Really, who the hell finished the donkey wheel? The well it was in was filled in with earth. Who dug it up?
Actually, here's my thoughts on the subject:
Initially, I thought that the wheel was tied to DHARMA. They found the well, went down it, saw the wheel, and someone (probably Radzinsky) said "WHAT THE F*** DOES THIS DO????" Realizing that tampering with any ruins would get them killed by the Hostiles (and after tonight's episode, it's kind of obvious that keeping DHARMA away from using the wheel was probably the whole reason that was part of the truce), they built a station over it. The fact that it was buried might be a damn good excuse for pretending to not knowing it was there. Anyway, they build a station over it, and, realizing that it's frozen, they import some polar bears to turn it for them. You know - animal testing was the s**t in the 70s. Given the unique electromagnetic properties of the Island, having an entire branch designated simply to biological research to breed a weather-resistant polar bear is a gross misappropriation of funds. So they bring in these polar bears, and, realizing what DHARMA was going to do, Jacob has the DHARMA Initiative killed. After all, he was just following his predecessor's example from dealing with "the People" when they first built the wheel confirms this. Whether or not DHARMA got far enough to actually use the wheel is unknown and ultimately irrelevant.
On a lighter note, here's a few things I got a kick out of in "Across the Sea"
1. How was Jacob's brother able to design a device that utilizes both the water and the light to get him off the Island, but unable to design a boat that could to the same thing just as well?
2. Was that the step-mom from Juno?
3. Based on pretty much all her actions in the episode, I got the feeling that Jacob's/Juno's adoptive mother did more evil stuff than the Man in Black could ever hope to be.
4. I thought the woman in the very first shot of the episode was Ilana. Imagine how sick that would be - Jacob had close ties to Ilana because he's her great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-ad infinitum granduncle.
5. The 4,000-Year-Old Virgin starring Mark Pellegrino
6. Am I the only person that finds it ironic that, despite the Man in Black being the one that wants to leave the Island the most, Jacob's been off the Island AT LEAST 361 times? Once for each candidate, and once more for Ilana.
7. Until the very end of the episode, I thought that the FST was on the other side of that light. Then again, that could still be true.
8. I'm VERY happy that we still don't know the Man in Black's name. I've been against the series saying his name, and the fact that he actually doesn't have one seems to be a happy medium between giving him an identity and keeping him mysterious.
9. My biggest disappointment with the episode is that we did not see the statue.