A Million Little Things season 1, episode 1 recap: ‘Pilot’


A Million Little Things breaks our heart into a million little pieces with its tearjerking pilot.

A Million Little Things isn’t perfect, but that’s almost what makes it so intriguing to watch. Are there aspects of it that may or may not be perceived well? Sure, but to be honest, I really enjoyed the pilot and the story it told in the show’s very first hour.

The pilot introduces us to four male friends who have been through thick and thin together–marriages, addictions, children, heartbreak, and the works. The four guys, Eddie Saville (David Giuntoli), Rome Howard (Romany Malco), Gary Mendez (James Roday) and Jon Dixon (Ron Livingston have a bond that began within the confines of an elevator they all got stuck in years before.

The A Million Little Things pilot begins with Jon looking out across the city from a fancy, up-scale office as he works on a deal over the phone. His secretary is sent out for a lunch and all seems to be hunky dory for the time being. The scene switches to Eddie trying to pack a suitcase and it very quickly becomes obvious he is having an affair and wants to leave his wife.

Gary is seen in a doctor’s office as he awaits to hear cancer test results. He is a breast cancer survivor and even attends a support group made up primarily of women. It is there he meets Maggie Bloom (Allison Miller) who is a fellow survivor and also the woman he hooks up with after the meeting. This ties Maggie into Gary’s life very quickly, and it leaves us wondering why we all can’t meet people that easily.

Credit: ABC

And then the scene switches to Rome, who is writing a note, a suicide note as he grabs a bottle of pills. Repeated phone calls from Gary disrupts his attempt and everything that follows happens all too quickly. When Rome finally picks up Gary tells him Jon has committed suicide by jumping off the balcony of his office.

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Fast forward to Jon’s funeral where we continue to learn more about the four friends as they speak at the service and amongst each other. It was Jon who really formed the bond between the four of them and it was Jon who inspired them and reminded them that life is too short. Which is why they are so confused and frazzled as to what happened.

Essentially, we learn that Jon had what could be presumed to be a perfect life–kids, a beautiful wife, and a group of friends that adored him and whom he loved and would do anything for. The pilot doesn’t disclose what was going on with Jon but I’m certain this will be revealed at some point in the season, and I am definitely curious to learn as well.

A commendable aspect of A Million Little Things is the manner in which they handle the aftermath of Jon’s suicide, especially his friend’s reactions. While some of them are distraught and even angered over the unexpected news, there is still some light shed on the fact that there are people who silently suffer despite their presumed ideal circumstances. A point which Rome brings up regarding himself later in the episode.

A curveball that we did not see coming was learning that Eddie was having an affair with Jon’s wife. This simultaneously shocks you and then leaves you to wonder if it has anything to do with why Jon decided to end his life. Oh, the mystery.

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There are some areas within the pilot episode that make us question where the story is going and if the focus will simply be on the why of Jon’s suicide or if it will focus on the mystery and allure of his suicide. These are two very different things and can shape the course of the series and whether or not it will be criticized or revered amongst those watching.

But the story has just begun and while there are one too many convenient plot setups and dismissed notions embedded in the pilot, I look forward to seeing where the series goes in the coming weeks.

A Million Little Things airs every Wednesday on ABC at 10 PM EST!