TV Recap: A Million Little Things – The Season 1 Recap!

A Million Little Things
The PCR Season 1 Recap
August 28,2019

We are a month away from the Season 2 premiere of A Million Little Things, the ABC breakout hit from last year. From the teasers being dropped, it looks like Mark Cyr Jason Ritter (shout out to the Parenthood fans) will be causing problems for Gary and Maggie! PJ and Rome are buds!  And, there will be a death this season! Questions and mysteries abound and I am looking forward to being right there with you for the ride.

But, before we bring down the safety bars and brace ourselves for the first jolt of the emotion roller coaster, let’s jump into our memory inner tubes and enjoy the lazy river of a Season 1 look back.  Yes, I spent time in amusement parks this summer.  What gave it away?

Read on for the PopCultureReview Season 1 Recap of A Million Little ThingsBEWARE OF SPOILERS!!!

Photo: ABC

Jonathan Dixon
Any discussion of A Million Little Things needs to begin with Jonathan Dixon (Ron Livingston) because, while he isn’t the focus of the show, it’s Jon’s suicide, and the consequences therefrom and secrets that emerge as a result of his death, that put the entire series into motion.  His family life and circle of friends will be discussed below in the character entries. For Jon, we’re going to focus on Jon and his crew from college.  These friends included his Dave (Edward Ruttle) and Barbara Morgan (Drea de Matteo). Post college, Jon and Dave lived in an apartment together (which Jon still owned at the time of his suicide, despite being in deep financial doo-doo, until Delilah sold it).
Via flashback, we see Dave and Jon were supposed to get on a plane to California. Jon ran back for a bottle of wine and told Dave to board the plane without him.  By the time Jon gets back to the gate, he misses the flight because the gate attendant wouldn’t let him get on the plane. Thi i why you’re supposed to arrive two hours early, kids! Not that long after take-off, the plane carrying Dave turns around and strikes the Twin Towers … yup, the answer to (most of) Jon’s mystery started on the morning of September 11, 2001.
** I want to get a bit personal for a minute.  While I was not personally impacted by the tragedy of 9/11, it was such a major part of my adult life that any time it shows up in a TV show or in a book, it’s like a sucker punch to my gut.  On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was in my second week of work as a paralegal in Midtown Manhattan. When I walked into the office that day, the receptionist said, “did you see that a plane hit the World Trade Center?”  I kind of scoffed, assuming it was a sea plane or something like that. Not until a little bit later did we all learn what had actually happened.  You have to remember that this was before smart phones and camera phones and all of those things.  It wasn’t until someone must have gotten a phone call that a TV in the conference room was turned on and we all watched the horrifying images of the towers coming down.  I remember walking home from my office that day (the subways weren’t running) with a friend that had walked uptown from NYU.  To this day, we text each other on 9/11, just to say hi and that we’re thinking of each other.  I remember the cloud of smoke that hung over the city, wafting up the Upper West Side, where I was living. So, seeing Jon relive Dave’s death in the flashback, it left me thinking, “oh shit.”**
Anyway, we learn that Barbara (who had married Dave) was pregnant with Dave’s baby when he was killed. Barbara went to meet and marry a first responder (a hero in more ways than one) who adopted Dave’s baby and raised the kid as his own (they never told him about his true parentage).  Jon, we learn, was still affected deeply by Dave’s death. His survivor’s guilt stayed with him for the next 17 years. He couldn’t believe that Barbara had moved on, causing a rift in their relationship.  Although, silver lining, after his confrontation with Barbara, Jon met Delilah (Stephanie Szostak) in a bar at the airport.  Anyway, PJ (Chandler Riggs), Barbara’s son, is smart and finds the video of Jon – does he know now, his true parentage?
Delilah (and Jon, Sophie and Danny)
Oh, Delilah, how you annoy me, let me count the ways.  I’m sure I should have a little sympathy for the woman.  She did lose her husband to suicide and have the rug pulled out from under her, but even her past actions bug the hell out of me.  Delilah Dixon (Stephanie Szostak) made one a smart decision in not trusting Jeri Huntington (Constance Zimmer) about getting the subway line approved which would have increased the worth of the building Jon owned (and kept for reasons which become more clear later).  Rather, she went ahead and sold it for a decent price to try and stave off the creditors and keep her house, so kudos to her.
But, she also created a mountain of lies and how will she get out from under them when the truth comes out, I don’t know?  And, who will be harmed most?  Her kids, Sophie (Lizzy Greene) and Danny (Chance Hurstfield), for sure.  Sophie is a good kid, although a little too trusting.  After meeting Barbara Morgan, and bringing her into her house, only to have her run away (why did she do that anyway?), but this did lead us closer to the truth.  We learned that Jon’s secret apartment was not a second family or a place he kept for affairs (although we all thought that scene with Ashley was going there, right?)  Rather, it definitely had something to do with Barbara Morgan (the painter).  We eventually met her (see above) and finally got to watch the video that we knew Jon had made, just not the way we thought we’d see it.  But anyway, the kids seem to be dealing.  Sophie needed her group of dads for the Father-Daughter dance, and Rome came through in a big way for her.  Eddie being there for her to play guitar with is huge, but what will happen there when she learns Eddie is (SPOILERS) her baby sib’s daddy?!?!  As for Danny, Gary is clearly his rock and Danny seems fairly grounded because of it. As long as nothing screws that up, Danny should come through this all okay.
Eddie and Katherine (and Delilah)
Oy, the back and forth with these two.  Eddie Saville (David Giuntoli) is married to Katherine Kim (Grace Park). Katherine wants a divorce and remains on the outskirts of the friend group for much of the season, except when Delilah learns that Jon has bankrupted them and that she’s going to lose the house and everything she has. Katherine comes in to figure out what’s going on and represent Delilah. Oh, the Irony. Why? Because Eddie and Delilah are having an affair pre-Jon suicide!  After Jon’s suicide, they end the affair, but then we learn that Delilah is pregnant and although she tries to tell Eddie that it’s Jon’s, the truth comes out that Eddie is the father. The doomed lovers agree that for everyone else, especially the kids, the baby will be Jon’s.
Back to Eddie and Katherine, Eddie signs the divorce papers when he learns/thinks that Katherine is seeing someone else.  The person is the office hottie, Hunter (Henderson Wade), and things are almost hot and heavy with them until we learn that Hunter has been made partner, the honeymoon is over before it even begins.  Eddie and Katherine finally return to good terms, especially after Eddie goes on tour with the Red Ferns, manages to stay sober and brings Theo (who I find incredibly annoying) on the tour bus.  Eddie and Katherine end the season together, deciding to tell no more lies, which means that the truth about Delilah’s unborn child is about the emerge.  Right?    Oohh, cliffhanger!
Gary and Maggie
Gary Mendez (James Roday) had breast cancer (yes, it happens to men!) and is in remission.  Maybe as a result of his cancer, or maybe not, he’s a bit of a player. He meets Maggie Bloom (Allison Miller) in his cancer support group and they hook up in the church bathroom almost immediately.  We go back and forth with them for a while and then Gary learns that Maggie’s cancer is back but that she is refusing to treat it.  We also learn that Maggie had a brother who was an alcoholic and one night when she wasn’t home, he drove drunk and wrapped his car around a tree (don’t drink and drive, kids!!). This informs a lot of Maggie’s decisions, including not driving.
Gary is angry at Maggie for not wanting to live.  They break up, they get back together, Maggie pukes all over Gary’s car, and Gary realizes she’s going through chemo and now they’re happy together.  Chemo works and Maggie’s tumor shrinks enough for her to have surgery.  Stressing during surgery, Gary freaks out over a parking space at the hospital and takes it out on a woman who turns out to be Maggie’s mom.  Oops – totally predictable, but good for some comic relief.  Maggie makes it through surgery and the happy couple decides to move in together.  According to DJ Nash, AMLT‘s creator, the cancer story line is over, at least for now.  Hopefully Maggie and Gary can be happy together, except for the news that her mom will be in the picture and will bring along Jason Ritter, dun dun dun.
Rome and Gina
Rome (Romany Malco) and Regina “Gina” Howard (Christina Moses) are #couplegoals (for the most part).  They are incredibly supportive of each other (e.g., Gina’s restaurant, Rome’s movie, etc.) and concerned for the other’s well-being (e.g., Rome handling Gina’s history of sexual abuse and Gina dealing with Rome’s mental health – see below). They are clearly in love although I have concerns about the baby divide … but I’m getting ahead of myself.
As you all know (or if you don’t, stop reading and go back and watch the series premiere), Rome was on the verge of suicide when the news of Jon’s stopped him.  Despite the obvious conflicts, he felt most comfortable talking with Maggie (as a friend/therapist), but eventually started (and then stopped because the pills killed his libido) anti-depressants.  Rome thought he’d “feel better” by going off the drugs and committing himself to his movie while not taking commercial directing jobs anymore.  However, it seems that Rome’s true calling may actually be helping others. This is evidenced by PJ who finds Rome’s script, reads it and then befriends Rome, who calls a suicide prevention line to learn to be a volunteer.
As for Gina, upon Jon’s death, Gina and Delilah learn that Jon bought them a space for a restaurant and with a lot of twists and turns, they set up and succeed in opening!  One of those twists is Gina’s mom, Shelly (Romy Rosemont).  The two women have an incredibly fraught relationship, which all comes to a head when Gina finds out that her mom’s brother, Neil, invested in the restaurant.  In an acting tour de force from Christina Moses, we learn that Neil sexually molested Gina when she was a kid and when she tried to tell her mom, her mom turned around and blamed Gina.  After talking with Maggie and attempting to confront Neil in the hospital (although he died before she got there), she realized that Neil had abused her mother too and in a beautiful scene which we watched through the window, the truth came out (in silence) and mother and daughter seemed to find their way back to each other.
With Rome’s script and Gina’s restaurant, these two should be on top of the world. That is, until Rome started asking about having a baby, to which Gina is adamantly opposed (and apparently this was a mutual decision before they got married).  I look forward to seeing their relationship be tested with this, but also watching Gina’s restaurant flourish and Rome’s script get optioned and Rome’s decision to stop the anti-depressants not backfire on him and them.
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A MILLION LITTLE THINGS – ABC’s “A Million Little Things” stars David Giuntoli as Eddie, Grace Park as as Katherine, Stephanie Szostak as Delilah, Lizzy Greene as Sophie, Ron Livingston as Jon, James Roday as Gary, Allison Miller as Maggie, Christina Ochoa as Ashley, Christina Moses as Regina, and Romany Malco as Rome. (ABC/Matthias Clamer)
Okay readers, I hope that’s a decent summary to get you through the next few weeks. September 26 will come quickly, we hope!  Between now and then, let’s ponder these questions:
Did Eddie tell Katherine that he’s the baby daddy?  Will everyone else learn the truth?  What sort of wrench will Maggie’s mom throw into the Maggie/Gary bliss (btw, I am not big into couple names, so don’t expect to see Gaggie in my recaps!)?  Will Rome and PJ’s friendship continue?  Does PJ think that Jon is his father?  Will Gina and Rome decide to have a kid?
Drop your theories and questions below!  I’m sure we could come up with A Million Little Things to question (word play!), so strap in and let’s enjoy this sure-to-be roller coaster ride together!
A Million Little Things has its Season 2 premiere on September 26, 2019. The show airs on Thursday nights at 9pm (ET/PT)!
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