After months of anticipation, the CW’s “The Flash” finally revealed the secret identity and backstory of its mysterious villain in Season 2. To explain how he turned evil, however, it had to take a few liberties with its source material in the comic book series of the same name, which upset some fans.
[SPOILER ALERT: The remainder of this article will discuss “The Flash” Season 2, episode 18.]
In episode 18, “Versus Zoom,” Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) learned the true identity of Zoom isn’t Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears) but his doppelganger from Earth-2, Hunter Zolomon. This realization by the S.T.A.R. Labs team was obviously problematic for the show’s producers because they had to explain that the Garrick who arrived claiming to be from Earth-2 at the beginning of this season was an imposter all along.
During the episode, Zolomon confessed he was playing the team members the entire time. He pretended to mentor Barry and developed an apparently fake romantic relationship with Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker). He also claimed he posed as the Flash on the alternate world in an elaborate, and kind of crazed, effort to give the people there a false symbol of hope. According to CinemaBlend, the latter detail rubbed many fans of “The Flash” source material the wrong way, as Garrick in the comic books is typically considered a beloved good guy, not a psychopath.
Apparently, the fans’ criticism was so widespread that executive producer Greg Berlanti felt compelled to address on Twitter the issue of making Garrick an evil character in “The Flash” canon on TV, which includes “Arrow” and “Legends of Tomorrow.”
For those inquiring, we love Jay Garrick and would never make him a baddie. No reinvention. Keep watching :) love that you're asking q's.
— Greg Berlanti (@GBerlanti) April 20, 2016
So, apparently, there is a Jay Garrick out there, but fans simply haven’t met him yet. Instead, they’ve been seeing Hunter Zolomon impersonate him. In other words, it appears Berlanti and the minds behind “The Flash” may have positive plans in store for Garrick and the actor who plays him. Presumably, Barry will find a way to take down Zolomon by the end of Season 2, but is it possible he’ll deal with the real Garrick at some point before that happens? Meanwhile, this explanation doesn’t resolve the problem that Garrick apparently never existed as the Flash, so it’s unclear in what capacity he would arrive that wouldn’t be displeasing to fans of the comic books.
Fans can tune in to the last few episodes of Season 2 of “The Flash” on the CW Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EDT.