Just when it looked like Raimy and Frank (Peyton List and Riley Smith) had their happily ever after last week, “Frequency” went ahead and pulled the rug out from under them — revealing Robbie (Dodge Prince) to be the actual Nightingale Killer, not his father.
Clearly obsessed with Raimy’s mother Julie (Devin Kelley), it seemed like the worst was still to come in the “Frequency” season finale (Jan. 25) — and luckily, the little time-travel-series-that-could lived up to its end of the bargain, ending the episode with some of the most tense minutes of the entire season.
But “Frequency” took its time getting there, as both Raimy and Frank spent a majority of the episode trying to come to terms with their lives again: Now that Julie had been saved, and Raimy getting married again, it seemed like everything they had been fighting for had finally come true. If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Raimy throughout this season, though, it’s that she can’t ignore her instincts — and when she sees Robbie’s red pickup truck in the parking lot of her mother’s hospital, she knows something isn’t right. As usual with Raimy, her instincts are proven right — present-day Robbie (David Lipper) grapples with his murderous impulses while his sister fights a losing battle with cancer.
So just who does he set his eyes on? None other than Julie — who has just been reassigned to Meghan’s case at the hospital.
Of course, back in 1996, Robbie seems no weirder than you’d expect him to be, and it looks like the Nightingale Case is finally closed. As Frank and Satch (Mekhi Phifer) try to enjoy their momentary triumph, Robbie starts to lose his cool, confesses to being the actual Nightingale Killer to sister Meghan (Beth Lacke) — and then, in the saddest moment of the episode, bashes his sister’s head into his apartment wall. Turns out Joe only killed his wife, and Robbie — inspired by the cleansing act his father performed on her body — went on to kill all the nurses Joe confessed to killing.
Raimy realizes this too late, unfortunately, rushing to the ham radio to try and warn Frank — but he’s gone, checking up on Robbie at his apartment, after a teary-eyed phone call from him. It doesn’t take long for Frank to learn the truth either, however, when he breaks in and sees Meghan’s body lying against the wall — kickstarting the episode’s final, nail-biting race to the finish line.
Frank races home, where Julie’s cooking dinner, not realizing that Robbie is in the house with her. When she brings food out to Raimy and Gordo (Ty Consiglio) in the garage, busily playing with Frank’s radio, Robbie reveals himself: He trains his gun on Julie, telling her he’s there to “help” her, shooting Gordo’s father when he walks into the garage… And destroying the radio when Raimy tries to mess with him from the future, cutting off her connection to 1996 forever.
Frank arrives just in time to get hurt by Robbie as he drags Julie out of the house and away. Just when it looks like everything Frank and Raimy fought for is about to disappear, Satch arrives and t-bones Robbie’s car, saving the Sullivans — while a terrified Raimy enters her own pitch-black house in 2016, expecting the worst… Only to find her mother alive, and both Daniel (Daniel Bonjour) and Gordo waiting in her living room.
Indeed, Frank and Raimy managed to fix their lives after all. Not everything is perfect, of course — with the radio destroyed, they’ll never be able to speak to each other again, and Frank will still die in a 2011 car accident. But they were never going to achieve perfection, and as Frank held onto his family for dear life, and Raimy sat with Daniel, Gordo, and her mom on her couch, tears in her eyes, it seemed like “Frequency” had finished telling the story it needed to tell. That’s especially welcome news, since the CW has yet to renew it for a second season.
There were, of course, seeds planted: We see present-day Robbie creeping around Raimy’s house, so it seems fair to say we know what direction the series could take next. But even if it doesn’t find a second chance, “Frequency” managed to tell a compelling, and emotionally thoughtful story with its freshman season — thanks in no small part to the terrific lead performances from both Peyton List and Riley Smith.
If “Frequency” comes back we’ll be looking forward to seeing where the Sullivans’ lives go from here — but if this really is the end, it’s hard to think of a better way to say goodbye to Frank and Raimy than with this: Both surrounded by the ones they love, alive and well.
“Frequency” will be available for streaming on Netflix starting the morning of Thursday, Feb. 2.