Wow. Yet another episode where the drama of the back story almost makes you forget the grand mystery. Sayid has always been one of my favorite characters, and any episode with more of his history is fascinating. I can say the opening shots of Iraq were cool, but also seemed a bit too "CGI"-y, or was that just me?
So.... the big reveal from this episode is that we finally learn what happens when the counter hits zero. Apparently Dharma is a bit forgiving in that they let you enter the numbers a bit late. When the counter hit zero, the numbers began to flip. I swear I saw multiple different symbols before they settled. They showed 3 black squares and two red squares. The third black square seemed to be either a feather, or a missile. To be honest, I'm not exactly sure. The 1st red symbol (fourth symbol overall) was a bird. The last symbol was an upside down Y, slightly turned. It seemed familiar, but I can't place it.
The camera turns back to Locke, and when it returns, we briefly see the 1st symbol. My wife said it reminded her of a clothes pin, or some kind of pin like you would see used on a lock. Cool - I just found out how to "step" with my DVR. I'm frozen on the symbol now. It almost looks like a stick with rope dangling from it.
From what I can see in my DVR copy, the second symbol never gets revealed. The last frame I have shows the number 5, so I'm assuming it wasn't done turning yet.
Does anyone else feel like these symbols are Native American? I know the other symbols in the show were Asian, but these really seem like Native American art. (Although I'm probably wrong.)
All in all - none of it made sense to me, so I'm hoping my readers can help out. (Also, if anyone has a screen capture, feel free to send it to me and I'll add it to the post.)
Lastly - I don't quite know if I believed Locke's acceptance of the torture. Something about it didn't quite sit right with me. Others have said they think Locke is evil - but I just don't think I buy that.
Oh - one more detail. In the previews for the next episode, we see a new Dharma symbol. It was clearly the medical symbol with the two intertwined snakes. I did a quick google search on the medical symbol, and discovered this interesting page: http://drblayney.com/Asclepius.html. Apparently there are two symbols that are used - one with two snakes around a rod with wings on top (The Caduceus of Hermes) and another with one snake around a staff (The Staff of Asclepius). The Staff of Asclepius is considered the "true symbol" of medicine, instead of the double snake one. According to Yahoo, the Caduceus is a symbol of peace (or trade and communication). (http://ask.yahoo.com/20001109.html) Could all the talk of war be related?
We also see a glimpse of a small door with the label, Escape Hatch. What kind of medical facility would have that?
Edited: Good screen cap of the symbols can be found here.