April 2021 – I’m back to talk some more about the POstables movies, Signed, Sealed, Delivered. Last year (2020), with all the issues going on all around the world, many things were put on hold. Although it was not the only issue, the news about a rapidly spreading, very contagious and deadly virus, became public, the virus had already spread across many countries, including here in the United States.
Many of us, if not all, didn’t know how the whole pandemic situation was going to affect us. One good thing we can take from this, in my opinion, is how many of us have been able to stay friends, sharing our thoughts, our worries, or our situations, with each other. I appreciate all the good friends I have made across social media. People that I don’t personally know, but that had shown me their good hearts.
Some of us, Hallmark movie fans, continue enjoying our little 2-hour romance escapes. (I say 2-hour, but in reality is about 90 minutes.) Hallmark has continued presenting the movies that were filmed before the travel restrictions got into effect. Then, some production teams have been approved for travel and filming, with strict quarantine restrictions, as most of the Hallmark movies are filmed in Canada. They still managed to get a few movies filmed in beautiful locations in the United States and in other countries.
As for the POstables fans, I know this group keeps growing. We have found a big community to share our love for the movies, the characters, their stories and our personal experiences. We are patiently waiting for the announcement that the next installment will start filming soon, because we know at least one more script is ready and the movie should be coming soon (of course, we hope for many more).
As always, I like to remind all readers that, even though I love the movies, I’m only a fan of the Hallmark network. I have no rights or access to any production or merchandise. None. But if you’re interested, you may visit their website Hallmark Channel. I check the Hallmark Channel page every day. I do. I like to check the schedule and what new movies are coming soon. All images/posters used for this post are from Hallmark Channel/Crown Media Holdings. Also check the sisters’ cable television stations websites: Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, since they like to show the Signed, Sealed, Delivered movies often, Hallmark Drama, and the streaming service Hallmark Movies Now HMNow.com, where the movies are also available to watch any time.
In 2019, there was an announcement that a new movie was going to start production and filming, but the pandemic caused by COVID-19 put a halt to it. Hopefully, we’ll get news of the movie filming soon. We are now in 2021, as I write this, and the movie production is still delayed. We recently received a surprise, when actor Eric Mabius shared on Twitter that there might be an announcement soon. We are anxiously waiting.
Now, every time I start writing about a movie, I ask myself how am I supposed to summarize it? There is so much I want to tell and share with all the readers and fans. Be warned, as much as I try, there are a few spoilers to the story. Actually, there are a lot of spoilers and events from the movie on this post. It’s the only way I’ve been able to tell you about this one. If you’re reading this, and if you’ve read my previous posts, know that I love citing the script, so yes, keeping this spoiler-free is very difficult.
The Impossible Dream premiered on October 4, 2015, on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel. A wonderful script acted and filmed superbly, keeping many of us enthralled with the story, almost crying over many moments (I say almost crying, I truly I confess I do cry over many scenes).
This movie has many flash back scenes as part of the story, and of course, we see the POstables travel to Washington, District of Columbia D.C.), to go with Rita to the National Miss Special Delivery pageant. Tammy Gillis once again joins the cast as Lieutenant (Lt.) Randilynn Amidon. Megan Charpentier is back as her daughter Phoebe, and William B. Davis as Harper, Randilynn’s dad and Phoebe’s grandfather. Zak Santiago, our handsome and gallant Ramón Rodríguez, is back as a reporter who follows Rita’s pageant adventure.
The movie starts with a scene of a young woman in pain of labor brought in to have Lt. Randilynn Amidon help her. Randilynn is still in captivity, but she helps the young woman deliver her baby, and engages in conversation with the woman’s dad, Asad (Michael Benyaer). It looks like Randilynn wrote a letter and gave it to Asad to mail it for her. It’s possible that he offered to help her in some way, reciprocating for helping his daughter deliver her baby. This letter, as many other that we’ve seen in the series, will save a life.
Our POstables team is in Washington, D.C., headed into a closed session in Congress. Wait, this is not where the pageant takes place. Turns out to be an emergency session before a Senate Committee. Oh, I remember those. I used to work as an Executive Secretary for a Senate committee, but I never had to set up a closed emergency session. I also worked as Secretary for the Rules and Calendar committee, and I did have to run the hallways of the Capitol building in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I literally ran. I’m glad I could wear flat dressing shoes.
Back to the session, the lady chairman (Karin Konoval) notices that they are a task force from the DLO, and she asks “is it CIA, FBI, or NSA”. Oliver responds “USPS, we work at the Post Office”. She thinks he must not be joking, because she says “I would like to know what bearing four postal employees from Denver have on a status of a missing American soldier in Afghanistan?” A bit harsh, if you ask me, this lady doesn’t know that this group of postal employees are able to decipher and solve any mystery by putting their thoughts and talents together.
The POstables have come to plea that a rescue team be sent to find Lieutenant Amidon. They’ve come to the conclusion that she didn’t abandon her duties, that she is alive and in need of help. As Oliver starts explaining their reasons for requesting the emergency session, we are taken back to Denver, were they are getting ready to leave for Washington D.C.. Ramón is interviewing Rita about her participation in the pageant, where she represents Colorado state. He tells Norman that Rita will win and will go on a tour around the world. “Imagine all the places she’ll go, all the people she’ll meet”. The thought of Rita traveling, without him, makes Norman worry.
Oliver is seen talking with his lawyer (Jill Teed). In Truth Be Told, he found out his biological father left him a very large sum of money. The lady lawyer suggests he should start thinking about retirement. “And leave the post office?” No, we don’t see Oliver retiring any time soon. Especially when he is working besides this lady that has stolen his heart.
Then they’re at the office, where Oliver shows Shane that he made colored itineraries for each of them, for their time in D.C.. He mentions he has scheduled a tour of the Postal Museum. Shane asks him if he thinks he’s ready to go back there, and he responds “yes, I’d like to get it over with.” (Remember, he was left there by his ex-wife Holly.) She mentions she’d like to add a “tiny” detour to their itineraries. She’d like to drive by the house where she grew up, for old time’s sake. I do this; I like to drive by the house we once owned and lived in, and of course, I go visit my dad who still lives in our childhood house.
So, they go looking for Shane’s house, but all they find is an empty lot. No house, no garden, no swing set. Nothing but a for sale sign, and a solitary yellow rose bush. Shane is devastated by this sight “It’s like we were never here”. She tells Oliver about all the memories she has of this place. They, Oliver and Shane, walk close to the rose bush and she tells him how that bush always bloomed the last flower of summer. When all the other blooms had died, her mom would pick up the last rose flower and put it in a vase. When Shane went to college, every fall her mom would send her that last rose of summer wrapped in wet paper towels, as a reminder to “pay attention to the simple little things right in front of you, or they could be gone before you know it”.
The chairman interrupts Oliver to say that nothing in their story has shed any light on the letter she holds (Randilynn’s letter!) addressed to the Secretary of Defense of the United States of America. Oliver says that stopping at the grounds of Shane’s old house put them at the hotel at the same time as Phoebe and her grandfather Harper. He turned the microphone over to Shane, so it’s her turn to narrate what happened next.
Shane explains that Phoebe and Harper came to try and find information on Randilynn, but their meeting was cancelled. This makes Shane do something she didn’t think she’d have to do while visiting D.C.. She called Steve Marek, her ex-boyfriend, to ask him if he could help them get information on the investigation of the whereabouts of Randilynn. Steve works with… wait, I’ll tell you later. Let me first tell you that Oliver asked Shane to go out for dinner, “just us”. Of course she said yes!
Rita goes to register for the pageant and meets another contestant, Mindy, Miss Wyoming, (Christina Blanco), who she immediately strikes a good friendship with. Rita offers to help her when Mindy notices a conflict on her schedule. Rita says, “Miss Wyoming, Miss Colorado, we’re practically neighbors, right?” They become best friends.
Steve (Mark Valley) came in to the patio of the hotel, and surprised Shane. We finally meet Steve. She was not expecting for him to get there so fast. He gave her a hug and a lift. Well, Oliver and Norman were sitting close by and saw what happened. So Shane introduces them. What do you know? Steve knows about them, he has heard of the great work they do in the Denver Dead Letter Office.
When Oliver and Norman leave, Steve says “that’s Oliver O’Toole”, “does he know?” Shane responds “no, but after tonight, we may have to tell him”. We all want to know too. They (Shane and Steve) go have dinner together. Steve asks her why did she leave D.C. and she says she left to get away from him. She’s back in Washington on vacation, and she wasn’t going to call him, but she did. He says he’ll see what he can do. And Steve, being Steve, reaches over and grabs Shane’s hand.
Oliver walks in and catches a glimpse of Steve’s move. Steve leaves, mentioning he’ll see Shane next day. Oliver says he’ll adjust his itinerary if she’s not joining them, but Shane quickly responds she’ll be joining them, she just made plans for the afternoon. She tells him that she couldn’t bear to see the disappointment in Phoebe’s face when they couldn’t get any information on Randilynn. She didn’t plan on contacting Steve, but she thought he could help. What Oliver (and us) didn’t know is that he’s not exactly an employee of the post office.
Back to the session, the chairman addresses Steve, who is sitting in the back. She asks if he is Agent Marek, and if all the testimony they’ve heard so far has been accurate. He answers yes. Shane continues her story. She reveals what Steve’s real job is. Oliver is surprised! (So am I!) “The clandestine services? You dated a spy?” Because Steve is a secret agent, an intelligence analyst, officer or agent. Yes, he is a spy, and he has agreed to meet with Harper and Phoebe.
Next day, they go to the Postal Museum with Harper and Phoebe. While Oliver reminisces, Harper approaches him and notices he is deep in thought. Oliver tells him that this is the spot where his ex-wife left him, she stood him up and left for Paris. Harper says that must’ve been a very painful memory. Oliver says he’s here for closure. Then Harper mentions how Randilynn is just like that, revisiting events to get closure. He tells how she fell off her poster bed when she was little, and was crying so much she couldn’t tell what happened, so she climbed and fell of the bed again, just to show him what happened.
Meanwhile, Phoebe reveals to Norman that her mom used to sing America The Beautiful or The Star Spangled Banner as lullabies to her every night. This is important information that will come in handy later on. Shane is telling Phoebe about the meeting she arranged, but is interrupted when Oliver approaches them. Harper is not feeling well, so Norman goes with him back to the hotel.
It’s Rita’s turn to testify. The chairman asks her if she attended the meeting with Steve. She went with Shane and Oliver to meet Steve in his office. He reveals that, about six months ago, he personally believes Randilynn is still alive and in captivity. He also reveals that there was a recent letter received, about two weeks ago. While they talk, a scene from Randilynn’s location is played. She was captured when she fell of an Army helicopter. She was probably recognized as the lady seeing in the village, so her captors now knew she was an American soldier.
One of the senators at the session asks if they found the meaning of the letter. Well, Rita mentions that Steve told them about the letter. He said the content of the letter doesn’t make any sense. Well, Rita takes a look at the letter. Steve takes it away and tells her he cannot let her take a look at it (Rita already did). Oliver reminds Steve that they should get to inspect it, as the letter is still under jurisdiction of the post office and it needs to be delivered to the recipient. Steve says there’s still much to investigate about the letter, he believes it might be a coded message.
Rita says she has to go back to rehearsals for the pageant. As they leave the office, Shane tells Steve that Rita has a photographic memory, so because she saw the letter, she has the content memorized. Steve says if they come up with any information, to let him know.
Our POstables team meet outside the hotel and are trying to decipher the content of the letter, as Rita does remember it. There are only six lines: 1 The day will end fast; 2 the birthday of Liberty; 3 return to the four poster; 4 song 5916; 5 Proverbial 1810; and 6 a half word “-grim feet”. This last clue is incomplete, because Steve’s thumb was covering the word that ended in “grim”. Oliver thinks it’s some sort of clue from Randilynn. The only line they’re able to kind of guess is the birthday of Liberty, thinking it might be the 4th of July, but that day has recently passed.
Rita goes to her rehearsal, inviting Norman to go with her. While she rehearses for a dance number with the other contestants, Rita hears one of them say she’s so tired, she feels her “dogs are barking”. At that moment, Rita remembers Liberty, Phoebe’s dog, and she runs out of the rehearsal with Norman following her. They think that the letter actually refers to Liberty’s birthday.
The lady chairman asks Rita if the committee is having this emergency session because of the birth date of someone’s pet. Oliver responds that the birth date of Phoebe Amidon’s pet is of upmost importance, it turned out to be the key to saving Randilynn’s life.
The POstables visit the Lincoln’s room (of former President Abraham Lincoln), and Shane mentions the lines of the letter. When she mentions the four poster, Oliver remembers the story Harper told him about Randilynn falling off her bed. Oliver calls Harper and asks if the bed he told him about was a four poster bed. They go visit Harper and Phoebe at their hotel room.
Oliver asks him if Randilynn remembers her fall from the bed, and he says it’s a family joke, and Norman asks him about Liberty’s birthday being July 21st. Shane asks about the words grim feet, but he has no idea what that means. Then Norman asks Harper what does he thinks the line about “the day will end fast” means. Harper asks “fast as in a hurry or fast as in not eating”.
When Rita mentions the clues about “proverbial song”, Oliver realizes they need a bible. He thinks Randilynn was citing passages of the bible, of the books of Psalms, and the book of Proverbs. He asks Harper if Randilynn was a woman of faith, to what he responds that she was running a bible study at the base. She knows her bible, chapter and verse. Rita reads the passage from Proverbs 18:10 “The name of the Lord is a high tower. The just runs to it and are safe”.
At the session, Steve joins the POstables. He says they contacted him about the contents of the letter being some sort of escape plan, and he thought it was enough information to bring to the attention of the committee. He thought it was important, considering the deadline they have to send help to Randilynn.
It’s Norman’s opportunity to present their case, and he brings to attention that the clue about Liberty’s birthday is referring to the family dog’s birthday, which is on July 21- next day. He also brings to attention that the first clue, the line “the day will end fast” refers to the end of the month of Ramadan, observed around the world with prayer, acts of charity and fasting. The month ended with the festival of fast breaking, 4 days ago, time when they believe Randilynn chose to escape her captors.
Steve mentions that if she has actually escaped, she most likely had help from a local, someone willing to risk their life, with great respect of traditions of hospitality and charity, but this is a hard to imagine situation, Steve adds, because the punishment for helping an American is death.
One of the senators asks “assuming she did escape four days ago where would she be going?” Norman brings to attention the third clue reference, return to the four poster. Oliver adds that there’s a family joke from when Randilynn was a child and she fell off her four poster bed, and went back on the bed to reenact the fall. She is going to back to the village of “Durak”, where she fell of the helicopter and was captured. Durak also has a distinctive high tower, which she makes reference to in clues 4 and 5, the clues from the bible passages.
The senator once more intercedes “wherever she is, we know she was not trained in navigation or advanced survival, how could she possibly make her way back to “Durak”?
Shane responds “Lieutenant Amidon is the daughter of an Air Force captain, her husband was killed in action in combat, she is an American soldier, but she is also an American mother, and nothing is going to keep a woman like that from doing whatever it takes to find her way back to her little girl”.
The scene is shown where Asad helps Randilynn escape, and instructs her to wait for him, but if he can’t come back for her to keep going, keeping the mountains to her right, and, at night, to follow the brightest star, keeping it over the peak in the distance. “It is dangerous” he says “but God is good”. He gives her back the rock she had given to his daughter and tells her to “hold on tight”. She keep on going, alone, tired, and hurt. We truly can appreciate Tammy Gillis’ spectacular acting performance during this scenes.
Oliver continues “the letter written by Lt. Amidon is in fact a road map for the rescue mission that began four days ago and we hope will end tomorrow with the “rendevouz” (encounter) with the American troops in the very same place where she was first captured, the high tower in the village of Durak as indicated by the clues she gave us”.
The lady chairman is still skeptic and mentions that they only have resolved five of the six clues in the letter. Well, Oliver asks for the opportunity to inspect the actual letter. The last clue was partially covered, so they want to decode that last clue. The answer was a firm no, that letter is confidential and part of an investigation. The lady chairman told them that Rita might even be sent to prison for revealing the contents, and Steve might be in trouble for telling them about its existence.
Norman intercedes mentioning there isn’t time to keep investigating. “She took a big chance in writing that letter. And here we are, maybe the only people who can solve that message in time to save her”. The lady chairman responds by asking “why would a soldier hoping for rescue purposely write something obscure and run the chance that it wouldn’t be decoded?” And Norman, wisely, responds “to protect anyone coming to help her”.
The senator agrees with Norman. He says that he’s spent time in the military, and can attest that Lt. Amidon would know that it someone intercepted a more specific letter, they’d ambush the entire rescue platoon. “That’s what happened when she was captured. She wouldn’t allow it to happen again”.
The session takes a break, and while Steve and Oliver “make their peace”, Norman reveals what Phoebe had told him, that Randilynn sang to her, as a lullaby every night, all of the verses of America the Beautiful and The Star Spangled Banner. This gives Oliver an idea of what the last clue means. They go back in and the committee is denying their request to send rescue troops. If they can’t decipher that last clue, they say, “they are unwilling to see American troops put in harms way at this time for a rescue based on a loose interpretation of so called clues in a letter”.
Since they’ve been denied access to inspect the letter, Oliver asks Steve to please confirm if the last clue is “pilgrim feet”. Despite being warned not to respond, Steve does confirm that, yes, pilgrim feet is the last line. Oliver confirms that in fact it refers to a verse of America the Beautiful song, a song Randilynn sang every night to her daughter: “Oh beautiful for pilgrim feet, whose stern impassioned stress, a thoroughfare for freedom beat across the wilderness”.
Oliver goes on “Randilynn Amidon is somewhere in Afghanistan tonight, beating a thoroughfare across the wilderness, in search of that tower, in search of everything we stand for, in search of the freedom that she was willing to die for, and somewhere near that same wilderness is a band of her brothers with the courage to die for her, for us, to bring Randilynn home… if you would just have the courage to send them”. Oliver has a way with words, courtesy of the wonderful script written by Martha Williamson and Eric Mabius’ excellent performance. Just magnificent.
After the session is over, they have to wait to see if there’s a change in the decision to send a rescue team. Steve comes to see Shane, and asks her about Oliver. He says he was hoping she would give him another chance. She tells him that “there’s nothing actually official between-” and Steve interrupts her, daring to steal a kiss from her.
She finishes saying “between Oliver and me, but unofficially we are really good friends, and a solid friendship is a really good way start to anything”. Oliver walks out of the hotel and sees them (no, he didn’t get to see that kiss). She goes on saying that he, Steve, was always unavailable. He responds that he is back, “I live here now”. Shane tells him that it’s not about where he lives. “A home is more than just an address. It’s roses and you stick around to watch them grow. It’s a porch swing, and taking the time to swing on it. Steve responds “I can get you a porch swing”, to which Shane replies, while watching Oliver approach them, “I already got one”.
When Oliver joins them, Steve announces that the President has approved a plan for a special operations mission with the objective of recovering a Lieutenant Randilynn Amidon. As Oliver and Shane go in to attend the pageant, they are aware that the rescue mission is happening at that exact moment.
Let’s get back to Rita, who is trying to keep Mindy calm, as Mindy is a ball of nerves. They are getting ready to go on stage for their turn to do their special talent. Rita plans on reading a chapter of her unpublished novel Renita Heyweather, Frontier Duchess. Norman finally tells Rita that he has a gift for her (that yellow envelope he’s been carrying around since they left Denver). He tells her that, as a surprise, he sent a chapter of her novel to be published in the Postal Living Quarterly magazine. They published it and send her a check for it. She realizes that this disqualifies her talent, as she is now a published and paid author. Oh Norman, what have you done? (We know, he did it because of the love he has for Rita).
Mindy is set to start singing, but she is so nervous, she is barely making any sound. Rita goes on stage to help Mindy relax, and she tells the audience what happened with her talent. While talking, she realizes that Norman did what he did because he is in love with her. Such a sweet moment!
Rita decides to join Mindy, asking for a guitar and playing along to Mindy’s wonderful and emotional rendition of “The Impossible Dream”. While she sings, scenes are shown of Randilynn’s journey. The lyrics of the song play wonderfully to the scenes of the rescue.
This song was written for the 1965 Broadway show of Man of La Mancha. The song is a response of Don Quijote to Dulcinea’s question of what is his “quest”. I remember the book and the song from high school. The inspiring story of this guy who wants to conquer this lady and wants to conquer the bad in the world. Here is part of the lyrics:
To dream the impossible dream, to fight the unbeatable foe, to bear the unbearable sorrow, to run where the brave dare not go… This is my quest, to follow that star, no matter how hopeless, no matter how far. To fight for the right without question or pause, to be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause. And I know if I’ll only be true to this glorious quest, that my heart will be peaceful and calm when I’m laid to my rest.Song composed by Mitch Leigh, with lyrics written by Joe Darion for the 1965 Broadway Musical Man of La Mancha.
Mindy wins the crown and the title of Miss National Special Delivery, and Rita wins Miss Special Handling, the equivalent to Miss Congeniality. No surprise, Rita has such a warm and gracious personality, she gets along with everyone she meets.
Oliver and Shane have a private moment, just the two of them, on the stairs outside the Washington monument. They share “dinner” sandwiches. Shane tells Oliver that when he invited her to have dinner, she was hoping for a little more. Oliver replies “I owe you one”. Then Shane replies “you owe me nothing. You gave me something today that I’ll never forget: a little hope for this world again”. Oliver reveals that Harper told him Phoebe cries herself to sleep almost every night. “We were called to be a part of a lot of little miracles that had to happen to get this far. Now we just need one more.” He then recites the Psalm passage “In the morning, I will sing of your mercy. You are my fortress, my refuge”.
The rescue is a successful mission, Randilynn is found and rescued. The song America The Beautiful is played while the rescue is taking place, making it more emotional to watch. Randilynn is safe inside the helicopter, with tears running down her face.Tears run down my face too.
The next morning, Steve meets with the Postables and Randilynn’s family at a private military airport for a surprise. They all watch Phoebe run to hug her mom, as she gets off the plane. They all hugged and cried (I did too!) as they see Randilynn safe.
Before they go back to Denver, Oliver surprises them with one stop back to where Shane’s house was. He bought the lot with plans of building a retirement home for postal workers. He refers to it as the first acquisition by the newly formed “O’Toole Foundation”. The sign reads “Future site of the McInnerney Home for the Retired Postal Workers”.
Then, Oliver shows Shane he took a cutting of the yellow rose bush for her to plant it back in Denver. Next year, she’ll have the first rose of summer. Meanwhile, Norman and Rita are talking about how they will all live here, and all that they can build and add to the place. Shane happily says “What a family!”, and Oliver replies “the few, the proud, the postal”.
This movie is one of my top favorites because my dad and many of my uncles were in the military. I think of all the sacrifices that soldiers make, being away from their families, and their country, sometimes for long periods of time. It also shows how strong Randilynn was, not only physically, but mentally, and emotionally, and how her faith and her love for her child kept her moving on, not knowing if her rescue plan would work. I know this is a movie, and I do expect a happy ending. But in real life, we never know how many of those soldiers don’t get to come home to their loved ones.
While we wait for the next movie to start filming, and while I write about the next one, read my blogger friend Ruth Hill’s post, written when the movie premiered in 2015 My Devotional Thoughts The Impossible Dream Movie Review. Also read Alameda & Downing Blog Alameda And Downing Inside The DLO Review The Impossible Dream.
There is still so much more to tell you about this amazing series. As we wait for the next premiere, I’ll be writing some more. I will tell you more about the movies that followed this one. I love writing, and I love Hallmark movies. It’s time for my tacita de café. Salud!
Para versión en español, vea https://fullofcoffeeblog.com/hablemos-hallmark-el-sueno-imposible-el-misterio-de-las-cartas-perdidas/