The episode opens with a voice over from our hero Barry Allen, the fastest man alive. I hope this device isn’t used too frequently as it can be kind of annoying. There’s an immediate flashback to 14 years before, the night Barry’s mother was killed. Barry wakes up in the middle of the night and heads downstairs to find his mother caught in what appears to be some kind of electrical/lightening storm. In the chaos, Barry is able to make out a figure he thinks looks like a man. As Barry’s father is yelling at him to leave, Barry is transported out of the house and onto the street, with no explanation.
In present day, Barry is a forensic tech who is frequently late to crime scenes. On this particular day, the crime is a bank robbery, and the investigation is lead by Detective Joe West, the man who raised Barry after his mother was killed and his dad was sent to prison. Barry gets all Sherlock on the crime scene, and is able to deduce the make and model of the getaway car.
Back at the police station, Barry tells Joe that the feces found at the crime scene, along with the car, narrows the potential suspects down to three possible farms. After providing this information to Joe, Barry and Joe’s daughter and Barry’s love interest, Iris, are off to the ceremony celebrating the opening of the particle accelerator at Star Labs.
During the party, Barry almost tells Iris that he has feelings for her, but of course, it’s the first episode and this can’t happen too quickly. Instead, to demonstrate his affection, Barry runs after the thief that steals Iris’s bag. However, he is unable to stop the man, and instead, the thief is caught by a new, young, handsome police officer Eddie Thawne.
Following this incident, Barry is back in his office at Central City police department. He’s staring at the board he has with articles involving his mother’s death and his father’s subsequent arrest. He notices from the window that there is an electrical cloud rising from Star Labs. The cloud continues to rise, sending a lightening cloud through the city. A lightening bolt strikes right through Barry’s office, hitting Barry.
Elsewhere, Joe and his partner are investigating a farm where the bank robbery suspects may be hiding out. After finding the getaway car, the two suspects shoot at Joe and his partner, managing to hit and kill Joe’s partner. As they’re in their getaway plane, the lightening storm comes and takes out their plane.
Nine months after the electrical storm, Barry awakes from a comma to find himself in Star Labs. He’s been taken care of by Dr. Caitlin Snow and Cisco Ramone, two Star Labs employees. Somehow, Barry is able to immediately get out of bed and start walking around. Dr. Caitlin informs us this is because Barry’s cells are in a constant state of regeneration. Harrison Wells, the owner of Star Labs then arrives to introduce himself to Barry. The incident with the particle accelerator left Wells in a wheelchair, 17 people dead, more injured, and Star Labs condemned.
Wells tells Barry that after 45 minutes, there was an anomaly with the accelerator creating a storm cloud of energy that went through the city. When Wells found out that Barry had been struck by a lightening bolt, he offered to take care of him. Wells also informs Barry that every time he went into cardiac arrest, the hospital experienced power outages. Barry is in a bit of shock, and decides to leave Star Labs to go let Iris and Joe know he is alright.
Barry goes to the local coffee shop and finds Iris working there. This is either an extremely lucky guess, or Iris was working there before Barry went into his coma. She’s thrilled to see Barry awake. As they’re reuniting, another waitress drops a tray, and everything slows down for Barry. This disturbs him and he tells Iris he’ll catch up with her later.
Barry is off to see Joe at the police station. They’re only able to catch up for a few minutes before Joe receives notice another bank robbery has taken place. Like with previous robberies that month, a storm proceeded the robbery. (We actually see the robbery, and see that the robber was able to create this storm.) Joe and his new partner, the attractive Eddie Thawne, are off to investigate the robbery. When Joe and Eddie leave, Barry is left at the station. He notices a couple of other officers with a wild suspect who reaches for one of the officer’s guns. Again, time slows down for Barry and he runs over and is able to keep the suspect from getting the gun, without attracting attention from anyone else. After this, Barry goes outside and his arm and hand are shaking, but he’s kind of jazzed. He then takes off running at high speeds, only coming to a stop when he runs straight into a laundry van.
Barry, having reported these newfound skills to the Star Labs crew, meets up with Cisco, Dr. Caitlin and Harrison at an empty airport runway. They want to perform tests on his capabilities. As Dr. Caitlin is doing some pre-test check ups, we find out that her fiancé was killed the night of the electrical storm. After a bit more conversation, Barry is off and running. Cisco clocks Barry at over 300 MPH. As he’s running though, Barry has a flashback to the night his mother was killed. These visions cause him to lose his concentration, and he crashes into some barrels of water.
Back at Star Labs, Caitlin tells Barry that he broke his wrist in the crash, but that due to his ability to regenerate, his wrist has already healed. Harrison could tell that something caused Barry to lose focus, and he tells the Star Labs clue about the night his mother died, and the man he saw in the electrical storm.
Barry heads back to the coffee shop to visit Iris. He gets there just in time to see Iris and Eddie kiss. On a walk, Iris asks Barry not to tell her father that she and Eddie are dating. Barry tells Iris he doesn’t like to lie to Joe. As they’re talking, Barry notices that there’s a car headed their way, being chased by a police car. The police car spins out, but Barry with his newfound skills, is able to save himself and Iris from harm’s way. As the other car drives by, Barry get a glimpse of the driver, and it’s the storm-creating bank robber. Barry takes off after the car, and the bank robber gets into an accident. He exits the car, and then creates a storm, trapping Barry in the clouds. The storm allows the suspect to get away.
Joe and Eddie show up at the scene, and Barry tries to tell Joe that the bank robber is Clyde Martin, one of the brothers who robbed the bank 9 months before, the same day of the electrical storm. Joe tells Barry that the Martin brother died. Barry tries to convince Joe of what he saw, and that Clyde Marin is capable of creating a weather storm. Joe refuses to believe him, and says that Barry is creating stories like he did when he was a kid about his mother’s death. Barry leaves, unhappy that Joe doesn’t believe him. Right then, Eddie walks up with the sketch of the suspect from a witness to the robber, and it turns out, it is Clyde Martin. Bet Joe feels like an ass now, huh?
After finding that he was not the only one affected by the storm, Barry returns to Star Labs infuriated. Harrison tells Barry they don’t know for sure if others were affected by the storm or how, thought they think it’s likely. The Star Labs team calls these people “meta-humans.” Barry insists that he needs to use his capabilities to stop Clyde Martin, but Harrison tells Barry that it isn’t his job to stop Clyde Martin or others. Instead, Harrison wants to use Barry as a potential wealth of genetic material to help solve other medical problems.
None too happy with this information, Barry takes off running toward Starling City. There, he meets with his friend Oliver Queen, and thus begins a scene that I don’t fully understand as I don’t watch “Arrow.” Queen encourages Barry by telling him he can make a difference. This sends Barry back to Star Labs, where he tells Caitlin and Cisco there have an increase in attacks caused by meta humans. He says he has to stop Martin and other meta-humans who are using their capabilities for bad. Caitlin and Cisco are on board, and in fact, Cisco even has a suit ready for Barry.
At the Martin brother’s Farm, Eddie and Joe are searching for Clyde. As Joe goes to arrest Clyde, Clyde tells Joe and Eddie he is God. Clyde then creates a giant tornado, headed to the center of Central City. To stop him, Barry suggest he run in the opposite direction. Cisco tells Barry he’ll have to run over 700 MPH, but Barry is up to the challenge. While Barry is able to do some damage, Clyde ends up throwing some weather at Barry, knocking him down. Just as Barry thinks he won’t be able to stop Clyde, Harrison gets on the comm and tells Barry that he is right and they need to stop the meta-humans. This is the motivation Barry needs, and he’s able to bring Clyde to a stop. Just as Clyde is about to come after Barry, Joe shoots and kills him.
The next morning, Joe apologizes to Barry for not believing him about Clyde Martin or his mother’s death. Joe is also able to deduce that Barry’s new found powers are a result of the lightening bolt. Joe is accepting, but makes promise he won’t tell Iris about what he can do as a means of protecting her. I don’t understand this logic, but there has to be mystery somewhere.
Barry goes to see his dad in prison. He tells his dad he knows he didn’t kills his mom, and now he thinks he has the ability to prove it to everyone else. Barry makes a promise to his dad that he will clear his name.
At Star Labs, Wells heads into his secret/hidden lair. Once inside, he stands up out of his wheelchair and walks. He then uses his hand to bring up a headline from April 25, 2024 that says “Flash Missing Vanishes in Crisis.” I think we now know there was some time traveling going on when Barry’s mother was murdered: either Barry himself or Wells.