“I don’t want to say goodbye,” says Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) to Barry (Grant Gustin) as he gets ready to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the Multiverse in season six episode nine of The CW’s The Flash, “Crisis on Infinite Earths Part 3.”
The episode begins on Earth-203 in New Gotham with Helena Kyle/The Huntress (Ashley Scott reprising the character she played in 2002’s Birds of Prey) running on rooftops trying to communicate to the Oracle. The skies are colored red as the anti-matter wave hits the earth and destroys it.
From there it’s to the Waverider hovering above Earth-1 and Team Flash breaches aboard. The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) tells the heroes they need to find the people who’ve been labeled Paragons because they’re key to defeating the Anti-Monitor and saving the Multiverse. One of them is Dr. Ryan Choi (Osric Chau – ‘Kevin Tran’ in Supernatural) who Iris (Candice Patton), Ralph (Hartley Sawyer), and Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) go to to convince to join the fight to save the Multiverse.
Cisco (Carlos Valdes) using his tech genius to find the origin point of the anti-matter wave and realizes it’s in the tunnels on Earth-1 where Nash had been trying to find The Monitor. He tells Killer Frost to meet him in 5 minutes in the transporter room. As he goes to retrieve what he needs, The Monitor appears before him and tells him even though he’s not one of the Paragons, he does have a role to play in Crisis. In order to do that Vibe must live again.
Cisco tries to explain his powers are gone and it was his choice. The Monitor tells Cisco he must answer the call and makes Cisco Vibe again – against his will.
Meanwhile, Diggle (David Ramsey) has also joined everyone on the Waverider and finds out about the death of Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) who sacrificed himself during the battle on Earth-38 while they were trying to evacuate the planet before it was destroyed by the anti-matter wave. He also discovers his wife, Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson), who has been assisting The Monitor has disappeared. Mia (Katherine McNamara) and Diggle decide to go to Earth-666 to try to get help in finding a Lazarus pit to bring Oliver back.
Elsewhere, Iris, Ralph and Ray track down Dr. Choi and inform him the world is ending but that with his help they may be able to stop it. Dr. Choi, shocked and a bit upset, declines to go with them. Instead, he wants to be with his family and leaves.
In the tunnels on Earth-1, Vibe, Killer Frost, and The Flash find the door that Nash was trying to open to get to The Monitor. Pariah (Tom Cavanagh) joins them in the tunnels to “bear witness” to the tragedy. It seems he’s now the Anti-Monitor’s official observer. Vibe uses his powers to learn the code to open the door to the anti-matter cannon which is creating the anti-matter wave destroying all the Earths.
Back on the Waverider, Batwoman (Ruby Rose) and Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) force Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer) to tell them how to use the Book of Destiny so that Kara can figure out a way to bring back Earth-38. He warns them that attempting to do something of that magnitude could drive Supergirl insane or worse.
Over on Earth-666, Mia, Diggle, and Constantine (Matt Ryan) look up Lucifer (Tom Ellis putting in a cameo appearance as Lucifer Morningstar from the Netflix series) to help them get to Purgatory to retrieve Oliver’s soul and get it back into this body. It seems Lucifer owes Constantine a favor so he gives them a card that will provide access. However, when the image on the card fades away if they haven’t already left Purgatory they will be trapped there for eternity. Constantine uses the card and suddenly he, Mia, and Diggle are on the island Lian Yu, which for Oliver is his Purgatory.
Back in the tunnels, Team Flash has entered through the door Vibe opened and finds The Flash from Earth-90 being used by the Anti-Monitor to generate the energy needed for the anti-matter cannon. Vibe uses his powers to let Barry get through the force field protecting it and retrieve The Flash from Earth-90. The Earth-90 Flash (John Wesley Shipp) thanks them but warns that if he doesn’t get back on the treadmill, the cannon will go off and destroy the Multiverse.
On the Waverider, Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch) talks to The Monitor about the destruction of another Earth. Now there are only seven Earths left!
Once more to the anti-matter cannon we go. Pariah brings Black Lightning (Cress Williams) in to help. He’s upset and confused, and Pariah quickly tells him there are multiple Earths and they’re all being destroyed by the cannon. Black Lightning finds out his Earth is gone along with his family which enrages him, but Barry’s able to talk to him and convince him to help them.
Black Lightning uses his electrical power to battle the cannon, stalling it from destroying the Multiverse while they figure out a way to stop it. The two Flashes enter Flashtime to talk about trying to destroy the cannon. Barry realizes if he runs on the treadmill in the opposite direction it will destroy the cannon. He believes that’s how he will die in Crisis.
On the Waverider, Batwoman talks to Kara and convinces her not to use the Book of Destiny because if they lose her they are all doomed. Kara agrees and a relieved Batwoman tries to give her the small piece of Kryptonite she was going to use on her if she couldn’t convince her. At first, Kara’s surprised but tells Batwoman to keep it because she trusts her.
Over in Purgatory, Mia, Constantine, and Diggle find Oliver’s soul. Oliver has no real memory of who he was or who they are. In the second-best scene in the episode, Diggle gets an attacking Oliver to stop and apologizes for not being there for him when he needed him most. He’s also able to get Oliver to remember him and everyone else.
Iris will not be deterred and talks to Dr. Choi about helping them save the world again. She finally convinces him with words Barry used before they went on their separate missions.
In the tunnels, Barry gets ready to get on the treadmill and sacrifice himself to destroy the cannon. Killer Frost turns into Caitlin who tells Barry, “I don’t want to say goodbye.” Barry looks at Caitlin and Cisco and says, “You two were there the first time I opened my eyes as The Flash. I couldn’t be the hero I am without you guys.”
Barry, Caitlin, and Cisco group hug for what they believe is the last time. As they reluctantly let go and Barry prepares to get on the treadmill, The Flash from Earth-90 stands in front of Barry and says, “Sorry, kid, but this has to happen.”
He puts his hand on Barry’s chest and explains he’s momentarily stealing his speed. Caitlin asks why and The Flash from Earth-90 reminds her The Monitor said The Flash has to die in Crisis – but he never said which Flash.
Earth-90 Flash tells Vibe to breach him through the force field and he does, despite Barry – who’s too weak from having his speed drained – trying to stop him. Earth-90 Flash speeds the other direction and the cannon becomes unstable and starts to self-destruct.
Vibe opens a breach for them to escape the explosion and drags with him a protesting Barry. As he superspeeds on the treadmill, Earth-90 Flash has a flashback to when he was young and working with the love of his life, Tina McGee (Amanda Pays), just as the cannon and the anti-matter wave is destroyed. (The flashback is from a scene from the ’90s TV show, The Flash).
Back in Purgatory, the group’s getting ready to leave when Jim Corrigan/The Spectre (Stephen Lobo) appears and tells Oliver it’s his time to “light the spark” and save everyone, a job Corrigan has been doing since his death. Oliver looks at Mia and Diggle and says he’s sorry but he can’t go with them.
On the Waverider, Barry comforts Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning who’s mourning the loss of his family on his Earth. Barry introduces himself and talks about his mother’s murder and his father being framed for it, explaining his father never lost hope. They agree to fight on together against whatever comes to honor their loved ones’ memories.
Iris, Ralph, and Dr. Choi arrive on the Waverider and Barry hugs Iris telling her it was The Flash from Earth-90 who sacrificed himself for everyone. Lila appears but isn’t able to remember where she was. Barry realizes Lila is under the control of the Anti-Monitor who at that point attacks The Monitor. In an energy battle between the two (similar to Harry Potter and Voldemort only without wands), the Anti-Monitor – now more powerful than The Monitor – wins, killing him. (Uh, hello, why did all the superheroes just stand around and watch instead of tackling Lila or doing something to help?!)
The Anti-Monitor then uses his new power to recreate the anti-matter wave and destroys Earth-1. All Earths are gone! Pariah uses his powers to teleport the seven paragons – Barry, Batwoman, Supergirl, Dr. Choi, Martian Manhunter, Superman, and Sara to the Vanishing Point which exists out of space and time in order to keep them safe from the Anti-Monitor.
The episode ends with Superman glowing red and appearing to be in intense pain. As he disappears, Lex Luthor replaces him, grasping a piece of paper indicating he used the Book of Destiny to write himself in as one of the Paragons.
The Flash Season 6 Episode 9, “Crisis on Infinite Earths Part 3,” Review:
With impressive special effects, some heartfelt moments, and exciting action scenes, Part 3 of The CW’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” epic crossover event brings Team Flash to the crucial moment when Barry Allen was told The Flash must die. He’s only saved by the sacrifice of a different The Flash in his place. It’s a scene that could have felt like a cheat except that it’s clear the Barry Allen – The Flash swap out was always the plan. Why else would the show’s writers and showrunners create a Barry Allen aka The Flash played by John Wesley Shipp on Earth-90?
The best scene in the entire episode, especially for The Flash fans, is of the original Team Flash – Barry, Caitlin, and Cisco – group hug just before Barry’s about to make the ultimate sacrifice. It’s incredibly touching when he proclaims he couldn’t be the hero he is without them. It’s the bond, friendship, and connection these three characters (and the actors who play them) share that makes the show so moving, entertaining, and strong.
With only six heroes and one sort of ex-supervillain left in Vanishing Point to go up against the Anti-Monitor, the final two episodes of “Crisis on Infinite Earths” should be action-packed and exciting. Unfortunately, we have a long wait for their reveal as The CW’s chosen to air them when the shows return from the winter break.
- Candice Patton Interview: The Flash Season 6, Nora, and Iris as Journalist
- Danielle Panabaker on The Flash Season 6 and Killer Frost’s Relationship with Team Flash
- Hartley Sawyer Interview on Ralph’s Detective Career and the Search for Sue
- Carlos Valdes on a Vibe-less Cisco
- The Flash Season 6 Episode 1 “Into the Void” Recap
- The Flash Season 6 Episode 2 “A Flash of the Lightning” Recap
- The Flash Season 6 Episode 3 “Dead Man Running” Recap
- The Flash Season 6 Episode 4 “There Will Be Blood” Recap
- The Flash Season 6 Episode 5 “Kiss Kiss Breach Breach” Recap
- The Flash Season 6 Episode 6 “License to Elongate” Recap
- The Flash Season 6 Episode 7 “The Last Temptation of Barry Allen, Part 1” Recap
- The Flash Season 6 Episode 8 “The Last Temptation of Barry Allen, Part 2” Recap
- The Flash Season 6 Episode 10 “Marathon” Recap
- The Flash Season 6 Episode 11 “Love is a Battlefield” Recap
- The Flash Season 6 Episode 12 “A Girl Named Sue” Recap
- The Flash Season 6 Episode 13 Recap
- The Flash Season 6 Episode 14 “Death of the Speed Force” Recap
- The Flash Season 6 Episode 15 “The Exorcism of Nash Wells” Recap