I spend more time than I care to admit thinking about Zoom’s true identity. Sometimes I wish The Flash was a Netflix original series so they could drop all the episodes at once and I could spend an entire weekend watching it, getting my entire black-ass life.
But it’s not, so I tune in every week, looking for clues and wondering: Who’s Zoom and why is he so damn petty? Then you throw in Jay’s sketchy ass and the man in the iron mask, and my head is going to explode.
Below are some popular, but wrong, theories and then my Zoom theory which is *absolutely correct. Before you dive in, know these two things:
- I do not think Zoom should be from Earth-2. I don’t care about anyone there.
- I have not read The Flash comic books so please don’t jump in the comments with spoilers or condescending, “Well, actually…” comments.
The Case For Earth-1 Henry Allen:
The man has been in jail for fifty-‘leven years and immediately decides to leave town once he’s out? Why wouldn’t he want to rebuild his life and make up for lost time with his son? Did Central City give him a large settlement for his wrongful conviction? Is he out making it rain on hookers and blow? His decision to leave town never sat well with me.
Zoom made a “fish with bait” reference in ‘Enter Zoom’, and in the very next episode, Henry arrived in town (at Iris’ urging) and said he’d been camping and fishing at a national park.
Really, Henry? Really?
The Case Against Earth-1 Henry Allen:
Zoom existed while Henry was in jail. Second of all, there’s no way in hell Henry would want to harm Barry. I hate that I even wasted a few moments typing up how dumb this theory is, but here we are.
If you read my reviews and listen to our podcast, you know I was on the Henry is Zoom train very early on. Then I came to my damn senses.
The Case For Earth-2 Henry Allen:
We didn’t get to see Earth-2’s Henry Allen, and the show would definitely stir up some drama if Barry has to kill his own father, even from another world.
It would also fit the theme of Earth-2 being a flip-flop of Earth-1. So far, everyone we’ve met from Earth-2 is different than their Earth-1 counterpart. Instead of a devoted father, Earth-2’s Henry is really an evil speedster, while his son has no meta-human powers at all.
The Case Against Earth-2 Henry Allen:
This feels way too obvious, and would you really care if Zoom turned out to be an Earth-2 doppelganger? They’re not our people! The reveal would obviously hurt Earth-2’s Barry, but I doubt we’ll see him again this season. The reveal of Zoom has to matter to our Barry, in my opinion, to have maximum effect.
The Case For Jay Garrick:
Listen, I’ve been saying since episode 4 or 5 that Jay is sketchy as hell. He’s light on specifics, and the ones he has offered have later been proven to be lies.
When we first met him, he said Zoom was about to kill him when the sky opened up. He had no idea how he lost his powers (“I’m not entirely sure.”), but they were gone when he arrived on Earth-1. An episode or two later, he says Zoom took his powers while talking to Caitlin.
When he admits that he was addicted to taking Velocity (in episode 13) in order to obtain more speed, Caitlin says, “Zoom didn’t take your powers. Velocity-6 did.” Jay nods and says, “I wasn’t lying when I said it was dangerous.”
So, we’re all on the same page that we were led to believe (either by Jay’s own words or the others’ assumptions) that Zoom took Jay’s powers, and that was a lie, right? What else is Jay hiding?
Could he have a split personality and not realize he’s Zoom? Could Zoom be a manifestation of his addiction to speed? Or is he straight up Zoom, and that’s why we’ve yet to see them in the same place at the same time (except Jay’s flashback, which can be fake)?
Could Zoom be Jay from the future, a version of himself who took way too much Velocity-6 and now he needs a cure?
What we know about Jay for sure:
- He did not have the speed force in his system when the team met him a few months ago, but he had regenerative properties.
- If he didn’t come through the night Thawne was defeated, we know his helmet sure did.
- A man who looks like Jay and who has/had speedster powers was known as The Flash on Earth-2. We saw him use his powers and confront Wells at a press conference.
- Velocity works on him. Not sure if they’ve specifically said this (I’m still early in my re-watch as I write this), but that should only work on people whose cells were altered by the speed force/being a speedster. Otherwise, why wouldn’t anyone have taken it to retrieve the bullet out of Wells or fight Geomancer?
What we know about Zoom and where we learned it:
- He “showed up” on Earth-2 right around the time Jay got his powers. (Jay)
- No one knows who he is or where he came from. (Jay)
- He was always one step ahead somehow. (Jay) Almost like he knew the future.
- He’s obsessed with being the only speedster from any world. (Jay)
- He seems to lack scientific knowledge since he needs Wells to take Barry’s speed. Note, we’ve NEVER seen him take speed from other speedsters. And who are these other speedsters? How many did Earth-2’s Central City have? More on that in a bit.
- He will never stop until he’s the only speedster in “the multiverse.” (Wells)
What we know (or think we know) about the man in the iron mask:
- He was in a cage similar to Barry’s, and both were different from Jesse’s. Some think this means he’s also a speedster. This would make sense if the cells were made from something impossible to phase through, but they aren’t since both Zoom and Barry did it. However, the helmet could be what’s stopping him from using his speedster powers or phasing through the wall.
- He knows something about Jay Garrick. He nodded when Barry asked if he was referring to Jay, but became frustrated when Barry thought he was asking for Jay Garrick’s help or location.
- He has been held since before Zoom took Jesse.
- He’s a white man.
The Case Against Jay Garrick:
While there is definitely some shadiness where Jay is concerned, I really don’t think the Jay we’ve been seeing this whole season is bad. That would be way too close to the storyline from season one and do we really want to see another round of, “But I trusted you”? No. We do not.
If Jay is Zoom, how do we explain the ending of Escape From Earth-2? Another speed mirage? Again, this would be too much like Eobard Thawne’s (as Wells) betrayal.
Can you imagine Barry/the team after that? They’d never trust anyone again. If we want to watch a moping, whining, and brooding superhero, we’d watch **Arrow.
And Zoom is…
Earth-1’s Eddie Thawne.
Eddie’s body went through that portal (which opened for no apparent reason – remember, Eobard had already faded out of existence and all was quiet for a bit before it opened), and it somehow resurrected him and gave him the speed force. With no speed cannon to direct which “door” he went through (or a specific time period), Eddie traveled throughout the multiverse and learned that Barry is destined to be with Iris. He arrives in Earth-2, two years prior to the events of the night he killed himself. Armed with the knowledge of when the singularity will occur on Earth-1 (creating the breaches), he bides his time, getting faster.
On Earth-2, 8 months before the breaches open, Jay Garrick publicly accuses Wells of releasing the dark matter which created all of the meta-humans. Some time after that day (the show hasn’t been specific), but before Jay went through the portal, Zoom takes Jesse. Why? Maybe he was using her to get Wells to help him get faster. We know this is before Jay left because the news report about Jesse’s kidnapping said The Flash arrived at the college too late to save her.
Wells, unwilling to help Zoom any longer, goes through the breach (perhaps he built his own speed cannon since we know he’s not a speedster) into Earth-1. This was four months prior to the events in episode 2.14 as the news report there said Harrison Wells hadn’t been seen in four months.
Why would Zoom take Jesse before the singularity even happened? It could be that he knew it was going to open and knew it was time to get Wells involved in getting him faster for his eventual fight with The Flash on Earth-1.
Zoom questioned Jesse, wanting to know why her father went through the breach. He didn’t fall for the Dr. Light trick, and later confronted Barry at S.T.A.R. Labs. When Barry asked what he wanted from him, Zoom said, “Everything.” Barry asked, “You want to be a hero? Is that it?” Zoom replies, “Heroes die.”
The first response sounds personal as hell – more than just wanting Barry’s power. Eddie’s last words were about being Iris’ hero.
Then Zoom takes Barry on a You Ain’t Shit and I’m Petty World Tour (Seriously, I thought he was going to drag Barry back in time so he could show Nora Allen her son ain’t shit.).
First, to the paper where his ex-fiancee works, then to the police station where he used to work to show off Barry’s beaten body to the man who once told him no when he asked for Iris’ hand in marriage. Finally, to S.T.A.R. Labs where it all began. Was he really going to kill Barry then? Maybe.
When he got back to Earth-2, he obviously decided that he could use Wells being on Earth-1 to his advantage and coerced him into stealing even more of Barry’s speed after “fattening him up.”
If this is correct, what does this mean for Jay, the man in the iron mask, and Hunter Zoloman?
My first choice is that the man in the iron mask is Earth-2’s Eddie Thawne. Zoom has held him against his will while he pretends to be Eddie Thawne on Earth-2… when he’s not being Zoom.
If that’s true? Why was Earth-2’s Eddie Thawne be asking for Jay Garrick?
Because that is his world’s The Flash and he was legitimately asking about him coming to save them. He became frustrated when Barry said Jay was not with them.
This would mean that Jay is exactly who and what he said he is, and the same goes for Hunter Zoloman.
Does this mean that Jay died at the end of 2.14?
Not necessarily. I happen to think that wound is fatal, but if I’m suggesting that going through the breach resurrected Eddie, then why couldn’t it also heal Jay? OR it wasn’t fatal for some other yet to be determined reason.
But I kinda hope he’s dead. But he’s probably not.
If Zoom is Earth-1’s Eddie, could the man in the iron mask still be Jay Garrick?
Yes. Maybe Zoom took Jay Garrick from a different point in time (to siphon his speed as needed while he traveled to kill other speedsters) and has him locked up. The Jay Garrick on Earth-1 is the Jay from the current timeline and everything he’s said and done to this point is as we saw. That would mean that Hunter Zoloman is also just a regular guy from Earth-1 and Jay’s doppelganger.
The man in the mask could also be Jay’s father (also out of time; and also played by Teddy Sears) as we know he was in a war (The War of the Americas) and that tapping 5×5 code was used by prisoners of war.
Are there any holes in your Zoom is Earth-1 Eddie Thawne theory?
Of course! Any time you try to figure out a twist or big reveal, you’re relying on things from prior episodes that may not mean anything. For instance, if Zoom is Eddie, wouldn’t he know where Wells’ office is on Earth-2? He wouldn’t need to grip up Henry Hewitt and ask where Wells was. Then again, maybe the writers really just wanted that scene and I’m reading too much into it. Also, how would Zoom know to put his hand through the time vault doorway? Well, Eddie knows about the time vault. See? You can twist anything (big or small) to fit your theories.
This is all very confusing. Can you simplify it?
Sure! I will do so the way the show breaks down science. With circles!
I’m telling you: Earth-1’s Eddie Thawne is Zoom and he’s sitting in his lair, right now, caressing The Flash’s emblem that Linda threw into the breach, and plotting his next move.
Who do you think is Zoom?
No matter who he is, we can all agree we’ll be totally bummed it’s not this guy: