But it's especially sweet for those of us who have been here from the beginning, with callbacks reaching back all the way to the Pilot, and the legacy of the series sprinkled throughout. Of course, I went back and tried to dig out as many as were easily digestible. Here's the first in a three-part series mining some of those gems out.
All Oliver needed was to see a blonde at a coffee cart in Higher Ground to be reminded of the day he and Shane met at the Denver Bean Coffee Cart, an iconic moment from the Pilot.
Time To Start Livin'
To Whom It May Concern
While the phrase itself is fraught with meaning, we didn't think much of it when Oliver first tasked Norman with creating Shane's "dedicated, but floating, work space" in To Whom It May Concern. Of course it's this same work space that Oliver removes from his line of sight at his lowest point in Higher Ground.
It was Soulmates that introduced us to Renita Hayweather, Frontier Duchess. Little did we know Rita's epic semi-autobiographical novel would sneak its way into Higher Ground in the most entertaining of ways, when Papa O'Toole recounts the demise of his relationship with Kate, who "took up with the fertilizer salesman and moved to Durango." On page 213 of Frontier Duchess, "the Duchess takes a lover in Durango." Coincidence? I think not.
Gloom of Night?
In this same episode Oliver attempts to quote the USPS motto, but is swiftly corrected by then current supervisor, Cora Brandt, who suggests the Greek should be translated "gloom of night" as opposed to "dark of night." In Higher Ground, the cross-stitch featured on Eleanor's desk says "gloom of night."
The Masterpiece is the episode that introduced us to Ramon, who plays a critical role in Higher Ground. But remember that we only came to know Ramon because he won the dance studio Shane and Oliver were taking lessons at through a game of poker, a game also prominently featured in this latest film.
What We Lost In The Fire
A more tragic element of The Masterpiece was the loss of Daniel Barrett in a loft fire before he was able to reconcile with his father, leaving his wife and little girl, Danielle, behind. In Higher Ground, Gabe reveals to Hattie that he was married with a little girl and lost them both in a grease fire in their apartment.
The Edge Of Forever
ShOliver is no stranger to dropping intelligence bombshells on each other, and there was no better example of that than when Shane used her iPad to look up Holly, revealing Holly's signed three year lease in Paris cementing, her lack of intention to return in The Edge of Forever.
Oliver pulled a similar move in Higher Ground when he suggests that the "incident that occurred three months ago was, in fact, resolved three weeks ago" and that Steve might be withholding that information from Shane.
P.S. Don't forget to keep nominating your favorite characters and moments for A&D's 2nd Annual Mailbox Madness!