On the series premiere of Frequency, Detective Raimy Sullivan (Peyton List) is reunited with her deceased father, Frank (Riley Smith), via a ham radio. Raimy discovers her father isn’t the man she thought she knew, and their communication sets in motion a series of events that alters both of their lives.
Raimy Sullivan is a beautiful NYPD police detective. It’s her 28th birthday, and she learns accidentally that her boyfriend Daniel (Daniel Bonjour) has a big surprise planned (She finds an engagement ring in his shaving kit.) But Raimy’s life is far from perfect. Her father, Frank Sullivan, died two days after her 8th birthday 20 years ago. Frank also worked for the NYPD, and while working deep undercover, Frank lost his way, forgot which side he was on and was killed as a result.
October 20, 2016
Raimy is called to a crime scene where some human remains have been discovered. Her superior, Lt. Satch Rayna (Mekhi Phifer) is not only her boss, but a close family friend and mentor. He wishes Raimy a happy birthday and questions how things are going with Daniel. Raimy announces that she’s set to meet his parents in a couple of days. Satch acknowledges this is a pretty big step, but Raimy shrugs it off like it’s no big deal.
Satch, who was Frank’s colleague and best friend, tells Raimy that, even though she may not want to hear it, he thinks her dad would really like Daniel. When it comes to Frank, Raimy is seriously bitter; daddy issues, table for one. Satch thinks Raimy needs to cut Frank a break and make peace.
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Raimy heads to her childhood home for a small birthday celebration with her mom, Julie (Devin Kelley), Daniel, and her best friend since childhood, Gordo (Lenny Jacobson). Raimy confides in her mom about finding the engagement ring. Her mom is thrilled, but Raimy looks mildly terrified.
Raimy discovers that Daniel has recruited Gordo to hook up an old ham radio he found in the garage not realizing that it belonged to Frank. Raimy makes it clear she doesn’t want any reminders of her dad around which is exactly why the radio had remained untouched in the garage for 20 years. (If she really didn’t want to be bogged down by reminders of her deadbeat dad, why didn’t she get rid of the thing years ago?)
The party begins and the atmosphere becomes more festive with Raimy surrounded by her tight-knit circle of family and friends. Later, she reveals to Daniel that Frank used to spend hours in the garage trying to bounce signals off the moon, and if he told her that if he did it right, they could talk to astronauts on the shuttle. Frank was Raimy’s hero and her friend, but then he left the family to go undercover and save the world. Her parents broke up, Frank died, and Raimy realized he was someone else entirely.
A nasty storm rolls in and lightening strikes the radio antenna, bringing the radio to life. Raimy, up late studying crime scene photos, notices a light in the garage. She heads outside to discover a voice coming from the box. She speaks to the man on the other end who mentions he was born and bred in the same neighborhood as Raimy. He asks if she’s a Mets fan, and Raimy responds that she was, but she doesn’t follow baseball anymore. The man begins to talk about the 1996 World Series, and Raimy mentions a home run that occurs in game three. The man thinks it’s a prediction and tells Raimy his eight-year-old daughter has a better chance of talking to shuttle astronauts than the Yankees do of taking the Series.
Something clicks and Raimy asks the man his name, and he tells her it’s Frank. Raimy thinks it’s some kind of joke, but their connection is lost before she can get any more information.
October 21, 1996
Obviously, the “Frank” Raimy is talking to is “Frank Sullivan,” her father. In a flashback, we see Frank head to his house in Queens and place a belated b-day present for Raimy in a coffee can that he buries in the backyard. He retreats to his car, hoping to catch a glimpse of his family. On the radio, there’s a news story about a series of homicides of local nurses that has been tagged the “Nightingale Murders.”
From her bedroom window, Raimy spots a small American flag marking the spot where her father left his surprise. She eagerly digs it up, and Frank spots her running through the yard with the toy, sporting a huge grin.
Frank’s next stop is a bar to have a beer with Satch. They discuss the Nightingale Killer, and Satch tells Frank the police are worried this could be another Son of Sam. Julie is a nurse, so Frank is concerned, but Satch reassures his friend that his ex will be just fine.
Julie knows Frank has been coming by the house. Satch doesn’t know the details, but he tells Frank Julie wants him to stop. Raimy is starting to ask questions that her mother just can’t answer. Frank’s been undercover for two years, and he lets Satch know he’s working on coming back out. He can’t give Satch any more details.
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A Supernatural Connection
The World Series is on and Raimy’s prediction comes to fruition which sends Frank running for his radio. He wants to know how Raimy called the game-changing play and she tells him it happened 20 years ago. Raimy accuses Frank of trolling her, but it being 1996, he has no idea what that even means. She asks his last name and when he says “Sullivan,” Raimy asks him his call sign which is WQ2YV, the same as on her dad’s radio.
Raimy announces who she is and gives out some pertinent information that only her dad would know. Frank freaks out, believing Raimy to be some psychopath stalking his family and warns her to stay away from his wife and daughter. He drops the cigar he’s smoking on the radio, and a burn hole simultaneously appears on the device right in front of Raimy’s eyes.
Raimy and Frank Put Together the Pieces
The next morning, Raimy meets with the medical examiner about the body that was found the day before. It’s a woman, probably in her late ’20s or early ’30s. He found two sets of rosary beads used to bind the victim. He tells Raimy he worked a serial murderer who was a big deal for a hot minute back in the ’90s. He was called the Nightingale Killer. Raimy is familiar with the case. He killed three nurses that they know of, but Raimy believes this could be number four.
Not only is Raimy working on a cold case, but she’s looking into the circumstances surrounding Frank’s death. Recent events are forcing her to deal with memories she has tried hard to bury.
Frank is on the verge of wrapping up his case, setting up what is supposed to be a sting operation. But he can’t get the stranger on the radio out of his mind. He buries something in the yard and burns an image of the flag onto the top of the box.
Raimy arrives home, sees the message and begins digging up the old coffee can. Inside she finds a picture of her father holding a paper dated October 22, 1996. Daniel catches her in the act, and Raimy confesses everything that has been going on. Daniel doesn’t doubt Raimy believes she’s talking to her dad, but it’s evident he doesn’t think it’s truly possible.
Frank Learns His Fate
Frank and Raimy finally talk as father and daughter. Not only does Frank find out Raimy is a cop, he learns that dies the following day.
Frank dies on October 23, 1996. He is killed at 9:12 pm at a shipyard, following a chase. He is shot twice. Raimy gives him every detail about that night.
Franks wants to know who did it, but Raimy can’t answer that one. She accuses Frank of having had crossed the line, but Frank swears he isn’t dirty. The whole operation was so top secret that there was no paper trail.
Frank admits to Raimy that he is/was a crappy father, and he knows what he’s lost, and he knows what he’s got to do to get it back. Raimy begs him not to go, but Frank can’t return home with nothing to show for his absence. He refuses to walk away.
Raimy Discovers the Truth; Frank Rewrites History
Raimy learns the identity of the Nightingale Killer’s fourth victim, a woman named Susie. Raimy’s mom worked with Susie, and she remembers when the nurse went missing.
Raimy goes to Satch questioning if he knew anything about a sting operation scheduled for the night Frank died. This comes as news to Satch. Raimy wants to run down some of the guys from his old operation. She tells Satch she’s looking for closure. He points her in the right direction.
While Raimy is trying to piece together what really happened to her dad, Frank is being prepped for the big deal that is about to go down. I’m not sure if it’s drugs or stolen parts. That’s a bit fuzzy since the guy in charge, Stan Moreno (Anthony Ruivivar), just keeps referring to the “product.” But now that Frank knows things go sour, he’s dubious about the whole damn deal.
Raimy tracks down Chester who was involved in the operation. He’s now a security guard. She wants Chester to give her details, but he keeps tight-lipped. Chester left the force in 2002. He had a load of misconducts but still managed to walk away with his pension. Raimy wants to know how Chester got out so easy.
Raimy brings up that someone told her it was a sting, but Chester denies everything. Raimy questions who it is Chester is protecting, and it appears to be Moreno who is now the Deputy Chief. Raimy figures out that Frank was led to believe he was taking part in a sting, but it was all a set up.
Meanwhile, back in 1996, history is repeating itself. The events are unfolding around Frank just as Raimy warned him that they would, but Frank took precautions and hid a gun at the shipyard. He gets shot but is able to take out the guy who would have finished the job.
Raimy races home to get on the radio and warn her dad, but he’s already gone. Raimy is devastated, especially when it looks as if she blew her opportunity to save her dad.
But Frank survives, and suddenly, Raimy is flooded with memories from a different life; one in which her dad is on hand to see her become the woman she is today, sort of. She also remembers her life as it was before.
A New Reality
It’s not all good news though. Raimy runs into Gordo who reminds Raimy that her father died in a car accident five years ago. Suddenly, Raimy sees herself at his graveside with her mother. Raimy’s still happy because she knows her dad wasn’t dirty after all, and she was able to buy him some more time.
Frank wakes up in the hospital, and Moreno is by his side. Moreno wants to know what happened, but now that Frank knows Moreno is dirty, he keeps the circumstances surrounding his survival very vague.
A young Raimy and Julie come to visit Frank, and he tells his daughter she did good. On their way out, Julie encounters Susie on her way to deliver some blood samples. Susie is stressed, so Julie offers to drop them off. It’s in the elevator that Julie is spotted by the Nightingale Killer (whose face we don’t see). So had Frank not survived, Julie and Raimy wouldn’t have been thrust into the path of the murderer.
In the present, Raimy goes to meet Daniel and his parents, but he has no idea who she is. Raimy reminds him they were introduced by her mother two years ago. Julie met Daniel when he was admitted to the hospital after a car accident. Raimy pulls up Daniel’s sleeve and shows him the scar, but Daniel swears that he’s never met Raimy or her mother.
Raimy tries to contact her mother but can’t get through. She gets a call to come down to the station, and Satch informs her that the remains they found are those of Raimy’s mother. Julie went missing in January of 1987. Not only did the Nightingale Killer murder Julie, but he has remained active for the past 20 years, claiming dozens of victims.
Raimy gets on the ham radio and is answered by her eight-year-old self. Raimy tells the girl she’s a friend of Frank’s and asks the girl to tell her dad that his friend on the radio needs to speak to him, now.
It’s up to Frank and Raimy to try and save Julie, working the same case 20 years apart.
Is Frequency’s time-travel premise too outrageous? How will Frank and Raimy’s newfound relationship continue to affect both of their lives?
Frequency airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on The CW. Want more news? Follow our Frequency page on Facebook.
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