Three months before it was due to air on TV, the pilot episode of CW’s The Flash has leaked online.

The show is a spinoff of Arrow, with the pilot as an origin story for DC Comics hero Flash. Forensic scientist Barry Allen (Grant Gustin, previously known as Sebastian from Glee) was first introduced in an episode of Arrow, which ended with his lab being struck by lightning. The Flash sees him wake up from a lengthy coma to discover that he’s gained the ability to move at superhuman speeds.

We won’t discuss any major plot spoilers here, but there is one intriguing Easter egg that DC fans have noticed in the leaked episode: a possible link to the Justice League movies.

Much like a post-credits sting scene, the episode ends with a brief glimpse into the future of the DC universe. We get to see a newspaper from 2024, with headlines like “FLASH MISSING,” “Red Skies Vanish,” and “Wayne Tech/Queen Inc. Merger Complete.”

Queen Inc. refers to a company owned by Oliver Queen, the main character of Arrow, and the mention of Wayne Tech hints that The Flash may take place in the same universe as the new Batman/Superman franchise. Either that or the Flash/Arrow TV universe has its own version of Bruce Wayne, which would be kind of ridiculous considering the fact that Gotham and the Batman/Superman movies already have that covered. Do we really need three different Bruce Waynes running around at the same time?

A direct link to the Batman/Superman movies would be a real step forward for DC adaptations, which have so far failed to coalesce in the style of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But even if The Flash isn’t linked to the upcoming Justice League movie, it looks like the series will at least include mentions of other superheroes rather than being completely self-contained like Gotham.

The same lightning storm that gave Barry Allen his powers also hit other people in the vicinity, meaning that in a similar vein to Smallville, The Flash will introduce lots of superpowered guest characters. The pilot episode also included a brief mention of a very unexpected DC character: Gorilla Grodd, who is quite literally an actual gorilla.

Grodd seems like an odd choice to potentially show up in the same universe as Zack Snyder’s gritty Man of Steel, but a gorilla villain does fit in with The Flash’s upbeat tone. The general fan response is that this pilot is the funniest DC adaptation in years, which is good news because it balances out the grim nature of Constantine and Gotham, keeping all bases covered. The Flash will appeal to people who want a fun, teen-friendly superhero show, Constantine is hoping to find a more horror-oriented Supernatural audience, and Gotham is aimed at mainstream crime TV viewers.

We wouldn’t be surprised to discover that this episode was leaked on purpose. The CW are very keen for people to watch this show, as evidenced by the fact that they’ll be airing the first two episodes as many times as humanly possible when The Flash finally premieres in October. The leaked episode has already got fans buzzing with anticipation, meaning that they’ll hopefully be extra excited to tune in for episode two.

Photo via flashtvnews