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Zero Hour (ABC) - Series Premiere: Synopsis and Review

Updated on May 6, 2013

‘Zero Hour’ is written by Paul Scheuring (‘Prison Break’). The show is about Hank Galliston (Anthony Edwards, ‘ER’), the publisher of a paranormal enthusiasts magazine. When Hank’s wife, Laila (Jacinda Barrett, ‘Millenium’), gets abducted, it’s up to Hank to find her. Laila had an antique clock shop, in one of the clocks Hank finds a treasure map which he’ll need to decipher to find his wife. Meanwhile a man, White Vincent, (Michael Nyqvist, ‘Millenium’) is hunting for the map and the secrets it hides. Hank is getting help from FBI agents Becca Riley (Carmen Ejogo, ‘Away We Go’) and two of his associates, Rachel (Addison Timlin, ‘Californication’) and Arron (Scott Michael Foster, ‘The River’).

Before I start with the synopsis, I just want to say that this is a show that is not as great to watch if you already know what’s going to happen. If you haven’t seen this episode but you are thinking about watching it, I tell you right now; Go watch it, it’s really good and reading this review before you watch it could ruin the experience. Done watching? Good. Lets continue.

The episode begins in Germany in 1938, the beginning of the second world war. Two men sneak into a hospital to look at a baby. At first the baby looks normal, but when it opens its eyes it’s clear this is no ordinary baby. This child has white irises and very small pupils, it was created as part of an experiment by the Nazis. Then, a Nazi officer walks in the room and spots the men. While they try to escape, one of them drops a small cross, the symbol of the Rosicrucians.

The Rosicrucians guard a dark secret, a secret they don’t want to Nazis to know about. They know they have to store their secret in another place to protect it. Under the Cathedral runs water and out of this water the Rosicrucians lift something big, but unidentifiable. Just as they are loading it on a truck to be transported, a Nazi enters the cathedral. He carries the sign of the Rosicrucians and he warns them the Nazis are coming. Minutes later Nazis enter the Cathedral and shoot everyone inside. However, the truck drives away without being spotted by the Nazis.

Time to move on to modern day time, where the rest of this story will take place. Hank and Laila are walking across a boardwalk doing a little shopping. They part ways to get back to work. Before Laila gets back to work however, she buys an antique clock from a boardwalk vendor. When Hank is at work he gets a phone call from Laila. Someone’s in Laila’s shop, tearing the place apart. Hank rushes to her shop but when he gets there, there is no sign of Laila.


Later that night Hank and two of his colleagues, Rachel and Arron, are trying to figure out where Laila could be, and why she was abducted. The doorbell rings and two FBI agents are at the door. They have some more questions about Laila and show a video of the abduction. The attacker is White Vincent, a terrorist the FBI has been looking for for a long time.

After the FBI agents leave, Hank discovers Laila left a new clock in the house. She must have passed by the house before going back to work. Hank decides to open up the clock (God knows why but it turns out to be a good move) and in it he finds a diamond. It appears to be normal but when they look at the reflection on the wall they notice a map. The map has writing on it, but they are not familiar with the language. They turn to a priest whom they think will know what it says. They find out the map has coordinates of a place in Canada with the writing ‘New Bartholomew’ next to it.

Then Hank gets a phone call from Vincent; he wants to set Laile free in return for the clock. Hank gives the diamond to the priest, so he can keep it safe. Vincent used this exchange as a distraction, so he could get the diamond in the meantime. Vincent must be a really smart man since he somehow knew where the diamond was.

Hank decides to go and find White Vincent himself. He books a flight to Canada but before he’s able to get on board, the FBI agents want to have another word with him. Becca Riley sends off her colleague and tells Hank she has booked the same flight. He can’t go after Vincent on his own, and as it turns out, she has some personal issues with Vincent herself.

In a small motel in Canada, White Vincent is scratching circles in a mirror while murmuring the words ‘the clock goes round and round, until one day it doesn’t’. Then he takes out one of his contacts which reveals the strange white eyes. White Vincent (all of the sudden this name makes sense) was the baby we saw earlier on.

When Hank and Riley arrive at the coordinates of New Bartholomew they see an old Nazi submarine frozen in the ice, covert in snow. Inside they find the bodies of several men, all of them executed. Hank finds the body of a man, who we now know is New Bartholomew, the dead man resembles Hank which greatly disturbs him.


Meanwhile Rachel and Arron discover who made the clock and they go and meet him. He tells them a lot about the whole mystery. He himself is a Rosicruciate and the clock he made is one out of 12 clocks, one for every hour. Each clock was meant for one person, a new apostle, a hero who would save the world. The new apostles where given their title in 1938. They all had a secret, a secret that, if it would fall into the wrong hands, would mean the end of the world. The clock Laila bought was the clock of New Bartholomew, a man, not a place as they thought.

The clockmaker tells Rachel and Arron the Nazis discovered the first steps of creating eternal life. While the man says this, the viewers see a clip of the baby with the strange eyes, I’m not sure yet what part Vincent plays in all this. The apostles had already created a new eternal life and had to scattered it to hide it from the Nazis.

So, these new apostles, they are most likely the Rosicrucians we saw in the beginning of the episode. Their secret must be they created eternal life, but what does this have to do with the thing from the water? How does a this lead to eternal life. Or better, how does eternal life lead to the end of the world? I’m confused and I’m loving it.

I think it’s pretty clear what I think about ‘Zero Hour’; I love the show and I can’t wait for the next episode. The show has a lot of mystery to it, but it still answers enough questions to stay interesting. If a show raises too many questions and doesn’t answer enough of those, the show will get unsatisfying. This first episode however, gave me the impression that won’t happen with this show. Enough clues are provided to figure out a few things by yourself before they confirm (or deny) your theory and some things just come as a total surprise.

It’s not just the story that’s put together in a great way, the show also has a good cast. The actors are good and they are a good match with their characters. I especially like seeing Anthony Edwards (Hank) as someone other than Dr. Green from ‘ER’. A character I’d like to learn more about is Rebecca Riley, she explained a little bit about her connection to White Vincent but something tells me there’s a lot more going on there.

With a series like this there are always questions you’d like to know the answer too. Here are mine:
- What causes the eyes of the baby/Vincent to look like this?
- What was the thing from the water and where is it now?
- How did White Vincent know Laila had the clock?
- Why attack Laila at her shop and not on her way home?
- Why not buy the clock himself?!
- Is New Bartholomew related to Hank?
- What is this eternal life and how does it work?

‘Zero Hour’ airs on Thursdays at 8/7c.

What did you think of 'Zero Hour'?

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    • Robin Oatley profile image

      Robin Oatley 5 years ago

      I totally agree. It's a bit of a bummer though that the ratings were pretty bad. I really hope more people will be watching next week's episode, because otherwise I'm afraid it will get cancelled soon. I actually expected it to be a bigger hit, since it does remind me of Lost, with all the mystery, and that was a huge hit. The pilot of Lost was watched by 12 million people more than the pilot of Zero Hour (both on ABC). Although the pilot of Zero Hour was available online since February 1st, but that probably wouldn't make this big of a difference.

    • NickysMom2003 profile image

      Melissa White 5 years ago

      "I'm confused and I'm loving it." Exactly what I was thinking. LOL! I love Anthony and have wished for him to get a decent show of his own since he left us on ER. It looks like this is it, if it only gets the viewers to keep it on the air. I'm looking forward to where this takes us, it's sort of refreshing!