In short: So ... Shannon's death was just a ratings stunt after all. Great.
The long version:
In chatting with rogueapprentice, I realized what really bothered me about the "Jin and Sun give AL fish and smile like she's their longlost best friend and all is happiness and sunshine and cute little puppy dogs and buttercups on the island" scene.
Whatever happened to the expected (hinted at? promised?) Tailies vs. Fusies clash. Was "Collision" all we got and now everything's hunky dory? I mean, we get angry!angry!Eko forcing Charlie to lead him into the jungle and no one is the least bit worried that he might not come back in one piece?
Rose and Bernard are presumably off making sweet middle-aged love, so everything's all fine there. Libby and Hurley are making cute eyes at each other and while that's a tad unlikely, it's not so hard to believe. And HAH! Wait til she finds out about his time in the mental ward! LOL.
BUT -- all we got of reaction to AL is ... Sun and Jin handing her fish and clearly befriending her. Excuse me, but the last time she interacted with the group, she had just killed Shannon, wanted to let Sawyer just die, and had Sayid tied to a tree. Jin, Michael, Eko, Libby and Bernard all walked out on her in disgust at her actions. Fast forward to: Jin and Sun smiling broadly and handing her fish. Compare to Jin's offering of the fish to Hurley and Claire in the first day after the crash. Sure, they were strangers and he wasn't the happy!happy!Jin we know now, but ... that was more of a social obligation thing. This was a gesture of friendship and inclusion, not duty or simply going through the motions, if you ask me.
AL skipped the funeral and kept her distance at first, assuming that everyone would hate her. And then Jack brings her tequila on the beach and everything's A-OK? We get NO suspicious glances? NO whispering behind hands? NO cold shoulder at all? Accident or not, she KILLED one of them. And she beat the crap out of Sawyer and took Sayid hostage and was perfectly willing to sacrifice all of their lives through the whole trek. None of that matters anymore? None of that has been disseminated to the general populace?
Because, let me get this straight: Shannon died, I thought, to set up this ultimate confrontation between Tailies and Fusies. It's Castaway War, right? Everyone at each other's throats? Instead we get -- a big fat fizzle. No one cares. No one holds a grudge. No one is suspicious or wary or nervous around her? (Yes, they're saving Sayid's dilemma for later on, I guess but surely he wouldn't be the only one who would have a problem with her. I mean, Sawyer gets the fish eye when he shows up to the golf course and he didn't KILL anyone. He nearly died himself and he's the social pariah. Here comes this stranger with, at best, a bad reputation, and no one shuns her even a little?)
Why did they kill Shannon off then, if we get NO repercussions? For me, that really cheapens her death and makes it that much more pointless and more of a ratings stunt. I mean, Boone's death was tough, but it set up a chain of consequences. This is just -- pfft. Nothing, apparently. Yeah, we had her funeral, but hey, it's Eko time! Let's not deal with any of the other existing issues. Let's just sweep them under the rug!
For Jin and Sun to be so very friendly and overjoyed is just selling out the integrity of their characters, if you ask me, especially since that one scene is representative of the entire Fusie population's attitude towards AL, apparently. URGH.
And I did not mean to ramble on so long about this. It's simple. I don't buy these characters' forgiving and forgetting such a huge thing, even if it was an accident. I don't see why it happened at all if they're going to just gloss over it until it's convenient to bring it up again, like the next Sayid episode or something. And THAT is why I've lost faith in the show. They're so busy showcasing their beloved new characters, they're not even bothering to integrate them or their storylines, but just rush onto the next thing.
But hey - I was just expressing disappointment that we never got Jack and Sawyer teaming up and look, that's happening next week. So maybe we'll get a delayed group reaction to AL and there will be actual resentment and human-like behavior among the TV people.
And would it have killed them to add one gloomy or dark note to the Musical Montage of Joyous Tribal Intermingling?