For other episodes of the same name, see Pilot.
"You can do this, Barry. You were right. I am responsible for all of this. So many people have been hurt because of me, and when I looked at you, all I saw was another potential victim of my hubris. And yes, I created this madness, but you, Barry, you can stop it. You can do this. Now run, Barry, run!"
Harrison Wells to Barry Allen
"Pilot" is the first episode of the first season of The Flash, and the first episode overall. It aired on October 7, 2014.


Barry Allen was just 11 years old when his mother was killed in a bizarre and terrifying incident and his father was falsely convicted of the murder. With his life changed forever by the tragedy, Barry was taken in and raised by Detective Joe West, the father of Barry's best friend, Iris. Now, Barry has become a brilliant, driven and endearingly geeky CSI investigator, whose determination to uncover the truth about his mother's strange death leads him to follow up on every unexplained urban legend and scientific advancement that comes along. Barry's latest obsession is a cutting edge particle accelerator, created by visionary physicist Harrison Wells and his S.T.A.R. Labs team members, Caitlin Snow and Cisco Ramon, who claim that this invention will bring about unimaginable advancements in power and medicine. However, something goes horribly wrong during the public unveiling, and when the devastating explosion causes a freak storm, many lives are lost and Barry is struck by lightning. After nine months in a coma, Barry awakens to find his life has changed once again – the accident has given him the power of super speed. Thrilled with his new powers, Barry learns how to control them with the help of Dr. Wells and his team. However, keeping his secret from his best friend Iris is proving to be harder than he thought, especially when Joe's new partner, Eddie Thawne, catches her eye. When another meta-human attacks the city, it's time to put Barry's new powers, and himself, to the test.[1]


Barry Allen, a forensic crime scene assistant for the Central City Police Department, is struck by lightning during a storm that is created after a particle accelerator from S.T.A.R. Labs explodes. After being in a coma for nine months, Barry awakens in S.T.A.R. Labs, having been placed in the care of his scientist idol, Dr. Harrison Wells, along with his assistants, Dr. Caitlin Snow and Cisco Ramon. He learns from Dr. Wells that during his stay at the hospital he causes the hospital to have power outages whenever he gets a cardiac arrest. It turns out that his heart was too fast for the EKG to detect. Barry notices changes to his physical appearance, leading the researchers to agree that his state, such as muscle regeneration, is unheard of following his type of injuries and the subsequent coma. Also, S.T.A.R. Labs has not been operational since the incident due to all the injury it has caused from the particle accelerator. The first person he went to visit was Iris, and before leaving, he asked if he could keep the S.T.A.R. sweatshirt. Barry quickly learns that he can move at extraordinary speeds, and that there were other "meta-humans" created from the explosion. One of them, Clyde Mardon, is robbing banks with his ability to control the weather. S.T.A.R. tested Barry's new abilities, and all was going well until he remembered the night his mom was murdered, causing him to lose control and crash on the test track. During a visit with Dr. Wells to find out the real truth behind the explosion, an argument occurs and Barry ran to Starling City, home of Oliver Queen. Barry is seen talking with Oliver as The Arrow, who gives him advice about his abilities before leaving. In order to stop Clyde, Barry is outfitted with a suit that can withstand his high speed of movement. He tracks down Mardon and with the help of Detective West, who learns of Barry's abilities, Barry is able to stop Mardon by stopping his tornado. Joe finally believed in Barry that his father was not the one who murdered his mother. Barry visits his father in the prison and he told his father he finally found a way that might find the real killer, his father asks him to move on with his life which he replies he never feel more alive until now. With his new powers, Barry vows to find out who killed his mother when he was a child, believing him to be another meta-human who has similar abilities of speed as he. In S.T.A.R. Labs, Wells enters a secret room. He rises from his wheelchair, and looks upon a holographic image of a newspaper (published on April 25, 2024) with a headline that reads "Flash Missing, Vanishes in Crisis".



Guest Starring

Special Guest Starring



Shooting ran from March 2[2] until March 25, 2014.[3]

Behind the scenes


  • Originally, the 20th episode of the second season of Arrow would act as a backdoor pilot to The Flash, however after seeing Barry Allen's introductory episodes, "The Scientist"​ and "Three Ghosts", the CW ordered a full pilot.[4]
  • The episode's name was in much dispute. Originally it was marketed as simply "Pilot", as most pilot episodes are, however closer to its airdate it was marketed under the title "City of Heroes", one shared with the second-season premiere of Arrow. However, after its airing, The CW finally confirmed that it was in fact simply titled "Pilot" as originally mentioned. As to why it was promoted with the other title is unknown.[5]

Easter Eggs

  • In a deleted scene, Barry explains to Joe that the reason why he was late was because he was in Starling City, where he heard rumors of a man who can bend steel with his bare hands, a likely reference to Superman. In the Arrow episode, "The Scientist", Cyrus Gold is the person who could bend metal. Joe recalls Barry leaving to go to Amnesty Bay, to see a man who talks to fish, a possible reference to Aquaman.
  • Nora Allen's death is similar to her death in the comic, The Flash: Rebirth, in which Henry Allen is blamed for the murder, when in fact Professor Zoom (referenced as "the man in yellow" amongst the blur) was the perpetrator, which is later confirmed by the season's end.
  • Iris calls the particle accelerator an "atom smasher". They have been previously known as such, however in the comics Atom Smasher is also a size-changing superhero. Ironically the Earth-2 version of Al Rothstein/Atom-Smasher would later appear in season 2.
  • Science Showcase is likely a reference to Showcase #4, which had the first appearance of Barry Allen and will come in "The Man Who Saved Central City".
  • Barry tests his newly found super-speed at an abandoned Ferris Air Testing Facility site. In the DC comics, Ferris Air employs test pilot Hal Jordan, better known as Green Lantern, who is also one of Barry's closest superhero friends.
  • On Barry's wall, one of the articles on his mother's murder is written by Evan Gibson, an ally of Green Arrow in the comics.
    • Evan Gibson's article on Barry's father's trial mentions him being questioned by the 52nd police precinct.
    • If one looks closely, Evan Gibson is also the one who writes the article in the future newspaper regarding The Flash went missing in crisis. However, in episode 20 Iris West-Allen is the one who writes the article.
  • The laundry van which Barry crashes in to is named Gambi Cleaners, a reference to Paul Gambi, a tailor who in the comics designs many of the Rogues' costumes.
  • Cisco wears two shirts, one with the Intellivision video game Astrosmash on it, and another with rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock on it, the latter a game made popular by The Big Bang Theory.
  • At the end of the episode, the newspaper from the future shows Wayne Tech and Queen Inc., referencing Bruce Wayne, otherwise known as Batman.
  • Wells' 2024 newspaper states that The Flash will "disappear in a Crisis". This may be a reference alluding to Crisis on Infinite Earths, where Barry sacrificed himself using his speed to save the multiverse. But it was later revealed that Barry and Eobard were fighting and disappeared time-traveling.



  • During the initial flashback, a 2007 Chrysler Pacifica is seen, despite it being set 14 years prior to 2014, in 2000.
  • In the Arrow episode, "Three Ghosts", Barry calls Felicity immediately prior to the particle accelerator malfunction and lightning strike; in this episode, he makes no such phone call.


Promotional images


  1. "Flash Series Premiere Description: “City of Heroes?”" - FlashTVNews
  2. "The CW Flash Pilot: The Race Begins!" - FlashTVNews
  3. "Flash Pilot Filming Has Wrapped!" - FlashTVNews
  4. "CW’s ‘The Flash’ To Do Stand-Alone Pilot Instead Of ‘Arrow’ Backdoor Pilot Episode" - Deadline
  5. "Confirmed: The Title Of The Flash Series Premiere Was NOT “City Of Heroes” After All" - FlashTVNews

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