Friday, February 22, 2013

Review: Zero Hour "Face"

Non Spoiler Review:
Vincent confronts Riley and Hank in the Arctic, prompting another quest for a new apostle and a new clock. Arron and Rachel investigate some clues on their own.

After a very shaky start, Face manages to knock the legs out entirely from under the show. The dialogue remains cringe-worthy, and plot devices jump out on queue when required. This week we find out that pretty much everyone has an exotic language under their belt they can trot out when relevant translation is required.

It's difficult to criticize the cast because they have little to work with and have to trudge through this outrageous dialogue and exposition. At its best it's become formulaic and cliche—at worst pure cheese.

Spoilers Now!
Vincent reaches the sub and kills the pilot. Hank confronts him and asks if his wife is alive, only to get punched and dragged inside. Riley is searching through the sub's records, taking a journal as Vincent comes down with Hank. She remains hidden as Vincent takes a watch from Bartholomew's body. Riley steps forward with her gun, but he reminds her only he knows where Hank's wife is, which prompts Hank to start freaking out. Vincent promises to take him to his wife but refuses to tell them anything of what's on the sub. Hank wonders what the watch means to him and realizes it's some kind of map (because all clocks hide maps) and takes some iPhone snapshots of it. Oh, and why does the Nazi on the sub look exactly like him?

Once escorted back outside, Vincent blows up the vehicle he had previously wired, which also manages to crack open the Arctic ice. He gets in the plane and takes off, leaving Riley calling for help on her radio as the sub begins to sink.

But that works out very well for them, as in the next scene Hank and Riley are dropped back off in NYC by a helicopter. She's thoroughly pissed that she didn't kill Vincent when they had the chance and suggests his wife could already be dead. She'll kill Vincent next time, though, so Hank storms off in a huff.

Back at the magazine, Rachel and Arron are back from Bavaria too. Arron explains what happened with the old man, while Hank wants only to find his wife and doesn't care about any Nazi conspiracy (Modern Skeptic is doing so well that it can fly its staff around the world on a whim anyway, apparently. Why would it need to break a story about the end of the world?). Severely injured priest (whose name remains elusive) shows up to help too, having checked himself out of the hospital. He dismisses all this apocalypse nonsense, as everyone seems to think it's happening during their time. But he does provide some relevant exposition by mentioning certain signs of the end times, one of which is the waters turning to blood.

The watch has a symbol of the apostle Thomas, which is where Vincent will be heading. Hank realizes the gears were not meant to work. Arron suggests the glowing dots are a constellation. They have a time and a date from the watch to establish a location in India where it can be seen.

Vincent has also deciphered the clock at exactly the same time. He has Laila with him, and quizzes her about being able to help him, though she doesn't know what that means. Too bad for her, as Vincent bought a lot of lye and rented the place for six months, more than enough time to dissolve her body.

Hank admits the guy in the sub looked exactly like him. Rachel goes to see Riley to see about that journal she took. She lives an isolated life among her dead husband's paintings. Riley is quite forthcoming after Rachel explains Hank is a nice guy and actually found her in an orphanage (?) and gave her a good life. Riley explains the journal doesn't offer any clues to Hank's wife but admits she saw the lookalike in the ice too. She wants to know how Hank is planning on going after Vincent.

Rachel returns with the journal, and Arron reveals he knows German (!) so he's able to read a name—Corbin Stern. The page for March 1938 is missing, the same day as the launch. They learn he was a scientist conscripted into the Nazi party for something called Zero Hour. They find out a collector of Nazi memorabilia (i.e. a neo-Nazi) has some information on the project.

Rachel and Arron go to visit the man who has a film about the Zero Hour project. The film shows an expedition sent to India and Corbin Stern, the man who looks like Hank. They were searching for the secret of life and death and found a local girl who supposedly could talk to the dead. She disappeared after that. 

Hank has arrived in India at the appropriate city, and goes to a church where the priest recognizes a photo of Vincent, who was asking questions just a few moments before. Hank finds Vincent among the throng of people but is quickly accosted by some men, until he's rescued by Riley who arrives just in time. She can speak Hindi, too.

Riley wants to arrest and interrogate Vincent so they can get Laila. Hank gets a call from Rachel, suggesting they look for the same girl who will be in her eighties and has a birthmark. Hank deduces the men who attacked him were protecting her.

Arron finds a note hidden in the journal for Stern's wife. Corbin confesses how he had to leave her because of the things he saw that threaten humanity.  

The old woman has taken a vow of standing and recognizes Hank as the same Nazi who visited her as a child. He shows her Laila and Vincent's photos. She has a clock but was told to destroy it if she ever saw his face—told by him. His arrival would signal the return of the angel of death. 

Someone shoots at her and Riley goes after and kills him. It's the priest and he's a Rosicrucian. While they're gone, Vincent goes in to confront the holy woman. As she backs away it's apparent she's been standing over her clock's hiding place, which he quickly uncovers. Riley and Hank hear him shoot her and run off. Hank sees Laila in the car as they drive off. 

The dying holy woman says the apocalypse is now upon them. Hank alone holds the key. If he continues on his quest it will bring about the end of the world. Hank can't give up, as he wants his wife back. As they leave they see the river is the color of blood from the fishermen cutting up their fish.

"Vas ist das?"
No The Verdict this week...just seething rant:
Where to begin. This week was all about learning who knows what languages. Going to India? Great! Riley studied Hindi in the peace corps. You have a mysterious Nazi journal? Well, Arron happens to know German thanks to dating a girl back in college. Too bad he didn't mention that fact last week when they were actually in Bavaria talking to real Germans.

What is the point of the twelve new apostles if only to be cannon fodder for whoever wants to bring about the end of the world. It's not like they're gathering to do anything, but sitting around providing clues to the next victim.

It's looking like each episode is going to be a quest for a new clock and a new apostle, which is going to get old really fast. Did no one learn anything from Alcatraz? While there's some potential in the end of the world stuff I don't hold much hope with that angle either—it's amounting to an incredibly mundane, localized apocalypse, if a few fishermen can bloody up a river with their catch and fulfill Bible prophecy.

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