I was feeling pretty down on Lost after last week's episode "The Variable". Faraday's chaotic return and ultimate death seemed like a monkeywrench in what was otherwise a continuous string of powerful episodes that seemed headed in one direction. I had thought that the Oceanic 6 were coming back with Locke to "save the Island". We don't know yet what the Island needs saving from. Maybe it's the "war" that's been referenced by Widmore and others. Regardless, it seems that the remainder of the season will instead be spent addressing the issue that Faraday brought to the fore last week: can the past in fact be changed?
The producers have said that Faraday is really dead and not coming back. That leaves Jack to take up the mantle of change-agent and carry out Faraday's plan to detonate the bomb and prevent "the incident" from happening. I'm still not entirely clear why changing this course of events is important. That would seem to serve the purpose of sending the Oceanic 6 back to their rightful place in time and ensuring that their flight never crashes. But I don't see how that necessarily saves the Island. Maybe we'll come back to that in Season 6.
I'm looking forward to the return of Locke in this week's episode. Is he the eponymous "Leader" from the episode title? We'll soon find out.