The Flash fans had to wait for most of season 2 to find out the surprise identity of villain Zoom, and that reveal has so far inspired a lot more questions than answers. When the show returns on April 19, after another mini-hiatus, viewers will be hoping for further enlightenment on who the Earth-2 speedster really is.
With the help of the alternate Earth’s Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh), Team Flash had finally closed all of the breaches that connected Zoom’s turf to Earth-1. Once Jay Garrick’s full betrayal was realized, however, Barry (Grant Gustin) was more determined than ever to return to Earth-2. In the most recent episode, ‘Flash Back,’ our hero even risked traveling back in time to seek his former mentor Wells’ help in increasing his speed.
Though revealed as the man we know as Jay, The Flash producer Andrew Kreisberg has stated that Zoom is “Hunter Zolomon.” Earlier in the season, Jay took Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) to observe a man in the park with that name, explained as Jay’s Earth-1 doppelganger. The man who should be Jay lost his mother in childbirth, something that actor Teddy Sears says (via EW) will be explored further with Zoom’s backstory in the upcoming episodes.
“We’re going to see what happened to Hunter as a child look almost exactly like what happened to Barry when he was a child. One man went one way and one man went the other … which of course gets into some really exciting stuff when Hunter and Barry begin to interact, because there’s a lot of stuff that bubbles up to the surface for Hunter that he didn’t realize was there.”
Sears defines Hunter as “100 percent sociopathic,” someone who enjoys the power he has over others, and the game of deceiving everyone on Earth-1 about his intentions. (The deception was so good that even the actor himself began to wonder if he really was Zoom.) Sears is hoping to bring a little more to the table with the character, however, than a purely evil villain.
“There was a really wonderful scene that I did with Grant where that opportunity for the audience to experience an understanding or a pathos for Hunter exists — at least that’s what we were attempting. Honestly, just as an actor, that began to happen in the shooting of this scene. I think there’s this whole other thing here. We all agreed that that was a really fun to way to go.”
Some of that empathy for the character may come thanks to Caitlin, whom Hunter apparently had genuine feelings for.
“That adds a really interesting dynamic to this moving forward. He essentially is one gigantic liar who has played them all, but he never played her. There are real feelings there. There’s even an under-layer based on where he came from in his life — his origin story — that plays a big part in why he wants her, why he needs her, why he loves her.”
This seems like promising news about understanding the character more fully. Hopefully the revelations will also make it clearer how many versions of Jay and Hunter have existed in this story so far. In a world of doppelgangers, time travel, and alternate dimensions, it can be tough to sort it all out. Sears also promises that, though we have to wait until the finale, the identity of the man in the metal mask will finally be revealed, and it will be “quite satisfying.” Whether that will be the final piece in the Zoom puzzle, or just an opening to even more questions, remains to be seen.
The Flash returns with episode ‘Versus Zoom’ on Tuesday, April 19 on The CW.