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Posted: November 08, 2018

A Million Little Things recap: I dare you to count the clichés


By Ruth Kinane

Entertainment Weekly

Another week means another episode of A Million Little Things, so are we all ready to count some clichés? I know I am!

It’s early morning at Gary’s, and he and Maggie wake up to his clock radio playing Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing.” Gary sings along with questionable lyrics until Maggie can’t take it anymore and changes the station to some agony aunt-style show. The fraud therapist is spouting clichéd advice along the lines of “What you let happen, will happen.” (NUMBER ONE FOR YOUR CLICHÉ COUNT, FRIENDS!) Maggie gets annoyed at this radio personality, complaining that she oversimplifies everything and calls her “a depressing fortune cookie.” Gary’s all, you don’t have a lot of time left, why not call this fraud on the radio and tell her the truth?

And then, so she really has to do it, he dares her to make the call. Eventually she gets through and makes up a problem about not liking her boyfriend’s dog. The D.F.C (depressing fortune cookie) tells Maggie it has nothing to do with the dog, that she’s afraid to give herself fully to this relationship. Maggie tries to tell her that she jumps to conclusions and shames people, but D.F.C cuts her off, ending the call. Gary, who’s been listening, smugly tells Mags it all hit a bit too close to home for his maybe-girlfriend-but-not-girlfriend. Maggie’s response is to tell him she doesn’t want to talk about it anymore and dare him back. And so an episode-long game of dares begins! Maggie’s dare for Gary? An entirely-unrelated-to-the-greater-plot dare that has G setting up a lemonade stand (Eddie made a passing comment about him having done it previously) and getting a picture of it as proof.

Over at Rome and Gina’s, Rome wakes up with stomach pain, so Gina passes on Delilah’s ultrasound to stay home with him. I bet Eddie goes with her instead. When the pain persists and worsens, Rome calls Maggie to ask if the anti-depressants could be giving him physical pain. She tells him it’s highly unlikely, but just then he literally falls over in pain and Gina runs in and grabs the phone from the floor. Maggie hesitates not knowing what Gina knows about his depression, but then tells them to get to the hospital and she’ll meet them there. At the hospital, Gina tells the doctor about Rome’s recent attempt at suicide and the doctor asks Rome if he’s still been having suicidal feelings recently. He hesitates, prompting the doc to send Gina out of the room so he can answer truthfully. While Gina struggles to cope with all of this, Maggie arrives and tells her that she already knows about everything G’s husband is going through. Maggie understands if Gina’s angry with her, but Gina’s all I ain’t got time for anger, I have to use all my energy to make sure my husband is going to be okay, but she sure sounds angry, so maybe she has a little bit of time after all.

The doctor emerges and tells Gina they want to have Rome drink something that will clear out his stomach of any drugs he might have ingested. Rome’s refusing, telling him he hasn’t taken anything, but because of Massachusetts’ state law, Gina can make the call for him, and does. So the guys gather in Rome’s room to try and make him drink it down. Gary goes with tough-love approach (so Gary!) and also suggests that maybe he just has a kidney stone. Poor Rome lies there writhing in pain while Gary talks about noodles to try and distract him. I’m sure Eddie contributes somehow but it’s not really noticeable. Outside, Gina is being comforted by Delilah since they’re kind of in the same position of not knowing their husbands were suicidal. Delilah has to leave for her ultrasound and, of course, Eddie offers to drive her. Back in the hospital room, Rome is telling Gary he didn’t need to drink “that charcoal,” he just did it for Gina and, right when she walks in, adds that he doesn’t’ want to die. So at least she has that to hold onto. (Recap continues on page 2.)

At Katherine’s office, some very handsome co-worker Hunter (hot name!) stops by to tell her she’s unbelievable (I wish my coworkers would do that!) and that when she wins their next case, she’ll be made partner. Ah, will you look at that! He’s handsome, charming and they have the same job so understand each other and can get together and live happily ever after (after overcoming like six different professional and personal barriers, of course). Woo! I’m invested. Later, Hunter walks into Katherine’s office while she’s FaceTiming with Theo and is also understanding about her being a working mom. This guy!! Katherine’s assistant tells her that Hunter likes her and, will you look at that, he has a cliché of his own: “You can’t live so much for tomorrow that you forget to live for today,” he tells her. (NUMBER TWO FOR YOUR CLICHÉ COUNT!) That’s pretty much Maggie’s philosophy, right?

Speaking of Little Miss Carpe Diem, Gary and Maggie are getting ramen when Gina calls to tell them it was a kidney stone after all. Get it, Gary! Gina tells them that she’s not mad at Maggie, while Rome explains in the background that he couldn’t tell Gina about how he was feeling because it would’ve made it too real. He passes the stone and apologizes to Gina for everything — hopefully including the fact that he just invited her to look in the toilet at his kidney stone. Back at the ramen place, Maggie dares Gary to steal the mic the lady is using to announce orders to sing “I’m Still Standing.” He gets up to do it and dares her to sing backup with him. So they do and, I’ll say it, they’re better singers than Eddie. Gary even throws in some dance moves. Before long, they’re up on the tables with the crowd clapping, having fun until they both start realizing how sad this whole thing is because soon she won’t be still standing. They hug. Aw, Gaggie, you’re killing me! (Sorry, poor choice of words.) Then Gary spots a bruise on Maggie’s arm (an effect of the cancer) and everything gets a little too real for him. In response, she dares him to show the world that he isn’t afraid of anything. It’s not a very specific dare. Let’s see what he comes up with.

At D’s ultrasound, Eddie and Delilah look at their baby and the doctor asks if they want to hear the heartbeat. You’ll forgive me for being surprised they found one and it’s all perfectly normal, given the way this show normally goes. What a pleasing twist! Eddie is overcome by it all and leaves the room. When they catch up outside, Delilah apologizes for making him pretend he’s not the father. He says it’ll be the hardest thing he does in his life, but he has to do the right thing, not the fun thing. “Whatever we did, whatever happened, we also created a life,” he tells her. With his new child in mind, Eddie goes to see some young, obnoxious drunk dudes at the bar. One of them is Casey, an up-and-coming singer who wants to buy Eddie’s song. Though he was initially reluctant, Eddie agrees to sell it to him. Casey’s pleased but wants to “screw with it.” Eddie tells him to put down the bottle so he doesn’t end up like him one day: “Forced to sell a great song to someone like you.” (Recap continue on page 3.)

Now for some happy news! Danny (D and Jon’s son) has a date with a boy from school and has enlisted Gary’s help. It might not actually be a date, but Danny has changed his shirt 15 times so maybe it is. Anyway, Little Danny’s feeling good about it so goes for a cliché. “Dad would say, ‘you have to play life on your terms,'” he tells Gary. (NUMBER THREE, FOLKS.) Maggie arrives and Gary shows her that he’s graffitied a wall with the words “Maggie was here.” He’s scared of heights and it was illegal so he’s shown the world he isn’t afraid of anything like she dared him to. Maggie likes it; it perfectly sums up her attitude to be here until she isn’t anymore. In fact she’s so pleased with Gary that she tells him to dare her to do absolutely anything. We all know where this is going. Gary dares her to get chemo. Maggie is upset with him and tells him that’s not fair. He tells her none of it is fair, but she’s mad that he’s neglecting their “we never talk about me getting treatment ever again” deal. Poor Gary can’t accept what’s happening. He tells her she’s scared. She responds that of course she’s scared and she thought he of all people would understand this. She walks away telling him that she can’t expect him to do this. Sob. Ah, sorry, I said happy news! Um, the kids go on their date and have a great time. Yay, young love! Luckily, Danny didn’t seem to listen when Gary told him relationships aren’t worth it because, you know, that’s maybe not the best advice for a ten-year-old kid.

Back on the Gina/Rome front, she’s mad that everyone else knew about Rome’s depression but her. Rome tells her if it wasn’t for her that he would’ve been dead a long time ago, which just terrifies Gina because she believes him. She tells him she needs to figure out who they are because she doesn’t know anymore. So Rome goes for the “let’s pretend we don’t know each other” role play thing and asks his wife out on a date.

As an acoustic version of “I’m Still Standing” plays, we see Eddie and Theo have a cute dinner together, while Delilah looks at baby pics of Danny. He comes home and D asks for details about his date. He nearly tells her his crush is a boy but stops last minute. She nearly tells him she’s pregnant but stops last minute. Gotta keep some secrets for another week, I guess!

Meanwhile, Maggie finds more bruises on her back. She gets upset, realizing the truth of her situation and flashes back to lots of cute moments with Gary. As she stares herself down in the mirror, she replays her own words in her head about enjoying what life she has left. How many episodes are in this season? Can we get an episode where she changes her mind about treatment STAT please?!

I feel like I’m going to be saying this a lot, but maybe next week?


 
 
 

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