Lost/The Glass Ballerina

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The Glass Ballerina
Season 3, Episode 2
Airdate October 11, 2006
Production Number 303
Written by Jeff Pinkner
Drew Goddard
Directed by Paul Edwards
← 3x01
A Tale of Two Cities
3x03 →
Further Instructions
LostSeason Three

The Glass Ballerina is the second episode of the third season of Lost, and the fifty-first episode overall.

Sayid's plan to locate Jack places Sun and Jin's lives in grave danger. Meanwhile, Kate and Sawyer are forced to work in harsh conditions by their captors, and Henry makes a very tempting offer to Jack that may prove difficult to refuse.

Starring: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Mr. Eko), Naveen Andrews (Sayid), Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond), Emilie de Ravin (Claire), Michael Emerson (Ben), Matthew Fox (Jack), Jorge Garcia (Hurley), Josh Holloway (Sawyer), Daniel Dae Kim (Jin), Yunjin Kim (Sun), Evangeline Lilly (Kate), Elizabeth Mitchell (Juliet), Dominic Monaghan (Charlie), Terry O'Quinn (Locke), Kiele Sanchez (Nikki), Rodrigo Santoro (Paulo).

Guest Starring: M.C. Gainey (Tom), Tania Raymonde (Alex), Michael Bowen (Danny Pickett), Tony Lee (Jae Lee), Byron Chung (Mr. Paik), Paula Malcolmson (Colleen).

Co-Starring: Joah Buley (Luke), Sophie Kim (Young Sun), Tomiko Okhee Lee (Mrs. Lee), Teddy Wells (Other).


Plot Overview

The Island

  • On Desmond's sailboat, the Elizabeth, Sayid, Jin and Sun are just off-shore from where a large signal fire has been burning for over a day. Jin expresses his doubt to Sayid that Jack and the others are coming, but Sayid refuses to abandon them. He believes a nearby mountain is blocking the smoke from the signal fire, so they should sail farther up the coast and start another signal fire that's free of the mountains. Jin refuses to go along with the idea, but Sun agrees to help Sayid sail the boat with or without Jin's help.

    They eventually discover the Pala Ferry dock, tie up the Elizabeth and build a signal fire on the beach there. As the group works on the signal fire, Sun notes that it is very large and asks Sayid why he's lying to her. Sayid comes clean and tells Sun that he believes the Others have captured their friends. The signal fire is being built to lure the Others to them so Sayid can capture two of them for interrogation. With the signal fire lit, Jin deduces it's a trap and gets a gun from Sayid. Sun is told to stay on the boat as it would be safer, but Sayid tells her where a gun is hidden onboard.

    That night, Sayid and Jin lay in ambush in the jungle for the Others, but the Others board the sailboat from the water. Inside the sailboat, Colleen is held at gunpoint by Sun. She demands they let her off, but Colleen refuses and tells Sun it isn't her decision to make. Colleen tells Sun that she isn't the enemy and that she knows Sun isn't a killer. She approaches Sun as the sailboat's engine is fired up, startling Sun and she fires a round into Colleen's abdomen. Tom opens fire on Sun as she manages to get above deck and off the Elizabeth, while Sayid and Jin exchange fire on the Pala Ferry dock with the Others on the boat. With the trio safely back on the beach, Sayid apologizes to Sun and Jin, and tells them they have a long walk ahead of them back to the beach camp.
  • Inside the Hydra, Juliet brings Jack some soup under armed guard, but Jack refuses to talk to her and she leaves. Outside in the hallway, she knocks on a door and Ben answers, revealing a room with video monitors he's been watching — one with Jack in his cell. As the two talk, an Other, Colleen, climbs down a ladder and tells Ben they have a situation. Ryan followed Sayid back from their decoy village and discovered their sailboat. Juliet doesn't see the problem in letting the survivors sail around in circles, but Colleen is afraid they might find them — the Others. Ben has Colleen put together a team to take the sailboat.

    That night, Ben goes inside Jack's cell to have a talk with him. He introduces himself as Benjamin Linus and tells Jack that he's lived on the island his entire life. Ben tells Jack that, if he cooperates, they'll send him home, but refuses to tell him what it is he's to cooperate with. Jack believes Ben and the Others are stuck on the island just like the survivors are, but Ben tells him they have contact with the outside world. He tells Jack the exact date Oceanic flight 815 crashed, that George W. Bush was re-elected president, that Christopher Reeve died, and that the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. Jack is amused by the idea that the Red Sox won the World Series, telling Ben he should have picked another team if he wanted him to believe his story, but Ben shows Jack a video tape of the Red Sox winning the Series.

  • Sawyer and Kate are removed from their cages by a group of Others, including Tom and Pickett. As they're being escorted, Colleen stops them and informs Pickett of her orders to get the survivors' sailboat. Pickett motions for Tom to go with them, tells Colleen to be careful, and kisses her on the cheek. He continues escorting Sawyer and Kate to some sort of construction site. Pickett informs them that Kate is to break free rocks and Sawyer is to haul them out in a wheelbarrow.

    As the two are working, Alex Rousseau gets Kate's attention from some nearby bushes. She asks Kate if she's seen a guy her age named Karl in the cages they've been kept in. Disregarding Kate's questions about who she is, Alex informs her that the dress Kate was given was once hers but Kate can keep it, and leaves. Continuing their work, Sawyer stops and kisses Kate. Pickett rushes over and hits Sawyer with the butt of his rifle, but Sawyer hits him back and manages to fend off the Others. He attempts to use one of the tazers on an Other, but it doesn't go off and he is forced to hold them off with a dropped rifle. However, Juliet has Kate at gunpoint and has Sawyer drop the rifle.

    At night, Sawyer and Kate are thrown back into their cages and left alone. Sawyer tells Kate that he was able to gauge the skill of their captors during his fight with them and that their tazers have a safety on them. He believes most of the Others haven't seen any real action, but thinks Juliet would have shot Kate. Kate asks him why Juliet called him "James" and Sawyer reveals to her that it's his name. Sawyer believes it's only a matter of time before the Others make a mistake and let their guard down but, unbeknownst to him, Ben is watching and listening to them via remote cameras.

The Flashback

  • Flashback: Sun

As a young child, Sun accidentally drops a glass ballerina and it shatters on the hardwood floor. She rushes out of the room and goes back to practicing on a piano. Her father, Mr. Paik, enters and drops a bag full of the glass ballerina's fragments at her feet. Confronted by him, Sun claims the maid broke the glass ballerina. Mr. Paik tells her, if it's true, he'll be forced to fire the maid and asks her once more who broke the glass ballerina. Sun maintains her lie.

Years later, Sun is sleeping with Jae Lee and is troubled. She tells him she can't continue her relationship with him anymore as she's married, but Jae shows her a pearl necklace and tells her he doesn't want to share her anymore. As Jae tries to convince Sun to go to America now that her English is excellent, there is a knock on their hotel room door and it's opened. Mr. Paik enters and discovers Sun inside. He demands she get dressed and storms out.

After Jae Lee's death, Sun watches the funeral from a distance when her father appears and tells her she shouldn't be there. Sun asks him why he's at the funeral and is told he does business with Jae's father. Mr. Paik idly tells Sun that he heard Jae jumped from a balcony and must have felt great shame to have done so, and orders Sun to go back home to her husband. Sun asks her father if he'll ever tell Jin about her relationship with Jae, but Mr. Paik tells her it's not his place to tell Jin.

  • Flashback: Jin

Mr. Paik summons Jin to his office and shows him a picture of Jae Lee. He informs Jin that Jae has been stealing from him and Jin is to "put an end to it" and simply delivering a message is not enough. Realizing that Mr. Paik wants him to kill Jae, Jin refuses to do it and quits. Mr. Paik tells Jin that Jae has shamed him and, since Jin has married his daughter and is now his son, Jae has also shamed Jin. He asks Jin to restore their family's honor.

Jin returns home from Mr. Paik's office and is greeted by Sun. She is nervous about not knowing if her father has told Jin about her affair with Jae. Jin tells her that her father called him "son" for the first time, that he wants him to deliver a message. Sun tries to convince Jin that he doesn't have to "deliver" any more messages and that they can run away, but Jin tells her he does it for her and that her father expects it. He does it because that's what it takes to be married to her. Sun asks him what it takes to be married to him, angering Jin. He leaves, telling Sun he's going to deliver the message.

Waiting outside Jae's hotel, Jin spots him heading in and ambushes him as he enters his room. Jin thoroughly beats up Jae and holds a gun to Jae's head as Jae pleads for his life. Unable to pull the trigger, Jin tells Jae to leave the country, start a new life and never return. If he does return and try to make contact, Jin will finish what he started. Jin gets back into his car outside when Jae Lee's body lands on the hood with the pearl necklace he wanted Sun to have.



  • What are the Others building?
  • What is Alex's relationship with Karl?
  • What does Ben want Jack to do?
  • How do the Others contact the outside world for information?


  • The next two weeks are going to be "very unpleasant" because Kate and Sawyer are tasked with hard, manual labor. (3x01 - A Tale of Two Cities)
  • "Henry Gale"'s real name is Benjamin Linus.
  • The Others definitely have a way to contact the outside world for information.

The Cursed Numbers

  • 108 is one of the numbers on Sun's metronome. 108 is the sum of the numbers.
  • Jae Lee's room at the hotel was 1516. 15 and 16 are two of the numbers.


  • Either the Others did not know about Desmond's sailboat before, or they did not care, because even though Desmond was sailing around the island for a while, they did not attempt to take the boat from him.
  • If Ben did not lie and not speak figuratively when he said that he has been on the island all his life, this would mean that he had been there even before the DHARMA initiative came to the island. This might indicate that at least some of the Others are not related to DHARMA.

Arc Advancement


  • Desmond's sailboat, the Elizabeth is captured by the Others.
  • Sun shoots Colleen, even though Colleen said that may start a war.


  • Sawyer and Kate are forced to perform manual labor.
  • Sawyer confirms to Kate that his real name is James.
  • Jin admits that he understands English better than everyone else thinks.
  • Jack is offered the chance to leave the island by doing something for Ben.
  • Pickett's first name is Danny.



The Show

  • Missing in Action: Eko , Desmond, Claire, Hurley, Charlie, Locke, Nikki, and Paulo do not appear in this episode. (Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Benjamin/"Henry Gale", Sayid, Jin, Sun, and Juliet are the only regulars who appear in this episode.)

Behind the Scenes

  • Switcheroo: This was originally supposed to be the third episode of the season but was switched with episode two. This doesn't cause continuity problems though since the two episodes take place concurrently and have no shared characters.
  • Location, Location, Location: The Pala Ferry dock was shot at Waikane Pier in Waikane, HI. Sun's childhood home and Jae Lee's hotel room were filmed at Villa Noela, a private residence on Oahu. Shots of Jae Lee's hotel hallways, and the interior of Jin and Sun's home were filmed at the Renaissance Ilikai Waikiki Hotel in Honolulu, HI. Exterior shots of Jae Lee's hotel were filmed at the Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki in Honolulu, HI. Jae Lee's funeral was filmed at Honolulu Memorial Park in Honolulu, HI.

Allusions and References

  • Sawyer the Thunderer: Upon successful completion of hitting the levers and switches, the music the machine in the polar bear cage plays is "The Thunderer" by John Philip Sousa. Sousa was an American composer and conductor best known for American military marches. "The Thunderer" was composed in 1889.
  • Strawberry Shortcake: After telling Kate she tastes like strawberries, Sawyer refers to her as "shortcake." Strawberry Shortcake is a red-haired, freckled, female doll that is made to smell like strawberries. The doll was made into a toy line and the character was featured in several television specials and a videogame.

Memorable Moments


  • Pickett: Now if you need anything, you raise your hand. You get ten minutes per lunch—
    Sawyer: [raises hand] I got a question, boss.
    Pickett: No questions.
    Sawyer: [motions to Kate] She got to ask a question.
    Pickett: If you try to run off, you'll be shocked.
    Sawyer: Shot?! Don't we even get a warning?
    Pickett: Shocked! [pulls out taser] I said "shocked"! If you talk to each other, you're gonna be shocked. If you touch each other, you're gonna be shocked. If you're slacking, you're gonna get shocked. A matter of fact, if you do anything at all that pisses me off, you're gonna get shocked. Okay? Let's get to work.
  • Sun: You're not building this fire for our people... You're building it for the Others.
    Sayid: I suspect that once they see the smoke, they'll send a scout party to investigate. By then it'll be night. When they arrive, I'll ambush them. I'll take two of them hostage and I'll kill the rest.
    Sun: Two?
    Sayid: One to make the other cooperate.