Fan Theories: The Flash’s Zoom and Jay Garrick

Posted: February 24, 2016 in Comic Book Study
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

WARNING: Major spoilers ahead

If you saw last night’s episode of The Flash, chances are your mind is probably blown right now. Zoom was finally unmasked, showing off the face of…Jay Garrick? Wait, what?

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Image via ew.com

What?! How did this work out? After confirming that Zoom is “Hunter Zolomon, a.k.a Jay Garrick,” the executive producer of the show, Andrew Kreisberg, was quoted as saying the following to Entertainment Weekly:

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…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.

So Jay was playing them all the whole time? Makes sense after all; a lot of what he did was incredibly suspicious and led a number of viewers (yours truly included) to question the man from the start. But why was he working for Zoom the whole time, especially when we know that he’s been the Flash on Earth-2? Was all of Zoom’s focus on Barry Allen’s speed this whole time? If so, then who’s the guy in the mask locked up in Zoom’s lair? He seemed pretty upset when he saw Garrick’s lifeless body dropped on the ground at the end of the episode.

Theory Time

So who is Jay Garrick/Zoom, and how does the man in the mask fit into all this?

Let’s start with the man in the iron mask. I think it’s safe to say that he’s the real Jay Garrick. Look at the facts: he knows an old POW code (probably taught to him by his father, a soldier in the “War of the Americas”), he freaked out after tapping out the name “Jay” to Barry in a previous episode and Barry began talking about the Jay Garrick we were familiar with, and, as numerous fans have pointed out, his complexion and hair cut seemed almost identitical to Jay Garrick.

*Just as a side note, I think it’s extremely interesting how the man tapped out “Zoom is” before Barry and Jesse knew that he was using a code, and afterwards tapped out the “Jay” name. Almost like we were flat out being told way in advance…*

But what does this mean for Zoom and Jay? My best guess is that they are clones. It’s not like the comics never set a precedent on Jay Garrick clones, after all.

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Yes, even the comic version of the clone had a black costume. Image via gamespot.com

In the One Year Later story arc for The Outsiders, a brainwashed clone of Jay Garrick appeared as an antagonist for the comic’s heroes. It was explained that the clone was suffering from cellular degeneration, which was made even worse by the metagene within the clone’s genes. By the way, remember what problem Caitlin noticed was going on with Jay’s cells in a previous episode of The Flash?

Jay Garrick: No, I did a terrible thing, Caitlin. When my world’s particle accelerator went off, I became a speedster. I became the fastest man alive, only… only it wasn’t enough for me. I wasn’t… I wasn’t fast enough. So I figured with my scientific background, I could increase my powers, and… I did.
Caitlin Snow: So you’ve taken Velocity-6 before?
Jay Garrick: Yes. But there were some… unforeseen side effects.
Caitlin Snow: This is why you didn’t want Barry to take it, or even know about it. Zoom never stole your speed. This is what’s making you sick. Velocity-6 is killing you.

Too vague? Listen to this clip from episode 14:

While it’s not exactly iron clad evidence, Caitlin does specifically mention “cellular degeneration” in regards to Jay’s condition.

But how does this play into my theory? I believe that Jay (the real Jay, the man in the metal mask), whether on accident or purposefully, created clones of himself while tampering with his abilities, with one clone becoming the Jay Garrick we knew and the other becoming Earth-2’s Hunter Zolomon/Zoom. Although both clones have Jay’s appearance and powers, neither is a completely pure copy, and are suffering from cellular degeneration.

Because of this, Zoom convinces the Jay clone that they need to work together to find a solution. Trapping the original Earth-2 Jay, the two managed to find Barry Allen’s timeline after searching through the Speed Force and plan to steal his speed to increase their lifespans (remember, Grant Gustin did say that Zoom had been peeking in timelines for a while before the events of season two started). Clone Jay is sent through a breach to infiltrate Team Flash and increase Barry’s speed to the necessary levels, while Zoom continues business on Earth-2.

However, after realizing that Earth-2 Harry has created Velocity 6 (the same formula the original Jay made) Clone Jay starts manipulating Caitlin to improve on the formula, working off of the theory that it would be a viable substitute to fixing his condition. Clone Jay then makes the decision to betray his clone brother and stay in Earth-1, which gets him killed by Zoom and complicates Zoom’s plans on getting Barry faster.

The Flash will return Tuesday, March 22 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

What do you think of this theory? Do you agree with any part of it, or is it way too crazy to be true? Let me know in the comments below, or with a tweet through that widget on the left. While you’re at it, like the Comic Books vs The World Facebook page, subscribe to the official Youtube channel, and follow the official Comic Books vs The World Instagram to keep up with all the latest on Comic Books vs The World.

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