”Lost”: Sun’s lies, the captives’ temptations
Oh, for the days when the Tailies first appeared on Lost and I would think to myself, ”Wow, that’s a lot of new characters to keep track of.” Or maybe I said it out loud; I don’t remember. If many of those castaways hadn’t been killed (RIP, Nathan, Cindy, Libby, and Ana), I wouldn’t have room in my brain to give a Smokey’s snarl about Juliet, Carl, Colleen, Danny, and Ben. This season it’s raining Others, but for the love of Kelvin, what are they all doing?
We’re definitely filling up on 31 flavors of who, when what we really need is more why. There’s the forced labor at the construction site, Alex hiding in the bushes to ask about Carl, and Ben’s voyeur routine inside the Hydra. And why haven’t we seen the Other called Ms. Klugh since last year? Did she free Hurley and fall off the pier?
Of course, I don’t crave answers only about the O’s. Why does Sayid, an experienced soldier, make remarkably boneheaded plans for signal fires and stakeouts and the like — then top it off by taking a pregnant woman on a nocturnal trek through the jungle? When did that become a smart idea? With every fiber of his tank top, our brooding alpha male obviously wants revenge more than he wants to save the day. I’m holding out for a hero, but I’m casting my hopes elsewhere — perhaps Hurley will step up. Or Locke. Or Rose. (It could happen. She’s magicky.)
This episode, ”The Glass Ballerina,” belonged to Sun and her flashbacks. As a privileged little girl, she had no problem telling big lies. (She blamed the housekeeper for breaking that figurine even after her father warned her the maid would be fired as a result.) Perhaps cultivating a skill at deception gave her a sense of power in a stifling environment. I wonder if Sun went forth in life burying guilt or simply not experiencing very much of it. It was the beautiful opening shot of the ballerina falling to the floor that gave me the saddest insight into Sun’s life: A dancer, like anyone, needs freedom of movement. But the glass ballerina is frozen, manipulated by an artist into one perfect position — destined to be nothing but a pretty object whose only possibility of change is to be shattered. (Cue the shattering.)
The big Sun revelation is her baby daddy’s identity. A prior flashback already told us Jin (unbeknownst to him) was the sterile one in the marriage, and now, a new flashback of Sun in bed with Jae Lee leads us to conclude her baby is Jae’s. Yunjin Kim was fantastic in the scene where Sun’s father finds her in her lover’s bed and brusquely departs to settle the matter in his own manipulative, murderous way. I’d love to know whether Jae did actually jump (from room 1516, did you notice?) and whether Sun blames Jin for Jae’s death, despite Jin’s last-minute display of mercy. Or did she follow Jin to the hotel and trigger the suicide by rejecting Jae, whose dead hand was clutching the pearls he had bought for Sun?
Aboard Desmond’s sailboat, Sun’s burgeoning self-confidence resulted in violence below deck when she was confronted by the militant Other named Colleen (Danny’s apparent paramour). Before taking a bullet to the gut, she startled Sun by calling her by her full name and claiming there were five Others on board, adding, ”We are not the enemy.” Sun, unconvinced, shot her anyway. Jin and Sayid raced toward the sound of gunfire, which may fall under that previously mentioned category of boneheaded behavior (but I’m not a soldier). And, recalling the season 1 finale when all hell broke loose on the raft, Jin dove into the ocean and swam himself silly, this time looking for his wife. Their dog-paddly reunion was sweet, but once they got onshore, I caught a moment when Jin’s touch seemed to upset Sun more than comfort her.
The lives of the three captives remained miserably oppressive. Kate and Sawyer were marched to a construction site (are the Others really building something, or was it another day in the neighborhood of make-believe?) to dig up and haul rocks. On impulse, or to provoke their guards, Sawyer flouted a ”no physical contact” rule by passionately kissing Kate. Unfortunately it didn’t seem to cheer Kate up or advance their relationship; it only caused the stun-gun-happy Others to go ballistic. Still, being near Kate seems to intoxicate Sawyer lately. When she asked how she was expected to work wearing a dress, Sawyer forgot himself and silently agreed with Danny’s lecherous reply, ”You can take it off if you want,” until Kate’s withering gaze caused him to muster an uppity, hilarious ”How dare you!”
Unlike last week, this episode saved Ben-related shockers for the final minutes. Jack’s silent treatment toward Juliet prompted Ben to formally introduce himself to Jack, presumably to get him talking. ”My name is Benjamin Linus,” he calmly stated. He also claimed to have lived on the island his whole life. And in an effort to prove he was in contact with the outside world, Ben played Jack footage of the Red Sox’s World Series win on videotape. Finally, Ben made a promise: ”You cooperate with us, and I will take you home.” Jack is no Dorothy, so that bait might not work, but he’s in a shaky place emotionally. Oh, and naturally, Ben wouldn’t define ”cooperation.”
A speculation: I suspect the Others are primarily interested in one of their three captives. It could be that the prisoner in isolation, Jack, is not their ultimate prize and that the men are pawns. Here’s to my friend Holly for tipping me to her supersinister theory: It’s possible that Ben’s ”two weeks” comment in the season premiere, over breakfast with Kate, is an indication that the Others know her ovulation cycle and want to inseminate her, perhaps with a mini-Ben! Kidnapping Aaron didn’t work out; the new plan may involve impregnating our feisty but healthy fugitive.
What do you think? Why would the Others drive a wedge between the captives by isolating Jack and strengthening the bond between Kate and Sawyer? Is Ben being truthful about his identity? Is Alex a rebel Other, or is she setting a trap? And will Jack betray his friends for another look at ESPN?