Last night’s episode of The Flash will be the final new episode for a few weeks — but when the show returns on April 25, the trailer screened after “Abra Kadabra” proved that there was going to be a lot for fans to unpack.
First of all, there’s that shot of The Flash in a new costume — although it’s likely The Flash of 2024, not “our” Flash.
…And that’s another thing.
In order to save Iris, Barry travels to the future, so that he can talk with his older self about what went wrong during his initial battle with Savitar, and how the Scarlet Speedster was eventually able to defeat the self-proclaimed god of speed.
That’s based on a comment made by Abra Kadabra, who traveled from the 64th Century and who told Barry that he would eventually defeat Savitar — but not until after Savitar had taken Iris from him. Going to the future, Barry reasoned, would allow him to talk with the version of himself that had already overcome Savitar, and perhaps convince him to help Barry save Iris.
When he arrives in the trailer, though, Barry narrates that he’s come to 2024 — and that might be a familiar date to some fans: it’s the year of the “future newspaper” seen in the show’s pilot and periodically revisited. The paper, which rests in Eobard Thawne’s “time vault,” constructed when he was impersonating Harrison Wells, features headlines indicating that The Flash had disappeared following a “crisis.”
That might not mean much to the casual readers, but the word “crisis,” coupled with another headline about red skies in the same newspaper, tells comic book readers that the newspaper is a reference to Crisis on Infinite Earths, the story in which Barry Allen died in the comics (he got better, but it took 20 years in real time).
As we mentioned, The Flash debuted in 2014 on The CW, which meant that the newspaper headline shown in the pilot — bearing a date almost 10 years from the date the series premiered — takes place in 2024.
Specifically, the newspaper’s dateline reads “April 25, 2024,” which means that when The Flash returns on April 25, and Barry travels to the year 2024, there’s a decent chance that he could be traveling to the very date on the newspaper — or more likely somewhere slightly earlier, so that he knows he hasn’t yet disappeared.
If that’s the case, might the audience get a glimpse of Crisis by the end of next week’s episode? Even more interstingly, could The Anti-Monitor be next season’s “big bad,” which producers have promised isn’t a speedster?
Look, it’s entirely possible The Flash just happens to be airing an episode on April 25, in which the characters travel to the year 2024, after three years of fans having seen the date “April 25, 2024” over and over again. But in’t it more fun, at least until the episode airs, to speculate about what it could mean for the future of the series?