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TV Review: Lost – “The Glass Ballerina”

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Tonight's episode of Lost was called "The Glass Ballerina" and it won't rank in my favorites. Not that it was horrible, mind you. Not at all. It was entertaining enough, but I feel a bit stuck in place after watching it.

The show opened with a flashback sequence of Sun as a child. She broke a glass ballerina figurine in her house, then lied to her very authoritative father, telling him the maid broke it. Even after he told her the maid would be fired and he obviously thought Sun broke it, she lied.

As usual, the show cut back and forth from flashbacks to vignettes on the island, interweaving them throughout the episode. Sometimes it can make you dizzy, but that's Lost for you. I'm going to split this into the main threads of tonight's show. We have the Sun/Jin backstory in flashbacks, the Sayid/Jin/Sun mission on the island, and then the Kate/Sawyer/Jack/Others events.

The Sun and Jin Backstory
After the initial flashback with the busted ballerina, the next one also focused on Sun's lies or, to be more precise, her infidelity. A motel room, Sun in bed with her lover, Jae. He told her that her English is good enough to leave. "You could go to America!" He showed her a pearl necklace and vowed his love for her. She teared up and didn't commit. Or, she didn't really have a chance to as her father walked into the room. Eep!

Then it was Jin meeting up with his father-in-law, Sun's very authoritative Dad. Her father, his boss, wanted him to take care of a man who's been "stealing" from him. Although the father never came out point-blank and said it, he used phrases like "my shame is your shame." Jin knew it was basically a contract hit and refused, even tried to quit. Quitting wasn't allowed — he had to restore their honor. Jin told Sun he had to deliver a message for her father and she knew. She begged him not to, claimed they could run away. But, he couldn't.

So, Jin confronted Jae, beat him, and held a gun to his head. Well, there was a pillow between the gun and the head, but I don't believe that's great cover. He couldn't do it. He couldn't kill Jae. Jae cried, he apologized. Jin told him to vanish. But, he didn't. Instead, as Jin sat in his car still shaking from the encounter, Jae's body thumped down. A suicide? He held the pearls he had planned to give to Sun.

The last flashback was Jae's funeral. Sun and dear, rather evil Dad met up by surprise. Sun asked him if he was going to tell Jin. He told her that's not his place and commented on the suicide as well as the shame. Sayid is back!

The Sayid, Sun, and Jin Island Mission
Sayid hatched a rescue mission to save Jack, Sawyer, and Kate. He wanted to sail to where the others were and save the world. Wait, that's Locke pushing the button. No, Sayid wanted to save the captives. Or, perhaps, he just wanted to confront the Others?

Jin was reluctant to go along with Sayid's plan and there didn't seem to be a lot of trust there. Sun told Jin she wanted to go because she didn't want to be without him. (She sure was without him with Jae!)
They set sail and found a dock, which seemed very out of place. Sayid suggested they camp for the night and make a fire. Supposedly, the plan was to build a fire so Jack could see the smoke. But Sun saw through it and questioned Sayid. He admitted his plan was to build the fire to attract the Others. When they came, he'd kill all but two hostages. Why two? So they could be used against each other. "Just lie to Jin for twenty minutes more," he pleaded as they built the fire. Lie to Jin? Say it ain't so!

There was no need to lie to Jin, though. He figured it all out and said he also understands English more than people think he does. He and Sayid took guns and waited by the fire for the Others, sending Sun to the "safety" of the boat.

Oh, no! The Others want the boat, not the people! Several boarded in the dark of night. Down below deck, Sun retrieved a gun and tried to convince a blonde female Other (not Juliet) to let her escape. The female Other knew Sun's name and didn't think she'd shoot. No go with that and Sun shot her. She barely escaped with her own life as the men on deck shot at her.

Ah, but she fell overboard and swam to Jin, who was already frantically swimming to her, all lovey-dovey. Even Sayid showed remorse for his wayward mission.

Jack, Sawyer, and Kate Still Held Captive
Juliet made soup for Jack, who's still being held in the dry dolphin tank. He seemed to have lost his appetite and wasn't overly cooperative. When Juliet met up with Benry (Henry/Ben), he flirted just a bit… a bit bitter, it seems. "You never made soup for me." They were interrupted by the blonde Not-Juliet (possibly Colleen), who told them the "Iraqi found the decoy village and had a boat."

"I want that boat," said Benry in an absolutely chilling tone. It was like he didn't care if the people lived or died — he wanted the boat.

Sawyer and Kate were awakened by loud parade music, then carted off to a work-farm just a bit short of being on the chain gang. Kate had to chop up rocks while Sawyer had to haul the chopped rocks in a wheelbarrow. There were several other prisoners doing the same work. They were warned not to talk or try to escape; the punishment would be electrical shocks from a handheld shock doohickey.

A woman in the bushes (not one of the prisoners) whispered to Kate, said the dress she was wearing was hers, and asked if they were living in the bear cages. She asked about Carl, someone she seems to think may be in one of the cages. She disappeared as quickly as she had appeared.  Wasn't that Alex, Rousseau's daughter?  I think it was!

Just gimme a kissThen there was The Kiss, the one featured in promos. And, just as the spoilers predicted, the kiss wasn't what it seemed. Oh, yes, it was a kiss and indeed a kiss between Sawyer and Kate. But, it was a scheme on Sawyer's part to either escape or, failing that, size up the enemy. It ended up being the latter as he reported back to Kate after their return to the cages. He thought most of the men have never had to fight anyone, but the blonde woman would kill in a minute. As Kate and Sawyer talked, Benry monitored every bit of their conversation on several monitors — much like the Pearl hatch with the monitors of the other hatches.

Back with Jack, Benry tried to start over by explaining he couldn't say anything when he was held captive. He introduced himself to Jack, which got the Rolling Stones' song "Sympathy for the Devil" running through my mind — "Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and fame… what's puzzling you is the nature of my game." He said his full name is Benjamin Linus and he extended his hand, a hand Jack refused to shake.

Benry makes Jack an offer He told Jack he's lived on the island all of his life and that Jack needs to change his perspective. When Jack questioned if home was where he had sent Walt and Michael, he answered affirmatively. Then he proved to Jack he had contact with the world at large. His proof? The Boston Red Sox winning the World Series. He showed him a videotape of the win.

"I will take you home. But you must listen and do what I tell you…"

And that was that; the episode was done. Very few answers, if any. Not even too many new questions. What I'm left with are nagging issues:

  • The Others claim to be Good, not Evil. Jack, Sawyer, and Kate were handpicked to be captives. Sawyer and Kate have outlaw backgrounds, Jack has issues. Are they Evil?
  • How did the Blonde Other know Sawyer's name is James? How did the Other on the boat know Sun's name? Where did they get that file on Jack last week?
  • Last week there was a reference that DHARMA was long ago, but there has to be some sort of organization behind the flow of information.
  • Where are the children?
  • Each backstory exposes weaknesses of the stranded. What are the weaknesses of the Others?
  • Why was Benry so intent on getting hold of the boat? After all, if he has contact with the world, he wouldn't need it. Or, is it just that he doesn't want them to have it?
  • What's the reason behind a decoy village? How many others have fallen into the island's grip?
  • Are all of the Others like Benry, lifelong island residents?

Oh, I just don't know. I'm as Lost as all get-out!

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  • “Very few answers, if any”

    I, for one, found plenty of answers. Ben(ry) has been on the island all his life. And the others do indeed have contact with the outside world. Also, time is moving in a normal fashion on the island.

    I had questions too…what are they making Sawyer and Kate work on? Are the others really, as they claim, the “good guys”? If so, who then are the bad guys?

    I think I liked this one more than the premeire. Maybe that’s just me.

  • Brian

    Sawyer’s real name is James, not John.