Below are some additional thoughts about "The Shape of Things to Come" from two readers via email. The first is from my shy friend 'Jacob' and the second is from a new contributor, Tom. They are certainly on the same page when it comes to the Widmore/Black Rock theory.
Leave a comment if you agree or disagree with any of these ideas:
"I think Charles Widmore was somehow related to the Black Rock ship, and he is one of those ageless people like Richard Alpert. At one point Ben said somthing to Widmore about the Rock,' which everyone would just take to be the island. Since when has the island ever not been referred to as 'the island?' Has it ever been called the Rock before....unless he was referring to the Black Rock ship. That would also explain why Widmore wanted the log of the ship.[update from Jo: I just watched that scene between Ben and Widmore again. Ben says 'Iraq' and not 'Rock.']
He may have been there and got off somehow, and now he needs to find it again. Hanso had it and that was how they found it to set up the Dharma Initiative to test the island."
"Ben popped up in Tunisia in the same place where Charlotte Lewis found the polar bear collar. I think now that there weren't Dharma operations in Tunisia; stuff, like the collar, just went through the same time-space hole that Ben did.
Widmore doesn't have security, because as Ben says, 'You know I can't kill you.' But then Ben refers again to a changing of the rules. So that's why Widmore felt safe, and until Alex got killed, it sounded like family members were out of bounds, too.
And this is my personal wild moment of speculation with nothing to back it up: Widmore was on the Black Rock when it shipwrecked on the island."