Frequency: (S01E01) "Pilot"

We begin with a woman’s narration about his father who left them when she was 6 years old. She believed her father to be a bad man who got too deep in his undercover assignment for the NYPD and got consumed by the bad elements he was fighting against and lost his way. Until one day, two days after her 8th birthday, his father’s dead body was found in the East river. As her narration goes we see how the scenes played out … A man (Riley Smith) being chased, shot and left to die … a man (Mekhi Phifer) being shown a body from the trunk of what was found to be the half-submerged car by the East river. The woman (Peyton List) continues with her narration regarding other people’s opinion of his father’s death; either it was a tragedy or he got exactly what he deserved as she carries on how all her life she hated her father for leaving them, being bad, how she tries to cover up what she calls a stain. Camera pans and we see that she’s talking to a man (Daniel Bonjour)…and this is where things begin interesting, it was the moment she divulged that she talked to her father (Riley Smith) last night and that occurrence wasn’t a dream…
We get a flashback of her life October 20th, 72 hours prior to their conversation. We see she’s happy with her boyfriend which from the looks of things is ready to propose marriage which she happily relays to her equally excited mother (Devin Kelley). She’s also working in law enforcement, a Detective to be exact. Wonder why that is, though my best guess it has something to do with that part of her trying to erase the stain her father made in her life and the lives of other people kind of thing. Moving on we’re shown how her perfect boyfriend with the help of her friend (Lenny Jacobson) is trying to make that ham radio he found on her garage work. She tells her boyfriend not to fix it as it was her father’s and it was in the garage for a reason and that reason we later on get to witness was it reminded her a lot of her and her dad’s times together…happy times before he left. We also learn that it’s her birthday, unfortunately there’s bad weather ahead later that night as lightning struck the antenna attached to the pole where the wires of the ham radio is connected. As she was studying her new case about some unearthed bones, she saw a light sort of flickering inside the garage. She goes to investigate and that was the time she heard a voice coming from her father’s ham radio. She was probably intrigued to whoever was on the other end of the ham radio that she kept on speaking to him until that other person happens to mention his daughter who turned 8th that day and that his name was Frank which was the same name of her father and then there was choppy audio and their conversation was discontinued queue in one of my favorite songs, Wonderwall as we see a montage of scenes; Frank burying his gift to her daughter in their home’s backyard and her daughter digging in to that very spot which I bet is father-daughter’s secret hiding place of stuff they give to each other.
Frank then goes to meet his friend and it just so happens that the baseball game that he and the woman from the ham radio were discussing was on and she was right in her claim as to what brings in the winning game. Then we finally have this moment of reveal that Frank was in fact talking to his daughter, Raimy from 20 years into the future but he doesn’t believe it … YET. But the thought … the possibility of it just kept nagging him which prompted him to do a bit of test to prove the reality of it actually happening. He etched the US flag using a soldering iron on his ham radio signaling her daughter to go see what he kept buried in their secret hiding spot. Raimy did understand the message his father was telling her so she went outside the pouring rain digging whatever it was that his dad hid for her to find and to her relief whatever that’s been happening is true…it was really her father that she’s had that conversation over the ham radio which leaves us with that scene from the beginning Raimy telling her boyfriend she spoke to her father over the ham radio.
Moving forward, Raimy talks again to his father about the picture he hid for her to find, her life: how she’s working as a NYPD Detective. Frank was elated that her daughter took after his line work was rightfully excited that he’d be working alongside his daughter in the future until the cold hearted truth took center stage with Raimy revealing to his father that they won’t be since he died already … specifically two days after her 8th birthday which was in Frank’s time happens to be the next day. She told her what she knows about his death…and that’s when everything changed. Frank didn’t die because he now had a gun stashed secretly near the place he was supposedly first shot; he took the gun as he was running away from his killer. As luck would have it, he was able to shoot both the driver and the shooter from the vehicle that was chasing after him. He falls down but since his leg wound is not life threatening, he lives.
Raimy now gets new memories. She gets to grow up with her father being alive and he’s even there to congratulate her on her first day at work as a cop. However, in this new timeline she still doesn’t get to be with his father since according to her friend, her father died because of a car accident 5 years ago. (I bet though, that car accident is no accident. Who’s with me?) She seems rather content with that probably ‘cause her father got to live a better life.
The following day, Raimy rushes off to meet her boyfriend and his parents in a restaurant still relishing the moment that she now remembers going to the hospital with her mother to visit her father. In her memory, there was a nurse who came running to the elevator. Her mother seems to know the nurse and offered to take whatever it is she was supposed to take on the 3rd floor since she’s going to stop by that floor as well.  We get shown another person’s memory as how it plays out in this change timeline. That person who was holding a rosary noted that the woman with the daughter who got in the elevator was a nurse. Then it shows us some sort of an afterthought to clue us in how this changes things with her mother being in the elevator instead of the other nurse. It’s so obvious that something bad will happen to her mother. Moving on, she arrives at the restaurant and goes rushing to the table where her boyfriend and his parents were seated making excuses on her late arrival EXCEPT her boyfriend does not even have an inkling of whoever she was. Ouch! (Perfect boyfriend gone) She then gets to witness another woman sit on the spot where she’s supposed to be in. Raimy kept calling her mother but it goes to voicemail. She hangs up and another call comes in. She goes to the police station only to find out the remains they found two days ago were the remains of Raimy’s mother. What’s even a shock for her was her mother has been dead for 20 years already eleven weeks to be exact after the news of Frank Sullivan being assassinated was released. She goes home and now she gets these memories of her 8-year old self witnessing her father speaking to someone over the phone asking for leads.
At home she tries to get in touch with her father through the ham radio but instead she’s now talking instead to her younger self. She tells her younger self to tell her father that the woman from the ham radio needs him. Her younger self noted the urgency in her voice and took the ham radio to her father in the hospital. Scene then pans to present time Raimy as she awaits the flickering light brought about by her father’s ham radio in her garage.
So, our takeaways for this episode:
Raimy’s mother died instead of her father. Since her father was hospitalized, the Nightingale serial killer (assuming it’s the man with the rosary in his possession) took notice of her mother in the elevator (instead of that other nurse which was supposed to step inside the elevator and get off on the 3rd floor) and came to know she was also a nurse since she was wearing her ID indicating that very information. I’m assuming this lays the rules of the story that only a life can be saved in exchange for another life which is fair since we have to take into account the balance in the universe.
Raimy no longer has a boyfriend. It was her mother who introduced Raimy to her boyfriend. With her mother dying some 20 years ago their meet up never happened.
So, basically Raimy’s life at present is much worse as she now ends up being an orphan with both her parents gone (dead) and to top it off her boyfriend does not even know she exists.
The flow of the flashbacks to present time and vice-versa tends to be a bit uneven because of the somehow cluttered train of thought in its storytelling. There were some instances that feels like it doesn’t need to unfold right that moment but should be in future episodes instead. Though, it can be forgivable since this is the pilot episode and needs to get in as much information regarding the players in our story. An example of this was the Nightingale serial killer in the elevator. They should have stopped at that scene were Raimy’s mother offered to take whatever that other nurse was holding to the 3rd floor. This way, it wouldn’t be so obvious how Raimy’s mother became the target of the Nightingale serial killer. In my opinion, they could’ve come out with the reveal that the target of the Nightingale killer became her mom probably on the next episode or on whatever episode it would be that her mother’s case gets resolved. Revealing the connection on how Raimy’s mom came into the radar of her would-be killer totally killed off the suspense….but then again that man in the elevator could be a red herring since as I’ve mentioned earlier, it was quite obvious that something bad happens to her mother when the scene also focused on the man holding the rosary probably just to provide some sort of misdirect for the viewer’s point of view.

Other than that it’s a satisfying premier episode. Not so great but impressive enough to keep me tuned in.
Rating I would give for this episode is a 7.