Warning, speculation/possible spoilers below (UPDATED POST EPISODE):
In this week's episode of Flash, "Enter Zoom" we finally got the best look yet at this season's Big Bad, "Zoom". Rumor has it he has been terrorizing Earth Two ever since the STAR labs explosion that coincided with Barry becoming the Flash in our world.
We heard the stories all season: Zoom terrified the greatest of heroes on Earth 2 and now he's come to kill Barry.
In an interview, Grant Gustin (Flash) explained that the mysterious Zoom has a "demonic quality to him": dressed all in black, claws on his gloves, voiced by Candyman Tony Todd, the character is a horrifying menace unlike anything ever seen on the otherwise light-hearted comic book show.
The show runners exemplified this beautiful contrast by increasing the episode's levity through slapstick and corny dialogue, all the way to the end of the episode...when Zoom finally showed up, abusing, humiliating and nearly destroying Barry with little effort at all.
Last season, Reverse Flash/Harrison Wells/Eobard Thawne (played by Tom Cavanaugh) coached Barry to use his powers in innovative ways, making him faster and more powerful than Earth 2's Flash, Jay Garrick, played by Teddy Sears. Earth 2's Harrison Wells (also played by Cavanaugh) appeared recently to encourage Barry to face Zoom. Garrick, visibly frightened, warned against it.
"Enter Zoom" revealed that Zoom has captured Well's daughter, making him desperate and overconfident. Garrick was right: Zoom completely dominated the Flash with a violent beat-down.
So how will Barry eventually defeat Zoom? They're both speedsters drawing from the Speed Force, but Zoom is much faster and stronger, can travel through dimensions to Earth 2 and has a metahuman army on his side.
The short answer? Earth 2's Harrison Wells (although as a proxy for the real hero, as I will explain below). In the previous episode, Wells used his technology to reveal a secret Cisco had been keeping from his friends: he's a metahuman. Wells also used his own technology to take out King Shark at the end of the previous episode and devised a way to take out Zoom by slowing him down. Now, he's pushing Cisco to use his powers the way Thawne/Wells pushed Barry last season.
Why does that matter?
After being outed, Cisco finally embraced his burgeoning abilities with Wells' encouragement (even using them against Wells in the latest episode) and Barry gave him the codename "Vibe". Many fans expected this from the very beginning of the show, because "Cisco Ramone" is "Vibe" in the comics. For those not familiar with the character, Vibe's sonic vibration powers allow him to disrupt the Speed Force, a threat to speedsters. The show's portrayal of his powers suggest Cisco does have a connection to the Speed Force and the alternate time lines created by time travel.
Cisco, as Vibe (and trained by Wells) will take out Zoom and save Barry's life!
The original version of this article came out just before "Enter Zoom" aired. In that episode, Zoom was about to kill Barry, but Cisco stopped him with Wells' gun. If that ain't foreshadowing, I don't know what is! This is obviously the route the show is going with Cisco, setting up Vibe against Zoom! The great thing about Cisco's character is that he is reluctant to be a metahuman, he's socially awkward, he grew up living in his brother's shadow and he has slowly found confidence to be the good guy he is, with the help and support of Team Flash. Those experiences will turn him into the unlikely hero who saves Flash by defeating Zoom.
On a lighter note, any guesses as to who is underneath Zoom's all-black full-body suit? Is it Evan Peters' Quicksilver (Days of Future Past)?
Okay, maybe not. The Flash season 2 continues Tuesdays on The CW.
Who is under the Zoom mask?
Jamie Duncan is the author of forthcoming fantasy series Fire of Norea.