The Flash's Carlos Valdes Previews Explosive Debate, Rupture Reveal and Iron Mask's 'What?' Moment

Problem: Zoom is making mayhem on two Earths.

Problem: The Flash aka Barry Allen has lost the speed needed to defeat Zoom.

Solution: Blow things up?

Such is Harrison Wells’ out-of-the-box thinking as The CW’s The Flash serves up Episode 20 of 23 this Tuesday at 8/7c. TVLine invited Carlos Valdes to share Cisco’s opinion on the volatile idea to get Barry back up and running, preview the brother of a twist to come and offer the latest tease for the much-anticipated, highly speculated Man in the Iron Mask reveal.

TVLINE | Harry is looking to fire back up the particle accelerator… and explode it. Where does Cisco stand in that debate?
It’s a terrible idea, obviously. The worst idea of all time. But the fact of the matter is there’s no other option at this point. The team, and Earth-One in general, has been backed into a corner, and the only way to save Caitlin and stop Zoom is to get Barry’s speed back. It becomes less a matter of the ridiculousness of the plan and rejecting that and more a matter of having no other option.

TVLINE | The promo brings up a point I didn’t remember, which is that Barry ended up in a long coma the first time around.
Exactly. This could kill him, let alone put him in a coma. Again, we’ve run out of options, so this seems to be the most rational choice to make. And that’s OK, because Harry is the one developing the tech and we know that he’s a very, very smart individual whose heart is in the right place.

TVLINE | What is The FlashCisco’s initial reaction to vibing, seeing the Earth-Two villain Rupture, and then realizing that it’s his brother Dante over there?
There’s a lot of confusion, and a lot of concern. The last time we left Cisco and Dante (played by Nicholas Gonzalez), Cisco had to make the choice to give up Barry’s identity to save his brother’s life, and he did that because family and his brother are so important to him. He will always make that choice, deep in his heart. Now, you’d think that traumatic circumstance would have brought them together, but it actually didn’t; in [this episode], their relationship is more hostile than ever, because there is a lot of resentment about what happened. That hostility continues, but the onset of Rupture kind of complicates things and forces Cisco to make the relationship come together.

TVLINE | What skills does Rupture have? What has he got going on?
Rupture has a badass mask, and this crazy-ass scythe that can basically tear through anything and set things on fire. [Laughs] He’s actually a really, really formidable opponent. He’s one of Zoom’s most powerful henchmen, so it’s not going to be easy to bring an end to him.

TVLINE | Speaking of Zoom’s many henchmen, does Cisco get to render an opinion on Black Siren (played by Arrow‘s Katie Cassidy in the May 17 episode)?
Yeah, but it’s not the reaction that you’d think Cisco would have, because the wound of Laurel’s death is pretty ubiquitous in this DC TV universe. We see there’s an Earth-Two Laurel, a version of Laurel that’s alive, and that does things to somebody’s consciousness, especially after processing grief. There’s definitely a bit of shock there and difficulty grappling with reality.

TVLINE | I have greatly The Flashenjoyed the “mutual snark society” between Cisco and Harry this season. Is that as much fun for you and Tom Cavanagh to play as it seems?
Oh, absolutely. It sorts of continues off camera, after they yell “cut.” [Laughs] That’s actually what our relationship has been for the most part, even throughout Season 1. Tom’s a very playful actor and I am as well, so we try to engage in all sorts of banter and shenanigans all the time. It’s been really refreshing and really natural at times to play these things. Also, you never know what’s going to happen. We always bring in ideas in the moment, and that allows what you see on screen to feel spontaneous.

TVLINE | What was it like having such a geek boy like Kevin Smith (Clerks) direct the May 10 episode?
I had no expectations and literally no idea what to expect, and he came on board and it was the best directing experience that I’ve had on the show, personally. He killed it, knocked it out of the park, man. the-flash-kevin-smithHe was so giving as a director, so trusting. He essentially allowed so many of the people working on the show to have the freedom to tell this story the way that they knew how. We’ve been telling this story and living with these characters for two years now, so we know this show pretty well. Usually, somebody will come in and sort of enact their vision of this story and have their say in how they want to frame the story, but Kevin’s approach was unique in that he allowed us as a collective team, as a group of over 100 crew and cast, to feel out this story. It was very hands-off at times, and that made for some great work. And not only that, he was very big in encouraging a positive energy on the set. Before we’d roll, he’d be like, “Best job in the world, people!” and that’s infectious.

TVLINE | What can you tease about the Iron Mask reveal? Teddy Sears told me you all had some theories….
[Laughs] First of all, when I read who the Man in the Iron Mask was, I did not believe it. I was like, “What? What??” I think “What?” is going to be the No. 1 buzz word for that reveal. It kind of throws you for a loop.

Want more scoop on The Flash, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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56 Comments
  1. M says:

    I don’t know why but I just started thinking that maybe the man in the mask is the Earth 1 version of someone from the team and all this time a very convincing doppelganger was swapped in by Zoom

    • RC says:

      I’m thinking this too. They had an entire multiverse storyline and no doppelganger swap? weird. Though most of the doppelgangers are dead… Perhaps Henry? We’re gonna see Henry a lot in the last episodes so it’d work with the reveal.

      • M says:

        Regardless of who it actually is, I’m also a bit more curious now that I think about it is if this person is good or bad. Zoom could have them locked up because they are more powerful and evil than he is, which may also be the reason for the mask (spitballing here, maybe their powers are tied to their face? OK, I really have no idea). This person could be rescued by the team and brought to Earth 1 only to end up being the Season 3 villain. I just want to know who it is! Hope we don’t have to wait until the finale to find out.

      • Jim Beck says:

        But the thing is… he spelled out Jay… so that must mean something. I’ve always assumed it was Jay from Earth 1… and that we’re dealing with twins. After all, the story that Zoom gave them about Jay being his remnant is BS.

        • Ben says:

          This is what ultimately makes the most sense to me.

        • Mr.Minser says:

          I think he was trying to say Jay is Zoom, but didn’t get to finish it. He knows prisoner code, so he is likely a convict, POW or law enforcement.

          • Debarati Chatterjee says:

            When you hear of a main cast member who had been in a prison for a long time, who does it remind you of? Personally, I feel it might be Henry Allen.

    • Brian says:

      If you’re right, the only option would be Henry, wouldn’t it? Everyone else’s doppelganger is accounted for except Eddie’s, and he hasn’t been playing his Earth-1 self. I guess Wally too, but I don’t want them to throw away all the development he’s had so far.

      Now, what if Zoom–in the guise of a superhero–gave Henry-1 the option of seeing “his” wife again if he jumped universes. That’s why he left so quickly. Henry-2 works for Zoom (unbeknownst to his wife) and is the Henry we saw encouraging Barry to get back on his feet earlier this year (to get him to up his speed by rallying) and the Henry who’s now telling Barry and Wells not to go through with the attempt to give Barry back his powers.

      Even simpler, Henry-1 was just kidnapped as soon as he left prison. Henry-2 has been jumping back and forth so Nora thinks he’s good. It would explain a lot about Henry.

      But I still think the shocking reveal is Barry’s time remnant from the original Earth-1 timeline, who will be next year’s villain as he tries to put his world back together.

      • H.H. says:

        There’s another possibility besides Henry. TV rules say unless you actually SEE a character die they might still be alive when everyone else thinks they’re dead. And there is one character who is assumed to have died in that singularity but could possibly have traveled to another through it instead.

      • jj says:

        If it is Ronnie, it’s a bit weird he didn’t spell his own name to Barry. And that he didn’t react more strongly to seeing his Caitlin.

    • H.H. says:

      Maybe it’s Ronnie. He did disappear in the singularity and it’s assumed that he died but no one saw it. But if Jay’s metal hat could come through the singularity and land on Earth 1 maybe his trip through the singularity dropped him in Earth 2 instead of killing him. I don’t think it’s been discussed HOW Jay initially learned of another speedster in a parallel world in the first place which would then prompt him to seek Barry out but if Jay’s Flash cap wound up leaving Earth 2 through the singularity that clearly would have put him in the right place at the right time to find someone entering through that same singularity…someone who might have naturally mentioned that Jay’s definitely not the Flash he knows. Then later at a certain point Dr. Stein began to experience health problems without his other half of Firestorm, so if Ronnie did survive he probably would have experienced something similar. Maybe the iron mask is what’s keeping him from going nuclear? Just a thought.

      • Alichat says:

        I was wondering this as well…..if it was Ronnie since he disappeared during the first singularity. And this was how Zoom discovered Barry. Although, I didn’t give it as detailed thought as you did with the mask being what stops him from going nuclear. Interesting.

        • H.H. says:

          I read somewhere that there was supposed to be a very good reason for him being in that mask. So whoever is wearing the mask would have to have a very good reason for being in it.

  2. Kevin K says:

    The Jay Garrick/Zoom storyline was the biggest WTF moment so far this season. This marks the end for Teddy Sears’ run on The Flash.

    • Jim Beck says:

      Except that Zoom is clearly lying about Jay being his time remnant. Zoom made the whole story up just to screw with Barry and his team. For one thing, he tells Barry that when the breach opened up, he saw an opportunity and went back and got his younger self. That makes no sense, because Wells can attest (and we’ve been shown) that Jay was fighting Zoom for two years before the breach opened.

      Plus, after Zoom killed Jay, he said, “Well… this is a complication.” But then later, he said that the plan was to kill his younger self all along. Again… he lied to Barry. Notice how Zoom doesn’t spin his tale until after Barry gives him information about Caitlin.

      Or he’s telling the truth and the writers totally suck. lol

    • Drew Melbourne says:

      The Man in the Iron Mask is the real/original Jay Garrick, who accidentally created Zoom by mucking with his own timeline. (Presumably, in Jay’s original timeline, his dad died in the war.)

  3. Joey Padron says:

    Good interview with Carlos. Excited to see new episode tomorrow! Glad he had a great time working with Kevin Smith for next week’s episode. I’m gonna be shocked to find out who the man in iron mask is in season finale!

  4. Frescoply says:

    The Man in the Iron Mask is…Barry

    • Gregg says:

      That is actually one I did not think of, could be.

    • Sunny says:

      This is something that I literally just thought of as a possibility too, but then I realized it couldn’t be. All three of them (Barry, Earth 2 Barry, and MITIM) were together in the Earth 2 hideout at the same time when Barry was taken by Zoom. Unless he’s another Earth Barry, I guess, but I’m not sure what purpose that would serve.

  5. dancmh says:

    Part of me is still hoping the Iron Mask guy is the Flash from the 80’s tv show.

  6. Shehzann says:

    its wally west in the iron mask

  7. Shehzaann says:

    its wally west in the mask

    • H.H. says:

      We’re supposed to be super shocked by who is in the mask. I just don’t think it would be that shocking to find it’s E2 Wally. The fact that we didn’t see his E2 doppleganger makes a more obvious — and therefore less shocking — choice of person to be wearing the mask.

  8. Sabs says:

    Part of me thinks the man in the iron mask is Eobard Thawne aka “reverse flash”

    • ArctikBound says:

      That’s what I was thinking. When the helmet came through the breach near the end of Season 1, didn’t Reverse Flash recognize it and want to get out of there ASAP?

  9. The Carpooler says:

    Behind the mask is…wait for it…ZIVA!

  10. N says:

    For a moment I was thinking that zoom took someone from earth 1 and replaced him with an earth 3 doppelganger but that would be supergirls world so I don’t know if that could work. The thing to keep in mind is that whoever is in the mask knows morse code off the cuff and knows Zoom has been posing as Jay on earth 1. I really thought a version of Henry Allen would turn out to be Zoom since there’s been something odd about Henry and his whereabouts all season. Wally would be cool if it turns out the Wally we’ve been seeing all season is from Earth 2 been a spy for Zoom, and is an undercover speedster all along. However, if Eddie survived his gunshot and been held by zoom this whole time, its a game changer because of the impact that his death had on the timeline and future. if Eddie is Alive, is Earth 1 Eobard Thawne. Also, one would assume Iris would go back with her fiance impacting Barry. Overall, Eddie being the man in the mask would have a big impact on season 3 as opposed to Wally or Henry. I was disappointed though with the Zoom reveal so I don’t want to get to invested this time around.

    • H.H. says:

      I think it has a good chance of being Ronnie. I just always found it weird that even after Jay showed up and they realized that the singularity was connected to another dimension that they all continued to just assume he was dead and never once considered the possibility that he traveled to another Earth and couldn’t come home. You’d think brainy, scientific Caitlyn would have at least considered it and wanted to hold onto hope that she’d see her hubby again, but nope. Seems like the writers wouldn’t want to point out that there’s a possibility he’s not dead if they want the big shocking moment to be that he’s not dead. Sometimes you can tell what someone’s trying to hide by the way they try to hide it.

  11. Marzo Behan says:

    I would like to think the man in the mask is someone we all go no freaking way and from what I have read that is what they want it to be.I hope it is some one like Henry from Earth 2 ant he is helping Zoom

  12. aaj says:

    Could the guy or girl in the mask be someone from the Arrow team?

  13. Anthony Deas says:

    while many would like to believe that the man in the mask could be jay cause he spelled out Jay doesn’t mean he could be for all we know he could of been trying to tell them that Hunter wasn’t Jay

  14. Ian F. says:

    I really wanted it to be Tom Welling as the masked man but Zoom doesn’t seem to be able to cross universes freely.. I’m now leaning towards Eddie, as it would throw a monkey wrench into the burgeoning Allen-West romance.. but then again, why would Zoom keep him alive? Bracing for a less than shocking reveal…

  15. Bruce Wayne says:

    The man in the mask….Barry Allen of Earth 1 but 20-30 years older from the future.

    • nsync08 says:

      As in the Flash that disappeared during the crisis that’s referenced in the newspaper from the future. I like your thinking.

  16. Mike B says:

    I somehow think it’s Diggle’s brother. I know it’s implausible^^

  17. Aadhi says:

    he is Barry from Earth 3.

  18. Charles g says:

    There is a theory that the man in the mask is “Barry Allen ” from the 1990’s The Flash show or John Wesley Shipp, but not as Henry Allen, but as a prior Flash. IF that is the case. it sis so ridiculous and hammy that is not believable. This show is pretty good at keeping the show pretty straight, but that reveal would be too much.

  19. steven says:

    it’s barry’s father since he was the flash in another universe

  20. Sam says:

    Earth 2 Oliver queen?

  21. Agent Jones says:

    We’re all assuming it’s someone that’s already on the show. What if it’s the introduction to a new, extremely popular DC Hero? This would be an amazing way to introduce Hal Jordan AKA Green Lantern!

    • herman1959 says:

      But, would a totally “new” character be so shocking? The shocker would be that it is someone we’re familiar with but don’t expect to see in this context/time frame – Eddie, Henry, or the Earth1 future Barry (from when The Flash disappears). The last one is my favorite.

      • Agent Jones says:

        It wouldn’t be shocking to casual viewers but to the die hards or comic fans I think it would be. Hal fits with the use of Morse as well. Don’t get me wrong, I HIGHLY doubt that is the reveal. Just throwing it out there as wishful thinking!

  22. Monjur Bin Shams says:

    My theory is,the man in the iron mask is Barry Allen aka the flash of E-1.Remember the 2024 newspaper of season 1?perhaps zoom took him from that timeline and then brought him here.Another theory is Eddie didn’t die during that singularity,so it’s Eddie behind that mask…Or its Eobard Thwane aka the reverse flash somehow.If any of this theory turns out to be correct then it’s not gonna blow my mind out!!

  23. DJ says:

    The man in the Iron Mask is Bruce Wayne

  24. sergio says:

    the man in the iron mask must be the true jay garrick earth-2 and he must be a speedster, a good one ofcourse…

    but then there’s henry allen earth-1 that reacts to the name garrick, saying it was is mom mid name… earth-2 henry allen is a good choice for a speedster, with is name changed to conceal is true identity

  25. sergio says:

    the truth about the man in the iron mask is that it doesn’t matter who he is… it matters why zoom keeps him locked

    and by the looks of things we will end up seeing him released, yes it will be a huge revelation, but why zoom kept him locked probably won’t be explained and that sucks

    like some said here it ‘s probably an introduction to season 3

  26. Shaun says:

    One theory is John Wesley Shipp Flash (From whichever earth he’s from)… Seems plausible at least.

  27. Brigh.Guk says:

    I still think it’s The Flash from the 1990s CBS show 8)

  28. danudjatmiko says:

    Can someone tell me. I think I see in eps 2, when Harrison Wells promote his meta alert app, Flash /Jay show up with yellow lightning at his body (not blue). If He is the real Zoom/Zolomon, why the lightning not blue? Or it is just because He not run fast enough to make it blue?

    • sergio says:

      we can argue that the time wich you refer to was some while ago, when zoom was giving hope to earth 2, and it was not until sometime later zoom started getting sick and turning is lightning blue !

      i’m more worried about the fact that even after zoom gets barry speed, his lighting it’s still blue… wasn’t the blue lighting a sign of is sickness??