TV Review: Frequency 1×06 “Deviation”

Frequency -- "Deviation" -- Image Number: FRQ_106c_0120.jpg -- Pictured(L-R): Peyton List as Raimy and Daniel Bonjour as Daniel -- Photo: David Giesbrecht/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Once again, it’s the small moments I enjoyed most about Frequency‘s sixth episode, “Deviation.” The large focus is Nightingale again, and while this ongoing investigation can be interesting at times — the episode about Eva, for example — it often feels like it’s dragging on just a bit too long.

It’s two days before Nightingale takes his next victim. No, it’s not Julie Sullivan. It’s someone named Amanda, who we are just learning about this episode. Raimy wants to use her as bait without telling her. Frank also thinks using Amanda as bait is the only way to catch the Nightingale, but he doesn’t want to send her in blind. Theoretically, I should be on Frank’s side out of common human decency. But since we are just learning about Amanda this episode, everything that happens to her I find I don’t actually care about. When the Nightingale eventually kills her in 2016, it’s more of a plot device than any emotionally shocking reality. The show also once again uses Facebook as a means to show Raimy that saving someone in 1996 left a lasting impact on the world. Amanda worked with kids in India because they saved her 20 years ago, but it doesn’t matter now.

Curtis Armstrong was a nice addition, but I couldn’t get a grasp on his character. He’s some intelligent crazy guy serving life in prison for killing his neighbor, because his future self told him to. I guess it stands to reason that Raimy can’t be the only person who can communicate with a past or present version of herself, but I was lost on why Armstrong’s character wanted to talk to Raimy specifically if he didn’t know that she could also talk across time streams. During the course of their conversation, Armstrong demands he get access to his machine in exchange for information on the Nightingale, but never once does it seem like he understands who exactly he’s talking to. As far as he’s concerned, Raimy is a detective on the Nightingale case who also probably wants personal revenge, so he figures he can manipulate her. But this all seems too good to be true if Armstrong’s character wasn’t aware, so I’m confused as to why he was even here in the first place. I guess so Raimy can get that tree analogy in her head and convince Frank to kill the Nightingale in 1996? That’s a lot of convolution to get to a conclusion I kind of already guessed at.

Maybe it’s best we don’t question how exactly Raimy and Frank can talk to each other. All that’s important to know is that they can, at least for right now.

I was kind of kidding about that destiny/fate thing I mentioned awhile back when discussing Raimy and Daniel. I’m not trying to start some sort of philosophical debate on if you should believe in fate or even whether I believe in it. But when a show uses that angle, it can sometimes come across as a cliche dripping in sentimentality. All that said though, I like how it’s handled in “Deviation.” Raimy and Daniel end up on the subway together in the beginning, and then again down the street from one of Raimy’s crime scenes. And I think it works because the show doesn’t dance around the topic. Raimy straight up asks Daniel if he believes in fate, and he doesn’t really give a straight answer. There’s a hint he might come around again, but there’s also a chance he ends up just being another stranger on the street, and I think those two possibilities are kind of beautiful.

It’s those small moments and those ideas about changing time that interest me more than the Nightingale case. Hopefully, the two can coincide down the line.

Rating: 7.5/10



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