WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for "Kiss Kiss Breach Breach," the latest episode of The Flash Season 6.
The start of The Flash's sixth season brought a dire warning from the future. When the all-powerful cosmic being known as the Monitor visited Barry Allen and Iris West, he informed them that not only was the mysterious crisis foretold in the newspaper article from the future moved up to the present-day, but also that the Flash would die in the cataclysmic event. As he explained it, the only way for the Earth to survive is if Barry makes the ultimate sacrifice, and saves everyone. At first, the members of Team Flash tried to challenge this terrible outcome, but they've since come to accept it.
Of course, we as fans know that the series, unlike the soon-to-conclude Arrow, will keep airing once "Crisis on Infinite Earths" wraps up. We've all assumed that somehow Barry will find a way to survive, but what if we're wrong? After all, in the Crisis on Infinite Earths comic book, Barry did sacrifice himself, a death that went on to last for decades until the character was brought back in modern times. However, it seems unlikely that a popular television show would kill off its lead superhero.... right?
Perhaps not. In fact, perhaps The Flash is slowly getting us used to the idea of a new, Flash-less direction. After all, the series' latest episode, "Kiss Kiss Breach Breach," barely featured Barry Allen at all, and still managed to deliver a solid episode, continuing Season 6's impressive streak. Simply put, with just one episode, The Flash has shown that it can work without Barry Allen.
In "Kiss Kiss Breach Breach," Barry and Iris went off on a little couple's vacation before all the impending drama of the crossover arrives. Before their departure, Barry entrusts the super-heroic responsibilities of Team Flash to his best friend, Cisco Ramon. In the series' previous episode, Cisco had begrudgingly agreed to become team leader following Barry's death and now, with the Scarlet Speedster on vacation, this is a trial run for the now powerless Vibe.
Although Barry and Iris may be gone for no more than two days, Cisco quickly finds himself nearly in over his head. But even though he himself ends up on the run from the authorities for the murder of Gipsy, he is able to clear his name, catch the real killer and even balance a (relatively) normal love life with his new girlfriend. Elsewhere in the episode, we also caught up with Caitlin Snow/Killer Frost, who tried to deal with new villain Bloodwork while Joe West and Harrison 'Nash' Wells were trapped underground until Ralph Dibny, aka the Elongated Man, rescued them.
Yes, it was a busy week for Team Flash, and they didn't even have their namesake superhero there to help them. "Kiss Kiss Breach Breach" may have been a brief trial run for Cisco, but it can also be one for the series as a whole, as it shows us what a team without Barry could look like. Over time, The Flash has built an impressive roster of fan-favorite characters who each carry the show in their own way. With just one episode, we've seen that the series has more than enough heart, drama and superhero potential even without its title character.
Of course, certain fans might wonder how The Flash could still go on without its title superhero. But if there is one thing the show has proven many times before, it's that Team Flash is not Barry Allen. As Iris West has said before, the entire, makeshift family at the heart of the series is the Flash. "Kiss Kiss Breach Breach" brought the unsung strengths of the series to the forefront. It was a showcase for what some fans may take for granted, and a perfect example of what the series could look like should the Scarlet Speedster truly make the ultimate sacrifice this December.
Airing Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW, The Flash stars Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Carlos Valdes, Danielle Panabaker, Tom Cavanagh, Jesse L. Martin, Danielle Nicolet and Hartley Sawyer.