Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Tuesday’s episode of The Flash. Read at your own risk!
The Flash finally unveiled Zoom’s identity during Tuesday’s episode, likely leaving fans shocked and confused.
The closing moments of the King Shark-themed hour caught up with Zoom as he unmasks himself in the wake of killing Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears) at the end of last week’s episode. Ready for it? No turning back now!
“Zoom’s identity has been revealed: He is Hunter Zolomon, a.k.a Jay Garrick,” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg tells EW.
But… but… how?! As postulated in one of our many (many, many, seriously many, many) theory stories, Jay seemed like a likely candidate to be Zoom after the reveal that his Earth-1 doppelgänger was actually Hunter Zolomon, the alter-ego of Zoom in the comics. Even so, how could Jay Garrick (ugh, Hunter!), who apparently arrived on Earth-1 with no powers, be zipping back and forth through the universes, or even be stabbing himself in the chest like we saw last week?! For now, that remains to be seen.
“How all of that plays out and what’s actually happening, we’ll leave for after the break,” Kreisberg says. “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.”
In a lot of ways, history is basically repeating itself. In the absence of the original Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh), Team Flash looked to Hunter Zolomon (née Jay Garrick!) as a leader, who helped to nurture everyone involved. Sound familiar? Eobard Thawne, under the guise of Wells, literally molded his nemesis Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) into The Flash all in the name of using him to get home. “It’s an even larger betrayal than last year in some ways, because they’re all going to feel like they should’ve been inoculated against it,” Kreisberg says. “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.”
“They let this person in,” Kreisberg continues. “Part of the reason he was able to do that was because there was a hole in the center of their group, and he knew that. He was able to step in because they wanted it so desperately. Barry was missing his mentor, Wells, and here comes Jay offering to be his mentor. Caitlin [Danielle Panabaker] had lost Ronnie [Robbie Amell], and then here comes Jay offering to be her new knight in shinning armor.” (Seriously, poor Caitlin Snow!)
In this case, letting the past color their future actually worked against them. “The irony, of course, is the one person who has been saying, ‘Don’t trust this guy! Don’t trust this guy! Don’t trust this guy!’ has been Harry, who’s the one that none of them trusted,” Kreisberg says. “For us, there was all of this great, delicious irony to the whole thing. It happens in a way that didn’t make them look stupid, that the reason he was able to manipulate them was because he was playing on their emotions. It wasn’t because they were gullible. They actually took precautions in the beginning — Barry locked him up right away — but all of them had that need for a center and for a new star to right their ships by. Jay’s one charming, smooth guy and he was able to manipulate them in that way.”
The question remains: Who is the man in the iron mask, who tapped out the message “Jay” to Barry and Jesse (Violett Beane)? Sorry, Kreisberg is staying mum on the mystery man locked up in Zoom’s lair. “Just when we solve one mystery, we like to set up another one,” he says coyly. “The identity of the man in the [iron] mask is, in some ways, probably an even bigger surprise than this one, if you can imagine it. It’s a new mystery to pull you through the season. Barry swore he wasn’t going to leave him behind. Something tells me Barry’s going to make good on that promise.”
The Flash returns Tuesday, March 22 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.