If you're like me, you're still processing the incredible gravity and depth of Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Lost Without You.
There's no single line or well-crafted sentence that can contain everything this film demands we pay attention to and examine in our own lives, questions brilliantly and subtly posed to us through the lives of our beloved POstables.
Things start off innocent enough: Topper, a veteran working at his brother's bike shop, sends an important package care of his young nephew, who ends up dropping the eventually mangled parcel into a prop mailbox where the O'Toole men just finished shooting a USPS commercial.
Still reeling from news that their beloved colleague, Eleanor from Passports, has passed, the POstables come into possession of Topper's letter, which has a life and death urgency as well.
From there unfolds a series of events that cause the POstables to once again learn profound lessons about life and death, faith and doubt, all while delivering a dead letter. Underlying the journey is the truth that love has the power to not only deliver letters, but deliver people, too. And it can happen anywhere---at a bike shop in Denver, in Las Vegas, New Mexico, in the dead of night in the woods, or even a hospital chapel.
For Topper, his love for Sandy provided the strength he needed to finally overcome his inability to travel beyond the confines of the bike shop---a metaphor for the power of love to enable even the most wounded of us to move forward and start over.
Norman's quest to be more bold, spurred on by a job offer in D.C., reveals how love can not only make us more sensitive too, but also empowered for, the work of reaching our full potential right where we are---though let's hope for all our sake it can happen with a little less exposure to hot sauce! Rita, who has walked a similar path, really comes alongside Norman to support him in the process of becoming his best self.
Of course some of Norman's internal questioning is not without connection to Eleanor, whose passing really motivated Shane to begin taking a more critical look at her own regrets and preventing others from making the same mistakes. In fact, it's her insistence that Oliver forget the bet with his father and re-connect with him---a chance she never had with her own father---that sends Oliver into the woods. Not coincidentally, the ordeal that results serves to accelerate her heart's transition towards belief in a higher power.
Already a man of faith, even Oliver is tested and questioning when what was meant to be a healing hike with his father becomes a matter of life or death in and of itself. Lost in the woods as his father's seemingly minor injury becomes much more, Oliver's evaluation of his life yields truly healing revelations for his relationships and reconciliation with his past. The result is a clean slate in so many areas of his life, the most immediately exciting of which is in his relationship with Shane.
To Martha, Crystal, Eric, Geoff and Kristin--pretty sure I'm still crying. Thank you for "making us think about things people don't like to think about." You certainly didn't make it "scary," but you sure did "make it matter." And the ways you managed to reveal more and deeper aspects of each Oliver, Shane, Rita and Norman this time around were "sheerly awesome" and incredibly profound. I can't wait to see what's ahead for them. Martha, thank you for finding yet another way to ground viewers in the most challenging, but necessary, of ways.
To Emillie Ullerup, Gregory Harrison and Jesse Moss, thank you for the truth and sincerity your brought, and continue to bring, to your characters. This story could not have come together this powerfully without the heart you put into your scenes.