How Widmores Know More

I started this piece with one question in mind. Attempting an answer to that question led me to a rather splendid revelation. So whilst the initial question may seem a bit dull, stick with me – it takes us somewhere very interesting. The question was this: How is it Widmore knew where the Island was when he sent The Freighter there?

Widmore sent The Freighter to capture Ben, that much we eventually learned. But what we never knew is how he knew the location of the Island. Deeper still, how is it Widmore knew that Oceanic 815 had crashed there? I am assuming he staged the fake Oceanic 815 crash site to deter searches for the real Oceanic 815 that may have inadvertently found his precious Island before he did. But how did he know?

Let me take a run at bridging this chasm of ignorance.

The first issue is how Widmore knew the location of the Island. We know that Penny knew how to find the Island since her Listening Post picked up the electromagnetic anomaly that occurred when Desmond turned the Fail Safe in the Swan Station at the end of Season 2.

That’s how Penny knew where the Island was. But how did Charles Widmore find out? You could take the view that Penny is working with her father and informed him of her findings. Hold that thought for now. However, there was something interesting about the scene in Season 4, There’s No Place Like Home, when Penny found the Oceanic 6 (and Des and Frank) in the ocean. . .

Think back to the Listening Post. There were two men there, speaking Portuguese to each other and playing chess, when the electromagnetic anomaly registered. These men were called Henrik and Mathias.

Now what was intriguing about Penny finding Desmond and the rest during There’s No Place Like Home was that only Henrik was there. There was no sign of Mathias.

Is it possible that Mathias was a spy? Is it possible he turned traitor to Penny and told Widmore what he had discovered at the Listening Post and revealed his true allegiance? Or maybe Widmore just got to him, beat the information out of him and killed him? Either way it’s an explanation. A relatively simple and easy explanation as to how Widmore knew the location of the Island. He found out via Penny. But wait. Hold up. This presents another key question:

How did Penny know that she had to look for an electromagnetic pulse to reveal the location of the Island that would lead her to Desmond? As bizarre it is that Widmore knew Oceanic 815 crashed on the Island, how did Penny know that Desmond ended up there?

Seriously, these Widmores have both shown the capacity to know of things they really have no right knowing. So now I’m heading into uncharted theoretical territory to attempt some form of explanation. Hang on tight for this one. I believe Penny and Charles both knew about the Island, and Oceanic 815, because Desmond told them all about it before he went there.

Yeah. You read that right. Now let me explain myself.

We have already seen Desmond, during his time on the Island, travel back in time to his life before the Island. The episode Flashes Before Your Eyes was all about this. Now imagine if, in that episode, Desmond had told Penny that he had set off on a yacht race that her father arranged. During that race he had somehow wound up on an Island, pushing a button every 108 minutes. Then there was a plane crash – Oceanic 815 – that also arrived there, bringing with it people that caused him to eventually stop pressing the button that resulted in a massive electromagnetic pulse that knocked his consciousness back in time.

I know that Desmond didn’t tell Penny, or Charles, this, but imagine if he had! We would then have a reasonable explanation as to how Penny and Charles know the things they know. We would understand why Penny set up a listening post to look for a sizeable electromagnetic pulse. We would understand how Charles knew to stage a fake Oceanic 815 crash site once the real Oceanic 815 went missing. They would know because, as I said, Desmond told them all about it before he went there.

The more I consider this, the more I feel like it has to be the way of it. What’s more, I think I already know the period of time when it happened. Desmond’s already given us a clue, back in the episode Catch-22.

Desmond described the time he met Brother Campbell. He stated that he woke up in the street with no idea how he got there, and standing over him was Brother Campbell who took him into the monastery and etc, etc. The important part, for me, is Desmond waking up in the street with no idea how he got there. We’ve got some lost time unaccounted for here, and a potential time slot when ‘future Desmond’s consciousness’ could have jumped into Desmond’s brain and taken over for a while – just like he did in Flashes Before Your Eyes.

Now, of course, I can’t tell you when or how this happens. It might occur when, for whatever reason, Desmond is travelling back to the Island. It may happen if he gets involved in some kind of Faraday/Dharma purple ray exposure. I don’t know. What seems certain is that Desmond, at some stage in the future, will travel back in time to a point before he even met Penny.

So here’s the proposal. Just before Desmond woke up in the street and encountered Brother Campbell, his future consciousness took over. This consciousness went and found Charles Widmore and told him all about the yacht race that brought him to the Island, about the crash of Oceanic and the EM pulse. Possibly Desmond told Widmore all this in the hope that Widmore would never stage the yacht race at all. But, of course, Widmore would. It was his new best chance of finding the Island!

Charles would engineer it so that Desmond went to a monastery by having Campbell there to collect him when his ‘current consciousness’ came back (so Desmond could learn the discipline of solitary confinement that would serve him well for his years in the Swan Station). Charles would send his daughter to the monastery to meet Desmond and kindle their love. He would deny Desmond his daughter’s hand in marriage to set him on a course to join the army, and eventually take on the yacht race to win Widmore’s respect. (This also explains Widmore’s uncharacteristic kindness to Desmond in supplying Penny’s address during The Constant - it was just Widmore ensuring events occurred as he wanted them to.)

How did Penny know to set up the Listening Post? Well, maybe she is working with Widmore on some level. Maybe she doesn’t know the full extent of Widmore’s history with the Island, and she certainly knew nothing of The Freighter, but maybe Widmore told her just enough to keep her interested and involved in Desmond’s fate to ensure events played out as he wanted them to.

So that’s what. That’s where I got to from that one simple question about how Widmore knew about the Island. It’s elaborate, I know, but the logic and the ‘lost time’ of Desmond fits altogether too snugly for me to easily disregard it. Pertinently, and ironically, time will tell if I am right, or even close to right.


aoibhneas said...

that's a very thought provoking post and a great catch about brother campbell finding desmond in the street. i'll have to watch again but did desmond say he had been drinking and passed out? not that it really matters. and there's another thing; you mention that when the oceanic 6 were picked up by penny's boat only henrik was present. again, i'll have to find the epi and watch it but remember when ben showed locke the video tape of charles widmore. someone spying on widmore had taped it and it showed a man being beaten up. possibly mathias?

Anonymous said...

The simplest explanation is that it was Widmore's listening post, and Penny had a man on the inside. She knew he had these monitoring stations for whatever reason and co-opted them into looking for Desmond.