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Tonight’s episode of The Flash basically marks the halfway point of Season 2. Much of the first half of the season has revolved around the Earth Two incursions, specifically our new main antagonist Zoom, a mysterious villain desperate to become the fastest man in the multiverse. While he’s already proven to be more powerful than Flash, he wants to make Barry faster so that he’ll have more speed to steal later on. And although Zoom’s creepy voice is provided by Tony Todd, the person underneath that mutated skin is still anonymous, making him seem more monster than man.
With an identity reveal undoubtedly coming in the near future, we’re taking this opportunity to go over who might secretly be Zoom. The Flash is playing more coy with keeping Zoom’s identity secret than they did last year with Eobard Thawne being Reverse-Flash, so whenever the “unmasking” happens, it will definitely be one of the show’s biggest moments. In the meantime, here are our main candidates and the likelihood of them being Zoom.
Hunter ZolomonIn “The Reverse-Flash Returns,” we learned that Jay Garrick’s Earth One counterpart is named Hunter Zolomon. The name didn’t mean anything to casual viewers, but comic book fans caught the reference right away, as Hunter actually is Zoom in the comics. A friend of Wally West’s, Hunter was left paralyzed from the waist down after being caught in one of Grodd’s attacks. When Hunter asked Wally to go back in time to stop the accident, Wally refused for fear of damaging the time stream, so Hunter decided to take matters into his own hands by breaking into the Flash Museum and trying to use the Cosmic Treadmill himself. One standard explosion later, and Hunter’s legs were restored, and he also gained the ability to warp time around him, making it look like he was moving fast.
Ironically, of all the entries on this list, Hunter ranks at the bottom. For one, Zoom came from Earth Two, and from what we know, Hunter has lived his whole life on Earth One. Also, we have no emotional connection to this character. As this point, it seems like the name drop was included as fan service, so if he were to be suddenly revealed as Zoom, it would just feel random. Also, his DNA isn’t mutated like Jay’s is. So unless Hunter somehow plays a crucial role in these next couple of episodes and it’s suddenly revealed that he has powers, it’s doubtful he’s Zoom.
Jay GarrickHear us out on this one. We've been hearing Jay Garrick talk about wanting to stop Zoom since he met Team Flash, but what if all isn’t as it seems? What if Jay has been Zoom this whole time? Sure, there was that flashback in “Flash of Two Worlds,” but that was from his perspective and we’ve just been taking him at his word on that really happening. Jay was also absent when Barry got beaten and humiliated in “Enter Zoom,” and while Jay said beforehand it was because he didn’t want to see Barry hurt, maybe he was actually gone for more sinister reasons. Heck, even if we did see Jay and Zoom together, that wouldn't rule out Jay as the evildoer entirely. Remember how “Harrison Wells” made it look like he and Reverse-Flash were separate individuals in “The Man in the Yellow Suit”?
The main problem with this idea is not only has Jay lost his speed (which was proven by Caitlin’s tests), but he’s also dying of an unnamed illness due to losing his Speed Force connection. That doesn’t sound like someone who’s running around and killing people. Fortunately, an easy explanation for this is his relationship with Zoom is a Jekyll/Hyde dynamic. As Jay, he’s nice and powerless (hence why Velocity 6 worked on him), but when he’s Zoom, he’s fast and monstrous. As for that illness, perhaps even the speed Jay has as Zoom isn’t enough to cure him. That’s why he wants to take Barry’s speed; he believes taking that final amount of power will fix him. Or maybe there’s a more frightening possibility: Zoom killed the real Jay Garrick and has been impersonating them this whole time!
Barry Allen’s DoppelgängerZoom already resembles a twisted version of the Scarlet Speedster, so how do you take it a step further? By making the villain Barry himself! One fan theory online is that Zoom is Barry’s Earth Two doppelgänger. Maybe he was also affected by the particle accelerator explosion and gained super speed, but then also turned into something horrifying. Now, instead of protecting Central City like our Barry does, he spends his time terrorizing it. It’s worth noting there’s a notable height difference between Earth One Barry and Zoom, but hey, let’s just attribute that to the particle accelerator’s effects.
During one of last month’s previews, there was a shot of a Barry wearing Earth Two clothing, but we don’t know yet whether that’s our Barry in disguise or the actual Earth Two Barry. The former is most likely given that Earth One Barry, Cisco and Harry Wells will be traveling to Earth Two to break into Zoom’s lair and rescue Harry’s daughter, Jesse. Still, that doesn’t mean that Barry doesn’t have an Earth Two counterpart, and if he ends up being Zoom, then the reveal is going to throw Barry for a loop. The final battle between those two would be the ultimate yin and yang conflict. One good, the other evil. Two sides of the same coin.
Henry Allen’s DoppelgängerAnother common fan theory that’s been floating around is that Zoom is Henry Allen’s Earth Two doppelgänger. This gained more traction when the promo photos of Zoom from the episode “Enter Zoom” were released, and fans noted how the eyes of the actor playing Zoom were similar to those of John Wesley Shipp. While it’s more likely that was someone else under all that makeup, it’s still an intriguing possibility. First off, the idea of making Shipp a speedster again, since he previously played Barry Allen in the ‘90s Flash series, is just too cool! More importantly, it’s another example of an Earth Two character being the exact opposite of their Earth One counterpart. Earth One Henry is a kind man who would do whatever it takes to help someone else, making it fitting that he’s a doctor. His Earth Two self, on the other hand, is a bad cookie, and being turned into Zoom corrupted him further.
There’s only one major issue with this theory: you’d think that if Earth Two Henry was also the father of a Barry Allen, it wouldn’t be as easy as it was for him to deliver a beating to a guy who looks just like his son. Even if we assume that Earth Two Henry is a bastard, wouldn’t he at least pause once seeing who Flash was under the mask? Beyond that, there aren’t any problems preventing him from being Zoom, but there also aren’t any clues pointing towards him as the culprit yet. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Eddie Thawne's DoppelgängerThroughout The Flash Season 1, it seemed like the show would utilize Rick Cosnett's Eddie Thawne for the long haul, both as a partner to Joe West, a love interest for Iris and a friendly rival for Barry. But the rug was pulled from under everyone in the Season 1 finale when he killed himself in order to destroy Reverse-Flash and save Central City. That takes a lot of human empathy and good will, and Zoom is the exact opposite of those descriptions. So wouldn't it make at least a little bit of sense if Earth 2's Eddie Thawne is not a cop at all but rather a villainous mastermind set on taking down The Flash?
This is a show that, like Arrow, is perfectly fine with finding ways to bring characters back from the dead, and there were talks about Cosnett being able to return to the show in some form despite having died in the normal continuity. Sure, he could just pop up randomly in the episodes where Barry and Cisco travel to Earth 2 next week and beyond, which would make for an interesting encounter, but it would be a lot more interesting if the Thawne lineage is just destined to try and rule the world no matter what universe its members are in.
Someone ElseWe’ve gone over the main Zoom culprits, but really, there are still a lot of candidates left on the table. The only thing that’s certain is before Season 2 started, Zoom was active on Earth Two. That means it could be almost anyone on that alternate world. Maybe the show really is staying faithful to the comics by using another Hunter Zolomon, but since the Zolomon's never adopted Jay, it’s another man who carries the name.
Another possibility is that Zoom is Earth Two’ Wally West. Keiynan Lonsdale just became a series regular, and while Earth One Wally hasn’t become a metahuman yet, it’s possible his Earth Two counterpart was affected by the particle accelerator and became evil. This would also foreshadow our Wally eventually gaining super speed to any fan of The Flash not familiar with the comics. At this point, it’s even possible that it’s an original character, though the shocking reveal wouldn’t have as much of an emotional impact as if it was someone with a familiar face and name. Hey, maybe it’ll actually be Tony Todd underneath that freakish skin-like costume!
Who Do You Believe Is Under Zoom's Mask?