[WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for The Flash Season 2, Episode 14.]
You have to hand it to the makers of The Flash: after spending a few weeks treading water with the audience wondering exactly when the big bad of the season, Zoom, was going to return to provide the show some momentum, his arrival didn't disappoint. It came thanks to a trip to Earth-2, in which Supergirl's place in the DC Comics TV Universe was explained, and even more DC Comics heroes were teased as possible new guest cast members. But in the latest episode, Barry Allen may have stumbled upon the biggest secret of the season: Zoom's true identity.
We say "may" since the writers are clearly not going to let the cat completely out of the bag just yet. However, they also didn't waste time in revealing Harrison Wells to be the duplicitous villain of the debut season. And still had plenty of twists and surprises in store once the man in yellow was officially unveiled. So if that's the case here, then Episode 14, "Escape From Earth-2" may have spelled out the answer (literally), provided fans were paying attention... and are willing to use their imagination to connect the dots.
To keep all viewers in the loop, we've laid out the plot so far, and break down exactly how the masked prisoner in Zoom's lair may have given fans all they need to solve the equation. And, of course, offer some speculation on the villain's final reveal. If true, it may be a pleasant surprise to comic book fans and viewers alike - and yet another betrayal by someone Barry thought was a trusted friend.
The Devil We Know (So Far)
To start off, we'll offer a brief primer on everything we actually know about Zoom - which, surprisingly, isn't much. What we know comes mostly from Jay Garrick's (Teddy Sears) insights from his time fighting what we come to learn is a losing battle against the villain on his alternate Earth. Describing Zoom as a psychotic, homicidal "speed demon," Garrick (with help from a flashback Wells) confirms that Zoom appeared not long after the particle accelerator explosion. It's also revealed that he is famous for murdering with little concern for collateral damage - simply sending a message to anyone who would try to stop him. Particularly, the police of Central City and Earth-2's Flash.
When giving a play-by-play of how he came to arrive on Earth-1, Jay informs the S.T.A.R. Labs team that just as his battle with Zoom seemed to be at an end - with the villain having him splayed out, dead to rights - his rescue came when a wormhole opened in the sky above Central City, sucking him into it, and through to Earth-1. Taking advantage of the many breaches left behind when Barry closed the wormhole, villain after villain appeared with orders to kill The Flash, or Zoom wouldn't allow them to head back home. With Jay's knowledge, they set to taking them down one by one... but not before Zoom showed up to tear The Flash apart, paralyzing him and moving quickly enough to make him seem like he was standing still.
Meanwhile, Zoom played his biggest card in secret: send Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) to infiltrate Barry's team, and concoct a means to steal the alternate Flash's speed. If he didn't, his daughter, Jessie, would be killed. After getting a small dose of said speed - injected straight into Zoom's veins - Wells confessed, teaming up with Barry and his friends, heading to Earth-2, and seeing Barry kidnapped.
Locked up with Jessie Wells and a masked man, Barry learns Zoom will kill everyone involved once he steals The Flash's speed, but his friends show up to rescue them - all but the masked prisoner.
The Truth Knocking?
It was clear when the previous week's episode ended with the masked prisoner tapping cryptically on his cell's glass that he was going to play a role, and on the surface, his involvement is still a mystery. But to ensure viewers understood just exactly what was being communicated, let's go over the events of his revelation one more time. Upon learning that the masked man is tapping using a system known as "tap code" - tapping letter by letter using numbers - Barry and Jessie discover he's spelling three letters on repeat: J, A, and Y (for the record, he was tapping the same letters in the previous episode's cliffhanger as well).
Skipping over the suggestions that the inmate could probably have just written the letters on the glass of his cell for his fellow prisoners, Barry suggests the name 'Jay' for confirmation, to which the prisoner nods enthusiastically. When Barry makes the connection to Jay Garrick - a person whose close relationship to Barry the prisoner should have no real knowledge of - the prisoner nods more enthusiastically still. So then, mystery solved!
But here's where things get interesting. When Barry quickly interprets the prisoner's meaning to be an inquiry into Jay Garrick's current state (possibly assuming that he, like Barry and Jessie, is involved in Zoom's plot against both Flashes), he assures the masked prisoner that Jay Garrick is alive and well. At these words, the prisoner begins to shake his head, appearing not just defeated, but increasingly angered. When Barry proceeds, repeating that Jay Garrick is fine, but did not make the trip with them, the prisoner is beyond conversation, slamming his fists and metal mask against the cell, completely crushed. His message, it seems, has been completely misunderstood.
As the prisoner slumps to the floor into a dirty, unwashed heap (judging by his clothing, dirty hands and stubble), Zoom returns to let him know that he isn't to speak with the other prisoners ever again. The threat, and Barry's reading of his message apparently have done the trick: the prisoner ceases communication completely. Locked in a room, with no way to speak, and special care taken to keep his face hidden from anyone's view (an unnecessary measure, unless the face in question is a well-known one) the prisoner remains in the cell, with a promise from Barry that he'll return to free him.
If Barry had only known just who he was leaving behind. Going by the evidence: the real Jay Garrick.