February 14, 1835
February 12, 2016
February 13, 2016
Oliver arrives to work, entrusting his recently crafted valentine to Hazel and her discretion, with instructions to deliver it to Shane that day. Hazel agrees as Shane arrives with a letter for Oliver care of special investigations. Clearly rattled, Oliver disappears with the letter. We rejoin both him and the letter at a breakfast place where he uncovers the story of two high school students on opposing debate teams, Ryan and Maddie, from fifteen years prior. The writer, Ryan makes a dramatic admission that cuts Oliver's breakfast short.
Shane struggles with the approaching holiday, and scoffs at Rita's suggestion that Oliver might ask her to dinner. Later, Oliver enlists her help locating Ryan and Maddie. While they wait for a lead, they continue reading the letter and discover that Ryan killed a homeless man in a drunk driving incident. When Shane attempts to cross-reference the fatality and when the letter was written, Oliver reveals his personal connection to the letter and the incident that caused it to be lost for fifteen years.
Sans Yoo Hoo, Oliver finds himself unable to recount the story that caused him to witness the mailbox blow up. Luckily Shane has him covered, and as they walk to the Mailbox Grille, Oliver shares how he came to work at the DLO and the guilt he still carries regarding the destroyed mailbox.
At the Mailbox Grille, Shane and Oliver happen upon a dejected and lonely Norman. In an attempt to cheer him up they try to set him up with plans to get his mind off Rita's absence while trying to suss out the others' Valentine's Day plans with awkward consequences.
Oliver and Norman take a walk, and Norman reveals his suspicions that the letter he and Rita stumbled upon could have been written by Ann Rutledge. Norman also asks Oliver if he ever intends to "get on a raft" with anyone again, to which he responds, "I hope so."
February 14, 2016
When she doesn't respond to his invitation, Oliver seeks out Hazel, who indicates it was delivered but fails to explain how she handed the letters off to Rita, who put them in the box. Meanwhile, Norman tries to run interference, but only ends up making things worse when he reports back to Oliver. The tension in their relationship increases, but they press on in their letter mystery.
Continuing on in the letter they come to find out that the Spring Debate Finals were held at the Brown Palace Hotel. While Shane attempts to confirm she receives word of Rita's first press conference, and she, Norman and Oliver watch. When she denies she has a boyfriend in an attempt to shield their relationship from public scrutiny, Norman takes it as rejection.
At the hotel, the trio are forced to continue on in the letter when the records they need are unavailable, but as Norman wanders around the lobby he happens upon a trophy with Madison (Maddie) Alstrup's name on it. At the same time, Shane has tracked down the letter writer, Ryan Hallet, who also happens to be Colorado's current Governor.
Having reached the end of the work day, the three parts ways for their Valentine's evening activities.
Shane decides to take a late night jog, the path of which takes her past Oliver's home, where she watches him alone, lighting candles and drinking a glass of wine. Hurt, Shane jogs back the way she came without Oliver ever seeing her.
February 15, 2016
Shane and Oliver awkwardly attempt to suss out how the other spent their Valentine's evening, only serving to add to the tension between them, as neither admits to an invitation or sidewalk surveillance in order that the misunderstanding might be resolved. Instead, Shane reveals the findings of her overnight research, revealing more information about Ryan Hallet's legal record and Madison Alstrup's lack of a forwarding address. Distressed and out of options for the moment, Oliver retreats to find Norman.
Still reeling, Norman attempts to talk things through with Oliver in the men's convenience, but Oliver is slightly unprepared for the conversation.
Shane decides to track down Maddie's debate partner, who provides the necessary information for them to track Maddie down at a local hospital where she's being treated for her congenital heart defect. When Shane, Rita and Norman attempt to deliver to the letter, they are denied by the floor nurse.
Deciding to take an alternate strategy, Shane and Oliver meet with Ryan Hallet in person, who agrees to try and deliver the letter himself, surprised it never arrived.
Upon returning to the hospital, Oliver tries to confront a very vexed Shane about why she never responded to his dinner invitation while more or less accusing her of using her mother to cover up not wanting to share a meal with him. While they don't get to the heart of the matter, they at least confront each other about misrepresenting how their evenings were spent. Their discussion is interrupted by the arrival of Gov. Hallet at the hospital.
Permitted to deliver his letter to Maddie, the nurse informs him of just how ill Maddie really is. Unsure how to handle the information, Norman delivers words of encouragement that are just enough to prepare Ryan to meet Maddie after fifteen years. Reunited, he reads the letter to Maddie and explains how things turned out with the homeless man and the impact it has had on him ever since.
Leaving Ryan and Maddie alone, Shane and Norman head back to the DLO and Oliver heads to choir practice.
Back at the post office the revelation regarding Oliver's Valentine comes to light, forcing Norman to dumpster dive to retrieve the box Shane discarded earlier in the day. Inside she finds Oliver's handmade Valentine and invitation. Desperate to find him she catches him after choir practice. A little disconcerted by him emerging practice with a red-headed female---our introduction to Dale---Shane pressed on, recalls what must have caused the letter to be delayed and asks if it's "too late for dinner?"
And that, POstables, is your proper From The Heart timeline!