‘A Million Little Things’ Remembers Jon With a Proposal, Fresh Start & Family (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 2, Episode 17 of A Million Little Things, “One Year Later.”]
“The Egyptians believe that you die twice. Once when you take your final breath and then again the last time someone says your name,” wise-beyond-his-years (and more mature than some of the adults) Theo toasts Jon (Ron Livingston) in the A Million Little Things episode that takes place a year after the group lost their friend. “They believed your spirit lived on as long as people kept remembering you, so as long as we always keep remembering Uncle Jon, he’ll never really be gone.”
It hasn’t been an easy year for any of the friends or kids, but even the most broken people and relationships are on the path of healing by the end of “One Year Later.” For some, that comes through dreams of their late friend and husband. For others, it may be finally moving on.
But for one of the group, delving into his past may reveal something that should’ve stayed buried.
Trying to Move On
We open up with Gary (James Roday) in the middle of a recurring dream of Jon being the one receiving chemo, only this time, Maggie’s (Allison Miller) there and leaves him (again). As a result, he lashes out at Eddie (David Giuntoli) and Rome (Romany Malco). They’ve turned their lives around, but he hasn’t. “I’m incapable of real emotion,” he admits before going too far with, “to be fair, emotion can be dangerous. Just ask the guy who offed himself. Oh, wait, we can’t.”
Meanwhile, Eddie’s torturing himself by listening to Jon’s voicemail on repeat. He refuses to attend the dinner for Jon that night; Sophie (Lizzy Greene) hasn’t spoken to him in months.
After a basketball game with the guys, he admits to Gary that dreamed about Jon, too. They were on a boat, and Eddie was drinking. When he reached for another beer, Jon fell into the water. When Eddie tried to get to him, instead, a girl’s hand reached up. Gary thinks she represents Sophie and his guilt.
After a job interview that she crushes, Katherine (Grace Park) joins the rest of the women at Delilah’s (Stephanie Szostak) to prep for dinner. They even made her an offer in the room, she shares with Regina (Christina Moses). The only problem? One of the partners said, “It’ll be good to have someone like you on the team,” and didn’t know how offensive that was.
Delilah is struggling on the anniversary of her husband’s death, even admitting to Maggie that the kids sometimes seem stronger than she is. Miles is texting her, but she thought it would just be one night and isn’t sure she’s ready to move on. And while Gary and Eddie are dreaming of Jon, Delilah admits she doesn’t anymore and fears he doesn’t want to talk to her.
Eddie tries to talk to Sophie when he stops by the house, but she reveals she can’t even escape in her music because it reminds her of him and his lies. But she then overhears Eddie admitting he hasn’t visited Jon’s grave because, “How can I ask for forgiveness from Jon when his own daughter won’t even forgive me?”
Speaking of listening in on conversations, Delilah and Regina watch as Eddie encourages Katherine not to take the job if she doesn’t want it. Let him support her dreams of opening her own firm after she supported him all these years, he insists.
Meanwhile, Rome’s supposed to be taking his father to a therapy appointment, but Walter (Lou Beatty Jr.) refuses to go. (He also would rather speak with Maggie, whom he sees as strong because she fought cancer.) He found Rome’s script and, noting that it’s “based on a true story,” is upset that his son didn’t tell him he took those pills.
Following their fight, Rome visits Maggie at her office, and she suggests that Walter feels guilty. When he comments she came into his life at the right time, she reveals she got the Oxford fellowship. She’s excited, but admits, “For the first time in my life, I’m not sure I want to leave.”
And Regina steps in to talk to Walter. She tells him how she found Rome’s suicide note. She knows Walter loves his son, but he doesn’t make it easy for him to see that. “The dinner we’re going to tonight could’ve just as easily been for Rome,” she points out. “I think you’re scared to look too closely at him because you might end up seeing yourself there.”
Gary’s the one to finally get through to Sophie. He, too, was mad, but he found a way to forgive Eddie because he refused to let one mistake undermine everything else he did. And after Sophie watches Katherine and Delilah together, she goes to see Eddie and takes him to the cemetery. She’s tired of being mad and just wants to move on. It’s time for Eddie to visit Jon.
Eddie’s come to realize that it doesn’t matter if Jon knew what they did. Eddie did, and he’s sorry, he tells his friend’s grave. After, he plays the voicemail for Sophie. “If [loving each other is] what he wanted, I think he’d be pretty happy. That’s exactly what we’re doing,” she says.
Back at Delilah’s, Maggie worries Rome’s spilled the beans when Gary greets her in an English accent, but Danny is just a Downton Abbey fan. Off in a corner, Regina wonders if their friends are on track to getting back together. She and Rome gossip about the wine until Delilah interrupts with an idea on how to honor Jon.
After bumping into each other in the bathroom — “back where we started,” Maggie comments — the exes finally talk. When they met, Gary was dying, too, he admits. “I was broken,” he explains. And he tried to save her because he couldn’t save Jon. He knows he put too much pressure on their relationship. But she refuses to let him take all the blame; she, too, was broken.
Following Theo’s toast at the dinner — which Eddie does attend — Rome adds that they’re all finally in a better place because Jon convinced them to live. And as they clean up, Delilah reminisces about the good times with her husband. With everything that happened, “the one thing I never got to do was grieve my husband,” she tells Maggie. “I’d give anything to go back and have a second chance with him.”
Sadly, she can’t, but they can continue to honor Jon — with a surprise for Katherine. The space they were using for storage above the restaurant is now her own office (with the rent already paid for). Jon would’ve wanted her to have it, Delilah says, pointing out that the lawyer gave her her house.
“To be honest, I wasn’t sure I’d ever feel like part of the group again after Jon was gone,” Katherine shares. “He was the one that always made me feel like I belonged. Not anymore. You really are like family to me, so, thank you.”
In the final scenes of the episode, Rome reveals to Gary that Maggie’s leaving for Oxford in a week, while Regina tells Maggie that Gary sent her the wine. Then Walter reaches out to his son to make sure he knows he’s still around.
And in happier news (especially since Katherine deserves all the happiness in the world), the Savilles note their anniversary (12 years!) is coming up. “What if we renewed our vows?” Katherine suggests before asking, “Eddie Saville, will you marry me again?” He accepts, because he’s not an idiot.
But when he sees her polishing her nails later, he has a flashback to Alex Stewart doing the same thing. (The teal nails were hers.) “I had a dream about Alex, and I need to know what happened the night she died,” he says in a voicemail for his sister. (Uh-oh, Eddie, what happened?)
Finally, it’s time for new beginnings for Gary and Delilah. Gary reaches out to Darcy (Floriana Lima). Becky from laser tag was a rebound, he tells her, while she can be “a fresh start.”
And Delilah may be getting one of those, too, with Miles. Jon comes to her in a dream and tells her to “give the guy a break already.” Sure, Miles may not be Jon, but Jon wasn’t Jon at the end, either, her husband notes. He wants her to be happy, so she has to let him go. Should she move on with Miles? Let’s see how that goes.
A Million Little Things, Thursdays, 10/9c, ABC