Frequency: Progress on the case and on personal sanity in "The Near Far Problem"

We're starting to learn how things work in this week's Frequency! Spoilers ahead for (S0103) "The Near Far Problem"...

Frequency 1.3

Last week, Raimy got the chance to talk to her mom over the magic ham-radio and convince her that all of this timey-wimey was real...and didn't take it. Because breakdown. Even though it was her idea to warn her about her imprending death. So this week, Julie doesn't believe a thing that Frank says, since this crazy being unsubstatiated just makes HIM look crazy.

In 2016, everyone wants Raimy to handle the memorial service, but she's not answering calls and has no intention of doing anything like that. She hasn't given up on her mom, and she sees no point in memorializing her when they're going to fix time and bring her back with no one remembering it being otherwise. Thankfully, while she's focusing to the point of being a bad cop on the case, Gordo handles it. Satch, her dad's old partner and her stand-in father, wants her to go, but she refuses and he's disappointed in her for being, basically, delusional and stubborn from his point of view.

In 1996, Frank gets the information about the Goff case from Raimy and goes to check out that shed and find Maya, the girl who escaped it last episode. In Raimy's time, Maya was never found, but she thinks if they can save her, she can give them information they need to make sure Goff is the killer. Which she does. Frank rescues her and she confirms who it is who took her and what he told her about being the Nightingale Killer, so now they can go collect him legally. Even though checking out the shed was basically illegal, and Frank blames it on thinking like a criminal for two years.

Frank finds out young Goff is on the run in 1996 while Raimy interrogates his waspy and delusional mom in 2016, and in a really neat parallel chase scene, they both catch up with Goff.

But because of that, they change time again.

Just as Raimy is beating the guy and trying to get a confession out of him like this is the 70s, Frank catches the kid Goff on the street. Raimy is about to execute old Goff for being a killer when young Goff jumps in front of a car and gets himself killed twenty years ago--which means there's no one for her to shoot. Now, there never was. Even though she's still standing there with her gun out and her head bleeding from their fight. It'd be more interesting if she'd just appeared somewhere else, confused, since she couldn't have gotten involved in the fight to begin with now, but I guess we're going with the idea that she's a fixed point; for her, the fight happened before the timeline changed and so she's still got the evidence of it after.

At least, though, she realizes what she was about to do and how narrowly she was saved from being judge, jury AND executioner instead of the good cop she's supposed to be.

She and Frank agree to keep each other in check from now on, and to be smart about what they do and how they do it: because Goff is dead, but her mom didn't come back. That means someone else is the one who killed her, and they can't question Goff now about what he might know on the subject. Was Goff never the Nightingale Killer, or was he not the ONLY one?

After the case, she goes out to a bar with Gordo. She needs a night off, and he needs a rest from being a new father, and he knows that she's been having a rough time the last few days. They're almost relaxing when her no-longer-fiancee walks in. Because this is the bar where they'd go together, and even without her in his life, it's his spot in this reality, too. He accuses her of stalking him and she tries to convince him that she's not, that she always goes here, but he knows he's never seen her before and leaves. So much for winning him over, if that was her plan.

While all this is going on, Frank is trying to reconnect with his younger Raimy. He's been kicked out of the house, but he still has custody, so when Julie goes to work, he gets her. They're having a great time and are supposed to go see The Nutty Professor, but he gets a break on the case and has to reschedule. Julie takes him leaving her with Satch's family like he's abandoning her and basically tells him that he's been a cop long enough and needs to be a dad now; which is at least a little unfair, since she's as much a nurse as he is a cop and she hasn't given that up to be a mom, so...

And Raimy is struggling in both times.

Young her just wants people to tell her the truth and keep their promises to her, but the adults keep trying to shelter her and (of course) won't take her on cases with them.

Now her doesn't seem to have a partner to work with in her own time, she's missing her fiancee, and Gordo is trying, but she's not giving him much to work with. That leaves her totally alone for a really crazy case that is mostly off the books and almost entirely off the usual definition of reality. All she has is Frank, and he can never be in the same room with her. What they should do, is agree to let Satch in on the mystery; he exists at both ends of the time-shift, and he can help them both! Barring that, let Gordo be your emotional support, Raimy, before you go crazy.

One of the best things about this show is that it doesn't warn you when time changes. They actually do it twice this episode: once when Frank finds Maya in the woods and saves her from exposure-death, and Raimy watches the files change in real time; and once when Frank loses Goff and he jumps into traffic. It's unclear whether that's two separate changes or two changes in one timeline, but neither one had any warning. There's no flashing lights or wobbly camera, no nosebleeds or headaches, no effects at all--except that Raimy remembers before and after the change. How many timelines can she hold at once in her head? Will she go crazy trying to remember too many mutually-exclusive versions of events? She's already pretty high-strung and prone to breaking down, and this is a very emotional problem she's stuck in; how will she handle it long-term?

More notes on Frequency 1.3 "The Near Far Problem":

  • I'm not a fan of pre-existing relationships on shows; the point is to watch people fall in love and if they're already in love it kills that hook, and since we barely know these people as themselves BEFORE a relationship, it makes it harder to care. But they're doing okay with her memory-flashbacks of how she and cute fiancee met and got to know each other. It'll be interesting if she and he wind up falling for each other again in this new timeline--and if she accidentally erases it again! It'd be like Seven Days; every time they make progress, something changes it back.
  • The fact that every time they try to catch their bad guy, they wind up setting him free accidentally, makes it a fun twist on cat-and-mouse. It's like Red John, if Red John's history kept getting overwritten.
  • What did you guys think of this week's Frequency? Share in the comments!

    By Samantha Holloway

    About the author

    Samantha is a freelance writer, editor and book and TV reviewer. She's currently in gradschool and working on her first novel, and one day she'll rule to world. Or marry her TV. Whichever comes first. Follow!

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