Tuesday, June 27, 2023

LOST: It Wasn't Purgatory, Season 3, Episode 2, The Glass Ballerina

On-Island Events: 

Others: Jack is still being held in the underwater cell; Juliet delivers soup to him. Ben is visited by Colleen who reports that Sayid found the decoy village and has a boat. Ben tells her to assemble at team to acquire the boat. Sawyer and Kate are made to dig and haul rocks, supervised by Juliet and Colleen's husband, Danny. Sawyer breaks rank to kiss Kate; later he admits to her his name is James. Ben visits Jack and introduces himself as Benjamin Linus; Jack refuses to shake his hand. In an attempt to prove to Jack that he has the power to send him home, Ben shows him a video of the Red Sox winning the world series of 2004.

Survivors: Jin, Sun, and Sayid are on Desmond's boat as they were at the end of the second season; Jin does not want to continue searching for Jack but Sun assures Sayid she knows enough about sailing to help him keep going. Sayid builds a large fire, which he claims is to signal Jack, but Sun suspects otherwise. Soon Jin realizes that Sun has conspired with Sayid to trap the others and that he needs to defend them when they show up. As Sayid and Jin wait on the shore, Sun waits on the boat where she encounters Colleen. Sun shoots Colleen in defense and the others on deck return fire; Sun manages to escape but the others steal Desmond's boat. 

Flashbacks: Young Sun knocks a glass ballerina onto the floor and blames the family maid for it, even knowing this will cause her father to fire the woman. 

Sun is in bed with Jae, the man she was previously matched with (. . . And Found) and who became her English tutor (The Whole Truth). He presents her with a pearl necklace and implores her to come with him to America. Suddenly, Sun's father bursts into the room, seeing them. Later Jin comes home and blames Sun for the terrible things her father makes him do. He storms off to "deliver a message," presumably to one of Mr. Paik's adversaries but it is Jae. Jin is unable to kill him but demands he leave the country; Jae hurls himself off the building and lands on Jin's car.

Greater Meaning: As this episode focuses on Sun and the various ways she has kept the truth hidden in her life, we learn that she is actually quite skilled in looking after her own self-interests. She feared her father enough to allow a maid's dismissal over the glass ballerina lie; she feared both her father and Jin's reaction to the discovery of her affair with Jae yet went ahead with it anyway. Jae ends up being sacrificed just as the maid was. Sun does not suffer any personal consequences and is free to live her unhappy life but as long as she remains in Korea, she will still be under her father's thumb. The fact that she chooses not to save herself but supports Sayid in continuing the hunt for Sawyer, Kate, and Jack suggests that she sees them as more than just co-survivors, she cares enough to risk her life and safety to help them. The stand-off with Colleen is another example of how Sun is more capable than most people have credited; being away from her father has clearly produced some positive changes in her life.

This is a small part of the episode, taking up only the last few minutes, but Ben's interest in Jack is specific and peculiar. All this effort to win Jack's trust is focused on letting him go home, but why? Jack will likely not leave without his friends, which Ben has doing manual labor with rocks, and Ben's discussion with Juliet and Colleen suggests that they do not want to be found by any of the other survivors. So why exactly are they keeping Jack if they have the ability to send him home? Similarly, why did Michael and Walt have to fight so hard to leave? What are the others even doing?

Further Questions: 

1. What is the beef between Juliet and Colleen? 

2. What is the purpose of "the decoy village?" 

3. Is it possible that Jae impregnated Sun before the crash?

4. Will Ben let Jack off the island? 

5. Is Ben obsessed with Juliet?

6. Will Sun and Jin's marriage survive the island?