SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers, so be alert.
To the long list of theories about the island, add this: It’s a hospital. Last night, we learned that whatever mystical/magnetic mojo is pulsing down beneath the hatch cured Rose of terminal cancer. Add this to Locke’s miracle leg cure in season one, and possibly, to Sun’s miraculous-if-it’s-Jin’s-baby pregnancy, and it appears we’re dealing with some kind of tropical Lourdes here. Except with better-looking pilgrims, and a monster. (And it’s further proof that someone really hated Boone and Shannon, since the great island spirits chose not to save the quasi-incestuous, quasi-brother-and-sister pair from a fatal fall and a shooting respectively.)
It makes sense, since on a larger scale, pretty much everyone we know on the island is in need of healing of some kind or another, be it physical, from mental illness, guilt, addiction or emotional scarring. ("People are saved in different ways," as newly pious Eko told Bernard.) Is the island a sort of combo Mayo Clinic / Betty Ford Center of the South Pacific? Is Lost not so much a sci-fi version of Survivor as it is a desert-island version of Starting Over? And if so, do the castaways get sprung once they’re all better? If so that could take a while: the episode cleverly reminded us that the are a couple dozen other refugees stranded on the island with the popular kids, including someone named Craig and "that frogurt guy–the guy who used to make frozen yogurt."
I can’t wait for his flashback. Mmmmm, cookies and cream….
Meanwhile, Lost also cleverly reminded us that Michael, er, ah, exists, as Jack and Kate discovered their disappeared and rarely mentioned comrade in the jungle after his quest to retrieve kidnapped psychic son Walt from the Others. The season seems to finally be heading toward some get-Walt-back showdown, in which case I have to wonder: what will they do when they bring back child actor Malcolm David Kelley, who, a year later in the real world but just a couple weeks in Lost time, probably now has facial hair and a voice a couple octaves deeper?
I know: it’s a miracle! The island cured him of prepubescence!