'A Million Little Things' Reveals Who Eric Is — Will He Come Between Maggie & Gary?
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 2, Episode 4 of A Million Little Things, "the perfect storm."]
A Million Little Things fans — and Maggie (Allison Miller) — have been speculating about Eric's (Jason Ritter) identity, and with Thursday's episode, everyone gets the answers they've been waiting for regarding his identity and connection to Patricia (Melora Hardin).
Picking up where the last episode left off, Maggie can only endure small talk over breakfast for so long before asking how long Eric's been dating her mother. Both vehemently deny that's what's going on. But maybe Maggie would have preferred for that to be the case once Patricia admits she's been hiding the truth about the night her brother died from her for years.
Maggie's brother didn't die instantly, like she'd been led to believe. Rather, he was dying when he was brought into the hospital with a traumatic brain injury, and it was up to Patricia to make the quick decision regarding organ donation. Eric has Chad's heart.
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Chad was dead by the time Maggie and her father reached the hospital. "I didn't want you to regret missing the chance to say goodbye," Patricia explains. "I didn't want you to know he had suffered." But Maggie's the one suffering now, feeling like she has to bury her brother all over again, and it's made worse knowing that having Eric around makes her mother feel better.
After Maggie leaves to be by herself, Gary (James Roday) realizes Eric is the reason Patricia's relationship with her husband is falling apart. While she thinks "part of Chad is still alive" in Eric, Eugene kept telling her, "My son is dead. That is not my son." He gave her an ultimatum.
Eric, too, leaves, and finds Maggie. They end up in a bar — similar to their first meeting — and Maggie shares that Patricia walled herself off from everyone, especially her. She had a connection with her son she never did with her daughter. But Eric thinks that's not necessarily true. After all, Patricia reached out to him because she was scared of losing Maggie when she got sick. "Grief has a way of making people do crazy things," he says. It's something he understands because he lost his fiancée.
Patricia makes the decision to go home after Gary asks if Eric is worth losing her family, and Eric takes Maggie to the airport to see her. However, things quickly go downhill when Maggie learns Patricia wanted to see Eric when she was in town when Maggie was in the hospital.
"I was actually starting to think you came here for me, but that's not true, is it? It was never about me," she says. "It was about meeting some stranger who just so happens to have Chad's heart. You wanted him in your life." And even though Chad's dead, Patricia's still choosing him over Maggie.
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Maggie walks away, into Eric's arms for comfort, but she pulls away as soon as she sees Gary watching them. Things are awkward for the couple in the car as she struggles with talking to him. It just gets worse when Gary sees a text on Maggie's phone from Eric: "If you ever need to talk again... I'm here." As he tells Delilah (Stephanie Szostak), Maggie's not ready to talk about her mother — to him.
As that text implies, just because Patricia left doesn't mean Eric will no longer be part of Maggie's life. After all, executive producer DJ Nash previously told TV Insider that Eric "turns everything upside down."
Something tells us this is just the beginning and we'll continue to see Maggie talking to Eric, despite what that may mean for her relationship with Gary. Could Patricia's attempt at small talk about their shared musical interests be something that bonds them? That being said, we're not at all concerned that Maggie and Eric's relationship will turn romantic, so that may be a plus?
A Million Little Things, Thursdays, 9/8c, ABC