Welcome back for another chat about A Million Little Things! Sorry we're late this week. The crazy weather messed up our viewing plans, but we're back on track now. Before we go any further, ICYMI, show creator DJ Nash tweeted that the season finale is on February 28, so mark your calendars. There's still no word about a season 2 yet, but we'll deal with that later. For now, let's talk about this week's episode...
Warning: Spoilers ahead
- As the episode title indicates, we're getting a look at everyone's lives the day before Jon Dixon took his own life. It's good to get some more background about the group, but episode 12 seems like a somewhat odd placement on the schedule for this part of the story. Well, let's see what we've got...
- No major surprises at first: Gary has commitment issues, and Jon and Delilah's marriage is clearly strained.
- Rome is up for a Super Bowl commercial? Pretty sure that's not going to work out, and as the episode progresses, it appears we've found our reason for his aborted suicide attempt in the series premiere.
- The title of the R.E.M. album that Maggie's dad pulls out of a box is, "Out of Time." That feels a little on the nose.
- It's good to see Gary and Jon fighting. Seriously. Gary has probably (and understandably) mythologized Jon more than anyone else on the show so far, as we so often do with the dead. It makes the whole story feel more real to show that they didn't always get along, even though it's hard to watch when Gary clearly has no idea why Jon is coming after him so hard at that moment.
- "What's the point of living if you're not going to live?" is a cutting line, and you can hear the anguish in Jon's voice. The structure of the show dictates that we haven't gotten nearly as much of Ron Livingston as everyone else, but he's tremendous this week, and hopefully we'll still get more of him to come over the final episodes.
- How awkward must Eddie feel to be at this pick-up game and have to act like everything is normal, when he knows (or at least thinks) he's about to blow up two marriages before the day is over? Life is complicated, but he's still buried at the bottom of our list, and it's hard to see how he escapes that spot this season.
- Oh, Ashley knew about Eddie and Delilah. We're getting a little more context about her kissing Jon.
- Colin the dog gets his backstory! Still our favorite character by far, and obviously "there's a certain dignity" to the name.
- Wait, Rome is pitching to do the Hidden Valley Ranch dressing ad where the woman drinks the bottle at the airport? That's a real commercial. Did HVR pay for that product placement? We're going to go with "yes," since it's the first commercial in the next break. So why doesn't Rome get the gig? Guess we'll have to stay tuned.
- This is still the bluest show on television.
- Regina has her own #MeToo moment, which eventually explains why Jon bought her that restaurant space. We're slowly tying off a number of loose ends this week.
- Of course, there are always more secrets. Some are big, and some are small, like Maggie lying to her dad about how Chad got her that panda bear, but obviously dad already knew and didn't tell her before now. By the way, the panda bear was a sweet story.
- Ron Livington is doing an amazing job of showing Jon's growing despair as the hour progresses. You know what's coming, but you still wish that it all turns out differently somehow.
- Is Jon's devotion to his old apartment a little odd, or do we assume that there's still more to this story, presumably something involving Barbara Morgan, and maybe that wine bottle?
- "You can 'some day' your way out of a life. Trust me," is heart-wrenching.
- Jon did know about Eddie and Delilah, making his final call to Eddie all more poignant.
This was the strongest episode so far of A Million Little Things by a mile, largely driven by Ron Livingston's performance. The one major issue we have with the show is that it felt like a season finale. Maybe it was at the time it was written and filmed, since ABC still hasn't said anything about season 2 yet. We're a little concerned that the final month may lose its impact following in the shoes of this episode, but there's only one way to find out.
We'll see you next week!
Ron Livingston steals the show, as Jon Dixon takes center stage this week. (pic via abc.go.com)