That's right, there really is no new episode of The Flash this week, so don't worry that your cable guides and local listings have gotten it wrong. The CW show is taking a break for November 6th, 2018 - and the United States Election Night news coverage isn't the only logic behind the delay.
That's definitely the most important reason and, considering how many underwhelming or unsatisfying reasons that The Flash, Supergirl, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow have had for spending weeks or months off the air, it's one that fans can appreciate. But it will also have one side effect that makes planning for (and frankly, covering) this season's multi-show crossover event a lot less confusing.
As we mentioned above, millions of Americans (and plenty of Canadians... and millions more around the world) will be tuning in to coverage of the U.S. Midterm elections, in which seats in Congress, the Senate, and several governors will be determined. That means The Flash won't be the only TV show taking the evening off, so as not to compete for ratings. The Flash will return for Season 5, Episode 5 "All Doll'd Up" on November 13th at its regular time. And as a byproduct of the Election Night delay, fans keeping up to date on the coming crossover will now have one less mental leap to make.
Since The Flash began one full week ahead of Arrow and Supergirl, the already-complicated sharing of one timeline and universe had an extra snag. Fortunately, taking the week off now means that The Flash will air an episode on both Tuesday, December 4th, and then another to lead off the three-night "Elseworlds" crossover on December 9th. As a result, this year's crossover will be played out across the ninth episodes of all three shows. Or, to look at it another way, fans are getting to enjoy TWO episodes of The Flash in one week come December, instead of going a week without, just so Arrow and Supergirl could catch up.
Based on what we know about the Arrowverse crossover, fans would probably still have been willing to wait the extra time to see Barry Allen and Oliver Queen change suits and superhero identities. Not to mention plant another major flag on the way to a universe-wide TV version of "Crisis on Infinite Earths" by adding in The CW's version of The Monitor. Oh, and also give fans their first official look at Ruby Rose's Batwoman in action. And oh yeah, finally bring the famous (infamous?) black suit of Superman to live-action.
So if taking the week off to tune into the election along with everyone else is the price to pay for the simplicity of an "Episode 9 crossover," and a double-dose of Barry Allen weeks from now, we say it's worth it.
The Flash will return with "All Doll'd Up" on Tuesday, November 13th.