'The Flash': Could the Reverse Flash Disappear in "Crisis on Infinite Earths"?

The CW's The Flash is currently in the back half of its fifth season, but when the show returns [...]

The CW's The Flash is currently in the back half of its fifth season, but when the show returns this fall it will also be headed towards the biggest event the Arrowverse has ever seen, "Crisis on Infinite Earths". The show also may find itself without at least one of its major characters -- an idea that could have interesting implications for the highly-anticipated crossover event.

A recent report has hinted that Carlos Valdes, who plays Cisco Ramon/Vibe on the series, is set to leave The Flash at the end of Season 5. Since that report, there have also been rumors that other actors will be departing the show as well, potentially as part of "Crisis on Infinite Earth". Among those rumored are Tom Cavanagh, who has played multiple characters on the series including numerous iterations of Harrison Wells and, perhaps most notably, Eobard Thawne, a.k.a. Reverse Flash. Currently, Thawne has been working with Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris' (Candice Patton) daughter Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy) in the future, though his motivations have yet to be revealed.

If Cavanagh is going to depart the long-running CW series this fall, Thawne's secret collaboration with Nora could ultimately be a part of that exit strategy -- by having Thawne vanish in Crisis instead of Barry.

As fans of The Flash know well, it's been teased since the show's inception that a Crisis is coming to the Arrowverse and, specifically, The Flash vanishes in it. With Thawne having always been from the future -- he was born in 2151, long after the Crisis in flash canon -- he has long known Barry Allen's fate. However, a lot of events have happened since Thawne arrived in the "present" to put things into motion for Barry to become The Flash. Barry has notably reset the timeline a few times, altering reality in various ways including the massive changes that were Flashpoint. It is highly possible that some of these changes are so far-reaching that the timeline as Thawne knows it has also changed in major ways, setting up a situation where the outcome the Reverse Flash was trying to create originally is no longer his endgame.

To an extent, what we've seen of Thawne this season on The Flash plays into that idea. Every time Nora races to the future to speak with him face-to-face, Thawne appears to be in prison at Iron Heights in 2049 and is on a tight timeline to prevent something from happening -- though what is anyone's guess. While Thawne has always been presented as trying to destroy Barry, what if his endgame is now to prevent Barry from vanishing in Crisis? Motivation for saving Barry could be anyone's guess here -- maybe if Barry vanishes Thawne never exists or something equally as complex -- but if saving Barry somehow serves Thawne's plan, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch for it to be Reverse Flash who disappears in Crisis, the sinister speedster sacrificing himself in the multiverse-altering event, leaving Barry to live on and deal with whatever "Crisis on Infinite Earths" does to the Arrowverse.

Considering that the impact of the epic event on the Arrowverse could be dramatic, that sort of sacrifice makes sense. Both Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow are rumored to be ending after Crisis. This year's Elseworlds crossover itself has somewhat already laid the groundwork for Arrow's Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) to die. In that crossover, the Green Arrow had to make some sort of deal with the Monitor in order to save Supergirl and the Flash from death. While it's not clear what that deal entailed, many believe it to be Oliver Queen's life, something that would have huge ramifications not only to Arrow, but to the entire Arrowverse -- ramifications it would make sense to have Barry Allen around to make sense of.

What do you think? Might it be Thawne who disappears in Crisis instead of Barry? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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