‘A Million Little Things’: Sophie’s Trust Is Broken After a Disturbing Encounter (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 3, Episode 10 of A Million Little Things, “Trust Me.”]
“I think I messed up,” Sophie (Lizzy Greene) tells her uncle, Gary (James Roday Rodriguez), who has been watching her and her brother, Danny (Chance Hurstfield), while their mother Delilah’s (Stephanie Szostak) in France. But as is revealed over the course of the April 14 episode of A Million Little Things, she didn’t do anything wrong. Her guitar teacher, Peter (Andrew Leeds), did.
As you’ll recall, after Sophie fails to impress Peter during a formal audition, she takes her music out into the street, something that does impress him and results in him taking her on as one of his students. This ups her chances of being accepted into a prestigious music academy. But all of his encouragement is poisoned by his actions, as shown in flashbacks while Sophie opens up about what happened to her mother’s friends.
First, as part of an exercise to ostensibly boost her confidence during an earlier lesson, he had her perform — and later dance — in a swimsuit while he filmed it on his phone. (Another student did the same thing, he claims, in a full-body unitard. The nerves associated with the outfit dispelled the ones surrounding performing.) Harness the confidence because it’s “sexy,” Peter told Sophie at the time, and “sex sells in this business.”
“Your guitar teacher had you wear a swimsuit during a lesson?” Gary asks in disbelief and anger. “And he filmed it.” It’s at this point he brings in Delilah’s friend, therapist Maggie (Allison Miller).
Is Sophie OK, he asks. “No, she just doesn’t know it yet,” Maggie says.
She and Regina (Christina Moses) sit down with Sophie and find out just what she means when she says she “messed up.” Turns out after that incident with Peter, she had sent a photo of herself dressed and posed like Britney Spears on the cover of her “Toxic” single.
In response, Peter had texted, “The photo you sent is really inappropriate and unfortunately, I’m unable to continue working with you. I wish you the best in your endeavors.”
She explains that she had been had just been trying to get them back to “before.” Before what, exactly? Before he had shown her the photo he had on his phone of her in her swimsuit and said it reminded him of that single cover. He had then put his hand on her shoulder and “unzipped his pants,” Sophie reveals. “He didn’t touch me. He just touched himself. And then when he was done, he zipped up and said, ‘Great work today.’ That’s what was so strange. He was acting like nothing had happened.”
Because she didn’t want to ruin the chances of her audition — he said he could put in a good word for her — she sent him her own photo.
“You haven’t done anything wrong,” Regina assures her. “I know that because Maggie told me the same thing about my uncle. She told me I did nothing wrong and even though I didn’t know it at the time, I know it now. And I need you to know it too.”
As Maggie explains to Gary, Peter sent that response to the photo “because this is the only part he can’t deny. It’s a paper trail and he had to be on the record as objecting to it.” And Sophie sent that photo because she was letting him know she’s committed to her career and won’t be any trouble, the therapist continues.
“As much as a part of her knows that what he did was wrong, her brain is working overtime to try to make that not the case. Her entire future is riding on this,” Maggie says. “She gave up Harvard for her dream of music, and her teacher, a man who she looked up to and trusted, he knew that. He chose her. He knew that her dad died. He knew that her mom was away. And he knew that she couldn’t lose anything else right now. So he groomed her. He used her history against her.”
As much as Gary wants to kill him for what he did, Maggie and later Rome (Romany Malco) talk him out of it. That’s not what Sophie needs right now, they say. And so Gary doesn’t do anything when he drives to Peter’s house that night and watches the teacher’s wife Anna (Erin Karpluk) walk inside. But it’s clear that this isn’t something Gary’s just going to let go of — nor should he.
This episode also makes us really feel Delilah’s absence. Yes, Sophie calls her mother at the end of the episode to tell her what happened, but it’s not the same. And with nary a mention of COVID in this episode — minus Sophie saying she changed Peter’s number in her phone to her ex-boyfriend’s because Gary wouldn’t let her go out due to COVID — it’s even more glaring.
A Million Little Things, Wednesdays, 10/9c, ABC