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Did Frequency finally kill the Nightingale?

Photo: CW
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We can talk a lot about taking a time machine and going back in time to kill Hitler. But the fact remains that if, given this unlikely opportunity, we would actually have to go back in time and kill someone. As Frequency gains momentum toward its final episodes of the season, Frank is faced with a similar dilemma: Could he actually kill a monster?


To set this up, of course the show has to indicate how much of a monster the Nightingale is, with some terrible, abusive scenes with his kids. Showing how awful the pastor is makes it possible for us to see our hero, Frank, do something so cruel as disable a man and stick him in the trunk of his car.

Time travel series, as I’ve mentioned, are a dime a dozen right now, but the immediacy of Frequency—and its two-decade gap—are what make it so interesting. James Franco’s character in 11.22.63 also had a singular goal, but he wasn’t dealing with constant coaching from decades in the future (only an intro from present-day Chris Carter). Raimy, stuck in a timeline that doesn’t have her mother in it, knows just how horrible reality will be without Julie, and so is extra-eager to push an extremely reluctant Frank into doing something that goes against everything we know about him.


Except, Frank’s a cop. So as he so adeptly displays, he knows how to do this. He knows how to make the pastor unconscious so that he can put him in his trunk, even as he has heartfelt bedtime conversations with a young Raimy and her still-alive mom. Frank’s wish for her to look at the same moon he’s looking at has the unmistakable mark of finality. The holy hell of it is that it’s the love that Frank has for Raimy and Julie that compels him to do this out-of-character violent act. It’s almost astonishing to witness. As much as we love our parents, our children, could we actually kill someone in cold blood for them? Honestly, this is as intriguing as Frequency has ever gotten.

Maybe that’s why the other storylines pale so much in comparison: Raimy’s love life, for example. Daniel is gross even as he’s still waffling, then Raimy gets pulled back into Kyle’s world by meeting his mother after a car accident. Raimy’s comment that Kyle could be a guy she would be with in another life is too anvil-ish not to indicate that he will be her life partner after Frank’s car accident. We didn’t get any more info on Stan Marino either, which is fortunate, as any of the police corruption malarkey just gets in the way of our path to the Nightingale.


But Gordo gains a storyline, all of a sudden: For whatever reason, his wife is still invisible, but he gets a cantankerous father who’s frustrated with his efforts to be a stay-at-home dad rather than a hotshot lawyer. Ten episodes in, this seems almost completely random, and not sure what this plotline is trying to say. That we just need to let our kids be who they will be? That Gordo has issues, which could manifest in him being the Nightingale himself? Seems doubtful, but I’ll be damned if I can string together these two plot points otherwise.

Frank pointedly tells Rainy to be perfect at her recital, after adult Raimy has told him to be perfect in his abduction of the Nightingale. The problem is, no one is perfect. Things happen, like forgetting a clarinet in the back seat, or a car accident, or any number of random factors that can affect the perfect plan. Frank gets hit by car as he fumbles, looking for Raimy’s instrument, so he’s not able to finish off the Nightingale. So what will happen then?


Raimy, on the other hand, is so determined that Frank will be successful, that she shoots the Nightingale right as she’s looking at him—which would lose her her badge in any other scenario, but here she says that “It doesn’t matter.” Since that happens, and Megan is killed, it seems like the events of the past will indeed affect the present, even with only three episodes left. It’s almost like the Nightingale reveal came too soon, and might even be a red herring, except that everything Megan says about her horrific father lines up with what we know about him already. Raimy’s desire to kill him, in the past and in the present, brings up interesting and considerable ethical quandaries to ponder for a Wednesday night CW drama.

Stray observations:

  • “Certain things are meant to be” = The motto of this show.
  • Since we don’t know the status of Frequency season two, I am really afraid that with only three episodes left, we wind up with a complete cliff-hanger. Like Raimy wakes up to an entirely different reality in which she’s married to Kyle, with kids, or something?

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