The Flash: How "Into the Void" Sets Up Barry's Death in "Crisis on Infinite Earths"

The Flash returned tonight for its sixth season on The CW, but while the Scarlet Speedster and his allies are still reeling from the loss of Nora West-Allen in the Season 5 finale and a new villain begins to rise in the form of Dr. Ramsey Rosso/Bloodwork (Sendhil Ramamurthy), there's a larger and more devastating reality coming for Barry Allen (Grant Gustin). The long-teased "Crisis on Infinite Earths" is coming in December, its arrival pushed up five years. While there are still a great many questions about the Multiverse-changing event, tonight's season premiere answered one big one and gave us a major, heartbreaking piece of the "Crisis" puzzle: the date of Barry's death.

Spoilers for tonight's Season 6 premiere of The Flash, "Into the Void", below.

It's no secret that Barry meets a grim fate in "Crisis". Not only is it comic book canon, Barry's disappearance in the mysterious crisis event was introduced in The Flash series premiere. At that time it was an event not set to happen until 2024, giving Barry a chance to figure out how to avoid his fate but now he knows the harsh truth. At the end of tonight's episode The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) showed up in the Time Vault with a message for Barry and Iris. Barry's time has run out. The Crisis is coming now, and Barry will give his life to save billions on a very specific date: December 10, 2019.

For fans of The CW's Arrowverse, that date is significant. It's the date of The Flash's episode of "Crisis on Infinite Earths" which kicks off on Sunday, December 8th with Supergirl. But the idea that Barry will actually die in "Crisis" is also a pretty significant piece of information. During the most recent season finale of Arrow, The Monitor paid Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) a similar visit, revealing that the bargain he made to save Barry and Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) means that Oliver will die in "Crisis," but his sacrifice could save the world. Many fans took that scene -- and Oliver's coming sacrifice -- to mean that Barry would also survive "Crisis". That now appears to not be the case.

But this is The Flash. That means Barry and his friends aren't going to go down without a fight. Barry makes it clear to The Monitor that he's not going to leave his family. With billions of lives on the line, it will certainly be interesting to see how Team Flash tries to solve this threat -- and it will be interesting to see how the fallout of "Crisis" impacts the series.

"We found really unique ways to make the season fresh that we never expected, thanks to 'Crisis'", showrunner Eric Wallace explained earlier this year. "This season is really divided up in a way that the episodes before the crossover are pre-'Crisis' episodes. Then the back half of the season is all about dealing with the fallout from the events of 'Crisis.'"

The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.

"Crisis on Infinite Earths" will air on The CW this winter, taking place on five episodes of TV over two quarters -- one each of Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, DC's Legends of Tomorrow. The event kicks off Sunday, December 9th.