Part of what may have frustrated the fans of Lost during the early part of Season 3 was that it wrapped up certain parts of the story very slowly. No doubt people wanted to know what had happened with the hatch; instead we get an episode focused on the people in the boat. But 'The glass Ballerina ' has some important revelations, if you know where to look.
The story begins hours after the last episode . We're still not sure what the pecking order among the Others is, other than Ben seems to be at the top. However, Ben and Juliet have a talk with a woman named Colleen, who seems to view them with mild contempt. (Importantly, she is also the wife of Danny Picket, who we met in the last episodes of Season 2 and who we'll talk about) Ben seems worried to learn that the survivors have a boat; Juliet isn't seeming to believe they won't go anywhere. But Ben gives the order to get it by any means.
Meanwhile, Sayid is carrying out a ruse of his own. He is certain that his friends have been captured, and has now changed his method to search and destroy--- they'll go to a dock, he'll build a fire that will attract the Others attention, he will capture two (using one to manipulate the other) and kill the rest. This is a pretty impressive project considering it took five men with guns just to bring down one of the Others, and how little Ethan or Ben was willing to share even after they had been subdued.. And he is outmaneuvered anyway. Somehow (we can't tell how because of the darkness) they manage to approach the dock out of sight of Sayid and Jin) and they land on the boat.
Furthermore, the Others seem to have mastered using the other technique. Sawyer and Kate are hauled out of their cages and made to work the equivalent of a chain gang breaking rocks and hauling them away. If they do anything to cause a problem, they will be tasered. Naturally, there are problems. Sawyer makes a mess of things causes a scene, and breaks Pickett's nose. (Given the way he does things; one gets the feeling he's been in jail before) But before things get back, Juliet puts a gun to Kate's head, and he surrenders. Threaten Sawyer; Kate will cooperate, and vice versa. It also seems clear that getting an edge on these people is going to be difficult. Not only are they super strong, but they have set up surveillance cameras almost everywhere. (We won't learn where the cameras came from until Season 5. By now, it seems that Jack is the one the Others wanted, and Kate and Sawyer are being put on ice. What the hell is going on here.?
Some were no doubt surprised when the characters selected for the flashback of this episode were Sun and Jin, who are considered more second string than say, Sawyer and Sayid. But we always seem to get more fascinating revelation the further along in the story we get. So far, it has seemed that Sun has kept a blind eye to what her father has been doing. Now, in the very early flashback, it seems that she has always had some idea of what he has working on. Therefore, perhaps it didn't some as a huge shock when he learned a bigger secret. Turns out that Sun actually was having an affair with Jae Lee , the man she was taking English lessons from (though we don't know for how long). and his reaction was perhaps inevitable. He wanted the man killed. In a twisted sense of honor, he ordered Jin to commit the murder, but would not tell him why Jin couldn't find it in himself to do the deed, even though he delivered a pretty substantial beating to him. (It does beg the question, who killed him? Did he commit suicide? Did Paik make sure the job was finished? If yes, why didn't he turn on Jin for failing?)
In this episode, Jin once again tries to protect his wife from the danger of Others, but they end up going after her. But once again Sun surprises us. Her husband may not have been capable of murder, and the Others clearly didn't think she was, but she does, and Colleen ends up paying the price (though we won't learn what the cost is for a few episodes)
But the biggest involves someone who almost completely on the sidelines for this episode--- Jack. Ben clearly wants to win Jack over, and tries to tell him 'the truth'--- his name is Benjamin Linus, and he's lived on this island all his life, and that this island is special Jack doesn't believe any of this, and is convinced that they are separated from the outside world. Then Ben relates things that have happened in the outside world in the 69 days since they've been on the island (From this point on, there is a certain calendar as to how these things take place) including that the Boston Red Sox have won the world series. Jack refuses to believe it(and lets face it, when it happened in the outside world a lot of people didn't buy it either), and we know why The Red Sox had a certain reference to his father's live. (we learned about that particular link in 'Outlaws'. The Red Sox clearly were a representation of fate versus free will, an argument for which Jack was on the former side--- or so he said. But when Ben brings in the television feed of the Red Sox celebrating their championship, its clear that some part of him always believed it There is a lock of shock on his face that has nothing to do with seeing a live television feed on a tropical island. A critical part of his foundation has been shaken, and it will effect his journey for the rest of he series.
We're still not clear about a lot of things by the end of this episode --- why Ben wanted the boat so badly, what is it they want Jack to do, who this other enemy that Colleen referred to, and as a side note, what Alex had to do with Karl, the boy we saw yesterday--- but we are sure that whatever war has begun between the Losties and the Others has begun--- and as soon as they find Colleen, its only going to escalate.