Frequency is still relentlessly pushing this Nightingale case eight episodes in, despite there being much more meaningful and profound stories surrounding it. To be honest, the longer they stay with this case, the less interested I am in it. So until something really major happens, these reviews probably won’t cover the specifics of the Nightingale stuff. Because the much more interesting parts of Frequency exist within the odd little family drama the show is becoming, and I’d much rather talk about that.
I’m going to present a hypothetical here for you: what if this show wasn’t centered around a police investigation? Instead, the switch in timelines would be used as a way to look at the many different courses life can take, depending on choices or external circumstances, and how our relationships with family, friends, or significant others are defined by those very things.
Daniel and Raimy began the show as a soon-to-be-engaged couple, but when Raimy saves her father in 1996, effectively changing the timeline, Daniel no longer knows who Raimy is. Since then, Frequency has danced with the idea of fate, keeping Daniel’s character around to occasionally bump into Raimy around the city. A few weeks ago, the two even had a discussion about fate, but they never really say whether they believed in it or not. The conversation ended with two very real possibilities — Daniel, as he turns to walk back down a New York City street, could eventually end up with Raimy again, or he could be another face in the crowd, in a city of thousands. I loved that idea, and I loved that the show offered those two realities up to mediate on.
In “Interference,” Daniel seeks Raimy out. This time, it’s a choice. I don’t think the topic of fate is killed here, however, because fate can only do so much. At some point, choices need to be made. And the premise of Frequency offers up a way for our main to character to make a million different choices in order to change things. The option to change something, or not to change something is what would be the defining moments of our main characters.
Now imagine if Raimy wasn’t the only one who knew about the ham radio. There’s a story for Satch Reyna in here somewhere, instead of the one the show is giving him, playing the buddy in a not so funny buddy-cop comedy. Except this time, he’s the buddy to two different people, Raimy and Frank. The glimpses we’ve gotten in to Reyna’s character show a tragic life, one that was once filled with love but because of certain choices Satch made, is now filled with loss. What would Satch change? We don’t get those answers because the show isn’t telling us that story. But maybe it should be.
Frank and Julia’s story often is a parallel to Raimy’s own adult life, and this time I felt it was done rather nicely. I liked the perspective changes from being immersed in 1996 to seeing 1996 through Raimy’s memories. It reminded me a lot of the pilot episode, that sort of dream-like quality the show had but ended up losing in subsequent episodes. Sometimes, it feels as though there is a disconnect between young Raimy and adult Raimy. However, when it comes to the destruction of her family, both Raimys are affected. Getting to spend time in two different time periods allows us an immediate look at how time can give perspective. Young Raimy is angry, while adult Raimy is more reflective.
These are the important moments. But they surround an uninteresting center piece of a narrative. What the Nightingale case should be doing is allowing those moments to stand out. Instead, they feel tacked on and buried underneath mediocrity. Frequency has a chance to do something great. I’m not sure how long I feel like sticking around, though.