Frequency: Who is The Nightingale Killer?

We visited the set of time drama Frequency and grilled the cast on their Nightingale killer theories...

If you’ve spent the first season of Frequencyso far staring squinty-eyed at the many supporting characters in this science fiction drama, trying to decide which one might be the Nightingale killer, then you are not alone. The cast does it, too. Except for in person and probably at the scripts.

Den of Geek was part of a small group of reporters who visited the Frequencyset earlier this month to talk to the cast and crew about the intriguing, character-driven time drama based on the 2000 science fiction film about a father and son (in the TV show, it’s a father and daughter) who communicate across time using a ham radio.

Peyton List on the Nightingale killer…

Star Peyton List (Raimy Sullivan) says she doesn’t know who the Nightingale killer is, but she’s “really interested to see who it finally pans out to be because [the timeline has] changed so much, but this one thing has stayed the same.”

At the end of this week’s episode, a photo of the Nightingale killer that he or she took in 1996 turned up in 2016 in the posession of one of the murder victims. Does this change how Raimy and the rest of the police department engages with the case? List teased:

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It does change things quite a bit because it sort of takes your anonymity out of it. When you’re the one chasing them, all of a sudden, I think what that says is: ‘I know you’re after me and I know who you are and I just flipped the mirror around.’ And I think that’s unnerving because they’re hardly ever in that position. So they don’t know how much he knows or what he means by something, but he definitely meant something by leaving it. It was kind of a blatant act, so I think that, for Raimy, is a bit unnerving. She likes to be in control and she likes to have a plan and that sort of pulls the rug out from under her.

Riley Smith on the Nightingale killer…

Riley Smith (Frank Sullivan) said of the mystery of the Nightingale killer:

We’re kind of guessing right now with everybody else. It’s funny; my mom always calls, like, literally every day, she’s like ‘Jackie at the grocery store is just dying to know who the Nightingale is!’ I’m like, ‘I don’t know.’ I really don’t. And honestly, with the way the writers write, I could make ten guesses and I probably wouldn’t be right. They probably have something really clever up their sleeves. I’m just gonna follow my leads as Frank gets ’em.

Smith did tease more about how Raimy and Frank’s understanding of the Nightingale killer would change in the next few episodes, saying: “We’re starting to realize that somehow he’s always a step ahead of us, and so that’s at least allowing us to realize that and try to figure out how that is.”

— Kayti Burt (@kaytiburt) November 1, 2016

The question of how the killer knows so much will start to become more of a focus. Is he someone listening into Raimy and Frank’s conversations? Smith said:

That was one thought I had! We don’t know. We don’t know why he’s steps ahead of us yet. That could be one explanation. There could be a lot of them. But somehow, he seems to always be right ahead of us.

Will Frank’s suspicions turn to the people around him? Smith said “definitely,” adding:

It’s becoming too obvious that things are getting tipped off. Even the dynamic between Satch and Stan, there’s going to be some tie-ins between that dynamic, Frank, Stan, Satch, and why Satch might be kind of in the middle of some stuff, too. We don’t understand what it is or why, but Frank kinda almost loses his ally in a sense.

Mekhi Phifer on the Nightingale killer…

Unlike the rest of the cast, Mekhi Phifer (Satch) says he is “pretty sure who Nightingale is.” This is based on his own personal theories rather than inside information. The actor added of his Nightingale hunch: “With these scripts and this story, you never know. It could go so many different ways.” 

Is there any chance the Nightingale killer could be Satch himself? After all, Satch is in both timelines and is close enough to both Raimy and Frank that he would be able to predict their next steps. Phifer said:

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That would be interesting. That would absolutely be interesting; he’d be a hell of a sociopath to befriend Frank and his family and his daughter and Frank’s wife, Julie, the way he does. He would have to be a hell of a sociopath. It could be interesting. I don’t think they’re going that way. But it could be interesting.

Takeaway: It could be interesting.

Phifer also gave insight into the difference in how Satch feels about the Nightingale in 1996 vs. how he feels about the Nightingale in 2016, saying:

As far as Satch feels about the Nightingale, it’s totally different in 2016, because he’s been consumed by the Nightingale. In the 2016 reality, he’s killed already 22 women. Wrapped them in rosary beads and all that stuff. This case has affected his life from the time he was just a plain detective in ’96 to 2016. He has a lot of feelings that will come out about this Nightingale guy. Why he’s so passionate about catching this guy and having this task force be a helpful producer.

Anthony Ruivivar on the Nightingale killer…

Anthony Ruivivar plays the morally ambiguous Captain Stan Moreno who, thus far, has been set up as a bit of a foil to Frank Sullivan’s character. However, his character seems like a red herring when it comes to the Nightingale killer, no? Here’s what Ruivivar had to say about Stan’s relationship with the Nightingale case:

Stan was never on the Nightingale task force. Stan is drugs. So Stan runs the undercover wing that Frank was a part of in 1996. And then in the timeline where Frank survived, he gets pulled off of undercover drug enforcement and chooses to go into the Nightingale task force. So Stan in 1996 has nothing to do with the Nightingale. Stan in 2016 has a bigger scope. He’s risen in the ranks so he does weigh in on the Nightingale.

Ruivivar says the identity of the Nightingale killer is “still a mystery” for him, something he is not fond of as an actor as it subverts the opportunity for the actor playing the killer to add depth to his or her early performances.

Devin Kelley on the Nightingale killer…

Devin Kelley’s Julie Sullivan has more to worry about than most when it comes to the Nightingale killer as she is intended next victim. Does Kelley have any theories about who the baddie might be?

I feel like my theories change week to week. For a while I was convinced it was Satch, he’s just too much of a good guy — he’s a good dude, there’s got to be some skeletons in that closet — possibly my own. But I don’t think it’s going down that path. Stan was too easy, he’s already sketchy, he has other stuff going on. He’s too busy being weird in other ways… I don’t know man, I’m at a loss.

Unlike Ruivivar, Kelley says she likes being kept in the dark with the mystery (though, notably, she is in a different position as it is almost impossible that her character is the killer). Kelley said:

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The secret’s more fun, I think. It’s like a kid looking for Christmas presents, that never ends well, you never feel good after that. It’s nice to get the script, though, and know that our writers are so awesome and Jeremy and the showrunners are so great that I can never predict what’s going to happen, and every week it’s like, ‘Oh, that’s where they took it, okay…’ They keep us on our toes.

Daniel Bonjour on the Nightingale killer…

Daniel Bonjor, who plays Raimy’s almost-fiance from another timeline Daniel, said that the entire cast gets into the speculation, calling each other after they get the latest script to compare reactions and theories.

It’s like a serial kind of book that we get to read and then act it out. It is. It’s a lot of fun to get the new scripts. We just got 11 and … after 10, we were all like, ‘Oh, my god, I need to know what happens.’ It’s a lot of fun.

Lenny Jacobson on the Nightingale killer…

The character who is arguably the most removed from the drama of the Nightingale killer is Raimy’s best friend and next door neighbor Gordo, played by Lenny Jacobson. Even so, Jacobsen said that Gordo does have a sense of the killer (after all, his best friend’s mom was his or her victim), but that he trusts Raimy to be able to protect herself. Rather, Gordon is more concerned about how far Raimy will push herself to find her mom’s killer, saying:

When you have this Nightingale who is to personal to her with her mother’s abduction and murder, I think Gordo might worry more about her being okay with the fact they’re trying to track down someone very personal and what she might do or drive herself to do to find this person … And then maybe I’m the one who catches him, I don’t know. That would be cool, though.

Agreed. Whoever the Nightingale killer is, can we please have Gordo catch him or her? Thanks, Frequency.

Who do you think the Nightingale killer is on Frequency? Share your theories in the comments below…