By Chancellor Agard
October 08, 2019 at 09:00 PM EDT
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This article contains spoilers from the season 6 premiere of The Flash, “Into the Void.”

What do you do when you learn the exact day you’re going to die? Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) will have to figure that out this fall on The Flash.

In the superhero drama’s season 6 premiere, the Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) revealed that the Flash is indeed destined to die on Dec. 10, 2019, in the coming crisis, as foretold on the updated future newspaper. Of course, Barry and Iris (Candice Patton) believe they can fight it, but the Monitor assures them it’s inevitable. How they handle this news will fuel the season as it heads toward the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover.

“The countdown begins next week. What kind of urgency does that give them? An extreme one,” showrunner Eric Wallace told reporters at a recent screening of the premiere. “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?’ These are all the things that they’re grappling with for these next seven episodes, because 8 ends and it’s ‘Crisis’ time, and it’s time to go off to literally cosmic war. So the relationship is strained, but it’s also going to bring them closer together than ever before because that’s what tragedy does.”

Katie Yu/The CW

This isn’t the first time Barry and Iris have received this kind of news. In season 3, the team fought to change the timeline after Barry witnessed Savitar kill Iris in the future. You can expect the couple to respond differently now that the shoe is on the other foot.

“It’s not the same because of what they learn next week, and that’s the great part of the story,” Wallace said. “The Monitor showing up and kind of making a cosmic pronouncement drives you to extremes in order to fight against or accept the coming crisis. And every episode this season, [2], 3, 4, 5, and 6 especially, are all about ‘Do I accept death or do I fight it?’” He added that Barry will turn to Jay Garrick (John Wesley Shipp), Earth-3’s Flash, for help.

Barry’s shortened life expectancy creates an interesting parallel with Dr. Ramsey Rosso (Sendhil Ramamurthy), the big bad of the season’s first seven episodes. Toward the end of the opener, Ramsey learned he was dying from a rare form of cancer and tried to use dark matter to cure it, which transformed him into the DC Comics villain Bloodwork.

“For the first time in the show’s history, we have a villain and a protagonist who are going through the same thing,” said Wallace. “It’s the reason Bloodwork was chosen as a villain this season. It was very deliberate, because they’re going to learn about halfway through this season, ‘Maybe we’re not so different,’ and what does that mean?”

He added: “‘Crisis’ is about grief and about death and about the end of all worlds. So you have [in] Bloodwork a villain who was facing his own end of his own world. So from his point of view, ‘Who cares about crisis? I might die before.’”

Bloodwork is “even more concerned about the immediacy of his own life and how to live past that,” Wallace said. “Now, does that mean he could perhaps live past ‘Crisis?’ [That’s] the real question that towards the end of the season, obviously, he has to grapple with.”

The season 6 premiere set up many other things to come in the season. Below, Wallace breaks down the rest of the premiere and shares a few more teases about what’s to come.

On how Barry’s death relates to Oliver’s final season journey on Arrow:
At this point in time, Barry has no idea that Arrow’s Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) is working for the Monitor — but he will eventually. “It’s so great because I can’t tell you when it happens, but I will tell you that is a scene that happened and is a moment and it is coming, and let’s just say people might get pissed off a little bit,” Wallace said.

On Killer Frost’s new lease on life:
With Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) agreeing to let Killer Frost take the wheel more often and Ralph (Hartley Sawyer) by her side as a life coach, Caitlin’s icy persona will try to build a life for herself this season. “It has been a pure delight writing Killer Frost this season because she’s much more in the forefront than Caitlin is because that life coach stuff starts next week, in 602,” said Wallace. “It’s led to these hilarious situations because basically, we talk of her as a teenager who finally got the keys to the car but doesn’t know how to drive…. So everything is new through her eyes, which means she’s going to make some mistakes, which is great. That’s going to lead to some more tears. But then at the end, she’s going to grow into something that didn’t exist before. You know, maybe you do lose that killer?”

He continued: “Both the result of where she goes in ‘Graphic Novel #1’ and where she ends up emotionally gives her the strength to face what lies in ‘Graphic Novel #2.’”

On why the season 6 version of Harrison Wells is his favorite one yet:
“He’s cool. He’s suave. It’s just what Tom [Cavanagh] said at Comic-Con. This is a man of adventure. This is a man who can kind of get in a fight and hold his own. We haven’t seen a Wells like that, but there’s this completely unexpected side to him, which I will not spoil,” Wallace said. “He has a secret that will be slowly dripped out in ‘Graphic Novel #1,’ but which will really mess with his mind, literally — that’s a spoiler right there — in ‘Graphic Novel #2,’ and it’s going to lead him to an emotional place that’s similar territory to one of the other Wellses, which I don’t want to give the spoiler away, but it takes it in a completely opposite direction…. It’ll be very apparent, I think by episode 6, what the hint is and what his secret is.”

Jeff Weddell/The CW

On the rapid growth of Iris’ newspaper:
“If we know from 518 that she becomes a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and that she has an empire, we need to start building those seeds. We need to do it now. So we have very urgently done that this season,” said Wallace, teasing that we’ll meet her first staffer in episode 2. “It’s very much about seeing her take charge of what we refer to as Team Citizen, and they will appear and they will be getting into trouble, especially in the back half of our show because now we have a new way to bring in meta story lines: her investigations. It doesn’t always have to be a bank robber anymore. So it’s been a blessing from the story gods.”

On Cisco and Camilla’s relationship:
“As far as their relationship ups and downs and highs and lows, they won’t be having [the same] kind of drama [Barry and Iris have]. They’re doing great,” said Wallace. “And that’s one of the themes of [Cisco’s] season arc that plays over all 22 episodes. Can you be happy being human? Can you be happy not being a meta? Can you be happy not saving the world every week?”

On Keiynan Lonsdale’s eventual return as Kid Flash:
Although nothing is locked in yet, Wallace is hoping to “get Kid Flash for a couple [episodes] because the story’s so good. And the little tease is Kid Flash will now meet a classic villain from the classic days from classic comic books, and maybe he’ll have to save the Flash’s behind, which is what I want to see because maybe he’s not a kid in anymore. It’s time to grow up.”

The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW.

Related content:

Episode Recaps

After the success of Arrow, Barry Allen (a.k.a. The Flash) gets his own CW treatment in this comic-themed spin-off.
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