ZERO HOUR Episode Review: “Face”

     February 21, 2013


Last week Zero Hour gave viewers plenty to chew on — Nazi devil babies, clones, secret societies, “new” Apostles — and while it was still completely ludicrous, it seemed worth checking out just for the fun.  The pilot went, in professional lingo, “balls out.”  It essentially jumped into the fifth season of Lost, and most everyone seemed fine with it.  This week, “Face” revealed all of Zero Hour’s many, many problems without fun things like devil babies (although we did hear them crying).  Mostly, it’s just really, truly terrible writing.  I don’t know how you can ruin a premise so swollen with potential as one focusing on Nazi conspiracies, but somehow Zero Hour has managed it.  For more on my evisceration of this hour of television, hit the jump. 

zero-hour-anthony-edwardsI was honestly ready to hunker down and get some legitimate puzzling done this week after Hank (Anthony Edwards) discovered his clone at the end of last week’s episode.  Instead, we got White Vincent (does it therefore follow that there is a Black Vincent?) not even needing to try to escape from Hank and FBI agent “Have Gun, Will Travel” Rebecca.  So if you have a violent criminal who more or less lead to the death of your husband in front of you, do you shoot him?  Maybe Anthony Edwards will give you a whiney “pleeeeeeeease?” to convince you not to kill this guy, but maybe you shoot him anyway.  I mean, in the kneecap at least!  No kneecap?  Fine, but maybe tie him up.  Just saying.  He’s one of the most notorious criminals in the world, so.  Definitely neutralize him.

… or not!  And if you don’t, definitely let him just kinda walk out by himself and pull a trigger to self-destruct his van while he slow-motion runs from it for about three minutes.  For the love of God, Zero Hour.  Have you no mercy?

So White Vincent gets away, and Hank goes back to crying out for his wife, Laila Laila Laila.  “Where is my wife?!” is quickly becoming Zero Hour‘s “WAAAAAAALT!!!!” (Lost) or “Where are my dragons?!” (Game of Thrones) refrain.  Laila isn’t doing much to help things though.  Look, when the man who believes your life is meaningless asks you to prove your worth, you do it.  You try something.  You pull a rabbit from a hat.  Laila didn’t even bother looking at the watch, her specialty, before declaring there was nothing she could do.  Meanwhile, her husband, who has no clockmaker training, investigates it via cell phone light and then decodes the constellation in about five minutes flat.  Try harder, Laila.

zero-hourInexplicably, White Vincent was saving lye to dispose of her body, spills it everywhere, and decides, fuck it, he might as well take Laila with him to India now.  Rebecca (who is hell bent on saving the world one tattoo at a time) and Hank end up in the same slum where they are able to pretty quickly discover the Standing Mother, who stood on this shallowly buried clock for 70 years and wouldn’t give it to the walking clone of the man who gave it to her, but sat down and let White Vincent have it pretty quickly.  Before her death though she admits she made a mistake and tells Hank he needs to hurry up and bring about the end of the world.  Okedoke!

About this end of the world stuff … it’s thrown about pretty casually, isn’t it?  Rachel and Aaron, whose scenes are so awful I developed an eye twitch, like to say things like, “this guy in Bavaria said there are twelve clocks that lead to the end of the world.”  That’s not a paraphrase, that’s a direct quote.  I get that we have to jump in with both feet or you just have people going “oh my God what the hell are we even talking about!?!” constantly, but at the same time, their nonchalant attitude is ludicrous.  “We’re ninjas, we’ve had a lot of coffee” Aaron reassures Hank, whose wife was kidnapped by an international terrorist and Interpol won’t answer their phones about it.  This is definitely the crack team you want on this case.

Of course, luckily, Hank can feel where Laila is, probably because she’s another clone (why else would we not get to see Corbin’s wife’s face in the flashback?) which is helpful.  I still don’t understand why White Vincent would keep her alive, and not give a crap about Hank, unless he knows that she too is a clone and once you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all.  Hank can’t handle that kind of information though, and tells his lackeys essentially, “if I worry about my clone too much, I will forget to search for MY WIFE!!

zero-hour-anthony-edwardsIn the worst bit of “Face,” Zach Grenier (who plays one of my favorite characters on The Good Wife, David Lee) shows up as a Nazi collector who loves showing random people who call up the Nazi War Criminal Library a video that could end the world.  Care for tea?  Good thing he was able to find out who this obscure girl in the video was somewhere in the slums in India.  But let me get this straight … so the Nazis (and The Roisicrucians?) created something known as Zero Hour that will destroy the world, so naturally they make a video about it, probably title it something like “Zero Hour / End of World Vid” and then don’t bother destroying it during the fall of Berlin.  Ok.

Even better was when Rachel somehow digitized it and emailed it to Hank in India.  Kids these days!  Digitizing old Nazi secrets onto their iPads; will they ever learn?

Luckily we have the Book of Revelation on hand to justify, for the millionth time since it was written, “no really, this is the end of the world.”  This may be the end of Zero Hour for me, but we’ll see.  I’m not sure it could get any worse, so could it be worth holding on for?  Or more the fool I?  What makes me so irritated is that Zero Hour has so much promise, and squanders it needlessly.  It doesn’t need to be as silly as it is. I may give it one more week.

Episode Rating: D 

Musings and Miscellanea: 

  • I think this is my first D grade. I stand by it.
  • Interesting that the Standing Mother could understand English perfectly, but couldn’t speak a lick.
  • Everyone always loves bringing out Doubting Thomas when there’s talk of the Apostles.  The man doubts once and he can never live it down!
  • The idea that a person who is Hindu could be an Apostle goes against the basic tenement of Christianity: that whole thing about accepting Christ?  You can’t set down a premise that this is about the Christian church and then decide that doesn’t matter.
  • Ah, so “uptight shrew” Rebecca is really a bohemian with lots of tats in a variety of languages, because somehow that helps you save the world.
  • Understatement of the Year goes to Hank when he says to Vincent, “I know you’re going in there for something.” “There” being the sub and “something” being, I dunno, a frakk’n clone of himself.