‘A Million Little Things’ Boss Breaks Down Eddie’s Fate After the Accident
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Season 3 premiere of A Million Little Things, “hit and run.”]
Is Eddie (David Giunotoli) alive?!
The A Million Little Things premiere answers that question (yes), but his and wife Katherine (Grace Park) and son Theo’s (Tristan Byon) lives will never be the same, as executive producer DJ Nash has said since the finale. Eddie is paralyzed, with less than a 10 percent chance of walking again.
Here, Nash breaks down the premiere and teases what’s next.
We now know Eddie’s fate, so you can say more than Katherine and Theo’s lives will never be the same.
DJ Nash: But it won’t be. It’ll never be the same, more than ever now.
How much is the question of whether he’ll walk again an ongoing, prominent part of Eddie’s story and recovery? Was this always his fate?
Yeah, writer David Marshall Grant and I are both the kids of physically-challenged parents, and growing up and talking to DMG the last three seasons, we really have had so many stories of how having that person as our role model, as our North Star, really informed who we are. We’re excited to tell a story about how Eddie being in a wheelchair is going to affect Theo and how it’s going to affect Katherine and then the friend group and seeing his true grit and seeing him have to come to terms with the fact that the version of his life he thought was going to exist is over.
Katherine and Eddie have renewed their vows, but there’s the setup for a renewed challenge with the oxy prescription, him going to a bar the night of the accident and Katherine ordering the toxicology report. How much does that weigh on them moving forward?
What’s cool about having these journeys that we’ve been following for three seasons is when you take a topic like paralysis, we’re able to look at other struggles and other parts of [the character’s] journey. We knew the painkillers were a huge part of how someone not only deals with pain management but also gets the physical ability to do some physical rehab. For us, it was an interesting challenge because there are some people who are in recovery who do not take pills. There are some who take pills only under strict supervision, and then there are others who just self-medicate. We wanted to tell the story of the vows Eddie took to Theo and to Katherine 11 years ago and look at how he’s going to try to recover or adjust to this new life without the use of pain meds.
How will Rome and Regina’s different reactions to the loss of their baby and the possible adoption the same night affect their relationship and discussions about kids in the future going forward?
The loss they had to endure at the end of the finale is in some ways analogous to losing a child who died. In some ways, when a child dies, you’re allowed to mourn that child, everyone gets it. Right now the struggle they face moving forward is they’re trying to heal and while they’re very much on the same page about what they’re going through, the way in which they are trying to go through it is really different. They have to figure out, is that going to bring them together, or is that going to potentially tear them apart?
When Regina was dealing with being a survivor of childhood sexual assault, when Rome was struggling with his depression, those issues allowed them to come together. Regina is aware that a year ago, she didn’t want a baby and Rome was the person who made her want one. Now she can’t have one. For Rome, after the premiere, we see that there’s an opportunity to adopt a baby in Lenox and Regina says no. They’re both dealing with anger and hurt and have to process though that.
There’s a bit of tension between them when Eddie comes home and sees Charlie.
Yeah, thanks for picking up on that. That’s what’s really interesting about this friend group and telling this story. You can have a moment that exists between Eddie seeing his daughter for the first time since he’s been in a wheelchair and then you pan out and realize that this is also a moment that is two friends seeing their friend have something they can’t have, which is a little bit ironic because they’re jealous of this man who’s now wheelchair-bound.
That ramp is obviously representing where Darcy (Floriana Lima) and Gary (James Roday Rodriguez) are in their relationship: She’s sturdy and in it, while he may want to be where she is but isn’t quite, right?
[Laughs] I love how you deconstructed that. In a moment, Gary started dating a woman who’s a single mom, has a child — he basically has, if he wants, an instant family, which, again, for Rome and Regina looking on, there may be some envy there. But Gary had left things with Maggie (Allison Miller) in a great place in terms of their friendship and their lifetime love of each other, but for the moment, has chosen to spend this next chapter, at least, with Darcy.
You’ve done something I didn’t think was possible so soon after the beginning of last season: make me look forward to Katherine and Delilah (Stephanie Szostak) scenes.
Whenever we’re in the writers room, we get together and we talk about a story, something that can happen to a character, a conversation someone might have with a character, and then we stop and we go, “Who would be the most unlikely person to have that conversation?” We try to find those moments. So if you had said to me, when I finish writing the pilot, that in two years, Delilah would be helping Katherine go to the hospital to deal with the potential loss of Eddie, I would’ve said no way, but hopefully it feels like an earned moment.
In a similar way, after Katherine politely asks all the friends to leave, it’s Gary who stays, and we see a side of Gary and Katherine’s friendship that we saw hints of. I love when we see these unexpected conversations.
Delilah’s relationship with Miles is a question mark, so what questions are you asking when it comes to possibly incorporating him into this group that was so close with Jon?
That’s exactly the right question to ask. There’s sort of patterns and history and ways that people are used to being, and what Delilah will have to figure out this season is how do I reinvent me? I was for so long known as part of this couple and marriage, and now he’s gone and when I bring someone I care about into this world, whether it’s in the friend group or to a dinner with my kids or into the bed I shared with my late husband, how do I do that? And how do I process the loss of my husband and turn this into wonderful memories as opposed to things that keep me from living now?
Alex’s father (Gerard Plunkett) called 911 after the hit and run. Did he regret it? How did seeing Eddie with his family and friends change things for him at the end?
Great question. One of the mysteries we’re following this season is who hit Eddie, so definitely I think he is a top pick in that category. It could be the man who had too much to drink in the finale, it could be someone else altogether. But I do think regret is certainly something that this man is carrying. He’s a reverend and we see him outside their house with the Bible on his passenger seat and I think there’s a whole bunch he’s trying to process. And potentially, yes, you’re right, this reverend may have to confess himself.
How much is the Alex mystery part of this season?
My favorite part of the Alex mystery is still to come. We did a bunch of work in how to present it last season, and the reason we did it is for the story that’s going to play out this season, so it is a big part of it. In the pilot, Jon says this line that has become one of the themes of the show: “Everything happens for a reason. The challenge in life is finding that reason.” There’s a part of Eddie that wonders if maybe he’s in the wheelchair as a result of his missteps.
What is Maggie going to learn from Jamie (Chris Geere) about staying friends with an ex? How might her figuring out her own life, her relationship with Gary aside, help with that?
Maggie often encounters people who you wouldn’t expect her to be in relationships with, whether it’s even the friend group that she meets after crashing the funeral or a man who’s somewhat confrontational with her at a breast cancer support group. In this case, she shows up expecting a female roommate and inadvertently breaks up her roommate’s relationship within seconds of being there. It’s definitely full of conflict right from the beginning.
What we were excited to do is see a relationship that forms not because people are dating or not because people are friends but because two people are living in each other’s space. There’s something about that, the things you overhear, the things you witness, the open book that you become with your roommate, and we will see these two become like therapists to each other. They’re able to know intimate details about a person and yet they’re not an active part about that person’s everyday life. The same way you can go to a therapist and show everything about you and then know when you leave, that stays there, that’s the relationship that we’re going to examine this season with Maggie and Jamie.
One of the thrills of having a third season show is you get the cast you want and we wrote this with Chris Geere in mind and we’re thrilled that he’s come and joined our family.
The little we got of those two was fun, and it’s a whole different world for Maggie.
The best is yet to come. They are truly phenomenal together.
There are people who are Team Gary/Maggie fans, and they will certainly be thrilled with some of the story turns and things that happen between the two of them this season. There is great stuff there.
There are people who are Team Darcy, who will love not only the way Gary is with this love chapter of his life, but also the way she is with the friend group.
And then there were certain people on Twitter who were Team Darcy/Maggie. I don’t know that they’re getting everything they want, but they are getting an interesting dynamic between two people who both love a man and have to figure out how they’re going to coexist in the life of that man.
Especially with the friend group.
And Darcy is one of Katherine’s closest friends before she even started dating Gary.
Last season, we got that great scene of Delilah and Regina giving Katherine the space for her new office. Is that very much a go in Season 3?
Oh, yeah. Absolutely. And now with Eddie in a wheelchair, she is back to being the sole financial provider, at least for the short-term. We’re watching her see her dreams of opening her own law firm and being an attorney and balancing being a working parent in a way that she definitely struggled with the first two seasons. We’re also seeing that this space, that was Jon’s last gift to this friend group, helped yet another woman realize her dream, so there’s something really special and empowering about Delilah, Katherine, Regina all in this space, three powerful, strong, independent women, leaning on each other sometimes to help each other see their dreams come true.
What would you say the strongest relationship of the season is, romantic or otherwise?
Every single one of those relationships is tested this season, and as a result, they show their true extreme. I’m thinking of a beautiful scene between Gary and Maggie that really tests their relationship. I’m thinking of many scenes between Rome and Regina as they try to move forward —not move on — that truly tests where they are. We see the children on our show, who are no longer children, who are young adults, have to embrace the reality of what it means to be an adult in the world. … It all comes back to this idea that when you’re surrounded by the right group of friends, you can overcome anything.
A Million Little Things, Thursdays, 10/9c, ABC