Hurley at the edge of the cliff, wondering if he should jump, brought to mind the chapter in Lord of the Flies where Piggy is thrown off a cliff after being hit by a rock loosed by Roger. I guess if you want to carry the parallelism farther, Hurley is Piggy, Dave is the rock, and Roger is the Dharma Initiative. Or something.
Dave, at least at the mental institution, is obviously Hurley’s hallucination, and is not real; as made clear by the final reveal scene where Libby watches Hurley put his arm around empty air for a photo. Dave on the Island, however, may be an actual physical embodiment of a ghost from Hurley’s mind, just like Jack’s father and Kate’s horse. He did throw coconuts at Hurley. But the episode leaves that question unanswered, as there were no other witnesses — unlike Kate’s horse, which was also seen by Sawyer.
The “it’s all a Hurley fantasy” angle is a red herring. I doubt the producers of LOST would pull a Saint Elsewhere on their viewers, anymore than they would go with the Purgatory theory.
The Rose/Bernard back story was a bit disappointing to me. I was hoping for a much longer marriage history stretching back to the turbulent eras of the civil rights struggle, or perhaps a missionary/church-based past to explain the depth of Rose’s Christian faith. The “faith healer” subplot did work in the grander scheme of the story, on the same level as Claire’s alarmed psychic, obliquely pointing to the Island as an ultimate transcendent destination which will bring healing and final answers.
The Rose/Bernard conflict — peace and faith versus dissatisfaction and the need to be doing something — made me think of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus for some reason. Also note that Bernard’s unfinished SOS sign with the two piles of rocks formed a sad face looking out from the beach to the sea.
While jokes were bandied about that Eko might be building a church, it turns out he really is — assuming Charlie wasn’t joking. It’s becoming increasingly clear that there are certain survivors — persons of faith, perhaps, like Rose and Locke? — who may never want to leave the island, and are now settling in for the long term.
Oh, and Henry Gale is an Other.
Too lazy to provide more links. Just peruse the LOST spoilers at Spoilerfix and The Tail Section if you want more juicy info.