The episode opens with young Barry Allen being bullied by running away from his attackers and other times not. One night a lightning storm strikes his home resulting in his mother being killed and barry ending up blocks away from his home. Barry runs back to his house to see his father taken away in handcuffs by the police.
Next we flash forward to present day where barry is late to his CSI gig. Polie Captain Singh is upset because Barry is always late on the job. Detective Joe West covers for Barry to prevent him from getting in trouble. We see that Barry is very intelligent and has extraordinary CSI skills that are very impressive, but not impressive enough as he uses another detectives gold pen to pick out poop from a tire tread.
We meet Iris, whom we assume will possibly be Barrys love interest. She plans on taking Barry to the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator demonstration, but he has to work on evendence for her father who happens to be Detective West. Barry gets the tread results and is allowed to attend the demonstration.
Harrison Wells introduces the particle accelerator at the same time someone steals Iris’s laptop. Barry runs after the thief but gets punched and the thief runs away only to be taken down by hot shot cop Eddie Thawne.
Detective West and his partner follow a lead that Barry gave them about the tire tread hoping to find the bank robbers “The Mardon Brothers“. They arrive at a barn and get ito a shoot out with the brothers. West’s parter is wounded and ultimately killed as the brothers escape in a small plane. As the plan flies into the horizon, a lighting storm engulfs the plan which causes it to explode. Wow – well I think it’s safe to say no one could survive that!
At the same time, we flash back to Barry’s office where he is struck by lightning. Barry is rushed to the hospital where he goes into a 9 month coma. When he wakes, he finds himself in S.T.A.R. labs. He is greeted right away by Cisco Ramon and Caitlin Snow.
Dr. Wells arrives and tells barry that they have a lot to discuss. He reveals that S.T.A.R. Labs was shut down by FEMA after the “disaster”. As Dr. Wells discusses this with Barry, they pass by a destroyed cage marked “Grodd” (FUTURE VILLAIN ALERT) Barry was taken into S.T.A.R. Labs custody as his heart activity was messing with the hospital’s electricity and only S.T.A.R. could stabilize him….and study him.
Barry insists on seeing Iris, which everyone advises against as they still need to run tests. Iris is shocked to see him as she told him that he kept dying. Barry becomes aware of his “powers” as a waitress trips and drops a tray and we get a cool slow motion clip.
So do you remember those Mardon brothers? It turns out that one of them lived….and he’s robbing a bank. (Of course he is) He robs the bank using his weather controlling powers.
Barry discovers that he doesn’t quite feel right as he sees a perp trying to steal an officers gun and he prevents it with super speed. Barry steps outside noticing his hand vibrating uncontrollably. At first he is frightened but quickly gets excited about his powers and takes a sprint…right into a laundry van. (not every hero starts out perfectly)
Barry reunites with the S.T.A.R. crew and does a speed test on a runway. He blows away all of S.T.A.R. Labs equipment and breaks his arm when he loses concentration by recalling the moment his mother was killed. Additionally we find out more about the enthusiastic tech specialist Cisco and the biologist Caitlin who lost her fiance in the explosion at the particle accelerator.
Later we see Barry and Iris taking a walk as they are both almost hit by a police car from a police chase. Barry saves Iris and notices that the police are chasing none other than Mardon. Barry speeds up and zips into Mardon’s car. Barry pulls the steering wheel flipping the car as Mardon was about to pull his gun. Mardon and Barry crawl from the car amazed to find that both are still standing. Mardon disappears in a mist and creates a car pile up where an accident occurs.
Barry suggests to Joe that Mardon is alive, joe says that’s impossible as he is dead. Joe is later handed a police sketch of a previous robbery and it bares an uncanny resemblance to Mardon.
Barry discovers from S.T.A.R. that others were affected by the blast, that there are other ‘metahumans’ out there like Barry. Barry wants to stop Mardon, but is told by Dr. Harrison that he cannot risk to play hero with the potential scientific achievements that exist within Barry.
We get another flash back of Barry’s father being taken away in handcuffs as Barry walks up to his mothers dead body. We discover that Detective West was on the scene comforting Barry.
He seeks comfort in Starling City by getting advice from Oliver dressed up as Arrow. Oliver tells Barry that he is something special, that the lightning did not strike him – it chose him. He tells Barry to be an inspiration, a hero to his city and make a difference with his powers by saving people in a “flash”. (I see what you did there writers – very clever) Oliver tells Barry to try wearing a mask and leaps off the building as Barry remarks “cool”. Oliver sees Barry speed off which causes Oliver to say “cool. (that was probably my favorite part of the episode.)
Barry returns to S.T.A.R. and says he needs to catch Mardon and other metahumans like him. Everyone agrees and Cisco provides Barry a costume he had been working on to prevent Barry from burning up. Caitlin tracks any anomalies that occur in the city and finds where Mardon is. Joe and Eddie investigate at the barn where the Mardon Brothers were hiding out, figuring one brother returned. Mardon uses his powers to easily defeat the detectives remarking that he is “god” and that he was thinking too small by robbing banks and that it’s time to start thinking big.
Mardon tears the barn to shreds as West is almost crushed by falling debris, which Barry catches in midair redirecting it.
Barry learns via his earpiece that Mardons tornado form is getting stronger and headed towards the city. Barry realizes he can try to stop it by running a reverse route canceling out the tornado. He is given full confidence by Dr. Wells support and Barry accomplishes the impossible by canceling out the tornado. Mardon trys to shoot Barry, but is shot down by West.
West cannot believe what his adoptive son just did, but believes that Barry’s dad is innocent. He doesn’t want to drag Iris into any of it as he wants her to stay safe.
Barry visits his father Henry in prison. (Henry is played by John Wesley Shipp who previously played Barry Allen/Flash in the 1990 Flash series. That is so cool.) The two talk and Barry tells his father that he will find the person who killed his mother. Henry Barry to move on and just live his life. Barry says that he feel like now he finally can.
The final scene has puzzled many people. It features wheelchair-bound scientist Harrison Wells standing up, entering a secret room in his lab, and looking at a holographic newspaper from the future saying when the flash dies. There is more than meets the eye with Wells, I suppose we will see this develop who he truly is as the season goes on. Who could he be anyways? Is he a time traveling super hero such as Booster Gold? Or is he villain of some sort?
Overall it was an awesomely entertaining episode. I was impressed with the acting and visual effects. Although there were some similarities to Arrow, I truly think that The Flash can be successful and can stand on its own to feet and run….very fast.