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Warning: major spoilers for this week’s episode of The Flash are ahead!
The biggest mystery during The Flash Season 2 has been the identity of its main antagonist, Zoom. Although the villain’s voice is provided by Tony Todd, the man behind the creepy mask had remained hidden until this past Tuesday, when his face was finally revealed. You’ll remember at the end of “Escape from Earth-2” that Jay Garrick was impaled by Zoom near the breach before he was dragged back to Earth-2. Well, at the end of “King Shark,” viewers watched Zoom drop Jay’s body in his lair and peel off his mask to reveal himself as…Jay Garrick?
Yes, actor Teddy Sears is the one who is playing Zoom in live-action, but unfortunately, many fans have been left more confused than satisfied by the reveal. Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg later identified Zoom to EW as “Hunter Zolomon, a.k.a Jay Garrick.” Although Hunter being Zoom makes sense since that’s who he is in the Flash comics, that doesn’t really clear up any questions that are wracking our brains concerning the TV series. With eight episodes left in the season, there’s still a lot we don’t know about Zoom, much like the situation with Reverse-Flash last season. Following that welcome-but-complicated, reveal, here are the five biggest questions on our minds.
Which Hunter Zolomon Is This?The first mention of Hunter Zolomon in The Flash was when Jay identified him as his Earth-1 doppelgänger to Caitlin Snow in “The Reverse-Flash Returns.” From the way Jay talked about him, Hunter’s just a normal guy living a normal life, but as we’ve since learned, Jay has lied about certain things. So it is possible that this Hunter is the one who’s been causing hell in both Earths over the last five months? Maybe, but remember that Harry Wells “created” Zoom, meaning that Earth-2’s particle accelerator exploding was responsible for his transformation. So unless Earth-1 Hunter somehow made his way to Earth-2 two years ago, then that doesn’t seem likely, which also rules out this being a Hunter from another Earth. That leaves us with a Hunter Zolomon from Earth-2, but how does he fit into all this? That brings us to our next section.
What Is Hunter’s Relationship To Jay?Jay originally passed Zoom off as his arch-nemesis on Earth-2 and the metahuman responsible for stealing his speed. We’ve since learned that Jay lost his speed by taking Velocity-6, and Jay also admitted that he would sometimes avoid fighting Zoom because he was so scared of him. This isn’t your typical hero/villain dynamic, and now that Sears has been revealed to be playing Zoom, obviously these two have a weirder relationship than expected. Before “King Shark,” one of the fan theories was that Jay was really Zoom, and he was secretly plotting among Team Flash while pretending to be their friend. The way Kreisberg talked about Zoom in that EW interview made it sound like that was the case, but we clearly saw Zoom hurt Jay, meaning that he can’t be in two places at once. (And no, this isn’t a speed mirage, because Jay’s body would have faded away.) So what’s happening? Are Earth-2’s Jay and Hunter twins that were separated at birth? Is Hunter somehow a clone of Jay? Ugh, I’m starting to get a headache again.
Is Jay Really Dead?Jay Garrick was the first Flash introduced in the comics, and while he’s not as well known as Barry Allen or Wally West in the modern era, he’s still a key figure in the Scarlet Speedster mythos. So to see him dead approximately two-thirds into The Flash Season 2 would be surprising, not to mention a disappointment to fans wanting to see him act more heroic. So even though he appeared dead at the end of “King Shark,” he’s merely badly wounded. That would line up with the theory that Hunter is a future version of Jay, and he didn’t kill himself so he wouldn’t be wiped from existence. However, a more likely alternative is that the Jay that Zoom killed is actually an impostor. Zoom sent him to manipulate Team Flash, but Zoom decided to take him out of the equation. So was “Jay” a clone or physically altered to look like him? Alternatively, if that twin theory is correct, then Earth-1’s Jay and Hunter are also related, and maybe Zoom kidnapped Earth-1 Jay and forced him to participate in his plan. Assuming any of those guesses are correct, where has the real Jay, a.k.a. Earth 2’s heroic Flash, been all this time? Well…
How Does The Man In The Iron Mask Fit In?When Barry was imprisoned in Zoom’s lair with Jesse Quick, there was a third prisoner, who is only being called the Man in the Iron Mask. Our only clue to his identity is when he use tap code to spell out “Jay,” implying he has some kind of personal connection to Jay Garrick. Zoom came back to the lair before Iron Mask could say more, but at the end of “King Shark,” he was freaking out seeing Jay’s body tossed to the floor. We provided our own guesses as to his identity, but much like the backstory behind Zoom, Iron Mask isn’t going to be revealed for a while. The most common fan theory is that he’s the real Jay Garrick, and Zoom imprisoned him to keep him from being a nuisance. On the off chance that Iron Mask isn’t Jay, that probably means he’s a friend or loved one who being kept as leverage. Could there be more to his presence, though? Does Iron Mask also factor into a future phase of Zoom’s plan?
What Is Zoom’s Master Plan?This whole season, Zoom’s primary plan has been simple: he wants to be the fastest man alive in every universe. It’s not as complex as Eobard Thawne using Barry to try to get back to his own time period, but it’s still enough motivation for someone to commit heinous acts. However, when he looked at Jay’s body in his lair, Zoom remarked, “Well, this is a complication.” This implies that Jay, or whoever that was, played a role in Zoom’s schemes (which fits with Kreisberg’s vague comments about him being untrustworthy); and with him dead or incapacitated, Zoom will have to alter what he’s plotting. Since Zoom blackmailed Harry Wells into stealing Barry’s speed to keep Jesse safe, obviously “Jay” wasn’t meant to perform that job. So what did Zoom have to gain from having “Jay” around Team Flash. Was it simply to gain intel on them, or was there something else he tried to accomplish there? Much like how all of Eobard’s motivations weren’t revealed until the final The Flash Season 1 episodes, we’ll probably have to wait until late April or early May to learn the full extent of Zoom’s master plan.
The Flash airs Tuesday nights on The CW.