‘A Million Little Things’ 1×02 Review: “Band of Dads”

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They say that some things change you and some, well they just are a blip on the radar screen of your life. For me, I can pinpoint the moment I changed – it was the moment my Mom died. It was the moment that she made the choice to leave.

Because after all, isn’t that what it is? Isn’t suicide a choice?

Sometimes I think it’s not so black and white, and at other times, I am positive that it’s not. It’s a complicated mess that, at the end of the day, will affect every second of your life, you’re the one left behind.

Because it’s not always about leaving, but about what you leave behind.

I was always angry at my Mom, because she left no plan for us. No explanation, no answers, no anything. Just the knowledge that she was gone. I think that’s why this week’s episode of A Million Little Things hit me so hard. I feel like I can’t breathe. The world around me is closing in, and I sit here wondering if I can find the words to do it justice.

This show is everything that I never knew I needed to heal a small piece of the broken parts of me, the one’s that my Mom’s suicide created.

We’re picking up right where we left off and this group of friends feels like one thing is for certain – they will not let anyone else crash and burn. They won’t let anyone else fall, and they won’t let John’s suicide tear them apart. What is life if they can’t be there for each other? They couldn’t save their friend, but they will be damned if they will not be there for each other.

Is it guilt? Is it just life? Is it a sense of love? To be honest, I am not sure. But even with all the mistakes they have made in life – they are sure of one thing – moving forward as a team.

DIXONS NEVER QUIT

When your parent leaves you – you are filled with a million different questions. Was it because of me? What did I do wrong? The truth is those questions will never go away.

We know one thing after this episode: John left answers. He just didn’t count on how shitty and shady Ashley was. She took his note. She took from the family any explanations that they would ever have. So for that  she will always be the shittiest person in the world.

As everyone is having breakfast, they ask where Sophie is. She’s not come down and they realize that it’s because that night is the father/daughter recital. Her Dad left her feeling deserted (which hey, who wouldn’t?) and alone. But she’s also haunted by what he’s told her in the past: Dixons never quit. So even if she has the excuse for a way out of the recital, she won’t do it. Because Dixon’s never quit.

I keep repeating that because for Sophie, that’s what she lives by. She lives by the words that her Dad spoke to her and thinking that she wasn’t good enough. Thinking that she let him down in some way. She doesn’t realize that she didn’t.

That he had a plan for everyone.

She decides to ask Eddie to be in the father/daughter dance recital with her. He doesn’t feel that he can say no. Because Eddie, Gary, and Rome have become the “Band of Dads.”

If they were gone, they know that John would be there for their families.

But Eddie shouldn’t. Eddie is the man that has been cheating with her Mom. Eddie is the man that she can’t trust.

So Eddie tells Delilah that he doesn’t feel like he has a choice. But there’s just something that he doesn’t get…

SECRETS HAVE A WAY OF COMING TO LIGHT

We all know that Eddie was a shitty friend and Delilah was a shitty wife, because they both cheated. It’s like guilt is too little, too late.

I want to write them both off cause I am mad at them. I am mad at the shit that they pulled and the way that they betrayed people. And John knew. John KNEW. How do we know that? Well we’re assuming, because he had found Eddie’s necklace in his wife’s car. That necklace he took and put in his nightstand. That necklace was a sign.

And that sign breaks my heart.

I feel like it may have been a part of why John killed himself. I am not sure. I don’t understand. I feel like these are the questions that we will never know, but the questions we need to understand.

It is something that I hope that show explores. The guilt of not knowing, and the answers.. I feel like both of them need to feel the guilt for quite some time. I feel like they need to feel the pain.

(ABC/Jack Rowand)

Sorry, not sorry.

John had left Eddie a voice mail that he hadn’t told anyone about, that he had denied being there. His guilt was taking over him and he couldn’t bring himself to listen.

And when he finally does he’s left with one message, “Love each other.”

Ya, I believe that John knew.

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

Danny, John’s son, is having a crisis. He doesn’t know why his Dad did what he did, but feels like he has to be the man of the house. He feels like he needs to be everything and anything.

But he’s a child.

He’s got a big secret: he is attracted to a boy in class and thinks that his Dad may have committed suicide because of it. What if he wasn’t the man that his father wanted him to be? What if his Dad killed himself because of his secrets?

It’s a lot for a child to bear.




But he needs to know he’s not at fault. It has nothing to do with him. Whatever secret he has, whatever he doesn’t want to tell, his father would have loved him regardless. John’s love was unconditional. Especially for his children. That’s the thing about suicide – even if you know your parents love you, even if you know that you meant the world to them, when they take their life – the take a piece of your heart too.

Danny feels the need to lie and say he’s interested in a girl named Ella, but Ella is really a new boy in school.

The way that Gary supports him, the way he loves him no matter what is absolutely beautiful. Unconditional love is life changing.

THERE IS NO SHAME IN GETTING HELP

I think that one of the people that I have been worried about the most is Rome. I know that a friend’s suicide can change everything, but it can also make you more depressed. Rome knows that everyone is dealing with John’s death and how he deals with it is important. He knows that he needs to save himself, and so he goes to Maggie for help.

Only Maggie can’t be his therapist, it’s a conflict of interest. She knows him too personally. She knows his friends.

She can’t save him. He needs to save himself.

He needs to come clean with his wife. He needs to tell the truth in order to move forward, but sometimes moving forward is the hardest thing to do. Moving forward means facing the pain that you want to leave behind and just can’t yet. Facing what hurts you can sometimes destroy you before it heals you.

I feel for Rome – at his darkest moments – he doesn’t know where to turn. He doesn’t know what will help. He doesn’t know how to fix it. How lonely that must be.

But he’s trying and I think he deserves all the credit in the world for trying to fix himself – for trying to find a way that he can live. Living is a choice. One that he is consciously making. For that – he is a hero. He just needs to see that in himself.

OTHER THOUGHTS

  • I appreciate that A Million Little Things tells you that it can be triggering and where you can get help.
  • Who is the dude that found Maggie. I am confused.
  • I can’t stop crying over this show. Hits you in the feels every single time.
  • I love that Gary is falling for Maggie. I love that he’s let his guard down.
  • Ashley is the shadiest bitch around and I want to know what she is hiding.
  • Business Partners? What is John up to?

A Million Little Things airs Wednesday on ABC.

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