Ever since the Monitor first got mixed up with the likes of Oliver Queen and Barry Allen in the 2018 Arrowverse crossover "Elseworlds," the all-powerful cosmic being has been preparing them for the oncoming "Crisis on Infinite Earths." It started sporadically, but ever since the start of Arrow and The Flash's respective eighth and sixth seasons , the Monitor has been ramping up his activities. He's warned the Scarlet Speedster of the destruction that lies ahead, and the price he will have to pay to save the universe. What's more, he's also been leading Oliver Queen on a mission across realities to help prepare for the arrival of the Anti-Monitor, a mission the Green Arrow knows is meant to end with his death.
Ever since the start of their new seasons, Barry and Oliver have been operating with the notion that their time is almost up. They are both saying goodbye to loved ones and making sure their legacy is in good hands. The trajectories of both series has indeed been similar, and to great effect. And now, both series are about to have parallel storylines in their next episodes.
The CW recently released promos for the upcoming Tuesday, Nov. 26 episodes for both The Flash and Arrow. The video for "The Last Temptation of Barry Allen Part 1" shows that the Scarlet Speedster will be fighting a different battle against Ramsey Rosso, aka Bloodwork. This time, the villain seems to trap Barry in a mindscape designed to torment the Scarlet Speedster. Finding himself in a warped reality, Barry must come to grips with his own impending death, and the kind of life he may be abandoning by choosing to allow destiny to run its course.
Similarly, the promo for the Arrow episode "Reset" drops Oliver Queen in an alternate reality where Detective Lance is still alive. Oliver believes the Monitor has altered his memories of past events, which may be the result of this different reality Oliver finds himself in. Of course, we have no idea why the Monitor is affecting Oliver this way -- it could simply be the latest trial to prepare him for the coming crisis. However, the cosmic character hasn't been the most forthcoming, as he as shown that he has more than one agent working for him, seemingly for both good and bad.
On the one hand, Ramsey Rosso seems to be, in his own twisted way, trying to push Barry to choose life instead of death -- to fight the destiny that has been chosen for him. On the other, the Monitor is toying with Oliver, either to make him a better soldier in his fight, or to make certain he follows the path laid for him. In both series' upcoming episodes, the title superheroes will be dropped in warped realities by their adversaries meant to challenge them.
But with "Crisis on Infinite Earths" just around the corner, these events are also sure to inspire them -- to remind them of what they are fighting for.
"Crisis on Infinite Earths" begins Sunday, Dec. 8 on Supergirl, then continues in Batwoman on Monday, Dec. 9, and then picks up in The Flash on Tuesday, Dec. 10. After a winter hiatus, the crossover concludes on Tuesday, Jan. 14 on both Arrow and DC's Legends of Tomorrow.