FREQUENCY Review: “Harmonic”


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Oh snap, they got him! Or did they? This is the sentiment we are left with at the close of the penultimate episode of of all time. Only one more week ever of hamming up the radio, of chasing killers, of having the metaphorical rug of time being pulled out from beneath the feet of the Sullivans. We must enjoy the little plot twists, overly dark lighting, and ominous serial killers while we can, because soon the CW will take it all away from us.

“Harmonic” focuses almost entirely on catching Joe, the supposed Nightingale. It’s been the same goal for the last few episodes, but in this week, at least we are working with a slightly different timeline. It is honestly a miracle that Frank has not been fired from his yet, considering how not-subtle he is about pointing to serial killers with no evidence. But here he is, still a solid NYPD cop, trying to convince the force that this guy they brought in for church robbery is the most wanted serial killer.

Credit: The CW

Luckily, he’s got a daughter in the future to help him out. Would that we were all so lucky. A great thing about Frequency is that even when the stakes are high, Raimy finds time to drive all the way home to talk to her dad about the cases. Both of these detective are working the most high profile case on the force, but have time to sneak back home to use a ham radio. Though utterly necessary to keep the plot moving forward, it makes it so the stakes can never truly be raised that high, because father and daughter will always be by the radio, making everything seem a little less intense.

Raimy is trying to find evidence to put Joe behind bars, and furthermore, evidence to tell her father to search for to put Joe behind bars twenty years ago. She starts by talking to Robbie, Joe’s stepson that he essentially put in the hospital. Raimy really wants Robbie to tell her where Joe hid his wife’s body, so she can pass that along the pipeline. Raimy also gets some handy dandy evidence in the form of a box of pictures Joe kept of his victims. What a silly serial killer. Either way, it’s enough to lock Joe up in the present. When they have him there, Raimy takes it into her own hands to get the info from Joe. She hits, him sticks, his head in the toilet, you know usual cop things, to get the info out there. Surely, the show is trying to play the “she will stop at nothing to save her mother” angle and it partially works. On the other hand, it still doesn’t feel as intense or exciting as it could, given that everything in this timeline will soon become obsolete.

Credit: The CW

Things are looking that way at least, when Frank and co. find the body in question, and officially confirm the ol’ Joe is the killer. Joe, then, in a surprising twist, lets himself be caught by sitting in a diner looking at the polaroids of his victims. Classic Joe. It all feels a little anti-climactic that they finally bring the guy in after all this time, and it’s just due to a small scene in a diner. At that point, it’s clear that the other shoe is about to drop. Frequency toys with the shoe though, hangs on to it for a little while, and lets things play out before the big twist hits.

Frank gives Raimy a call on the old ham, and tells her that they got him, and it’s all good. Raimy isn’t buying it, maybe she also felt it was anti-climactic. If her mom is saved, where is she? This small segment was actually the best twist “Harmonic” pulled, as the audience also believed that the scheme did not work. However, she hears a noise in the living room, walks out with gun cocked just to see that it is her very alive mother. It’s probably the sweetest moment in the episode, to see them finally ruined, and to understand why Raimy went through all of this.

Credit: The CW

Unfortunately we’re torn from that moment all too soon as the real kicker of a twist is about to come in full form, and in the face of one Robbie, a character we met a little too recently for the full effect of the twist to work. Turns out he has been stalking Julie and is more than ready to fill the nightingale shoes his step dad. There is a little voiceover of the recurring mantra “the branches will grow back” aka another gross dude will start killing women. It makes sense, if you lock up the bad guy not in the finale, another one will take his place. So here we are, one more episode, one more killer, and then no more Frequency. The real twist would be if anyone was truly upset by that news.


Season 1, Episode 12 (S01E12)
Frequency airs Wednesday at 9PM on The CW

Read all of our reviews of Frequency here. 
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Raina spends most of her time watching television and trying to find the perfect bagel and lox, because she likes being emotionally distraught.
Follow Raina on Twitter: @ItsRainaingMen
Keep up with all of Raina’s reviews here.

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1 Comment

  1. You really think Joe was ever the real Nightingale? I thought the twist was that it was Robbie, after the initial murder of his mom by Joe that set him off. The mystery is why Raimy has temporarily gotten her mother back, but it can be explained. The killer’s intentions propagate forward even when they aren’t fulfilled yet (for example, the decision to take Julie rather than a different nurse, in January).

    So now Robbie is planning to stop and let Joe take the full blame. But that could change.

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