Sun, Jin, and Sayid set a trap for the Others when Jack’s team doesn’t show up as planned. Meanwhile, Sawyer and Kate are forced to work on a manual labor project for the Others, and Ben attempts to make a deal with Jack.

Written by Jeff Pinkner & Drew Goddard
Directed by Paul Edwards

Flashback

When she was a child, Sun broke a glass figurine of a ballerina while playing at home. But she lied to her father about it, saying that the maid did it, knowing that it would cost the maid her job.

During the most difficult part of her marriage, Sun indulged in an affair with her friend Jae Lee. The two of them were caught in the act by her father, who instead of revealing Sun’s indiscretion to Jin, told Jin that Jae had been stealing from him and he needed the situation brought to an end. It wouldn’t be enough to merely “send a message” as Jin had done in the past; Mr. Paik wanted Jae dead. Jin refused, even to the point of resigning from Mr. Paik’s employ, but Paik pressured him into it using his marriage to Sun as leverage.

That night, when Jin went home from work, he was devastated at what he was being asked to do. A nervous Sun misread his anxiety as anger, until he explained what he’d been asked to do by her father. Sun suggested that they run away and start a new life together elsewhere, but Jin didn’t believe there was any way out from under Mr. Paik’s thumb, so he angrily left to do her father’s bidding.

Jin found Jae Lee at his home and beat him to a bloody pulp, but was unable to kill him. He told Jae to leave Korea and disappear, for both their sakes. But Jae was upset over losing Sun, and took his own life instead.

Sun attended Jae’s funeral, where she ran into her father. She asked if he would ever tell Jin about her affair, but he replied that it wasn’t his place.

Now

Sayid, Sun, and Jin wait a full day for Jack’s team to meet them at the black smoke fire they created, but they never arrive. Jin demands that they take the sailboat back to camp, due to Sun’s increasing morning sickness symptoms, but Sayid is unwilling to abandon Jack. When the situation turns into a tense standoff, Sun tells Sayid that he should continue with the plan, over Jin’s objections. Later, the married couple has a quiet talk, and Sun apologizes for disagreeing with him in front of Sayid. She admits that she came on the mission because she didn’t want to be separated from Jin again after what happened to him on the raft. As they continue to sail, they come across the Pala Ferry, the very spot where Jack, Kate, and Sawyer were taken prisoner by the Others. It appears to be abandoned now, so Sayid suggests they dock the boat there until they can find a way to contact Jack.

At the Hydra station, after Juliet brings Jack some more food, she checks in with Ben, who has been observing Jack from a nearby room filled with monitors. An Other named Colleen descended into the aquarium and reported that Sayid had been seen finding the “decoy village” as planned, but there’s a problem: the Oceanic survivors have themselves a sailboat. Ben sends Colleen to put together a team to take the boat. She heads up top and tells her husband, Danny, about her mission and he warns her to be careful.

Outside the Hydra, Sawyer and Kate are taken from their cells by Danny to a makeshift construction site where ground is being leveled and flattened, and ordered to break up and move rocks. They’re both warned not to do anything to step out of line — including talk to each other — or they’ll be tasered. While Kate works at breaking up rocks, she’s approached privately by Alex who warns her not to let on that the two of them are talking. Alex asks Kate if she’s seen Karl, the boy who was locked up in the cage across from Sawyer before she was, but Kate never saw him. Alex also reveals that the dress Kate is wearing is hers. After Alex leaves, Sawyer is repeatedly warned by Danny to stop talking to Kate.

At the shore near the Pala Ferry, Sayid sets to work building an enormous fire for their new black smoke signal — a fire much bigger than the one he built at the Others’ decoy village. Sun realizes that something is amiss, and Sayid confesses his belief that Jack’s team has been captured, thanks to fresh tracks all over the pier. He plans to attract the Others’ attention with this big fire, take two of them hostage, and kill the rest. He asks her to lie to Jin about what’s happening until he can get the fire lit, because that’s his plan’s point of no return. It isn’t long before Jin figures out what’s happening, explaining to his wife that he understands English better than she realizes. He asks Sayid for a gun, intending to help with Sayid’s plan, and Sayid hands over a pistol. Though Jin is still stinging from Sun’s betrayal, both men agree that Sun would be safer if she remained on the boat. Sayid warns her that there’s an extra gun on the boat if she should need it. Sun points out that if she needs to protect herself, then that will mean that Jin is dead, and she won’t care about saving herself.

At the Hydra station worksite, Sawyer watches longingly as Juliet drinks from a canteen filled with water. She notices and tosses the canteen to him, but he makes a show of pouring the water onto the ground instead of drinking it. He turns back to his work, but decides to undertake one further act of defiance, walking straight up to Kate and giving her a deeply passionate kiss. When Danny and his friends run in to break it up, Sawyer’s ready, taking advantage of the opportunity to wrestle a rifle away from Danny and knock out several others. Juliet brought everything to a sudden end by leveling her pistol on Kate.

The Others show up as expected at the Pala Ferry, but instead of treading on the shore where Sayid and Jin are waiting, they bypass the shore and inexplicably sneak onboard the boat. Colleen is the first to enter the galley, where Sun is waiting, having retrieved the gun Sayid told her about earlier. Sun asks to be let off the boat, but Colleen refuses, saying she knows enough about Sun to know she’s not a killer. Colleen told Sun that the Others were not their enemy, but if Sun kills her, they will become enemies. Colleen advances on Sun and when the boat’s engine starts up, Sun is startled and pulls the trigger. The Others attack, but Sun escapes into the water. Sayid and Jin hear gunfire and run to the ferry, and as the boat leaves, Jin dives into the water, and is relieved when he finds Sun. The three of them return to shore having lost the sailboat to the Others, and begin the long walk back to camp.

Kate and Sawyer are returned to their cages after their long day of working, and Kate asks what he was thinking in defying the Others. Sawyer rattles off a laundry list of things he learned about the Others that are manning the work site, including their individual fighting capabilities and available weaponry — useful information for the future. It’s Juliet he’s most impressed with, pointing out that he could tell that she would have shot Kate without hesitation if it came to that. When Kate asks why Juliet called him “James” at one point in the confrontation, he finally reveals to her that that’s his real name. He tells her the two of them will wait for the Others to make a mistake, and that’s when the two of them will make their move. Unbeknownst to them, Ben is watching them and listening to their every word from his monitoring room below.

Ben visits Jack in his cell and explains that his aim in all of this is to get Jack to change his perspective on the Others. He introduces himself as Benjamin Linus, and tells Jack that he’s lived on the island his entire life. He tells Jack that this arrangement is simple: if Jack cooperates, Ben will send Jack home — and not home to the survivors’ beach, but home to Los Angeles. Jack asks what he’s supposed to cooperate with exactly, but Ben refuses to say just yet, instead ordering a television brought into the adjoining room, behind the plexiglas wall. Jack doesn’t believe that the Others can come and go from the island as they please, but Ben proves it to him by revealing things that could only be known by someone who has contact with the outside world. He even shows Jack a video of the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series to prove it. Once Jack is convinced, Ben promises him that if Jack will cooperate and trust him, that when the time comes, Ben will take Jack home.

  • Sun did indeed have a short-lived affair with Jae Lee, which leaves the paternity of her child in question.
    Question: Did Sun, as it appears, have an affair with Jae Lee? Was she lying to Jin about never having been with another man? [2.16]
  • Benjamin Linus.
    Question: What’s the real name of the man we know as Henry Gale? [2.17]

  • Why does Ben want Desmond’s sailboat? What does he plan to do with it?
  • What are the Others building near the Hydra station?
  • Who built the Pala Ferry?
  • How did Colleen’s team of Others reach the sailboat at the Pala Ferry without ever setting foot on the shore?
  • What does Ben need Jack’s cooperation with?


“The Glass Ballerina” is the third Sun-and-Jin-centric episode of the series. They’ve each had individual episodes devoted to them as well, but only two other episodes where the flashbacks focused on both.

The most interesting aspect of this episode to me now was watching the interaction between Sawyer and Juliet at the site where the Others were building a runway. We know that the two of them ended up falling in love and spending three happy years together among the Dharma Initiative, but I don’t think any of the fans ever saw that relationship coming. Seeing the playful way they interacted, even wordlessly, it’s kind of amazing that we didn’t pick up on their chemistry sooner.