In 1938, the Nazis take out a bunch of Rosicrucians who are worried about a Nazi Antichrist baby with spooky white eyes and how the only thing that can defeat him is a bunch of magic clocks, and also a giant Thing they just kind of call a "thing" and that's it. The dead Rosicrucians are bummed to be dead, but really excited about this Thing and these, like, clocks.
Present-day Brooklyn, Jacinda from the Real World goes to a farmer's market and finds a clock. Is it just any ordinary clock? No, clearly it is a magic clock. The present-day Antichrist Nazis come to her shop of old worthless crap 'n clocks, stop being polite, and start getting real. It's stressful because there's a sound of a clock ticking. It ticks for thee, Jacinda.
Her hubby is Anthony Edwards, who runs a crackpot magazine full of fresh-faced young crackpots who believe things like, werewolves are real. It's one of those crackpot magazines that is so very successful their headquarters looks like they work for Google. "Have some more of this free fruit from the breakroom, and try to remember that werewolves are not real."
Post-abduction, all the youthful crackpots hug Goose and pretend to be sad, even though really they're super excited that something weird is happening. "Did your wife buy any magic Rosicrucian clocks at a farmer's market recently?" Now that you mention it, there's one of those right over here." The FBI is not impressed by their crackpot ways, which is weird because they are also crackpots: "This is footage of your wife being abducted by Nazis. This one dragging her by the hair is named White Vincent. I guess because of his whiteness." (Spoiler alert: That is kind of part of it.)
Goose does not trust the FBI because he is a modern skeptic and they sound like loony tunes, but one of them is a series regular so I say get used to it. "My wife is not a terrorist, she runs a clock shoppe!" is a thing Goose says, which is remarkable. The second they are gone, he activates her magic Jesus clock and it produces a magic clock diamond (Did you know every clock has a magic jewel inside? Just like cops' skulls!) which has a treasure map on it that leads to treasure, if by "treasure" you mean more magic clocks with more magic diamonds with more maps that lead to more clocks and then everything is just clocks.
Charles S. Dutton is a priest who is totally onboard from Moment One, and looks up the magic clock diamonds on his laptop and explains that the treasure maps are written in Satanese, the language of Satan. Then he explains Rosicrucians to the crackpots, who have never heard of Rosicrucians even though it is their job and even Fifty Cent knows about the Rosicrucians.
White Vincent calls Goose up and intimates that he is the Nazi Antichrist, but Goose does not believe him. "I'll 'do' you a 'solid,'" he says to White Vincent. "The FBI is onto you in a 'big' 'way,'" he says. "'No harm, no foul,'" he says. Finally White Vincent shoots a gun at Jacinda so Goose will stop saying things like this, and Goose agrees to bring him the magical clock that has a diamond inside it with a treasure map on it that is written in Satan language.
Charles S. Dutton calls bullshit on this trade, because he is in it to win it. The FBI lady tells Goose that he is irritating and an amateur, but that he is okay to be in charge of this counterterrorist operation that is years in the making. "I can't promise you that your wife will not die in the crossfire, but here's hopin'," the lady says. Goose finds no comfort in that. "The internet leaves a footprint," the FBI lady says, inscrutably.
The FBI pull a fast one on White Vincent, because neither Goose nor Jacinda are that important really, but he is too slippery for their ways. He is actually going to sneak up on Charles S. Dutton, and stab him all on the neck to get the diamond. Tick-tock, Roc! It's clock o'clock.
Goose yells at the FBI lady some more, they sure do have some tension. I guess it's because he likes to do things his own way. Then Goose abruptly gives up and assumes his wife is dead and decides to move on with his life, and the little crackpots literally say embarrassing shit like, "Screw logic!" and "Now it's all about believing! You've just gotta believe!" They actually say that, and it actually works. They convince him his wife is alive, and they decide to follow the treasure map. X marks Jacinda.
Goose hugs the crackpot babies goodbye and heads to "New Bartholomew," which is on a tundra or Canada or something. The FBI lady yells at him a lot and they discuss their mutual distrust and preference for doing things their own way, but then decide to work together because the lady was once a social worker whose husband was on an flight downed by White Vincent, I guess because there were clocks on it. Or Rosicrucians.
Back home, the baby crackpots learn Satanese and track down a clockmaker in Bavaria who is just the right age to be the kind of Rosicrucian who makes magic anti-Antichrist clocks, so they flirt with each other and then go to Bavaria even though they said they would hold down the fort at Goose's magazine just moments earlier.
White Vincent, an admitted crazy person, gets naked in Canada and talks to himself and shows us the whiteness of his Nazi-baby eyeballs. So I guess Goose is not the Nazi baby. One presumes then that Goose must be some new kind of a clock. (Spoiler alert: Kind of.) He and FBI Lady talk an Inuit into flying them to White Vincent's area of Canada, while the l'il crackpots bother the Bavarian about whether or not he ever made some kind of magical clock with a diamond in it.
Guess what, he did. Guess what, he is also a werewolf. Just kidding, that would be ridiculous. He's a Rosicrucian, though. A recalcitrant one, at first, but eventually it seems there are twelve clocks, leading to New Bartholomew, but if you think that's a place simply because there is a map showing its location, you're dumber than the crackpots.
New Bartholomew is actually a dude. One of twelve dudes who are the Twelve Apostles, it seems. Still walkin' around, bein' not mythology. While in Canada, Team Goose finds a Nazi sub containing some frozen dudes, the Old Bavarian explains that sometimes the Rosicrucians can just say fuck it and make up some new apostles that not even the Pope gets to know about, because it involves clocks. Twelve clocks that lead to twelve Apostles that lead to the thing under the cathedral that nobody knows what it is.
In the Nazi sub, Goose... Finds his own frozen body and figures out that he is one of the Apostles and that he was a Rosicrucian in 1938 who posed as a Nazi? This makes him barf, but it just made me laugh. More like New Barfolomew. Old Bavarian guy finishes up his weird rambling story that makes no sense by explaining that the end of the world, which didn't happen last time because of Goose, is probably going to happen this time because of Goose and also probably these clocks, and this is known as "Zero Hour."
So yeah. ABC's still just goin' for it. I give everything an A+ because I think letter grades are dumb, but man I would A+ the ass off of this show if there were any way of doing it more emphatically. That was some bonks bullshit right there and I am into it.
Next Week: I could say literally anything right now and you would believe me. Clocks will figure in, one imagines. But more than that, I cannot say.
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1938: GERMANY - SECRET ROSICRUCIAN CATHEDRAL SLASH CLOCK SHOP
Rosicrucian priests seem to just be regular priests that don't tell you they're secretly Rosicrucians. They sit in underground cathedral complexes, making clocks, just like Santa's elves but dressed like Gringotts goblins. Just clockmakin' and cockrockin', all around the clock. In little vests and Germanic eyeware. And saying meaningless shit, of course.
"Twelve! Twelve is the magic number. Twelve is divine. Twelve is both the beginning and the end of time."
(Not true. I realize this show hinges on pretending clocks are real things, so I guess you could say that about "twelve," but really that's only for some clocks, and in any case -- like most of this show -- it seems to conflate the map with the territory itself. Which is to say, much as a clock is not time itself, a "show about clever people solving important and interesting puzzles" has to actually contain those things, or it's just a show "about." These are not very convincing as people, they are not clever at all, and a puzzle isn't really a puzzle when the answer is "nonsense.")
Turns out the Nazis are up to something! Even in 1938, you could kinda tell. But no, it's not what you think, they're actually about bringing the Apocalypse to us in a way that can only be fought ... through clocks.
1938: GERMANY - SECRET NAZI ZOMBIE & BABY EMPORIUM
Sneaky Rosicrucian: "These Nazis, man, they are the worst."
Stealthy Rosicrucian: "I'm glad our Unnamed Friend figured that one out, or else."
Sneaky Rosicrucian: "Probably this is about the Apocalypse. That's probably the main issue with Nazi behavior, their weird quasimystical beliefs."
Stealthy Rosicrucian: "Well, we have those too. Or hey, what about this scary test-tube baby with white eyes. What does he look like to you, like a Bob? Or a Vincent? Or maybe a Goose. Do you like that? Do you like your little name, Vincent or Goose?"
Observant Nazi: "Hey, are those some Rosicrucians?"
Rosicrucians: "Guess we're not so stealthy. Pace, deutschebags!"
1938: GERMANY - ROSICRUCIAN CATHEDRAL, CLOCK SHOPPE & THING STORAGE
Obfuscating Rosicrucian: "Well, I guess the Nazis are happening. Time for that Thing underneath the cathedral."
Exposition Rosicrucian: "What Thing again? Tell me, but don't really tell me."
Obfuscating Rosicrucian: "You see, it is a Thing. And it is underneath the cathedral."