Hey Arrow-verse, Stop Trying To Convince Me The Flash Is Going To Die

Posted 2019/12/0480

Spoilers ahead for the fall finale of The Flash Season 6, called “The Last Temptation of Barry Allen, Pt. 2” on The CW.

The Arrow-verse has spent the better part of a year building to the five-hour “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover, and a huge chunk of The Flash Season 6 has been devoted to setting it up. That’s largely because The Flash was the first show to hint at a “Crisis” event in the Arrow-verse and The Monitor dropped a bombshell on Barry this season by revealing that he has to die for billions to survive the coming Crisis.

It was a chilling prophecy… or it would have been if there was any danger of The Flash coming to an end. Hey Arrow-verse, I love you, but quit trying to convince me Barry is going to die for good!

Thanks to the departure of Wally West, the elimination of Nora West-Allen, the failing speed of Jay Garrick, and the presumed death of Jesse Quick, there’s not another speedster hero waiting in the wings to take up the mantle of the Scarlet Speedster. If The Flash is going to continue, then Barry Allen will be alive as The Flash following “Crisis.”

Does that mean The Flash won’t temporarily die in the “Crisis” crossover? Definitely not. The Arrow-verse has been killing off and bringing back characters for years now, and The Flash has it down to an art by this point. Barry dying for a little bit in “Crisis” could work as a nod to the comics arc and would mean The Flash didn’t spend the first chunk of Season 6 building up the hero’s death for absolutely nothing.

But there’s no way Barry dies and stays dead in “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” and the Arrow loyalist in me wishes that all of the tragic fanfare and celebration was being piled on Oliver, whose story is going to end after “Crisis” due to the end of Arrow and who has every reason to believe he’ll be dead due to the deal he made with The Monitor.

All the emotional scenes of characters saying goodbye to Barry, expressing how much Barry means to them, and preparing for a life without Barry fall flat for me, because Barry isn’t going to be gone for good due to this crossover. I want to care, and kudos to the Flash actors for delivering performances that establish the members Team Flash at least believe that Barry’s end is nigh.

This is just an example of why the Arrow-verse simply can’t conduct its mega crossovers like movies. “Crisis on Infinite Earths” may be the Arrow-verse equivalent of Avengers: Endgame, but Endgame had the benefit of a bunch of heroes who could be killed off, meaning viewers had to worry about them. The MCU (for now, at least) is primarily made up of movies that release every once in a while, with not many heroes getting more than one film greenlit at once.

The Flash is an ongoing series with one leading man and no speedster waiting to take over for him; of course he’s not going to die. There’s not really suspense for the leads of The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman, and even Arrow to a certain extent, although Felicity’s final episode seemingly revealed Oliver secretly survives the Crisis.

None of this is to say that “Crisis on Infinite Earths” will be a waste because I don’t feel the need to worry about the biggest heroes of the Arrow-verse, and my enjoyment of The Flash hasn’t been ruined by the fact that I flat out do not believe Barry will bite the dust for good. If “Crisis” can be done well, it will have pulled off something unprecedented on the small screen, and on a CW budget. This isn’t the Battle of Winterfell where there are expectations of major character deaths.

Characters don’t have to die for “Crisis” to be great; I just wish The Flash didn’t waste time trying to sell that Barry is going to really, truly, 100%, forever DIE. “Crisis on Infinite Earths” will presumably spend some time on this as well; considering the almost ridiculous number of characters slated to appear in “Crisis,” time could be better spent on stories that will actually go somewhere.

All of this said, I will happily admit that I was wrong in all-caps if Barry dies and stays dead for good by the end of “Crisis,” and I’ve been wrong before. Still, I’m expecting “Crisis” to end with most of the Arrow-verse facing a future without Oliver Queen, not Barry Allen. Find out what happens when “Crisis on Infinite Earths” kicks off on The CW on Sunday, December 7 at 8 p.m. ET with Supergirl.