Well, I guess we all need a guide to last night.
Here's a beginning. I've lifted 15 significant moments, in chronological order, and guessed as to their meaning.
I'm reasonably certain I'm right about their significance, reasonably less so about the interpretation offered...By the way, please read the terrific comment by Nikkihess below. She elaborates, clarifies, explains. Thanks Nikki....
1.) Back on the plane, and the gang's almost all here. So, we've rewound the clock, or not, though I'm more inclined to the "not." In fact, there are many deviations from the original plane scene way back in episode one - although I did admire the producers incredible attention to detail (same clothes, same hair...) We had never seen Sawyer on the plane, or Hurls who explains he won the lottery and opened Mr. Clucks. Ruth and Jack had changed Jack, the nervous one, and Ruth now the calm one. Plus, where was Mike and Walt...Where??!!! Of course, Desmond is on the plane, and he was certainly not originally because originally, he borrowed the Widmore boat, etc. Basically, these descrepancies introduce the new story-telling device of the final season of "Lost" - the so-called "flash-sideways" (as opposed to flash forward or back) in which parallel worlds exist - in this case, a parallel world where the plane crashed, and another where it did not; plus, a parallel world in 2007 with one in 1977, and another one, on the beach by the boot, in 2007. Phew. Where will this all lead? As if I have an answer...
2.) Ian Somerhalder - Boone! - is back. He looks actually a bit older from the original pilot, understandable, and of course his sis is nowhere in sight. Why!!?? Ian, as you may know, has finally found stardom on "Vampire Diaries."
3.) Why is it so important to Jacob - now deceased - that Sayid be saved? Let the interpretations begin! Clearly one has to be that the core Losties from the mid-section of 815 need to be preserved in some way fundamental to the island and to the meaning of "Lost." Yet why...and why should the healing waters of the temple - that mysterious and interesting temple that reminded me of the cave from the first "Pirate/Caribbean" - first expunge Sayid then revive him. Once again, we got more questions than answers.
4.) The Stewardess: The one who gave Jack the extra vodka way back in episode one, which he ultimately used to clean the wounds of the FBI agent who was taking Kate back to the states. She’s different…doesn’t offer him that extra bottle (I don’t believe) but of much greater significance, will be on the Island back in ’77 as an Other.
5.) Juliet lives. Juliet dies. Certainly not the first and definitely the most obvious clue that the hatch nuke failed; by dint of the fact that everyone was still stuck in '77, you knew that it had failed, but Juliet - badly burned, beyond recognition, almost - probably regretted that Jack had talked her into doing this in the first place.
6.) John Locke/"John Locke" as old Smokey. I hate to say it, but this was easily predictable. When this John - or whoever he was - disappeared and returned as the pulsating smog blob, you were forced to recall earlier seasons when John had also disappeared conveniently just when the Smokey made his appearance. In fact, recall the first season when John first stared the monster down. In the early days, it was invisible - represented only by flattened trees as it barreled through the brush, or the time it pulled the pilot of 815 through the cockpit window and finished him off, rather gruesomely. Later John came face to face with the critter, and then everything changed. Jack would see his father - for example - at a distance and when he approached, his father would disappear. Happened over and over - yet the body of dear old dad was never located. Thus: John is also Christian Shephard? Stands to reason.
7.) At the end of part 1 of "LA X," we are left with two key, linked questions. We did not get answers to either, I believe. First, how did the bomb go off and manage to re-set the clock in 2007, but still kept everyone firmly back in 1977?
8.) The missing coffin: Ah, one of the great threads of last night. The coffin is gone - as Jack tells customs that by God the funeral is two hours away and I got no coffin and no dear old dad! What happened to the coffin? And yet, consider - the coffin of course was on the island after 815 crashed. So we are now left with a new theory - that this flight which landed at LAX is not the real flight - or, the original 815 that crashed, and has now been preserved by something that Juliet did or did not do back in 1977. This should be obvious, but then - what is this new flight, and why has it landed, and what happens next...?
9.) The Temple: We've seen this temple before; we know it well. It's the safe haven and - if memory serves - also the place where the monster ripped the Frenchman's arm off, as he was going down into the "rabbit hole" just outside it's perimeter. It's a safe haven for the Others...but why? and safe from what? We go inside for the first time...
10.) Hiroyuki Sanada: A new character, and a significant one. Japanese actor Hiroyuki Sanada is in a key role here, as an "Other" leader inside the Temple, but danged if I got a name, and danged again if I understand exactly what his role will be or is...Sanada is a pretty famous actor in Japan, and a less famous one here ("Rush Hour 3.") You may remember him from "The Last Samurai" - and yes, he is a martial arts expert.
11.) "They didn't lose your father. They just lost his body." These were the words Locke spoke to Sawyer at the airport. Let us linger a moment to ponder their meaning. "They" is of course the airport authorities, or the airline. So, if "they" didn't lose him, then who did? Is John being cryptic, or is John being John - zenlike, mysterious... Does he mean Sawyer lost him? Does he mean his soul is gone, and that God took it, and that - hey! - what's a body anyway, but a meaningless vessel, etc. etc. What the heck does this mean!
12." Jack, nothing is irreversible." Dang it, Locke. You've gone and done it again - given a cluuuue, as Clouseau might say. But what is this cluuuue? Nothing is irreversible, of course, refers to John's insistence that his crippling injury hasn't crippled him for life, and that he can walk again. But it also refers to the plane, and the new time scale, and back in 1977, where time has not been reversed - yet. The obverse of this statement is: Everything is reversible. Time, fate, life. Time can "flow" forward as easily as time can "flow" backward. Where o where are we on this scale right now?
13.) The Ankh: Yes, that was in Hurl's guitar case, and it is - as you Lostiacs know - and Egyptian symbol, a hieroglyphic, that essentially represents "eternal life." Yup - I'm beginning to think that the Island was in Egypt way back when, before it got transported here, and that remnants of the old Kingdom came along, including the statue Taweret and the temple (which actually looks like something from Angkor Wat, but I'm not picky here...)
14.) Jin: The money. Well, Jin had money, and John had knives. The knives were lost - pun intended. But Jin's money. This gets to the core of the great Sun/Jin mystery. I am lost - pun intended on this enormously significant moment.
15.) Sayid comes back to life. Tie that in with your Ankh, and John, and on and on and on... I think I'll call my Egyptologist friends after I post this to help me figure out what the heck is going on...