The series starts off several months after the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator explosion as seen in Arrow: The Complete Second Season, and Barry Allen (Grant Gustin, Glee) has been in a coma since that night. When he does finally wake up, he finds himself not at a hospital, but under the care of S.T.A.R. Labs employees Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker), Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) and Dr. Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh, The Following). Barry soon learns that his surrogate father, Joe West (Jesse L. Martin, Law & Order) had him moved to the advanced facility when Wells requested to keep a closer eye on Barry.
Barry soon learns that he has woken up from his coma with a new ability, super speed, and this season is all about learning to harness that power and becoming a hero for Central City. At first, Barry's secret is safe with Caitlin, Cisco and Dr. Wells, but it isn't long before Joe also becomes a confidant, which is good since Joe can help cover for Barry at their day job. As revealed in Arrow, Barry is a CSI for Central City and Joe is a detective for the same precinct. Joe also helped raise Barry after he saw his mother killed in an inexplicable event that forced the police to conclude that Barry's father, Henry Allen (John Wesley Shipp, who played Barry/The Flash in the 1990's series of the same name), was the culprit. Barry's lifelong belief that Henry wasn't the killer has led him to become a CSI, and with his new-found abilities, he hopes to finally solve his mother's murder and maybe free his father from his lifetime imprisonment.
Barry soon learns that he wasn't the only one affected by the explosion. Pretty much every week, Bary and his friends face a new person with strange abilities. These "metahumans" include characters like Leonard Snart/Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller, Prison Break), his partner Mick Rory/Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell, also Prison Break in a great reunion), Kyle Nimbus/Mist (Anthony Carrigan), Tony Woodward/Girder (Greg Finley), Deathbolt (Doug Jones, Falling Skies), Clock King (Robert Knepper), and Weather Wizard (Liam McIntyre). Followers of The Flash comic series should recognize many of these characters as the scarlet speedster's various rogues, but Barry doesn't just find enemies with new powers. Caitlin's fiance, Ronnie (Robbie Amell, The Duff), who supposedly died in the explosion, reappears, but not as he used to be. He and a scientist by the name of Martin Stein (Victor Garber) are stuck in the same body that goes by the name of Firestorm. While this realization gives Caitlin's love life a bit of a twist, that is nothing when it comes to Barry himself.
Barry has had a long-term crush on Joe's daughter, Iris (Candice Patton, The Game), and when he comes out of his coma, he has decided that it is finally time to tell her how he feels. Unfortunately, when he wakes, he learns that she has just started dating Joe's new partner, Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett). Barry is forced to play the role of Iris' friend despite his desire to admit his feelings for her, and a lot of this conflict plays into Barry's life when he isn't in his red suit zipping around the city.
While a lot of the season plays out in the metahuman-of-the-week formula, the main focus of the season is Barry's desire to learn what happened to his mother, and when he meets another speedster, someone that refers to himself as Reverse-Flash, Barry realizes that he has his first good lead on the case since his father went to prison. Throughout the season, Reverse-Flash keeps reappearing and Barry's desire to go faster and finally catch the strange yellow-suit clad character keeps increasing. Before the season is up, we will not only find out who the Reverse-Flash is, but we will also learn exactly what happened to Barry's mother all those years ago.
This season of The Flash also featured a few crossover events with Arrow. Not only does Stephen Amell make a couple of appearances as Oliver Queen/Arrow in order to give Barry some advice, but the two pair up a time or two in some interesting fights. Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) also makes several appearances as the pair toy with the idea of getting into a relationship together, but quickly realize that they are better off friends, which is good since both have their own possible relationships to work out on their respective shows.
I was really impressed with the number of special features that came with The Flash: The Complete First Season, especially given that this was the show's first outing. Not only is there the standard gag reel and deleted scenes, but it also comes with an audio commentary for the first episode and a special 2014 Comic-Con panel that includes several WB/DC series created by Greg Berlanti (this panel was also released with the Gotham: The Complete First Season). Outside of those extras though, The Flash also contains four featurettes that are all interesting and fun to watch.
The first featurette is all about bringing Mark Hamill onto the show as The Trickster in a bit more than just a nod to his role in the 1990's version of The Flash. In the episode, "Tricksters," Hamill's character has been locked up in prison for years after going on a crime spree as a prankster with deadly intentions. When a new Trickster emerges, it becomes clear that someone has found the older criminal's secret lair. This featurette is all about that episode and includes interviews with both Hamill and Shipp about the classic series and Hamill coming back in the new show.
The Blu-ray release also contains an in-depth special feature concerning the creation of this show and how it tied in with the comics, as well as a featurette about the visual effects that are used in The Flash. Last but not least is footage from Gustin's screen tests that not only feature him, but also Rickards since Barry's first appearance is on Arrow. This last featurette also talks about the fact that Gustin didn't really fit the look the showrunners were interested in, but between his acting capabilities and the chemistry between him and Rickards, the choice was obvious almost immediately.
If you feel that Arrow is a good show, but find it too dark to keep up with, then The Flash might be exactly what you are looking for. The show has a much lighter tone to it, and it doesn't shy away from fantastical super powers like the other series does. That being said, there are quite a few crossover events in The Flash: The Complete First Season, so while the series can stand on its own, to get the full effect of what is going on, it's best to watch both series in the order they aired. Personally, I think the show's inaugural season is a hit and is a must-see for any comic book fan.