FREQUENCY Review: “The Near Far Problem”

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It’s hard to choose something to focus on when a show like has so many elements. Or, sometimes the opposite can happen and an episode like “The Near Far Problem” will choose one thing to devote its focus to, and it doesn’t seem like the right choice. The entire episode is focused on Raimy and Frank trying to find Thomas Goff who Raimy is a thousand percent sure is the Nightingale killer. As people who have seen at least one episode of television, we know that the killer can’t be Goff as that is way too easy. Even Frank is pretty sure that it’s not Goff but Raimy is convinced that he killed her mom and she will take him down.

Frequency — “The Near-Far Problem” — Pictured (L-R): Mekhi Phifer as Satch and Riley Smith as Frank — Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Raimy in this episode mainly plays the role we’ve seen time and time again of the cop who seeks revenge instead of coping with grief. Her mother has died in this timeline and she is only focused on stopping the suspected murderer, which makes a lot of sense, but also killing him in the present. The former works out for her, as she gives Frank any help she can to make it so he can stop Goff in 1996. The latter, however is how she with Julie’s death, and it’s not the healthiest. She starts by interrogating Goff’s mom, who is definitely a suspect herself to be the Nightingale killer. The portrait of every Law and Order: SVU rich white mom who says her son is not a rapist, Mama Goff is basically pure evil. Raimy get her to spill her son’s location when she tells her that Goff will be brought in peacefully if she finds out where he is now. Otherwise, who is to say?

When Raimy finally gets to Goff, she does not bring him in peacefully. Shocker. She goes full “I’m an officer of the law but my mom just died and I think you did it, but either way you’ve definitely kidnapped and raped some women so I’m going to kill you” mode. It’s not like there is any sympathy for Goff here, but there isn’t that much for Raimy either, especially because the real target here should be past Goff. While Raimy is getting her kill shot ready, or rather, exactly 20 years before Raimy is getting her killshot ready, Frank and Satch are hunting down Goff. They are literally chasing him through the streets of New York, when he steps in front of a bus, and boom, that’s it. Raimy, in the present, looks down to see that Goff has disappeared, cause as of now, he died 20 years ago.

Frequency — “The Near-Far Problem” — Pictured: Peyton List as Raimy — Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

There are some pros and cons of this situation. Pros: at least Raimy didn’t kill Goff. Cons: literally nothing makes sense. That’s the problem with these kind of time-communicating shows. In the pilot, when Raimy saved Frank, everything changed. Though Goff dying isn’t as big a shift as Frank staying alive, a lot more should still change in her life. If Goff was never alive, why is she out there where she was going to shoot him? What happened to his mom? does Patch remember everything and connect into the Nightingale killer? Though the entire nature of Frequency is paradoxical, spending more time on these questions and the questionable nature of reality would be far more fascinating than another cop drama.

All of the individual factors that don’t center around this main plot are actually much more interesting that the hunting of Goff. For example, there is the dilemma of Frank’s parenting where he essentially has to choose between his daughter in 1996 and his daughter in 2016. He basically ditches young Raimy so he can chase down Goff, which is not a great dad move. However, if he didn’t do that, future-Raimy would most definitely come for him. Either way, he is disappointing his daughter. It’s a tough place to be in as a dad. Things like that are a lot more interesting than the down of a man we all know isn’t a serial killer. The father-daughter team have a good conversation toward the end where Raimy tells Frank to call her out if he thinks she’s wrong. It’s a nice moment between the two, and hopefully there will be more of those in the future.

Frequency — “The Near-Far Problem” — Pictured (L-R): Daniel Bonjour as Daniel and Peyton List as Raimy — Photo: Liane Hentscher/The CW © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

The only other big time parallel mystery that Frequency devotes time to is Raimy’s relationship with Daniel, or lack thereo,f in this timeline. We get some flashbacks, her being a little bit of a stalker, and a very awkward confrontation at a bar. What we still haven’t gotten, however, is anything resembling a character from Daniel, except for his good looks and killer accent. Hopefully, he can become more of an instrumental person, and maybe get a little taste of all this time paradox stuff, so he can become much more interesting. For now, though, Raimy’s priorities should be all about saving her mom and less about trying to get back with her boyfriend.

Hopefully next week, we get a return to form, now that Goff is out of the picture, and the focus can go back to relationships and time anomalies, where it always should be.

TB-TV-Grade-C+

Season 1, Episode 3 (S01E03)
Frequency airs Wednesday at 9PM on The CW

Read all of our reviews of Frequency here.
Read our reviews of more of your favorite shows here.


 

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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