A Million Little Things recap: Get on board for some metaphorical dreams
Well, folks, it feels like a million little years since the last episode of A Million Little Things, so let’s pause to read the recaps of the last episode and get back up to speed… Ah, yes! Maggie and Gary (or as I affectionately know them, Gaggie) played a game of dares that culminated in Gary daring Maggie to get treatment for her cancer and she was not pleased; we were introduced to Katherine’s super attractive co-worker Hunter; Gina tried to come to terms with the revelation that Rome was suicidal; and Eddie, well, he probably did something annoying and spouted a cliché or six. Okay, we’re all caught up! Let’s jump into episode 8, “Fight or Flight.”
We start things off in the cockpit of a small plane? Don’t worry, I was confused too. Maggie and some young guy named Chad are trying to fly a plane, though it’s somewhat hindered by the fact that Chad, who happens to be the pilot(!!), is swigging from a bottle of booze. They argue back and forth, and Maggie starts freaking out, realizing the plane is going down and he’s not doing much to stop it. He talks about leaving, something she doesn’t want him to do and then he aims the plane toward the ground as she begs him to pull up. Maggie wakes up panicked in bed.
In the non-dream realm, Gary and Eddie go to look at an apartment that Eddie and Theo can move into. He loves the place, but is hesitant when the broker tells him he has to sign an one-year lease. Gary doesn’t really care either way; he’s distracted swiping through women on a dating app. Eddie decides not to take the apartment right now because he doesn’t want to commit, but pretends it’s about the previous owner’s cats and his allergies.
Over at the restaurant, Gina and Delilah are setting up for a small opening/tasting party. Ashley pops up to mention there are still problems with the loan, because, honestly, that seems to be her sole purpose in the show right now. The group talk about Gaggie’s breakup; they all believe it was Gary’s fault, citing his man-child tendencies. Pretty sure they’re all going to know the truth by episode’s end! Eddie also believes Gary has been an idiot and somehow lost Maggie and tries to advise him to get her back. Gary’s all, dude, you don’t know the whole story. The guys get into a fight over it, with Gary telling Ed to get off his back and not be so fast to assume it’s his fault. Well said, Gar!
Still, Gary can’t quit Maggie. He goes to her door and apologizes (for the dare to get chemo) through it when she doesn’t answer. She listens but doesn’t open up. Gary’s even “willing to accept a flesh-colored thumbs up emoji” as response to one of his many texts, just to know she’s okay. He tells her he can’t not care and that he tried to be okay with the no treatment plan. Still, Maggie doesn’t open up. Later, she cancels her non-therapy, therapy session with Rome and tells him she can’t meet with him anymore. He thinks it’s because of the breakup and she assures him it has nothing to do with Gary. Rome gets mad, but she won’t give him the real reason why she’s canceling.
At Katherine’s office, it’s clear to everyone that Hunter is the perfect man when he suggests getting cheese fries for lunch. He asks Katherine out, but she mentions Eddie and tells him she’s not ready yet. He’s perfect, so he’s understanding. Did I mention that he’s perfect? Soon, Eddie shows his ex-wife photos of the apartment he’s looking at. Understandably, she’s not really that interested. He tells her that he’s trying not to make any more mistakes with her and wants to know where they are before he signs a lease. Thinking Gary has mentioned that he saw her getting noodles with Hunter and Eddie is now fishing for information, Katherine starts to explain that it’s just professional between them. For once Eddie says the right thing, telling her she doesn’t have to explain. Hell yeah she doesn’t!! He tells her he’d be happy for her even if it was more than professional with Hunter. I think we’d all like to be more than professional with Hunter. (Recap continues on page 2.)
Elsewhere, Gary isn’t having as much luck with the impromptu office drop-ins when he visits Maggie and discovers that she doesn’t work there anymore. He then flashes back to meeting Maggie’s ex(?) Tom on the street and immediately grabs a cab to the airport. Once in Chicago, he finds Tom and asks to talk with him. Poor Tom thinks Gary’s there to tell him Maggie is dead for a second, so is somewhat relieved when Gary explains he just needs his help convincing her to get treatment. Tom tells Gary about Chad, who apparently “did a number on her,” then brings a cliché of his own into the mix. By ways of his college psych professor, he tells Gary, “You can’t save someone if they don’t want be saved.” Gary doesn’t buy it; he wonders every day if he could’ve saved Jon so needs to know he did everything he could to save Maggie. He asks Tom to come back to Boston with him to help convince her, but Tom says he already tried that and he can’t do that flight home again. Ah, it’s heartbreaking!
Just when you think the gang finding out might help Gary’s cause, it totally doesn’t. Gina goes to Maggie’s apartment, mad at her for ditching Rome’s therapy. Maggie tries to pass it off as establishing boundaries as a therapist and not being able to treat a friend, but Gina doesn’t believe it and demands one good reason. Ugh, you’ll regret that, Gina. So Maggie tells her friend that she’s dying. Gina heads back to the restaurant and tells everyone else. Now they feel bad for blaming Gary for the breakup. D thinks they should push her into getting treatment, but they ultimately realize that’s not the best course of action and show up at her apartment so she can’t push them away. Under the pretense of needing help with wine pairing for the party, they hang out with their sick friend, never once bringing up her illness or decision to forego treatment. Realizing how supportive they’re being, Maggie gets upset and starts crying, telling them their friendship wasn’t supposed to happen, she was just supposed to go to a support group and live her life to her fullest until she couldn’t anymore. She didn’t think she’d make friends like them, that’d support her, and now she doesn’t want hurt them by dying. Maggie shares that she’s lost someone that she tried to save (let’s go out on a limb and assume it’s Chad) and it still really hurts and she can’t put someone else through that kind of pain. Delilah is like, hi, nice to meet you, remember when we bonded at my husband’s funeral? Yeah, already there! But Maggie sees that as even more reason none of them should have to be at her funeral.
Are you ready to get back onboard that rickety airplane? Well, too bad if you’re not, because Maggie is having that dream again. (Side note: I wish my dreams could be perfect metaphors like this and not just about cheese.) Anyway, in the plane, Maggie has taken the controls and is headed in a new direction, but it’s not enough to save them and the aircraft starts crashing again. UNTIL!! Rome reaches forward from the seat behind her and puts his hands on the controls too! “We’re in this together,” he tells her, just in case you hadn’t gotten that from the very clear imagery.
Back on land, Eddie calls D, worried about Gary. She realizes he doesn’t know about Maggie’s cancer yet and heads over to his potential-apartment to fill him in. Eddie feels like an ass — I assume that’s how he always feels, no? He then tells Delilah that he always thought the next apartment he would rent would be for them. They kiss. Then he breaks away and tells her they can’t, no matter how much they want to, not if they’re saying this baby is Jon’s. Just a little reminder of that explosive plot point that’s sure to rear its head soon. (Recap continues on page 3.)
It’s party time, and everyone is showing up. After Gina calls Katherine to make sure she knows she’s invited, K goes and invites Hunter to go with her. It’s so great! I’m so invested! Apparently, Rome and Gina have gone for the whole divide and conquer approach to getting all their pals to the party, as he turns up at Maggie’s to tell her to come. Noticing the boxes at her place, Rome wants to know why she’s packing up. Maggie admits that she doesn’t want her mom and dad to have to pack up after she’s gone, so she’s doing it now. Rome heads inside to help her with the boxes. The party can wait. Over tape, Rome brings up the person that she mentioned she lost; he wants her to know that she might not have been able to save them but she sure as hell saved him.
At the tasting party, Eddie is sampling the dishes before he’s supposed to. Classic Eddie. Gina tells him it amazes her that he convinced two women to sleep with him. Amen. Then Rome shows up with Maggie, and Katherine arrives with Hunter. It’s a tad awkward what with all the exes in the room and the fact that Delilah and Eddie had an affair, but Rome lightens the tone by teasing Eddie about how attractive and tall Hunter is. Ever the fan of the cliché, Eddie realizes you get what you deserve and he deserves this.
Then Gary gets there. Maggie asks him to talk and he tells her that depends if she’s going to get treatment. He tells her that he’s not going to care more about her life that she does and walks away. Ed apologizes to Gary for blaming the breakup on him and to show his forgiveness, Gary invites Eddie and Theo to stay with him a little longer. As they make amends, Gary’s phone rings. It’s Maggie calling him from literally three feet away on Rome’s phone, knowing he wouldn’t pick up if he saw her number. She apologizes for letting him get close to her when she knew she was sick. He says that her choice not to fight this is unfair, telling her that if everyone in this room knew she was sick, they’d tell her to get treatment. It’s a pretty clumsy way for Gary to find out the gang knows, but whatever. Maggie tells him they know and support her decision, and Gary goes off! He feels betrayed by his friends who are willing to stand by and let her kill herself. He reiterates that after Jon died, they all questioned how they didn’t see it and how it was possible that they didn’t know. Well, this time they know and shame on all of them for not doing something about it. He ends his little rant by telling the group none of it matters anyway because Maggie’s going to bail on them just like she bailed on all her friends in Chicago and all because “some loser named Chad broke your heart.” That’s a step too far for Maggie, who tells Gary never to say that name again and that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. “You’re right, because I don’t know you,” responds Gary and walks out.
Of course, Gary and Ashley end up chatting on the sidewalk. Gary agrees to get a drink with her when she mentions it’s her birthday and — you guessed it — before you know it, they’re hooking up. Sigh. Further along on the same sidewalk, Hunter (who is just wonderful) is telling Katherine that he thinks her friends are cool, just dealing with a lot. She admits that she used him tonight so that Eddie would see her with someone else. Because he’s so wonderful, he understands that she’d want to make her ex jealous. Katherine tells him if they’re to go out, she wants it to be for the right reasons. Please find those reasons soon! Then she kisses him!!! Yassss. I have a new couple to root for if Gaggie is dead. (Sorry bad word choice!) What do you think of Hatherine as a couple name? Katherine heads back inside to thank Regina and the two ladies drink some wine and eat some chocolate ganache. Gina drops into convo that D’s pregnant and when Katherine’s heart stops for a moment, quickly assures her that it’s Jon’s baby. Oh, boy.
And so Rome drives Maggie home and she fills him in on the elusive Chad. Turns out he was her younger brother who died when he was 19. He drank a lot to self-medicate his depression. She had stopped him so many times before, but, one night, she went to the movies with her friends and he got into a car wreck because he was driving under the influence. She can’t help but think if she hadn’t gone, Chad would still be here today. The paramedics said he died as soon as he hit the tree, and she’s spent her life since trying to stop people from hitting the tree. Simply put: He needed her, and she wasn’t there and now he’s gone. Rome asks her if that’s why she won’t save herself. She doesn’t answer but it seems like she thinks she doesn’t deserve to be saved. Crying, she gets out the car with a “See you Friday at one?” to Rome.
We cut between images of Gary and Ashley getting it on and Maggie in her own apartment having a dizzy spell. She drops a glass that she’s holding and it smashes on the floor. Then she follows suit, passing out on top of the shards. We head back to the dreamy airplane land, where her brother tells her they’re not going down. He adds that there’s nothing she could’ve done to save him as they start to fly into the sunset, safe at last. Chad gets up and prepares to exit the aircraft, telling her, “This is where I leave you.” He gets out of the plane.
Does that mean Maggie will forgive herself and finally get treatment? Will she find out about Gary and Ashley? Will she be able to forgive him if she does? Do we have enough time before the midseason finale to answer all these questions? Let’s find out next week.