Introducing ABC’s next flop: not because it’s a crap show (although it’s not that great—so far), but because it airs at 8 p.m on Thursday. I don’t know why ABC doesn’t give up on the one hour drama in this time slot and go for something completely different.
Zero Hour‘s premiere is best summed up as 50 minutes of forced exposition followed by 10 minutes of intrigue. It was a pilot, so exposition is expected, but this was particularly bad exposition.
We start in Nazi Germany (again), this time in 1938, with a bunch of guys making clocks in a cathedral. There’s talk of the end of the world, complete with unidentified zombies (“the dead have risen”) and a white-eyed clone. And a Big Mysterious Thing hidden beneath the cathedral/clock shop. The Big Mysterious Thing is retrieved and taken someplace safe, so the Nazis can’t get hold of it and bring about the end of days.
In present day Brooklyn we meet Hank (Anthony Edwards) and his wife Laila, who are more in love than any other couple in human history. [end sarcasm] Hank runs a magazine called Modern Skeptic, and Laila owns an antique clock shop (sans cathedral). Laila is abducted from the shop shortly after buying an interesting clock at a flea market. But the clock isn’t in her shop, it’s at home, where Hank finds it. It’s from 1938, boasts quartz movement, and contains a diamond with a map etched on it. The map is of the new world, but is in a “demonic” language which died out in the 2nd century. We know this because priest Charles S. Dutton tells us so. The map indicates a place called New Bartholomew, located on the Arctic Circle.
Enter the FBI. The lead agent tells us the abductor is White Vincent, and immediately I know he’s the white-eyed clone from the intro. (Although this is supposed to be a surprise revealed later, as he wears contacts to make his eyes appear normal.) FBI gal says he’s the most dangerous man in the world, or something like that. He calls Hank and says he wants the clock in exchange for his wife’s life. Hank agrees to give it to him, but gives the diamond to Father Roc for safe-keeping. Vincent leads Hank and the FBI on a wild goose chase, actually following Father Roc. He stabs the priest in the neck and takes the diamond. Initially I thought Father Roc died, but he’s still alive. When last we see him, he’s being loaded into an ambulance.
Hank enlists the help of his “two favorite reports,” which must make all the other reporters feel like crap—unless these are only two reporters on the magazine. (Although never identified by name, close captioning tells us the guy is named Arron and IMDB says the gal is Rachel. I however, shall call them Frick and Frack, since Dumb and Dumber would be too unkind.) Fortunately, they photocopied the diamond’s map. Hank decides to go to New Bartholomew. At the airport he meets the FBI agent, who goes with him because her husband was killed in a plane crash caused by White Vincent.
In the meantime, Arron identifies the clock’s maker, who lives in Bavaria. So he and Rachel travel to Germany, disobeying Hank’s instructions to stay put. There, the clockmaker completes the episode’s exposition. New Bartholomew is a person, not a place. He was one of the 12″new apostles” (you know, like New Paul, New Peter; I wonder if there’s a New Judas) the church named in 1938 to save the world. These apostles are the ones who retrieved the Big Mysterious Thing and then scattered throughout the world to avoid being killed by the Nazis. Each of them was given a clock. New Bartholomew, says the clockmaker, was a holy man, a noble man, a Nazi officer. Oh, and he’s Anthony Edwards.
When Hank and the FBI woman get to the Arctic Circle (Congratulations, you are now a Blue Nose!) they find a Nazi submarine partially emerged from the ice. Inside, they find the crew has been executed, one of whom is Anthony Edwards. HankAnthony rushes outside to throw up, just as White Vincent approaches via car.
Oh, and Zero Hour apparently refers to the end of the world. Or something like that. For what it’s worth, I think the Big Mysterious Thing is Christ’s cross. At least it looks like a cross under the tarp. But how could that bring about the end of the world.
[Photos credit © 2013 ABC]