Spoilers ahead for Episode 18 of The Flash Season 5, called "Godspeed."
A crossover tackling the epic "Crisis on Infinite Earths" arc from the pages of DC Comics is coming to the Arrow-verse, and it promises to be the biggest event in the history of The CW's superhero universe. The "Crisis" crossover was revealed way back in December as coming in the fall, and the odds felt pretty good that we wouldn't get any footage from the crossover for quite a while. Now, The Flash's latest episode may have revealed the first footage from the Arrow-verse's "Crisis on Infinite Earths."
The majority of the episode was actually set in the future and told Nora's origin story, as she sat in the pipeline and Team Flash read her diary in 2019. Iris did eventually spring Nora from her cell to tell her side of the story, but Nora's other parent isn't looking to work with her anymore.
Barry took Nora back to the future and told her to stay there, and his tone was much harsher than in the message that future Barry recorded for his daughter, and it's this message that may come from "Crisis."
As Nora uncovered the mysteries of her own past in the future, she stumbled upon the Time Vault, and Gideon offered to play a message from her father. Visibly emotional, Nora began to watch the first and only footage she had of her father speaking to her as The Flash. Take a look for yourself! (The message starts at 3:18, if you want to skip ahead.)
Now, it's probably safe to say that this message was recorded by Barry during the major Crisis that has been teased on The Flash from the very beginning, but was it during the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crisis? Those two crises were never confirmed to be the same.
Barry says in the message that he doesn't have much time, and it's clear that he's not confident he'll get out of his current situation and live to teach his daughter how to use her powers. The red sky in the background fits with the "RED SKIES VANISH" headline from the newspaper.
All of this adds up to indicate that Barry's goodbye message comes from the Crisis teased in that newspaper, but there's one detail that may mean it's not "Crisis on Infinite Earths." The Crisis from the newspaper takes place in 2024. Could this message be footage from something entirely unrelated to "Crisis on Infinite Earths" and we're still going to have to wait for a glimpse of what's to come?
Honestly, I'm leaning towards the twist that this is indeed "Crisis on Infinite Earths" footage. The Flash showrunner Todd Helbing confirmed that the "Crisis" newspaper headline will be "a major factor in next year's crossover." Team Flash has messed with time so much in Season 5 that it would frankly be unbelievable if the future isn't messed up. The time shenanigans throughout Season 5 could conceivably move the 2024 Crisis date up to 2019.
It's worth noting that Barry doesn't look noticeably older in the video, and the Arrow-verse generally at least adds some visibly silver in the hair to show a character has aged. That's how The Flash aged up Iris in "Godspeed," and Arrow has been doing it with Dinah in the flash-forwards all throughout Season 7. If the message was recorded from fall 2019 rather than 2024, Barry wouldn't need to look much older.
There is the problem that Nora wouldn't be born by the time of the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover and Barry addresses her by name, but spending all this time with their adult daughter certainly gives Barry and Iris reason to automatically name her Nora. If Iris is pregnant by the "Crisis" crossover, then Barry's message makes perfect sense.
Also, after listening to Barry's message a few times with headphones, I have a theory that the voice yelling "GET DOWN!" right before Barry signs off (at around 3:56 in the video above) belongs to none other than Oliver Queen. If that's the case, then I think it confirms that the footage is from "Crisis on Infinite Earths" rather than some other Flash-only Crisis.
Arrow is ending after a shortened eighth season, and may even end with the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover. If, as many suspect, Oliver dies in the crossover, then he wouldn't be around for any subsequent Crisis that might arise. If that's Oliver Queen yelling "GET DOWN," then I feel confident that this is something that will be featured in the crossover. I will probably also brag that I called it in April that Oliver was the one yelling.
All of this said, there are still a lot of pieces that need to fall into place before we can say for sure what's leading up to "Crisis on Infinite Earths." The teaser that confirmed it's happening didn't give much away other than that Psycho Pirate has a part to play, Batwoman will contribute, and "nothing will ever be the same." CW President Mark Pedowitz explained that revealing the crossover early was helpful, and it will be "the biggest" and "most complicated" crossover the Arrow-verse has ever done before.
The "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover is still months away, but the four shows of the Arrow-verse still have new episodes before summer hiatus kicks off. New episodes of The Flash air Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. Next week's installment will see Caitlin dealing with both of her parents in the mix again, while Iris deals with Barry's decision to send Nora back to the future without consulting her.
Will Barry come to regret his decision to banish Nora to the future after deciding she can no longer be trusted? Or will Iris come around and decide that he had the right idea? What role does Reverse-Flash still have to play? His execution probably won't happen, or at least it won't take him out of the game forever. The rest of Season 5 should definitely have a lot going on.