SPOILER ALERT! Don’t read this until you’ve caught up watching, too!
New rule: Do NOT watch Frequency while attempting to do other activities, such as arts and crafts.
Personally, I happen to be one of those people that likes to multitask while watching shows. Checking Facebook, putting together a puzzle, light housework, I tend to get a lot done.
Frequency will not allow this.
Frequency likes to change up its universe at the drop of a hat.
Frequency requires my whole brain to maintain attention.
In “Signal and Noise,” the second episode, we start detectiving the Nightingale murders. We don’t have much time until Raimy’s mom, Julie, will become one of his victims, changing Raimy’s world so that she never meets her fiance. Raimy also tells her now-not-dead father, Frank, that he was shot not in a sting, but in a set-up by deputy chief of police Stan Moreno, a dude that just really gives me the creeps.
Frank leaves the hospital to a hero’s parade, of sorts, while cradling his ham radio (Little Raimy had brought it to him while he recuperated, because “the lady” told her to do so. She also seemed nice). But that leering act that Moreno does gives me the willies. Frank also decides to press forward with investigating why he got shot, but he was told there was no sting. Moreno and his guys said as much, and if Frank doesn’t rock the boat, he can pick any assignment he wants (he goes for the Nightingale investigation).
But he tries to keep investigating his own shooting, on the sly. He tries to get a gangster, Little Jay to help him…which is all well and good until Little Jay gets popped. So much for that.
The real suspense here is how much it feels like Frank isn’t quite out of the danger woods yet. He may have been safe, but there’s a big heavy “for NOW” weighing over his scenes with Moreno. In fact, a colleague of mine is convinced Moreno is really the Nightingale murderer.
Which leads us to a guy named Goff. He’s a clean cut dude, lives on a property with lots of woods, and a shed. In 2016, Raimy interviews him and he mentions a case where he was accused of rape down by the marsh where the Nightingale bodies are discovered, but those charges were later dropped. Raimy checks with the victim who eventually spills it all. Goff seems to be our murderer. Moreno is still just creepy.
Raimy feeds that information to her dad, and Frank and Satch go out to the house to check it out in 1996. Goff’s mom (wait, he’s a grown man!) says that everything is fine, go away, and Goff comes out of his shed to see what’s up. Thing is, Goff has a kidnapped woman stuffed down in a hole in the bottom of the shed, and he didn’t latch the door properly. She gets out (unfortunately, after Frank and Satch leave), beats up Goff and runs away through the woods.
Frank tells Raimy that Goff was a dead end. Raimy goes back out to Goff’s property…and he’s not there. A completely different family lives there. In fact, the Goffs haven’t lived there since the mid-90’s. Wait, what?
Oh yeah, and the shed is gone, too.
Raimy has an ah-ha! moment, comes back to where the shed stood at night, digs around (that current owner is not going to be happy about his lawn) and finds the remains of the hidey hole. Raimy also realizes all the minute changes that will continue to happen as she works with Frank in the past.
We have three time travel/butterfly effect shows to choose from this season, on network TV. We have The Flash, of course, which deals with the butterfly effect and super heroics. We have Timeless, on NBC, which seems to deal with the macro effects. And we have Frequency, dealing with the micro.
I have to say, between Timeless and Frequency, I vote Frequency. The macro seems like the obvious, like a group of writers sat around and yelled out all the cool eras they would go to if they time-traveled. Who cares how messy it would get, when you can shoot an episode with the Hindenburg! Or Lincoln! Let’s just go to the American Revolution! Cool!
Frequency fells thought out. Like, really thought out. Imagine the minutiae of day-to-day life and how much would change if you didn’t just cross the street for a cup of coffee—that sort of thing. Frequency may need to come with a free dose of Tylenol for the headache it will give us…but I’m loving every minute of it. It’s tricky.
You can’t look away while watching, you can’t multitask, because, when you look up, that shed will be gone and you’ll be scratching your head and going “What just happened? Oooohhhhh.”
We got some Weezer! I’ll take that over Wonderwall any day!