The Flash Character Spotlight: Zoom
Season 2 of The Flash finds Barry facing off against a speedster who is even worse than season 1’s Reverse Flash. Zoom starts his assault on Barry by sending metahumans to kill him through the numerous breaches (that lead to other Earths) created by Team Flash in the season 1 finale. Barry manages to hold his own against the likes of Dr. Light, Atom-Smasher, and King Shark. Team Flash decides to fake Barry’s death in order to trap Zoom. It doesn’t work and the speedster almost kills Barry, but Cisco manages to shoot him with a slowing serum. Barry is destroyed by his loss to Zoom, but eventually gets past that and decides that he is going to take the fight to Earth-2. In episode 15, we finally get the reveal we have been waiting for all season as Zoom appears in his lair and removes his mask. And who is underneath? Jay Garrick. Or Hunter Zolomon.
Since we are dealing with multiple earths, things can get a little bit tricky. The face we see is the one we have come to know as Jay Garrick, but it could be that Zoom instead goes by Hunter Zolomon. That name is not unknown to show as it was planted in episode 11 (‘The Reverse-Flash Returns’) when Jay shows Caitlin his Earth-1 doppelgänger. Because of this, there is the possibility that Zoom is not from Earth-2 and goes by Zolomon.
What can we expect moving forward now that the audience knows who is under the mask? I think that there are a lot of questions still circulating around Zoom. For one, we don’t know why he
and the Flash from Earth-2 have the same face. I have a theory that Zoom and Earth-2 Flash are one in the same. Jay talks to Caitlin about how he craved more Speed Force, and this ultimately led him to damaging his cells. In order to counteract that, he needed to steal speed from others who used it, but I don’t think he was able to. This would explain why he blackmailed Harrison Wells from Earth-2 (Harry) into stealing Barry’s speed. But why have Jay join Team Flash? Zoom has a network of other villains working for him, like Deathstorm and Killer Frost, and it would be highly likely that he would have a shapeshifter metahuman on his roster. The only way he thought he could get closer to Team Flash would be by having a former speedster amongst them. However, Jay was growing to close to Team Flash, which is why Zoom was forced to kill him in episode 14.
Or, Zoom is from a different Earth. He craves more speed and the only way he can get it is by stealing it from himself. On Earth-2, that was Jay Garrick, but Jay’s cells were damaged and he was drawn into the breach. Again, Zoom originally wanted to kill Barry, but then decided to take his speed. Why? Because his Earth-1 form is not a speedster. He needs power, and that power is going to come from Barry.
A big piece of this puzzle is the man in the mask that is being held captive by Zoom. I think that he is involved in all of this and could possibly be the real Jay Garrick. When Barry was being held by Zoom, he was able to communicate with the man in the mask and when he mentioned that Jay was on Earth-1, the man had an adverse reaction. We never found out why, but it is probably really important.
Season 2 is doing what I didn’t think was possible and topping its previous season. Zoom is such a good villain and really terrifying. It will be interesting to see how Team Flash reacts when they find out who is under the mask and how they plan to defeat him.