The following article contains spoilers.

Zoom is Jay Garrick. That’s a theory anyway, and a very popular one based on Reddit and my Facebook friends. This week’s episode, “Escape From Earth-2,” is a plotty and stumbling sequel to last week’s spectacular “Welcome to Earth-2” that strongly hints Zoom is Jay Garrick, or some evil doppelgänger. But no matter what theory pans out, The Flash is doing a bang-up job at making everyone forget it’s basically repeating Season 1.

The theory that Jay Garrick is Zoom hinges on the identity of the masked man also imprisoned by Zoom. The poor soul can communicate only via tap code, which takes Barry and Jessie, like, two full commercial breaks to figure out. Upon his introduction last week in “Welcome to Earth-2,” dozens of possible identities were tossed among fans — Wally? Eddie? John Diggle? — but this week pretty blatantly suggests he’s Jay Garrick, when Barry figures out “Jay” from his tapping. They don’t get far into the conversation for the masked man to say, “You goddamn idiot, I AM JAY” because plot demands Zoom interrupt and punish them.

Here’s an important question not enough people are asking: Why does Zoom want Barry’s speed? Is it as simple as “more power,” or is there more? In Season 1, Eobard Thawne groomed Barry so he could use his speed to return home, back to his timeline. That’s basically happening again in Season 2, with Zoom fattening Barry like a Christmas goose, but we don’t know why Zoom wants Barry’s Speed Force the way Thawne did.

But no matter why Zoom wants it, the real hook is who is he? There are a handful of theories, mostly involving Jay being Zoom despite evidence to the contrary, like the cliffhanger ending where Zoom kills Jay and yanks him back to Earth-2. (Lesson of the week, kids: Never stand RIGHT NEXT to a portal when a MURDEROUS META-HUMAN with unmatched speed is on the other side.)

Let’s explore.

Who is Zoom?

  • A Jay Garrick doppelgänger. The real Jay Garrick is the man in the mask. His identity is being stolen (the mask is probably some face-stealing tech).
  • Jay Garrick of the future. The Velocity drugs Caitlin has been giving Jay to restore his Speed Force have a dangerous side effect, and that side effect is Zoom. He is now an addict and craves the ultimate fix: Barry Allen’s Speed Force.
  • Exactly the scenario above, except he’s Jay’s Speed Force personified, manifested into its own sentience.

My personal theory is some combination of the three. I want to lean toward Zoom being a Jay Garrick doppelgänger, but I can’t quite fit the Velocity puzzle piece to the whole picture.

Below are far-off theories I keep hearing and need to squash. Take out your notebooks, class. Zoom is not:

  • Eddie Thawne of Earth-2, or Earth-1 who survived the season finale. Yeah uh, PASS. Pass on ANYTHING with Eddie Thawne. Not only is it impossible even in a show all about embracing impossibility, but Rick Cosnett also quit the show “for personal reasons.” He’s now busy with ABC’s Quantico.
  • Henry Allen of Earth-2. Nope, definitely a pass since Earth-2 Barry’s parents are living in Atlantis. (So, uh, Aquaman is in the Arrowverse.) Also, it doesn’t make sense. What would Jay Garrick have to do with that?
Photos via The CW