We'll tackle some of those references today, and really dig into their purpose and function in the coming weeks.
From Paris With Love
The memory of the night Oliver installed Shane's porch swing in From Paris With Love came flooding back as he fixed the squeak in Higher Ground, fulfilling his promise to "handle things" while she was gone.
If you remember Shane's encounter with Holly, you might remember that her first clue she wasn't alone in the DLO was spotting Holly's purse hanging next to Oliver's hat, which hasn't been seen since the Pilot. In Higher Ground, we get a similar sequence, only this time it's Oliver who has an unexpected visitor, symbolized by Shane's coat hanging next to his hat. On a deeper level it acknowledges the transitive growth that has occurred between the Pilot through From Paris With Love, and between From Paris With Love and Higher Ground.
Truth Be Told
Mr. Fix It
Aside from being a man of music, Gabe made a living as a handyman. In Truth Be Told, Oliver puts his carpentry skills to the test to remedy Shane's off-balance porch swing.
The Impossible Dream
The Ex Factor
We were first formally introduced to Steve in Impossible Dream, and although we thought we were done with him, he reappeared in Higher Ground as a bit of an antagonist. That's a shame, I really liked him...I'd also like to point out that getting Shane back was also Steve's "impossible dream."
Coming Up Roses
Tending to Shane's rose bush in Higher Ground was made possible with the cutting Oliver took when they went back east in Impossible Dream, which Shane eventually planted. This simple act introduced us to the concept of "gardening" which we see playing out in various---and not always obvious---ways in the latest film.
From The Heart
When they finally made it to Montaldo's, the first topic of conversation was Oliver's homemade Valentine. When he tried to comment that the heart was "a little" off, Shane corrected him, "It's perfect," she said. In Higher Ground, when Oliver produces his grandfather's pen, she says, "It's perfect."
Carry You With Me
In From The Heart, Norman and Rita are separated during their first Valentine's Day. The last thing they do together is discover the Rutledge letter, which Norman carries with him throughout the film til Rita returns. Similarly, Shane and Oliver carry the pen and napkin from their first date while separated, a fact that only fully comes to light when Oliver produces the napkin from his inner suit jacket pocket.
One In A Million
It was supposed to be their second chance at a first date, but an evening of deep conversation caused them to miss their reservation at Montaldo's, an outing established for the second time in One In A Million. The joke, of course, is that they'll make it there, "Someday...eventually."
Lost Without You
List of Buckets
Papa O'Toole wasted no time fulfilling his plans for retirement, first articulated in Lost Without You. One of his goals was to plant a vegetable garden, which we see him actively tending to in Higher Ground.
The concept of the Kambucha smoothie, and Oliver's inability to correctly pronounce the foreign ingredient originated in Lost Without You. In that film it took on multiple meanings for Shane, and eventually Oliver, who declared his readiness to try the recipe which Shane accidentally loses in Higher Ground.
But while I work on that, why don't you share with me any additional connections you've been catching on to as you've re-watched (for the 100th+ time...). And don't forget to check out Part I and Part II when you have a second!
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