Sayid's discovery of the metal cable buried in the sand is the first indication of some sort of technology on the island. We find out later that it is the power cable supplying the Looking Glass Dharma station that's underwater.
We meet our first two island residents in this episode. Danielle Rousseau has been on the island since her science expedition crash here 16 years ago. Ethan Rom is also an island resident, but is posing as a survivor. Supposedly he is been amongst the group from the beginning, although we haven't actually seen him until now.
Danielle mentions a number of details from her past, including her husband, Robert and her daughter, Alex. We meet Alex before too much longer, but the rest of the details are fleshed out in flashback much later. We actually meet Robert and see the music box before it was broken.
I have to say that Mira Furlin has such amazing poise and dignity in her carriage. I loved her on Babylon 5 and she does a great job playing Danielle Rousseau here as well. I need to remember to find and watch other things that she's been in.
We also learned of the presence of The Others on the island. Both in the past and in the present. Danielle believes they carried a sickness that caused the rest of her science team to go insane and die.
We also hear the first reference to the Black Rock, which we will see is actually the ship that carried Richard Alpert to the island and washed up in a tidal wave. For many episodes we think the Black Rock is exactly that, a black rock.
The writing on the back of Nadia's photograph says, "You'll find me in the next life, if not in this one." This is very similar to Desmond's farewell to Jack, "See you in another life, brother." The concept of life, afterlife, and other lives beyond these plays out until even the finale.
I'm not sure we ever found out exactly what The Others were whispering about. And why they were whispering in the first place. We know they were watching the crash survivors at a distance. But I'm not sure the whispers ever became particularly relevant in the grand scheme of things.