Episode 104: “The Masterpiece”

In preparation for their upcoming dance recital, Shane selects a hip new song for she and Oliver to perform to. Her choice does not go over well with Oliver, sparking a lively debate between them. Their bickering is interrupted by Cora Brandt who, enthralled by Rita’s novel, exclaims that Rita is her hero and that her novel is a sure fire best seller! Still unaware that he’s the love interest of Rita’s novel, Norman seems more occupied by a package jamming the DLO’s mail chute. After jumping into action, Norman retrieves a tattered package with a letter sticking out.

The letter reads:

“Dear Dad. It’s hard to believe it’s been so long since we’ve seen each other when we used to be together every day. I’ll never forget the day I realized that I loved being your son, but I would never be the son you wanted me to be. If this sounds like an apology, it is. I’m sorry I’ve let so much time go by. I just wasn’t ready. But my life has changed so much and I’m starting to appreciate why you wanted so much for me. I’m sending this gift to you to prove that I finally made it. It’s my way of saying that, despite our differences, the best part of you lives in me, and the best part of both of us is my gift to you. Love, Danny.”

With a little research, the DLO team learns that the package and letter were sent to Henry Barrett 3 years ago. Shane and Oliver then track Henry to the address listed on the package. When they arrive, a neighbor informs them that Henry lost his home and business after a bout with cancer. Henry now lives, works, and spends most of his time at a local bar. Shane and Oliver meet Henry at the bar where they learn that Henry and his son Danny haven’t spoken since Danny ran off to college. Henry, who owned and ran an auto repair shop, had a falling out with his son when he revealed that he was going to New York to study art instead of taking over the family business. The two men argued, and Henry told his son, “You’re not an artist. You’re just a kid who doesn’t have the guts to face the real world.” Danny stormed off and swore he wouldn’t speak to his father again until he had made a name for himself. A decade later, the two men still have not spoken to each other.

In order to learn more about the situation, the DLO team opens the rest of the package. Upon opening the brown wrapping paper, the team finds a beautiful painting. Assuming the piece was one of Danny’s, they take the piece to a gallery where they learn that Danny was a promising painter who exploded onto the New York art scene before tragically losing his life in a fire. The team also learns that the painting is one part of a 3-paneled triptych. Shane researches the piece and discovers that in its entirety, the piece tells the story of Danny’s past, present, and future. In the final panel Danny sent to his father, Danny painted a small figure in the corner. Upon closer inspection, it becomes obvious that the small figure is a baby. With this information in hand, the team has to tell Henry that he has a grandchild, but first they have to tell him that his son is dead.

Before the team talks to Henry, the saga of “Renita Hayweather, Frontier Duchess” needs to be addressed. At the expense of actually supervising, Cora is completely entranced with Rita’s novel. What’s more, as Cora gets deeper into the story, it become obvious that the novel is a fantasy representation of Rita’s actual infatuation for Norman. For her part Cora attempts to help Norman realize what’s going on, but his innocence and naiveté keep him blissfully unaware. As Cora reaches the last page of Rita’s book, she makes one final attempt to help Norman see how Rita feels about him. While well meaning, Cora’s efforts only reveal the enormity of Rita’s heart. And while Norman remains completely unaware, Cora consoles Rita by telling her not to worry about anything, because she is magnificent.

With the final page turned on the Duchess, Shane and Oliver head off to find Henry. As any father would be, Henry is devastated to hear of his son’s death. But hope springs eternal and Henry is buoyed by the prospect of meeting his grandchild. It’s then that Shane decides to set up an online meeting between Henry, his daughter-in-law, and his granddaughter. As Henry and his daughter-in-law Sarah talk, the 2 other pieces of Danny’s final triptych hang in the background. Henry offers to send the last piece back, but Sarah counters, asking him bring the painting when he comes to meet his granddaughter.

While Henry and Sarah get acquainted, Oliver and Shane revel in a job well done. But the mood immediately darkens when Oliver tells Shane that he is pulling out of the dance recital. Despite all their hard work and the obvious chemistry between them, Oliver reveals that he only intended to take a few lessons. Oliver then goes on to confide in Shane that his ex-wife had given him the dance lessons as a gift several years earlier. Oliver believes that his reluctance to take the lessons contributed to his wife’s decision to leave him. What’s more, it is Oliver’s hope that someday his wife will return to him and he’ll be able to dance with her. Shane holds back her emotions, saying simply, “We were good together.” Olive returns to the DLO office and sits down at his desk. Looking at his calendar where he has written “our anniversary,” Oliver tears off that date and crumples it in his hand.

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