blogger_who (blogger_who) wrote,

Flashes of Insight: On the Identity of Zoom

If there's one thing that I've been seeing over and over again on my feed it's people theorizing about the identity of Zoom, the Flash's latest nemesis. I've found several flaws with the reasoning, so below are my thoughts on the subject. I'm putting up the warning right now, that if you're not caught up on season 2 of the Flash then there may be spoilers, so if that will bother you don't read any further.



I've seen a lot of speculation that Zoom is Henry Allen from Earth 2. The reasoning seems to be based solely on Zoom's apparent height and build and a funny morph animation someone put together that makes it look as if John Wesley Shipp's face is behind the mask. The issue with the first point is that using physical clues to deduce the identity of a character that the writers have completely enclosed and given a fake voice to doesn't seem like a smart bet. By the same logic, it should be Tony Todd behind the mask, since it's his voice for Zoom. It may very well be a stunt double performing as Zoom for similar reasons and the real actor will only "step in" once they need to do some sort of a reveal.

On the second point, a computer generated animation is not a safe bet to go on. We don't know how doctored the images were to make them line up. It's not as if there are any shots with Zoom and the 90's Flash that were purposefully recorded with the camera at the same distance and the characters in the same pose. Some resizing and adjustment would have been necessary just to get things to line up, which means that it's possible that the apparent facial size and shape from that animation may not be how things appear in real life.

A lot of people feel that this would be a major development in the story, for Barry to have to fight his own dad. Yet, I feel like the idea of fighting Earth 2 doppelgangers is already running its course. Dr Light is already a doppelganger for Linda Park, someone that Barry is close to. Caitlyn was proven not to be a metahuman in this week's episode of the Flash, so the rumors that Killer Frost will be her Earth 2 counterpart appear to be true as well. Making Zoom yet another Earth 2 doppelganger of someone that Barry knows seems to be playing out what will be a tired idea at that point. Sure, it'll have more of an impact, since it's his dad, and they could get some mileage out of it for an episode, but that's about it. It'd be a gimmicky "gotcha" moment, because Barry already knows that the Earth 2 versions of characters can be very different from the Earth 1 versions. He'd move on after the initial shock. I don't care if Zoom were Joe, Iris, or Barry himself from Earth 2. There's no way that a doppelganger will have the right impact necessary for Zoom to be a proper nemesis.

Yet, someone will most likely ask, how can it be someone from Earth One when Zoom has been operating on Earth 2 for two years, but the breach only opened six months ago? The answer there is simple. They made a big deal out of the fact that the breach opened a hole in time and space, not just reality. Whoever became Zoom could easily be someone from Earth One that fell into the rift and traveled back in time to Earth 2. This would explain two very important factors that would not make sense if Zoom came from Earth 2. First, he knows not only that Barry exists but also knows personal details like women he only dated for a couple of weeks. The second is that Zoom patterned his costume on the Flash of Earth one and not that of Earth 2. That would be odd if there was no connection between the two worlds until the breach opened. So then who are the candidates?

Candidate #1: Eobard Thawne. I have to admit that while this is the most likely candidate, I almost think that that invalidates him. We already had Thawne as the Reverse Flash and most viewers will be incredibly unhappy to see him as Zoom as well. While he was erased from existence, the breach started almost immediately thereafter. There's some potential for an explanation that the breach existing as a hole in time may have stabilized his existence somehow and allowed him to exist on Earth 2. Thawne has the technical know-how to figure out how to pass through the breaches. He also knows all about Barry and the show could always use Tom Cavanaugh in a dual role if they couldn't get the Eobard Thawne actor back. Yet, I really don't think this one is it.

Candidate #2: Ronnie Raymond. Robbie Amell has already said that he's coming back to the show and I have never bought that he's dead. The idea of a friend turned villain runs very close to Zoom's comic book origins and it would also be a colossal blow to the cast, effecting Caitlyn and Barry deeply. Robbie's busy on the X-Files reboot, but that's only 6 episodes long, so he could easily have time to come over in the second half of the season and would explain why they have to use substitute actors for Zoom. Yet, I'm not buying it because it would seem so far out of left field. Even if Ronnie was left on Earth 2, he's the one that chose to enter the breach. It'd get some real mileage out of the cast to see a friend turned villain, but it would seem to be a gimmick just for the purposes of getting a rise out of people. For that reason, I really don't see it.

Candidate #3: Eddie Thawne. "But wait, Eddie's dead." everyone shouts. Yes, but his body was also sucked into the breach. Eddie is the only candidate who could explain why Zoom looks "like death" and also has his costume modeled after The Flash. It's possible that Eddie could somehow have become frozen in the moment of his death, which would hearken back again to Zoom's comic book origins as a character whose powers are based on time rather than speed. It just seems that he moves fast because time is moving so slowly for him that his normal movements are perceived as fast by everyone else. It'd be easy to see how Eddie might be bitter after trying to sacrifice his life only finds himself turned into a monster and coming back to his homeworld finding that Barry got everything. Eddie could then be driven to become the fastest being to triumph over Barry and best him at his own game. It's true that this actor is also busy on another show right now, but it's possible that the Flash show runners anticipated that and pre-recorded some scenes for the reveal. It may be that we don't find out Zoom's identity until the final episode of the season in which case whoever is doubling in the suit and Tony Todd can fill in until then. This is the one that I'm leaning the strongest towards, because even though there's a real world logistics issue, it's something that could be overcome and making it Eddie would make so much sense on all the other levels.

At the end of the day I don't know if this is what the CW will go with. I'm excited for this season of the Flash and have the confidence in the showrunners that when Zoom's identity is revealed it will make sense and have sufficient emotional impact.
Tags: flash, zoom

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