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Hello, Freqs! This week on Radio Static, we discuss the Frequency Season 1 Episode 3, The Near Far Problem, which originally aired on October 19, 2016. Raimy and Frank build their relationship, but learn that the Nightingale is not who they thought he was, leaving Julie at risk.
Last week, Raimy and Frank believed they had the Nightingale Killer in their sights – Thomas Goff (played by Michael Charles Roman) – as his intended victim, Maya Gowan (played by Alexandra Metz), was desperately trying to escape. This week, Frank and Satch closed in on their target while Raimy tracked him down in 2016. Just as Raimy was about to avenge her mother’s death in the current timeline (or so she believed), Goff disappeared, choosing to jump in front of a car in 1996 rather than go to prison.
The Near Far Problem was fascinating to watch, as we literally saw the Butterfly Effect occur in front of our eyes. Raimy stared at a computer, waiting for it to update Maya’s status from “missing” to “rescued.” Watching Thomas Goff also disappear as Raimy was about to shot him was also astounding. The first 3 episodes seemed to complete the first arc for this series, introducing us to the main and supporting characters, giving us a Nightingale Killer suspect (Thomas Goff), and then closing that chapter with the knowledge that we haven’t found the Nightingale and that Julie remains deceased in Raimy’s current day timeline.
There was also emphasis on and more background story about our key supporting characters, most notably in Julie, Satch, Gordo, and Daniel.
We clearly saw the strong relationship between Frank and Satch when Julie asked Frank to leave. Satch invited him to stay with him, and we learned that Satch’s wife is good friends with Julie. Satch also trusts Frank, agreeing to go back to the Goff residence despite not finding anything the previous day. In the current timeline, Satch continues mentoring to Raimy, trying to comfort her after her mother’s bones were found, then apparently trying to shock her into going to the memorial service (planned by Gordo) by telling her that she had disappointed him in her refusal to go.
Gordon’s character was also fleshed out more for the fans. He has been married for at least 8 years, has a 7 year old daughter, and cares enough about Raimy to plan her mother’s memorial service, knowing that she would not want to do it herself. Raimy finally apologized to Gordo for her recent abruptness to him, but he gets her – he understands her. This is a deep friendship built on trust, and one of older brother to younger sister. When he finally convinces her to go out to the bar, and they run into former timeline, almost fiance Daniel, Gordo watches carefully but is ready to take care of Raimy.
If Frank and Raimy ever decide to try to trust someone in their own timelines with their ham radio connection, my money is on Satch and Gordo, their best friends.
Poignant in this episode was once again the father and daughter connection in both timelines. Young Raimy was frightened that she would lose her father again, and called him out on almost dying, while Julie told Frank how scared young Raimy had actually been, sleeping with her father’s sweater. Also touching was the dance scene between father and daughter. Young Raimy is played by the marvelous Ada Beker, whom some fans may remember from Fringe, where she played Young Olivia. Meanwhile, Frank is struggling to understand his older daughter, as she frantically shouts him down over the ham radio, telling him they must get Goff to save her mother. Once they realize they still have a problem – Goff wasn’t the Nighingale, and Julie is still dead – both father and daughter begin to realize that they must step back and take a deep breathe. This is a marathon.
What is the Near Far Problem? Per Wikipedia, this is also known as a hearability problem and is a situation that is common in wireless communications systems, and can be exploited to disrupt communications. The near far problem is one of detecting or filtering out a weaker signal amongst stronger signals, and we saw the conflict between Raimy and Frank pretty much yelling (at least speaking loudly) to each other in the frenzied pursuit of Goff. Raimy basically told Frank what they had to do and then gave him a hard time for not keeping her on track. They were shouting over each other to be heard and neither heard what the other was saying. What’s the solution to the Near Far Problem? Decrease the output power – so they both need to take a deep breath and listen to each other! This will be harder for Raimy, as she has lost so much of her present life.
Link to Wikipedia description of The Near Far Problem:
So now, how will Frank convince Satch that they did NOT get the Nightingale Killer, before he makes Julie his victim?
Tune in next week to find out, Freqs!
October 26, 2016 – Season 1 Episode 4 – “Bleed Over”
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