There is a lot of stuff going on here.
I am even more convinced that the detonation of Jughead is the actual “incident” referred to in the orientation video of the Swan and is what always happened. This is the reason why Eloise Hawkins was so insistent that all of the members of the Oceanic 6 had to go back to the Island and when she said “Lord, help us all” when the idea of not the entire group returning was raised.
Without Jack, Kate, and Sayid, they never would have taken Jughead out of its underground tunnel and the electromagnetic disruption at the Swan would have destroyed the Island. When she had said that she did not know what was going to happen (this was to Penny in the hospital during The Variable, I believe), Hawkins did not know yet whom was going to be on that Ajira 316 flight and she did not know how that might affect what had happened.
While Eloise’s motives in 1977 was to save her son from being shot, Ms. Hawkins’ motive was to make sure the timeline played out just like it was supposed to play out. Destiny.
What happened, happened.
There was a fun scene with Hurley and Dr. Chang, who quizzed Hugo about events that a 1977 man would have known and, just like Hugo had worried about, the identity of the President of the United States was an important question. This scene included Chang realizing that Miles was, indeed, his son and he was convinced to start an evacuation. I would have liked to have more with Chang and Miles, but there was a lot to do in this episode. Miles was able to see Chang putting his mom and his baby self on the sub. Chang was yelling at his wife and Hurley wondered why he was doing that. Miles understood that she wouldn’t have left other wise. This gave Miles a better understanding of his father’s choice to sacrifice his love in order for them to be safe. Miles’ smile told the truth that he understood what had happened.
In the present, John Locke had ingratiated himself into the leadership position of the Others, to the chagrin of Ben and the uncertainty of Richard. John was doing things that no other leader of the Others had tried to do. He came out to the entire group and invited them along with a trip to see Jacob. John had pressured Richard to take him to see Jacob and forced his hand by telling the people what he was doing. You could almost see Ben impressed with John’s manipulations.
However, John is not all honesty and forthrightness. He had told Sun that Jacob would be able to tell them how to get Jin and their people back, but he did not care. He later told Ben that he was going to see Jacob in order to kill him.
Where is Hurley when you need a “wait…what?”?