All questions on the CW’s “The Flash” will be answered this week in the Season 2 finale, titled “The Race of His Life.” With a final showdown promised between the hero and his key villain of the year, the show will also need to address the identity of the prisoner in the mask that’s been plaguing fans throughout 2016.
Fans refer to him as The Man in the Iron Mask, not to be confused with the Leonardo DiCaprio film. The prisoner was first introduced when Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), got kidnapped by the villain Zoom (Teddy Sears) in episode 14, “Escape From Earth-2.” When the hero was taken to Zoom’s evil lair on Earth-2 and put inside a cell, his other prisoners were Jesse Wells (Violett Beane), who is now a full-fledged member of Team Flash, and the man in the mask. While it’s not uncommon for a villain such as Zoom to have creepy prisoners decorating his lair, showrunner Andrew Kreisberg previously told TV Line that the masked man’s identity would be revealed in one of the better plot twists of the season.
“Honestly," he said. "The two things I’m probably most proud of this season are [the introduction/development of] Harry and the identity of the Man in the Iron Mask.”
With more intrigue surrounding the character now that “The Flash” is in its final episode of the season, fans have been desperately trying to figure out who the Man in the Mask could be. One popular theory is that the man in the mask is Jay Garrick, the doppelganger of Zoom, who revealed his identity to be Hunter Zolomon. He was posing as Jay Garrick, the Earth-2 Flash, but it turns out that was an elaborate, almost silly, lie designed to trick the team into trusting the villain. However, that means that fans have yet to be introduced to the real Jay Garrick, if he exists at all.
Many believed Zolomon killed him, but it turns out that was just a version of Zolomon taken from a different timeline, not Garrick. Add this evidence to the fact that the prisoner used an old prisoner of war code to spell out the name “Jay” while Barry was trying to escape captivity, and you have some pretty compelling evidence. Is it possible that the cast will finally meet the real Jay Garrick, a nice guy, ahead of Season 3?
While Garrick is the most obvious choice, anyone from alternate dimensions and alternate timelines are up for grabs on “The Flash,” so the reveal may not be that simple. As MoviePilot notes, some believe that the reveal will opt to shock fans by exposing that the man in the mask is Zolomon’s deadbeat dad. It was previously revealed that the reason the dark speedster turned evil in the first place was that his father made him watch as he murdered his mother. What better way to remind yourself what a monster you really are than to keep your super villain origin story locked up with a mask on his face? However, that wouldn’t do much in terms of explaining why the prisoner tapped out the word “Jay.”
There is another possibility, albeit a significantly less-fun one for fans, that the Man in the Mask is simply a character that no one has been introduced to yet. With Season 3 confirmed by the network, a big reveal could be exactly what the show needs to set up the events of the show’s next run in the fall.
Could a new doppelganger be revealed? Is Zolomon keeping a member of his past alive? Is there a mind-blowing third option that no one besides the showrunner has come up with? Fans will just have to tune in to “The Flash” Season 2 finale at 8 p.m. EDT on Tuesday to find out.