In its Season 2 finale, airing May 24, The Flash will lift the veil on the Man in the Iron Mask. And the answer to that half-season mystery “is going to blow your mind,” avows showrunner Andrew Kreisberg.
“Honestly, the two things I’m probably most proud of this season,” Kreisberg said at this week’s press event, “are [the introduction/development of] Harry and the identity of the Man in the Iron Mask.” Indeed, since Iron Mask was first introduced in this season’s 14th episode, there has been rampant speculation about his identity — fueled as well as confused by varying reads on his physical attributes.
As recently as last week, the producers have declined to say if if the actual actor to be revealed under the mask has been wearing it this whole time, but I think it’s a very safe bet to say that he hasn’t, seeing as that would make setside leaks too easy. Teddy Sears, who plays the mystery prisoner’s captor, Zoom/Hunter Zolomon, told TVLine he had no idea who it was until the finale, which would be improbable if a castmate had been flitting around in the mask this whole time. (Similarly, Sears didn’t wear the Zoom suit until that recent reveal.) As such, any visual clues, including Iron Mask’s height and build respective to other characters he has shared scenes with, should probably be dismissed.
All told, Sears said of Iron Mask, “We do see him throughout [Season 2’s final episodes], but I didn’t know who he was until [filming] this finale episode. I had no clue before…. But the identity will be revealed and I think it’s going to be very satisfying for the viewers.”
Here are some other facts and clues to consider before sharing your latest and best guess in Comments.
♦ The Man in the Iron Mask has been held captive by Zoom since at the very least Season 2, Episode 14, “Escape From Earth-Two” — but likely much longer, seeing as he is visibly weary, and grungy.
♦ By some accounts/screen grabs, Iron Mask has blonde hair. By some accounts/screen grabs, he has dark skin… or decidedly Caucasian skin. But again, visual clues shouldn’t be assigned much weight since it’s unlikely the actual actor has been in the mask this whole time.
♦ Once Barry and Jesse cracked Iron Mask’s POW code, the mystery man tapped out the letters “J-A-Y.” In retrospect, he could have been trying to tip Barry off to Zoom’s identity — that though would assume Iron Mask knows that Barry on Earth-One knows Jay as “Jay” and not by his true name, Hunter Zolomon. If Iron Mask was attempting to identify himself, one would think that after tapping out the letters, he’d gesture at himself a la “Jay is me!” But maybe he did? Because after Barry claimed that “Jay” is alive and well on Earth-One, Iron Mask had a strong, dismissive reaction, before Zoom cut short the gents’ conversation.
♦ The case against it being (any) Jay Garrick is that, as noted above, Sears (quite sincerely, trust me) said he was surprised by the reveal — which one could argue means it isn’t him, else he would have gotten word in advance (as he did with the Zoom twist). Or, to play Devil’s Advocate, he was surprised to be told on set, “Hey, Teddy, slip this mask on for us now…..” Thing is, the set-up for the Iron Mask mystery/reveal would suggest that at least some incarnation of the character will carry on into Season 3 — and Sears is committed to run the CTU on Fox’s freshly greenlit 24 series relaunch.
♦ One theory is that Iron Mask is Henry Allen, who since being sprung from prison and promptly leaving town has been a bit conspicuously MIA. Henry, though, resurfaces in next week’s episode, to counsel Barry. Maybe Iron Mask is Henry’s Earth-Two doppelganger? Though surely he then would have tapped out “D-A-D,” right?
♦ UPDATED: Does Barry know the guy? As TVLine reader “Flash” reminded us, Hunter in the April 19 episode gloated to Team Flash, “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you” who was inside the mask.
♦ Zoom keeps prisoners for a reason, Killer Frost noted this week, because he needs something from them.
♦ UPDATED: And then there is the mask itself. For the purpose of a TV mystery, obviously it is needed. But there will need to be a storyline reason why Zoom slapped a mask on this guy versus any other captives. (A villain so cocksure surely didn’t presume that heroes would ever infiltrate his lair and thus “see” his prisoner.) Is it, as some of you have suggested, to save him the sight of someone he cannot stomach? Is it blocking powers?
All that said, and especially for those who read beyond the 140th character above, who is your current, “mind-blowing” pick to be hiding under the mask?