'The Flash' Cliffhanger: Will Barry Allen [SPOILER]? Showrunner Spills Season 6 Secrets
By Philiana Ng
Spoiler alert! Do not proceed if you have not watched Tuesday's season premiere of The Flash.
Is The Flash going to die?
The CW's superhero drama returned with a vengeance on Tuesday withtheseason six premiere of The Flash, titled "Into the Void," throwing Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and Iris West-Allen (Candice Patton) for a loop when The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) appeared in the final seconds to pronounce The Flash's death by date -- and the timing of it coincides with The CW's epic five-show DC crossover event, "Crisis on Infinite Earths," this winter.
"You cannot avoid the coming crisis...," The Monitor warns, revealing that the five years Barry thought he had until he vanishes has been moved up. "December 10th, 2019, on that day he will answer the call and make the ultimate sacrifice. Soon, this world will fight for the fate for all the known universes. I am sorry, but events have been set into motion that you cannot possibly comprehend." Barry's desperation is apparent as he pleads with The Monitor to tell him another way out. "To survive? You can't. In order for billions to survive this coming crisis, The Flash must die."
Well, that certainly complicates matters, doesn't it?
"'Crisis' turned out to be the best thing that could have happened -- I can't speak for the other shows, but I can certainly speak for The Flash -- because it created an immediacy to things. We know December 10th, 2019, the Flash will die. We're not messing around," showrunner and executive producer Eric Wallace told a handful of reporters, including ET, following a recent screening of the premiere.
How Barry and Iris -- still grieving the loss of their daughter, Nora -- grapple with this devastating piece of information is the central plot for next week's episode, titled "A Flash of Lightning," which sees Barry struggling mightily to fight his dire fate. (John Wesley Shipp also returns as Jay Garrick, whom the team turns to for help.)
"As a married couple, they can count the number of days and weeks. What kind of urgency does that give them? An extreme one. It turns the dial up to 10, and it makes you think, 'Is every moment together our last? What can we do? Should we fight this? Is it inevitable?'" Wallace teased. "These are all the things that they're grappling with for these next seven episodes, because [episode] eight ends and it's 'Crisis' time. And it's time to go off to cosmic war. The relationship is strained, but it's also going to bring them closer together than ever before because that's what tragedy does."
Barry and Iris are no stranger to dealing with life-and-death stakes. Wallace noted that their past experience in handling Iris' imminent death plays an integral role in how the couple handles their latest situation.
"You should watch next week when that exact question is asked and answered. That is literally the plot. What this story has enabled us to do is to look back at any other time when somebody was facing life and death and see how they reacted then. In the writers' room, we had a lengthy discussion about it's the other side of the coin. We know how they reacted with Iris. How will they react this week and I will tell you, it's different. It's not the same," Wallace said. "The Monitor showing up and making a cosmic pronouncement drives you to extremes in order to fight against or accept the coming crisis. And every episode this season, especially [the next five], are all about, 'Do I accept death or do I fight it?'"
The premiere also introduced the first villain of The Flash's new season, which will feature two big bads instead of one. Caitlin Snow's old friend, Ramsey Rosso, aka Bloodwork, played by Heroes' Sendhil Ramamurthy, was chosen for the first half of the season primarily to parallel Barry's journey as he faces impending death. As is revealed in the premiere, Ramsey is dying of cancer and injects himself with dark matter to prolong his life.
"For the first time in the show's history, we have a villain and a protagonist who are going through the same thing. It's the reason Bloodwork was chosen as a villain this season," Wallace explained. "It was very deliberate because they're going to learn about halfway through the season that maybe we're not so different. What does that mean?"
With "Crisis" fast approaching, how Team Flash takes the news of the multiverse's impending doom won't be a question left unanswered. According to Wallace, the answer to their reactions and thoughts to the event will come in episode three.
But how will Barry react to the news that Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) is also working for The Monitor, something he's been in the dark up to this point? Fair to say, it won't be pretty.
"Boy, I wonder what will happen when they both find out," Wallace hinted. "Yes, it's good stuff. It's so great because I can't tell you when it happens, but I will tell you that is a scene that happened. It is a moment and it is coming. And let's just say people might get pissed off."
Wallace may have tipped his hand when it comes to the "Crisis" crossover, sharing that several leads of the Arrow-verse shows may perish as a result of the upcoming event. Whether they'll stick remains to be seen. Surely, with Barry's end date seemingly set, he is a very strong contender for being one of the leads to not make it out alive... maybe.
"When we were approaching the writing of 'Crisis,' obviously we can't just kill all our No. 1s on our shows. That's insane. You can kill a couple of them, and we do, but you have to find the balance," he said. "I think when you watch the crossover, you're going to feel those tectonic shifts, especially the end. It's not small. It's a game-changer in the same way that the ending of 'Crisis,' the comic book, was a game-changer and it opens up to a whole new world."