Spoiler warning: Do not read on unless you’ve seen “The Flash” Season 2, Episode 15, titled “King Shark.”
Fans have been speculating about the identity of “The Flash’s” villainous Zoom since Season 2 began, but the truth proved to be even more shocking than we could’ve predicted: the man we’ve come to know as Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears) — beloved by comic book fans as the first iteration of The Flash in the Golden Age of comics — was revealed to be Zoom, aka Hunter Zolomon… Seconds after dumping the body of the man who appeared to be Jay Garrick on the ground back on Earth-2. But how? For that reveal, we’ll sadly have to wait until after “The Flash” returns from its mini-hiatus on March 22.
Our suspicions were raised after Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) attempted to track down Jay’s Earth-1 counterpart in the Jan. 26 episode “The Reverse-Flash Returns” (a title that has now taken on a poetic double meaning) only to discover that “Jay Garrick” didn’t exist on our Earth, and instead, Jay’s doppelganger was a man named Hunter Zolomon — the alter ego of Zoom in DC Comics canon.
While fans may be forgiven for thinking that the Zoom storyline seems eerily reminiscent of last season’s twist, which revealed that the Reverse Flash, Eobard Thawne (Matt Letscher), had assumed the identity of scientist Dr. Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) in order to gain the trust of Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), executive producer Andrew Kreisberg tells Variety that the parallel is entirely by design.
“For us, it could only happen because of what happened last season,” Kreisberg explains. “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.”
The twist is particularly surprising given Jay’s iconic status in the DC universe, but Kreisberg says that fan expectations helped conceal their master plan for Zoom. “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,” he points out. “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?”
To learn more about Zoom’s endgame, we’ll have to wait until “The Flash” returns to The CW with all new episodes on March 22.
Did you suspect that Jay was Zoom? Who do you think is the man in the mask? Share your reactions below!