How convenient would it be to have a radio that allowed you to talk with the past? I could tell my younger self to avoid pixie haircuts, save more money, and never ever laugh at the idea of a Trump presidency.
Of course, I wouldn’t be dealing with life or death, like Frank and Raimy. They have been playing with the past for a few episodes now (I think it’s weeks in their timeline, but I can’t keep track), and they still have a lot to learn.
The last we saw Nightingale, he was burning his truck in the woods. The episode starts on Nov. 10, 1996, when two kids find the burnt truck in the woods, but there’s more: Carmen Salina’s body is underneath. Frank is upset he couldn’t save Carmen and let the killer get away, but Satch tells him there’s a silver lining: Nightingale is slipping and they’ll be able to catch him.
When Frank and Raimy talk on the ham next, she tells him Nightingale’s next victim, Amanda Baldwin, will be taken in two days. Using the hospital’s security footage to track the blue truck over the past few days, Frank is able to convince Satch that Amanda’s the next target. So Frank and Satch tail Amanda and — what do you know? — see the Nightingale go after her. They take him down and it’s the end of the series! JK, it turns out to be a kid selling Amanda some bootleg DVDs.
In the future, Raimy is tied up with a different part of the Nightingale case. A prisoner named Karl says he has info, but will only talk to Det. Raimy Sullivan. She thinks the man, who’s behind bars for murdering his neighbor with hedge clippers, is a nut and wasting her time. She’s about to leave the room when he says he can talk to himself in the future — that stops her in her tracks.
As an explanation, he says he wanted to prove the fact that “time is infinite,” so he created a communication device. Raimy wants him to tell her how he did it, but he only draws a tree. This is the “the idiot’s version”: Imagine the Nightingale is a tree and the branches are his victims. You can cut off the first branch — Amanda — but she or another victim will just pop up as a branch farther up the tree. To truly change the future, you have to cut off the trunk.
This is why Karl is in jail: His neighbor Steven was going to get drunk and drive over some neighborhood kids, so he killed Steven before he had the chance to do it. He cut off the trunk. He asks for Raimy’s help because he recreated the machine in prison, but had it taken away when he stabbed a prisoner IN THE EYE for breaking it. (The fact Karl was able to do all this in his prison workshop must mean Luschek has transferred there from Litchfield.)
His time-is-a-flat-circle theatrics work on Raimy, though, so she tells the prison to give him an hour with the device. He promises to help her with the Nightingale in return.
Back in Frank’s world, he’s decided to tell Amanda about her impending murder. He wants to save her, even if it means changing the future. So he goes to her apartment and tells her she’s been targeted. As he’s explaining this to her, he sees someone in the apartment. Amanda flees for safety while Frank takes a beating from the Nightingale — the serial killer lets him off easy, though. He just leafs through Frank’s wallet and throws it back at him.
NEXT: Could you cut off the trunk?