Though Tuesday's episode of The CW's "The Flash" was mostly concerned with a two-story tall talking shark-man attacking Central City, we got one huge reveal when it comes to the over-arching mystery of the season: Who is Zoom?
The terrifying "speed-force demon" whipped his mask off in a post-credits tag to expose the face of none other than Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears)… Which was particularly confusing, because he was carrying the dead body of, you guessed it, Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears). In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg confirmed the twist, adding that, "Zoom's identity has been revealed: He is Hunter Zolomon, a.k.a Jay Garrick."
As viewers of the show know, there are two parallel Earths: "our" Earth where the majority of "The Flash" takes place, called Earth-1; and an olde-timey, sepia toned Earth where Zoom and Jay Garrick come from, called Earth-2. Earlier in the season, Jay Garrick revealed to Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) that his Earth-1 doppelganger was adopted, and given the name Hunter Zolomon. So unless Earth-2 Jay also got the name Hunter Zolomon, that means that Zoom is from Earth-1.
Fans of the comics saw this coming, too… It was a big twist in DC architect Geoff Johns' run on "The Flash," when humble, friendly psychologist Hunter Zolomon got in an accident, and then took on the villainous identity of Zoom (remove several letters in Zolomon and see what you get).
But further complicating things on the show, Kreisberg continued, saying, "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."
…Which means that the Jay Garrick who came from Earth-2, the one who fell in love with Caitlin, the one who died, was the one manipulating them. Huh? How? What's going on?
It's pretty simple, actually: there are ten Jay Garricks. Here's how it breaks down:
Jay Garrick #1 (Earth-1)
Also known as Hunter Zolomon, this regular old guy has nothing to do with the plot, and was only seen that one time sitting on a park bench. He's basically Zoom's cover story. He has no speed powers, and we'll probably never see him again.
Jay Garrick #2 (Earth-2)
This is the nice Jay Garrick we've come to know and love. He's actually not aware that Zoom is also Jay Garrick, and is conveniently out of the room every time Zoom enters (we'll get to that in a second). He's the one who died, and had his dead body dumped on the floor last episode. He came to Earth-1 to help everyone out at the same time as Zoom did -- pretending to be Jay Garrick -- but Jay Garrick #2 really wanted to help everyone out, not trick them. He was mostly confused why everyone already knew him so well, and why Caitlin was kissing him all the time; but it was too awkward to bring up so he didn't want to say anything.
Jay Garrick #3 (Zoom)
Jay Garrick #2 told Caitlin that when he had his speed powers and used the speed-enhancing formula Velocity-6, he did some bad things. That's when a Multiplicity (or "Superman III," if you prefer)-type situation happened that split off the bad part of Jay's personality, and made Zoom. This Bad Jay became Zoom, and has been traveling to Earth-1 to trick Barry into getting faster so he could eat his speed or whatever. He's always conveniently out of the room whenever Jay Garrick #2 enters.
Jay Garrick #4 (Man In The Iron Mask)
There's a guy in an iron mask who has been trapped by Zoom. This man is also Jay Garrick. He spelled out J-A-Y, a few episodes back because that's his name: Jay. He's, oh, let's say, the good part of Jay Garrick that split off when Jay Garrick #2 used Velocity-6. He's a big dummy, which is why he spelled his own name once Barry (Grant Gustin) and Jesse (Violett Beane) figured out his ridiculously complicated code (seriously, he couldn't trace letters in the air or something?) instead of, you know, giving any sort of clue as to what was actually going on.
Jay Garrick #5 (Eobard Thawne)
Remember how it turned out last season that Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) was actually Eobard Thawne (Matt Letscher) using a device that changed his look and DNA? And Eobard conveniently survived being erased from existence, to show up this season? That's because he's not Eobard Thawne, he's actually Jay Garrick from the future, using that same device to make himself look like Eobard Thawne. Jay #5 was using the identity of Eobard to force Barry to up his speed, so he could help "Eobard" get back to the future; but really Barry was helping this other Jay get back to the future. How do we know? Because in the comics, The Reverse Flash and Zoom are essentially the same character. Here in the show, too! Yeah!
Jay Garrick #6 (Haven't Met Him Yet)
There's another Jay Garrick, probably Hunter Zolomon's identical twin from Earth-1 or something, who is wandering around somewhere. We may never meet him, but he's definitely out there. I'm sure of it.
Jay Garrick #7 (Henry Allen)
Wasn't it weird how Henry Allen (John Wesley Shipp) left Central City in the first episode of the season, even though he was waiting for years to be reunited with his son? That's because he's also secretly Jay Garrick, probably from Earth-3 or another alternate timeline. He didn't want to hang around while the other Jay Garricks were about to show up, because it would be too confusing.
Jay Garrick #8 (Andrew Kreisberg)
Not many people know this, but show EP Andrew Kreisberg's birth name is Jay Garrick. This is true.
Jay Garrick #9 (Kcirrag Yaj)
I can't confirm this without rewatching all the episodes, but I'm sure there was a point when Jay Garrick #2 (or #3) looked in some sort of strange, reflective surface on someone's wall, and you could glimpse a reverse image of Jay in that glass. It was really strange, I've never seen anything like it before, but I'm sure they'll find out more about this Reverse Jay soon.
Jay Garrick #10 (The One In All Of Our Hearts)
If you search deep inside of yourself, I think you'll find that there's a little Jay Garrick in all of us.
Did you find any other Jay Garrick's hiding in this season of The Flash or under your bed? Hit me up on Twitter @azalben and let me know!
[A version of this article originally appeared on Medium.]