Fastest Man Alive

"Fastest Man Alive" is the second episode of The CW series The Flash. The episode was written by Andrew Kreisberg and Geoff Johns from a story by Greg Berlanti and Kreisberg and directed by David Nutter. It was first broadcast on October 14, 2014 in The CW. The show is itself an spin-off of the show Arrow, where many characters in the series were introduced during the second season. The episode revolves about Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), a CSI forensic scientist working for the Central City Police Department. During a visit to an event, the event is robbed by masked men. This is later revealed as the result of an accident during the accelerator explosion and the men are in fact a man who can duplicate himself. The episode also shows flashbacks when Barry tries to see his dad in jail, to Joe's disapproval.

"Fastest Man Alive"
The Flash episode
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 2
Directed byDavid Nutter
Story by
Teleplay by
Produced by
Featured musicBlake Neely
Cinematography byJeffrey C. Mygatt
Editing byPaul Karasick
Production code3J5352
Original air dateOctober 14, 2014 (2014-10-14)
Running time42 minutes
Guest appearances
Episode chronology
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"Things You Can't Outrun"
The Flash (season 1)
List of episodes

The episode received positive reviews, with critics stating that the series' mysteries and intrigue are helping it for the future.


With Cisco's help, Barry saves people from a burning building before the firefighters arrive. Caitlin chastises them for doing other people's job and reminds them that they need to focus on catching the humans affected by the accelerator explosion while Wells and Cisco note that his rate has increased.

Barry is called by Joe to investigate a crime scene of a murder in a shop. While surveillance shows a man shooting the person, Barry notes that six people with somehow the same shoe size were responsible for the marks in the floor. Iris then reminds him of an event they were going to attend by Simon Stagg for a school assignment. The event is then assaulted by robbers, who steal jewelry. Barry tries to stop them but he faints before he can catch them.

In S.T.A.R. Labs, the team deduce that Barry is getting hypoglycemic from the use of his abilities due to a sped-up metabolism and needs to ingest more calories to maintain his energy level. Joe has found that Barry is investigating Henry's arrest and Nora's murder and chastises him. This causes to remember when a young Barry ran away from their home to meet with his dad in jail, who is later shown to have asked Joe to keep his son from visiting him in prison. Barry in response admits that he grew up without his father although he knew he was innocent all the time and states that Joe is not his dad, hurting him.

Stagg is attacked in his headquarters by the same robbers and Barry tries to defeat them but sees that they are duplicates of the man and escapes. The team deduce that the man is Danton Black, an ex-employer for Stagg who was fired after Stagg took credit for his work and may have been testing the duplicate test during the accelerator explosion. During a talk with Iris, Barry sees that she seems to know there is someone dubbed the "red streak" who is saving people at a high speed.

Using an in vitro process from a cell, Caitlin manages to make a clone of Black. As the clone cannot move, the team deduce that Black is the original and the clones will stop when he is defeated. The clone begins to move and Joe shoots him, and they realize that the original Black is duplicating and heading to kill Stagg. Stagg's guards are killed by the clones. Barry tries to find Black but he makes hundreds of clones to disguise himself. Barry finds the original but when Black tries to kill him, he falls out a window. Barry holds him but Black refuses to be saved and falls to his death.

Barry and Joe fix their problems, with Joe promising they will find out who killed his mother and free his father. Wells later visits Stagg and discuss Black, but Stagg states that his focus now is the Flash and plans to exploit his powers. Wells stands up and stabs Stagg to death, stating he needs to keep "the fastest man alive" safe.



The episode was watched by 4.27 million viewers with a 1.7 rating in the 18-49 demographics.[1] This was a 12% decrease in viewership from the pilot, which was watched by 4.83 million viewers with a 1.9 rating in the 18-49 demographics.[2] The Flash ranked as the most watched program on The CW in the day, beating Supernatural and also the most watched in the week, beating Arrow. The CW re-aired the episode the following day on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 after Arrow. The episode was watched by 1.67 million viewers and achieved a 0.5 adults 18–49 rating.[3]

Critical reviewsEdit

"Fastest Man Alive" received positive reviews from critics. Jesse Schedeen of IGN gave the episode a "great" 8.6 out of 10 and wrote in his verdict, "The Flash only got better in its second episode. The show benefits from a clear sense of confidence as it establishes Barry Allen's world and his relationships with both the crew at S.T.A.R. Labs and the West family. The show has its share of drama, but also plenty of superhero action and a general sense of lighthearted fun. Sure, it would be nice if the writers would develop their villains more before killing them off, but hopefully that problem will be addressed over time."[4]

The A.V. Club's Scott Von Doviak gave the episode a "B+" grade and wrote, "With the heavy lifting of establishing the Flash's origin, world, and supporting cast out of the way, 'Fastest Man Alive' gives us a better idea of what to expect from The Flash on a week-to-week basis. If it wasn't clear already that the TV version won't be shying away from the way-out sci-fi aspects of the comic books, this second episode makes it undeniable as the Scarlet Speedster goes up against a villain who can self-replicate into dozens, even hundreds of copies of himself."[5]

Chancellor Agard of EW stated: "In hindsight, The Flash's series premiere might not have been as good as we all thought it was. Admittedly, it was great to finally have a DC Comics adaptation that respected and trusted the source material enough to not make the show 'dark' and 'gritty' to make it palatable to audiences. However, in all of this excitement, it was easy to miss how the pilot did not always completely gel together. There were several well-executed and exhilarating moments, but there were also just as many things that didn't work (most of the supporting cast and the dialogue). This week's episode, however, makes up for it and is a better indication of what the powers-that-be behind The Flash are capable of doing with the character."[6]

Alan Sepinwall of HitFix wrote, "On a whole, though, 'Fastest Man Alive' very much followed the TV formula of 'repeat the pilot 5 or 6 times until the audience understands what the show is.' Not all of the story beats were identical, but enough of them were — including Barry needing an inspirational speech from a mentor in order to beat the bad guy, the Freak of the Week dying, and Harrison Wells again demonstrating the ability to walk and knowledge of the future in the final scene — that I'm hoping the creative team will shake things up soon."[7]


  1. ^ Bibel, Sara (October 15, 2014). "Tuesday Final Ratings: 'The Flash', 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.LD.', 'The Voice' & 'The Mindy Project' Adjusted Up; 'About A Boy' & 'Chicago Fire' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on October 16, 2014. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  2. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (October 8, 2014). "Ratings: The Flash Hits the Ground Running, CW's Best Debut in 5 Years; ABC Sitcoms Tumble, POI Slips". TVLine. Retrieved August 6, 2016.
  3. ^ Bibel, Sara (October 16, 2014). "Wednesday Final Ratings: The Mysteries of Laura, Modern Family & Red Band Society Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on October 18, 2014. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
  4. ^ Schedeen, Jesse (October 14, 2014). "The Flash: "Fastest Man Alive" Review". IGN. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  5. ^ ""Fastest Man Alive": Our hero battles an army of one". The A.V. Club. October 14, 2014. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  6. ^ "The Flash recap: "Fastest Man Alive" - It's Clone Club week on The Flash as Barry goes up against a guy who can create multiple copies of himself". October 14, 2014. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  7. ^ "Review: 'The Flash' - "Fastest Man Alive": Multiplex-ity". October 14, 2014. Retrieved August 11, 2016.