kate, and sawyer for a while.