TV Series-Season 1
Episode 108: “Dark of Night”
Written by: Martha Williamson
Directed by: Scott Smith
|Valerie Bertinelli||Rebecca Starkwell|
|Julia Torrance||Young Abby|
While at lunch with visiting supervisor Rebecca Starkwell, Shane gets a double helping of embarrassment. Rebecca reveals that during their last lunch, Oliver overheard everything the two friends said, including Shane’s personal feelings about Oliver. Mortified, Shane is hardly prepared for Oliver’s sudden arrival at the café. Looking for insights on a strange package, Oliver tracked Shane down to her lunch date. The package contains a copy of “The Bible” and was sent directly to the DLO. Inside the Bible is an un-mailed letter which had been used as a bookmark for the last 10 years. The letter reads:
I can explain everything. It’s not what you think. I don’t blame you for walking out, but I can’t let them operate on me unless I know if I die, at least you have the truth.
It’s true Michael, you’re not Abby’s father. Do you remember the night before we got married? It started as just one last girls’ night out. I don’t remember everything, Michael, but I know he said he was going to kill me. Except, he didn’t. But that night, I wanted to die just the same. I decided that I was never going to tell a soul what happened. So, I made it through the wedding with lots of make-up and champagne. A few days later, I saw his face in the Denver City Press. He’d used a gun to assault a kindergarten teacher three days before me. They caught him for that and he went to prison for life. But even though he’s been in jail all this time, I can’t stop thinking about him… There’s always Abby to remind me.
I thought a thousand times about not going through with it. But I couldn’t. Because in the end, it didn’t matter who her father was. All that mattered was who her father was going to be. It’s true, Michael; you are not Abby’s father. But you are and you will always be her daddy. Please forgive me. And if you can’t, I understand. But I have always loved you and I’ve been blessed to be your wife.
As it turns out, the author is the now deceased wife of the Denver District Attorney, Michael Wheeler. Ten years ago Michael’s wife Melissa and their daughter Abby were in a horrific rafting accident. When doctors told Michael that his daughter would lose a kidney he immediately offered to donate his. The subsequent blood tests revealed that he was not Abby’s father. He confronted Melissa, who was also being treated in the ER, but before she could explain, Michael stormed off. Melissa would die from her injuries and fearing that she would never have an opportunity to explain, wrote the letter to her husband.
When the letter arrives, a decade later, Michael is working on a speech with his campaign manager, his daughter Abby. Upon picking up the letter he immediately recognizes the handwriting as belonging to his wife. He immediately takes an early lunch and heads to her gravesite to read the letter. What Michael doesn’t know is that Shane has taken a personal interest in the case. She follows Michael to the graveyard and watches as he breaks down reading the letter. Shane is still there when, in a fit or rage, Michael screams out “I will kill him!” Shane runs back to the DLO and tells the team that she thinks, having read the letter; Michael Wheeler is now out for revenge.
The news puts the entire team in a panic. Adding more tension to the situation, Shane hacks into the Denver City mainframe in order to confirm her suspicion. In real time, Shane tracks Michael’s internet activity. Shane watches remotely as Michael learns that his wife’s rapist, Carl Brackner, might get released on appeal. Fearing the worst, Oliver and Shane present their findings to Rebecca Starkwell, in the hopes she can direct them on an appropriate course of action. Rebecca outdoes herself, turning the DLO into a Special Task Force dubbed “The Postables!”
The Postables barley have time to let their promotion sink in before they run to the courthouse to intercept Michael Wheeler. Shane already discovered that Michael closed all of his bank accounts and put a power of attorney in his daughter’s name. At the security checkpoint, Michael manages to slip his briefcase past the guard without inspection. Michael, now tailed by the Postables, makes his way into the courtroom, while an unassuming Rita sits next to him. From the outset, it appears the legal maneuvering will see a rapist set free. Fortunately, the Postables have Rita’s photographic memory on their side. As the judge prepares to rule, Rita cites pertinent case law to the prosecutor giving him the legal ammunition he needs to ensure that Carl Brackner stays in jail. While the lawyers wrangle with the judge, Olvier makes an impassioned plea to Michael, begging him to give them a chance to help make things right. Michael relents, and as he does, Oliver presents him with vital information about his daughter’s health.
As a result of the accident 10 years ago, Michael’s daughter Abby has been undergoing treatment for damage sustained by her kidneys. Without a suitable donor, her options for treatment have been exhausted. The only remaining option is for Michael to confront his wife’s rapist and convince him to donate his kidney. At the prison, Michael confronts the man who ruined his and his wife’s life and is also the father of his daughter. Assuming that Michael is just another victim’s family member looking for closure, Carl tells him to just get on with his condemnation. When Michael tells him that he has a daughter, Carl initially balks at the accusation and request for his kidney. Michael implores him to do something good that matters. Michael asks “How many guys in here ever get that?” The monster, Carl Brackner, relents and Abby’s life is saved.
Given the special circumstances surrounding the mission, the post office throws a celebratory reception to honor the Postables. Norman, still relishing being part of a special task force, arrives dressed live a Secret Service Agent. Imbued with confidence, he even offers to buy Rita a drink. With the entire branch on hand and Rebecca Starkwell at the podium, the Postable team each receives a distinguished service award on behalf of the branch. But what’s more, the Post Master General of the United States has instructed Rebecca to confer upon each of them the highest honor given to a US Postal Worker, The Dark of Night Award.
Oliver surprises Shane and Rebecca at lunch
Michael at his wife's gravesite
Rebecca reviews the team's findings
Shane, Michael and Rita in court
Michael speaks with Carl
Michael outside the courthouse
Shane at the cemetery with Michael
Shane and Rita with Michael at Carl's appeal hearing
Carl contemplates donating his kidney to his biological daughter
Carl in his cell
The team on the way to the trial
Shane congratulates the team on getting the Dark of Night award