''Lost'': Not What We Eggspected

THE MILES-BEN PROPOSAL
The hotheaded hustler — tasked to track down über-Other Ben — told the Man With 1000 Passports that for exactly $3.2 million, he would tell his mysterious employer that he had found Ben dead. Ben asked the obvious questions: Why $3.2 million exactly? Why not 100 grand more? Heck, why not round it up to $3.5 mil? Miles dodged the question. When Ben clucked about not being able to scrounge up the dough, Miles got huffy: ''I know what you can do!'' Transaction status: Pending. Given his being a prisoner and all, Ben asked for a week to figure out how to fulfill his end of the bargain.

JACK-KATE: WINK-WINK, NUDGE-NUDGE
Kate's flash-forward dealt with her trial for her long list of crimes, beginning with killing her abusive father by blowing up their house. To help her cause, Kate's lawyer asked Flash-Forward Jack (pre-grizzly-beard edition) to testify as a character witness. Curiously, Jack's Bible-sworn testimony was a bunch of lies. He told the jury that only eight people survived the crash of Oceanic 815 and that Kate was a lifesaving Wonder Woman. Apparently, this fib is part of a larger cover story that the Oceanic 6 have agreed to stick to. Transaction status: Aborted. Kate cut Jack's testimony short. Interesting how Kate had no problem using Sawyer to get what she wanted in the Island story but was unwilling to similarly exploit Jack in the flash-forward tale. Perhaps this was her way of loving Jack: Maybe she understands how painful it is for him be ''living a lie,'' as Jack said in the season finale.

KATE AND HER MOTHER: GRANDMA'S GAMBIT
Kate's ailing yet clinging-to-life mother — the key witness for the prosecution in her daughter's trial — told Kate that she had no interest in testifying against her, though she seemed to suggest that the offer was contingent on being able to see the grandson she had never met. Transaction status: Spitefully rejected. Kate was still smarting over how Mom called the cops on her the last time they hooked up. But Kate's mother seemed to suggest that she had forgiven her because of her ''castaway hero'' part in the Oceanic 6 cover story. So much for unconditional love or forgiveness.

KATE'S PLEA DEAL
Give Mom a little credit: With Kate promising her nothing, she still backed out (or wheeled away) from testifying. Screwed, the prosecution offered a deal: 15 years in jail. Kate got panicky. Clearly, doing time would take her away from Aaron. But didn't you get the sense that there was more to her resistance than just motherly attachment? I have this theory that the Oceanic 6 know something about future events and, more, know something about the role that they must play in them. Being in jail would obviously really screw that up. Just a theory. After Kate's lawyer successfully spooked the prosecution with the prospect that a jury would probably side with her, the plea deal was knocked down to a mere 10 years' probation — and a promise that Kate would never leave the state. Transaction status: Accepted. Kate jumped at the deal. Case closed — and stakes established for when she ultimately changes her mind and joins Jack in his ''We gotta go back!'' quest. (At which time, I also predict that Kate will entrust Aaron to...her mother, finally completing their reconciliation.)

KATE AND JACK: THE DATING CONTRACT
In one of the episode's final scenes, Jack confessed to Kate that his I-don't-love-you stance on the stand was a lie. Kate got all weak in the knees and asked if he wanted to come back to her place. But Jack chickened out and said he had to get back to the hospital. Kate called him out: She said the real reason he was backing away was that he can't deal with Aaron. Transaction status: Deliberating. Jack didn't deny Kate's claim. What's up with that? I bet it either has something to do with the fact that Kate's child is his — what? — half nephew? Maybe Jack can't deal with Aaron because he reminds him of Claire — and if Claire met an unfortunate end on the Island, no doubt Doc Savior Complex blames himself.

NEXT: The mini-mysteries and loose ends

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