The Flash: Is The Jay Garrick We Know A Clone?


Note: This article contains spoilers for The Flash Season 2, episode 14, “Escape from Earth-2.” Please watch it first before continuing on, unless you simply don’t like surprises!

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This week’s episode of The Flash ended in apparent tragedy. Everyone made it back through the portal from Earth-2 and Jay Garrick had tossed through the device that would close the last breach. But seconds away from the happy ending, Zoom had to ruin it, thrusting an arm through Jay’s chest and yanking him back through the breach right in front of a horrified Caitlin Snow.

One of the original heroes from DC Comics, suddenly killed off. Except … what if that wasn’t Jay Garrick?

Much of the fan speculation surrounding The Flash has to do with the mysterious man in the iron mask that Zoom is holding prisoner in his lair. The most popular theory is that the real Jay Garrick is inside that helmet, but that still doesn’t explain who has captured Caitlin’s heart and protected Central City for the last two weeks.

He could be a clone of the true Jay, one either unintentionally or knowingly working for Zoom. Or he could be a clone of Hunter Zolomon, and idea that fellow FanSided editor David Harris Jr. recently summed up on Facebook:

"Earth 1 Hunter Zolomon is Zoom and he created a Speed Force mirage when he took Caitlyn to the park to show himself to her. He also is so fast that he has created a clone of himself that has no speed force and that is who has been hanging around with Caitlyn when he jumps back to Earth 2 to go do stuff there."

Either way, there’s more than one reason to suspect that the “Jay” we saw killed off this week is a clone. Here are just a few:

Cloning science isn’t too much of a leap for The Flash

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A human clone might be a step further than anything we’ve seen so far on the series, but considering the gizmos that the S.T.A.R. Labs crew whips up every wee, it’s not that much of a stretch. We’re talking about a show that has a man zipping around at thousands of miles an hour and has introduced both time travel and an infinite number of alternate Earths in just its first season and a half.

There’s also the Earth-2 factor to consider. While everyone on that world dresses like they’re still back in the first half of the 20th century, there are plenty of technological advances on display that haven’t yet come to pass in the real world, or even on Earth-1, for that matter. Scientists on Earth-2 could absolutely be ahead of the curve when it comes to cloning.

It would explain Jay’s cellular degeneration

One of the problems that Jay has been facing in recent weeks is the fact that he’s dying. His cells are degenerating, supposedly because he lost his speed (and we’ll get to that in a second), and only Caitlin’s breakthrough with Velocity-9 has been able to stop the process.

But if Jay is a clone, that would offer another explanation for why his cells aren’t behaving correctly. It’s a standard comic book and science fiction trope that clones aren’t always stable, and will eventually fall apart completely over time. Caitlin may have come to this same conclusion herself over time — cloning would be more in her wheelhouse than anyone else at S.T.A.R. Labs — but Zoom probably just eliminated any chance of that happening.

She’s also been led down the wrong scientific path by Jay himself, which leads us to …

Being a clone would explain Jay’s lack of super-speed

Jay’s story about why he’s no longer a speedster has changed, but he was obviously lying to Caitlin about it all along. First he claimed that Zoom stole his speed, and he later said it was his own experiments with Velocity-6 that backfired and took away the powers he already had.

If Jay is a clone, though, he wouldn’t necessarily have super-speed at all. The connection to the Speed Force wouldn’t have to transfer to a clone, so whether he’s a copy of Zolomon or the real Jay Garrick, he’s likely just a normal guy unless he’s using Velocity-9.

It’s also interesting to note that in the comics, Velocity-9 would grant temporary super-speed to people who didn’t have it, not enhance the powers of those who were already speedsters. Assuming it operates the same way on The Flash, it would put clone Jay’s reluctance for it to be given to Barry in a new light, since he might be found out. And to date, no one else has used it but Jay.

It might even be why Jay is a coward

One of the things that has never seemed right about the Jay Garrick presented to us on The Flash is that he’s supposedly too scared to fight Zoom or put his life on the line, at least until he meets Caitlin. His comic book counterpart is one of the most heroic, noble superheroes of all time, so this characterization is a drastic change from the source material.

Unless, of course, “Jay” knows he’s a fake. A clone might have reason to have a heightened sense of self-preservation, not to mention a healthy dose of self-doubt knowing that it wasn’t really him that performed any super-heroics on Earth-2. That also means we still have a chance of getting a properly heroic Jay once this season comes to its conclusion, which would make a lot of longtime comic fans very happy.

Next: The Flash: Who is the Man in the Iron Mask?

This is all mere conjecture for the time being, but it’s as plausible as any other guess about Jay’s true nature. If it does turn out that the Jay Garrick Teddy Sears has been playing so far was a clone, it’ll add another cruel twist to the heartache that the writers on The Flash continually serve up to poor Caitlin. But that’s a whole separate discussion for another time.