Last week, we got a pretty decent episode of Frequency, but it ultimately had nothing to do with the Nightingale, and so didn’t do much in furthering the investigation. What “The Near Far Problem” did do though was put more focus on the characters themselves, which is fine and good and dandy. But for a television episode to be really great, it should balance the plot as well as the character stuff, and boy, does episode four, “Bleed Over,” do just that.
During the course of this episode, I kept thinking to myself, “This is it. This is what Frequency is.” It’s found its identity, and it didn’t need fancy timeline changes to be impactful. All it needed was a good story to tell in 45 minutes, and it found one in Eva, a young girl who witnesses her mother’s abduction by the Nightingale in 1996. The majority of the episode is spent trying to get Eva to reveal what she saw, but she’s being oddly coy with her information, in 1996 when Frank is questioning her, and in 2016 when Raimy is questioning her.
What I like about this episode is that it does two things with Eva. She’s obviously a parallel for Raimy. In 2016, Eva is a woman still so obsessed and damaged by her mother’s disappearance that she’s writing books about it, faking her own kidnapping, and basking in the media’s attention. In 1996, young Eva is a foreshadow for young Raimy, as they mirror each other one afternoon on the playground, just days before Raimy’s own mother will disappear. But Eva also gets an interesting story herself, one that is both tragic and ultimately hopeful. After Eva is given a chance of redemption in 2016 by providing information to Raimy on what the Nightingale looks like and the way he operates, there’s a sense of closure for the older Eva. But I love that the episode reminds us everything Eva has been through by ending on the young Eva as we see her leaving the police station in 1996, telling her father and Reyna that she doesn’t mind walking out the front where all the media is. Young Eva still has a long way to go before that closure. The same parallel could be said for Frank and Eva’s father, the 1996 version still raw from his wife’s kidnapping that he’s pushing people away and shielding his daughter from interrogations, and the 2016 version that looks old and exhausted, like life has pushed him one too many times.
But in between the main story of the episode are the little moments. I can watch that scene where Gordo drunkenly interrupts Raimy’s and Frank’s ham radio conversation and calls Frank a nerd and always smile at it’s mundaneness. Raimy’s encounter with her one night stand she doesn’t remember, mostly because it’s a part of her new memories, and the small emotional journey she takes in finally asking Kyle out, attempting to move on from Daniel. And the small father-daughter moment at the end with Frank and Raimy, especially since Frank kind of uses young Raimy as part of his investigation. Each main character in this episode starts on a journey, and they all finish that journey by episode’s end.
I should also mention that Eva’s story is clearly a real Nightingale story, unlike last week when Goff was determined to have nothing to do with the Nightingale. Eva provides information that reveals the Nightingale stalks his victims for months before taking them, and the color of his truck, though that point in rendered moot by the end when the Nightingale sends that truck up in flames. But we’re on the right track. If I had any complaints about this episode, it would be the way Reyna kind of spells out the parallel between Eva and Raimy, and the way Frank charges the Nightingale’s truck, flailing his gun about. It can be excused though.
See ya next week.