The Flash returned this week with the team discovering the true identity of the dastardly speedster under the haunting black cowl. Spoilers follow for episode 18, Versus Zoom, which include details on the identities of Garrick, Zoom, and more.

 

The show’s return started off with a bang, as it often does. It opened with Barry’s familiar narration, except this time he spoke of forking paths, how being in an unusual event can mold someone’s life for better or worse, depending on the nurturing, or lack thereof, they receive following such an event. He watched his mother die at the hands of the Reverse Flash, but thanks to the care of Joe and Iris West, he grew to be the hero he is today.

Hunter Zolomon, aka Zoom, was led down the wrong path. He, too, watched his mother die, but at the hands of his father. Instead of moving into a loving adoptive family, he was sent to an orphanage and eventually became a serial killer. The trouble is that the man we now know as Hunter Zolomon paraded around as Earth-2 Flash, Jay Garrick. Fans believed his lies, as did Team Flash. And the Zolomon reveal left many viewers with the impression that the beloved Jay Garrick had been written as a murderous villain.

 

Zoom

 

Even Mark Waid, known for his Flash run and the excellent Kingdom Come, took issue with the presumed drastic alteration of the character.

 

 

 

It’s an understandable reaction that was echoed throughout the fanbase once the episode ended. Had Jay Garrick really been built up as the hero we know and love, then turned into the season’s big bad for shock value? Some lamented with “yes,” while others assumed there was more to the story. Of course there was; this is The Flash.

Executive producer Greg Berlanti responded to the outrage with one simple tweet, which had fans universally sighing with relief.

 

 

Truth be told, the questions are what makes the show fun to watch, they keep us on our toes, and thankfully, Jay Garrick’s iconic heroism is still intact. Waid immediately responded, admitting that he too jumped to conclusions awfully fast — not a pun.

 

 

Theory time. So we haven’t seen Jay Garrick at all? Is this akin to Eobard Thawne taking over Harrison Wells’ body and posing as him for the majority of season 1? Some are proposing the real Jay is in the iron mask, locked away in Zoom’s makeshift prison-cave on Earth-2. However, Hunter Zolomon said himself the iron masked man is beyond who anyone can imagine. Therefore, it’s probably not Barry’s dad who hasn’t been seen in ages. Or is it? Maybe his comment was exclusive to Team Flash.

Where, or when, do you think the real Jay Garrick is, and why did Zolomon choose that particular identity? We already know the man in the iron mask won’t be revealed until the finale, but speculate with your theories and thoughts below.

 

Images: The CW