Okay, first post Let me share my thoughts about this episode:
In my humble opinion, this was the greatest episode of season 6 (if not the whole series) so far. Ben's alt. storyline was deeply emotional, and he finally seemed to make good decisions on, and off island alike. I was really hoping that he wouldn't sacrifice Alex's future for his own purposes, and my prayers were answered.I always knew Ben wasn't the ultimate manifestation of evil who didn't care about anyone except himself. Also, we now know that the island actually existed in the alternate timeline, and it probably sank somewhere after the dharma initiative. I suspect that the bomb detonation sent the losties back to 2007, but the '77 Dharma guys still had to deal with the consequences of the detonation, such as the radiation. That's why they ultimately cast the swan station in concrete. Still no idea how Ben and his father got off the island though, but I'm sure the detonation served more purpose than sending them back to "07. Richard's agelessness was also explained, and we now know that the losties (who were touched by Jacob) are also probably immortal.The best parts for me were the scenes that showed Ben's human side, and his ability to make morally good decisions. He also finally showed regret for the killing of Jacob and Alex (who, I might add was EXTREMELY cute in the alternate timeline, and i really hope we'll get to see her at least in one more episode ) The theory that Jacob was actually Ilana's father hasn"t been confirmed yet, but highly probable considering how upset she was about jacob's death. Widmore's arrival to the island was not completely unexpected, but provided quite a nice cliffhanger for the end of the episode. I wonder how his intervention will influence the situation on the island, and I'm also curious who's side Widmore's on. It would be awesome if they could finally put their conflict aside with Ben, and join their forces against Flocke (Which is highly possible if you think about the fact that both Widmore and Ben used to serve Jacob, and Jacob seemed to want Widmore to find the island very badly.
Nuff said, best episode ever