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THE FLASH Review: Who is Zoom? “Escape From Earth-2” Provides Few Answers

By on February 17, 2016
The Flash

Pictured: Grant Gustin as Earth 2 Barry Allen -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW --

By Justin Carter

Who is Zoom?

That’s the big question hanging over this season of The Flash, a question that hasn’t seen any answers since his first appearance, or even any tangible hints. A lot of theories have been thrown around for sure (he’s Earth-2 Henry/Eddie! He’s Hunter Zolomon!), but the show has been playing more coyly with this villain’s identity compared to last year. That makes for a fun mystery and lots of speculation, plus a powerful presence from Tony Todd, but it also makes for some frustration as we’re 2/3 of the way through the season with no real answer in sight.

Going off of my feed on Twitter and some of the marketing, the second half of this Earth-2 two-parter looked like it was going to finally show the man (?) behind the mask, but that didn’t happen. Earth-2 Barry is out of the running, given that he’s more or less useless for a good portion of the episode. Grant Gustin acting like a complete dork is all well and fun, and his performance makes a good case for why Joe-2 would hate his guts. He’s still Barry, though, and his genius algorithm helps the team track down Killer Frost for help finding Zoom’s lair.

Barry, meanwhile, is stuck in said lair with Jesse and a guy with a fancy Iron Man-looking mask over his head constantly tapping on his cage. This man can’t speak or be heard, so that’s the only way he can talk, but the two manage to work out that he’s saying: “Jay,” as in “Jay Garrick.” Jay’s been useless all season, but him being Zoom would make sense in a few ways. Thinking back, it’s very suspicious that he would find his Earth-1 doppelganger and immediately write him off, not to mention that he “fell asleep” during Geomancer’s attack on STAR Labs.

Even if this does end up being the case that Jay is Zoom and he’s been pulling a two-pronged effort to boost his speed, it won’t hit the same punch as last season’s arc with Harrison Wells. For one thing, it would just feel like something pulled out completely last minute to retroactively add some importance to Jay, because he’s had basically nothing to do this season. At this point, revealing him as Zoom is either going to be really clever or just really forced. The second reason is that, well…Zoom puts a hand through Jay’s chest and pulls him back into the final breach as it closes. It’s unclear if this means Jay is dead–usually a vibrating hand through the chest has said as much, but who knows if that’s an automatic thing or something a speedster can “turn off”–but we likely won’t know for a few weeks.

In that respect, “Escape from Earth-2” is a disappointment. The fun and vibrant energy that was heavily present last week is basically gone, perhaps as a casualty of its lead character locked away for most of the time. While the character beats with Frost and Cisco are solid and we get to see Barry give Barry a pep talk about being a hero, it works better in pieces than as a whole. With next week taking a break from the main plot to give us some good old fashioned King Shark madness with Diggle from Arrow, hopefully in two weeks, we’ll finally get some definitive answers on who Zoom actually is.

Additional Notes

  • Oh hey, Geomancer’s back! And he’s walked into STAR Labs because…their security is back to being crap again, I guess. He’s so bad, it’s almost laughable.
  • “Nice shot.” “I was aiming for his leg.”
  • “I can’t scale that, my shoes are wing-tipped.” Barry-2 reminds me in some ways of Schmidt from New Girl, just with slightly more class. Slightly.
  • Killer Frost is most likely dead for betraying Zoom. Nice while it lasted.
  • As far as the guy in the helmet goes, I’m thinking that maybe he’s Eddie. His skin looks pale enough, plus he’s got blonde hair, from what little of it we could see.