The Flash has been on a roll the last few weeks, and this week’s episode was no different. We had a giant shark wearing pants, excellent drama from the aftermath of Earth-2, and of course the answer to the question we’ve had since the season premiered. That question of course being “Who is Zoom?”
And of course, if you haven’t watched the episode: **SPOILER ALERT**
In an article I wrote months back, I speculated that Earth-2 Henry Allen would be the man behind the ghoulish mask. As the weeks progressed, there seemed to be strong indications that this would be the case. That all changed in last week’s episode “Escape From Earth-2”, when the man in the iron mask started tapping, using an old military POW code. That of course led to him tapping the name “JAY”. So many theories ran through my head but I didn’t want to give up the idea that Henry would be the evil speedster. But, as we all now know, the man under the mask is none other than:
JAY GARRICK/HUNTER ZOLOMON
Even with the big reveal, it still left us all with so many questions. Is this Jay, or is it Zolomon? Who’s the man in the iron mask? Where does the Earth-1 Hunter Zolomon fit in this scenario? Well this is where we get into some theories. These are just some ideas that could end up coming to fruition, or I could be wrong. With this show, there are so many possibilities that there’s no telling what will happen.
One thing that interested me is what executive producer Andrew Kreisberg had to say about the reveal.
“Zoom’s identity has been revealed: He is Hunter Zolomon, a.k.a Jay Garrick… How [the twist] plays out and what’s actually happening, we’ll leave for after the break. But we wanted to go out on this run of episodes with a big reveal, just the same way we did at the end of episode 9 in season 1, where we revealed that Harrison Wells was the man in the yellow suit. Zoom’s identity is finally revealed.”
“For us, it could only happen because of what happened last season. For Barry and the others, as much as they were stung by Wells/Thawne’s betrayal, he had been their mentor and friend and they all felt that vacuum when he was gone. Jay had been watching them and knew that so he was able to masterfully step into the role each of them needed. He became a friend and mentor to Barry. A love interest to the heartbroken Caitlin. He skillfully played them all.
“We knew there’d be a fair amount of the audience who would know who Jay Garrick was and would take the character and anything he said at face value because of his past history. With this, we were better able to hide the ball as it were as to Zoom’s true identity. Who would suspect the big bad was the classic hero from the comics?”
So he’s basically saying that Jay has been a bad guy all along. Taking Caitlin to see his doppelgänger? All just part of his trickery. With a speedster of Zoom’s magnitude it would be easy for him to just pull off a speed mirage, reminiscent of Harrison Wells/Eobard Thawne from season 1.
But I think Andrew is being a bit tricky here. This would all make sense if the last few minutes of the Flash this week didn’t play out. There you see Zoom back in his lair, and dumps Jay’s body on the floor. The man in the iron mask looks horrified, making us all wonder who he is.
As for Zoom, is he Jay or is he Zolomon? A few ideas. Let me just point out one thing first. In the Flarrowverse, the shows do tend to have the comic book origins be the big bad of the season. They mislead you or have a crazy twist, but it always ends up being the comic book name. Ex: Arrow Season 2 was Deathstroke or Slade Wilson. Flash Season 1 was The Reverse Flash/Eobard Thawne.
The idea that I’m leaning towards points to the velocity 6 that Jay abused. He said it made him sick, his cells were deteriorating. It’s possible that he went to Wells for help, and in doing so created Zoom. Split Jay in two if you will. One Jay, the Flash, being good, and the other, Zoom, absolute evil. Now this could also explain Zoom’s need for speed. When Zoom’s intentions were first learned before the winter break, he seemed very one dimensional. He wanted Barry to get faster, to take his speed, so Zoom can be faster. With this theory, being split from Jay, perhaps he took the deteriorating cells with him. Thus his want for the speed force is not out of greed to be faster, but a need to stay alive. So does that mean that Hunter Zolomon on Earth-1 was just a nice Easter egg? I sure hope not.
That brings me into my second theory. Since Zoom was shown to have blue lightning, people speculated on Edward Clariss, aka The Rival, being introduced at some point this season. Which does make sense, since he was Jay Garrick’s “Reverse Flash”. But I would like to pay some attention to Cobalt Blue. Not that he will be introduced this season, but his origin story. In short he was Barry Allen’s twin. There could be a situation like this: Jay’s twin is Hunter Zolomon, making two Jay’s, one on Earth-1 and one on Earth-2, and the same for the two Zolomons. This would mean Earth-2 Jay is the Flash, Earth-2 Zolomon is Zoom, Earth-1 Jay is the man in the iron mask, and Earth-1 Zolomon was that man casually reading in the park. This is confusing, I’m going to stop theorizing before my head explodes.
But that leaves one question essential to the Zoom mystery. Who is the man in the iron mask? Now I personally believe that the man under the iron mask is Jay Garrick. The only question is to which Jay is he? There are two possibilities as far as I’m concerned.
Option 1: The man under the mask is Jay Garrick from Earth-2, the real Jay. The Flash from that Earth. Now I like this option but it’s hard for me to grasp because holes can be poked into this theory. For example, if the real Jay has been trapped, that would mean the Jay we had on Earth-1 was another Flash. Or just had a ton of knowledge on the speed force, then got lucky when he took the velocity 9 to perform all the heroics he did.
Option 2: Still Jay, but from another Earth. Earth-3 kind of thing. Weird, I know. This show makes my brain hurt sometimes.
I’ve also been reading that some people think Zoom snatched up Earth-1 Zolomon and he’s the one in the mask. I’d like to point out that Jesse Quick says that the man in the iron mask has been there since before Zoom’s entire scheme started, so that kind of throws out that idea.
In any case, what do you guys think of the Zoom reveal? And what do you think is going to be revealed in the coming weeks?