by Julian Spivey
ABC’s hit freshman drama “A Million Little Things” wrapped its first season on Thursday, Feb. 28 with an episode that gave us the answer to one of the season’s biggest secrets and potentially unveiled another one.
The series has revolved around the suicide of Jon Dixon (played by Ron Livingston), which took place in the pilot episode, and the impact on his wife Delilah (played by Stephanie Szostak) and his closest friends Gary (played by James Roday), Eddie (played by David Giuntoli) and Rome (played by Romany Malco).
Much of the first season revolved around why Jon, who seemingly had it all, would kill himself and the biggest reason came around midseason when we found out that his business was about to go under leaving his family broke. After this was revealed the next big secret for the show revolved around who was Barbara Morgan, a woman who he sent a mysterious envelope to before he committed suicide.
It turns out that Morgan (played by Drea de Mateo) was the girlfriend of Jon’s college roommate and best friend Dave. Jon and Dave were supposed to take a trip in 2001 from Boston, where the series is set, to Los Angeles, but Jon missed the flight due to a last second purchase of champagne. It turns out the flight was American Airlines Flight 11, which was one of the planes hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center towers on 9/11. Barbara was pregnant with Dave’s child and when she rebounded months later with another man, Jon, grieving with survivor’s guilt, felt she had turned her back on Dave and cut ties with her. His envelope held a microchip with an apology for cutting her out of his life years before. It seems for years Jon had dealt with this survivor’s guilt and when his company was about to go under it all just culminated with him taking his life.
The big reveal of who Barbara Morgan was just seemed rather weak to me. Though I do think there’s possibly more to her story and I’ll get to that in just a bit. But it also seemed that the show, which has been my favorite of all the new network dramas this television season, tried to up the tragedy ante by bringing 9/11 into the fold – something that too many storytellers do and just comes off as a bit trite these days. I expected a bit more out of the Barbara Morgan reveal, but it wasn’t my least favorite reveal of the episode.
I don’t like when big moments in television shows or movies feel too coincidental and the fact that Barbara Morgan’s son turns out to be PJ, the teenager that read Rome’s script in the hospital in the penultimate episode of the season, just seems to be too much for my tastes. I know we’re going to get more from this story in the next season and it might change my opinion on this, but for now it just seems to neat. Also, I suspect that PJ might not actually be Dave’s son, but potentially Jon’s.
The reveals were disappointing for me, but the remainder of the episode was nicely done with Maggie (played by Allison Miller) getting the all clear on her cancer and moving in with Gary. These two instantly became one of the best couples on television. You have Rome admitting to his wife Regina (played by Christina Moses) that he would like to have a child and her telling him that it’s something she’s just not interested in – which will certainly be one of the major dramatics of the show’s already picked up second season. You have Eddie and Katherine (played by Grace Park) considering getting back together and not going through with their divorce, but Eddie still needing to break the news to Katherine that he’s the father of Delilah’s baby, which she goes into labor with at the end of the episode. These are all good points for the second season to kick off with in the fall.