A Million Little Things Round Table: Did Papa Mendez Steal the Show?!


We met Gary’s father, and he was better than we could’ve anticipated!

In addition to meeting Gary’s dad, A Million Little Things Season 3 Episode 12 revealed that Eddie and Katherine’s marriage could officially be over, and it introduced the George Floyd saga.

Join Christine Orlando, Jack Ori, and Meaghan Frey as they discuss the hour.

A Million Little Things Round Table

What was your first impression of Gary’s father? Would you like to see more of him in the future?

Christine: Yes! Javier was great. He was an interesting mix of understanding, as with Darcy’s PTSD and Danny coming out about being gay, and old school thinking, such as blaming Jon for his suicide.

He sparked some great conversations between these characters, and I’d be happy if he visited again soon.

Jack: I loved Gary’s father! I was surprised he was as likable as he was, considering Gary’s attitude toward him. And the scene where he told Danny about his friend in Vietnam made me tear up.

Meaghan: I got really nervous about what his dad was going to be like given the reaction Gary had to him showing up, but he ended up being amazing.

I loved everything about his first meeting with Darcy. Meeting the parents can be rough, but his opening up about his own traumas in Vietnam to help relate to Darcy on a deeper level was incredible.

His shining moment had to be with Danny, though. Gary doesn’t give his dad enough credit. I understand his instinct to protect Danny, but his dad could not have handled the situation any better. I was an emotional mess during that scene.

Danny officially came out to his friends. React.

Christine: Good for him! I can’t imagine that kind of pressure.

When you’re heterosexual, there’s no need to announce your sexual preference to the world, but when you’re not, it’s like you have to define yourself in a public forum and deal with everyone’s judgment. It is unfair, and I hope we eventually get to the point where it’s not such a big deal.

Jack: I was glad that his friends were all supportive and that nobody had any weird reactions. I was also glad that Danny had such a strong storyline.

This was important for LGBT kids to see, I think. Too often kids feel alone and not only need the representation but stories where LGBT kids get support from family and friends.

Meaghan: I am so proud of him for owning his truth. Danny has always been a standout character in the series; watching him struggle with having to hide such a big part of himself has always been difficult.

Sadly, we live in a world where he ever would have to worry about his friends’ reactions.

As Jack and Christine said, I hope this is a step in the right direction so that one day members of the LGBTQ+ community do not have to live in fear of anyone’s reaction to their truth.

A Million Little Things showed once again that they can take on important issues in ways that feel so authentic. The series has really hit its stride this season.

Are you surprised Katherine went to a hotel with Alan?

Christine: Yes and no. Katherine is hurting and confused. She feels better when she’s with Alan, so it’s tempting to go all-in with him. But Katherine knows this isn’t the right time. She is still married to Eddie, and she’d just be using Alan.

I love Katherine because even though she’s in pain and miserable, she still stops herself from going down the wrong road.

Jack: I was surprised it got to that point so quickly. I knew Katherine was confused and hurting, but I didn’t expect her to go that far. I’m glad she realized it was the wrong time.

Meaghan: I knew we were heading in the direction, but I didn’t realize we were already in secret hotel rendezvous territory!

I give both her and Alan a lot of credit for acknowledging that it wasn’t the right time for them and hitting pause. If Katherine had crossed that line, I think she would have regretted it, and it would have ruined her and Alan’s eventual chances at being in a happy, healthy relationship.

Katherine deserves that more than anything, so I hope she takes all the time she needs to heal from the emotional toll her marriage has taken on her.

Katherine wants a divorce. React.

Christine: I understand it. Katherine has dealt with so much with Eddie; years of addiction, recovery, his affair and the baby it produced, his accident.

Darcy had a point about Eddie needing more help than he had after the accident, but the flip side is that support was available from his cadre of friends; Eddie just wouldn’t ask for it.

He decided to use the pills and hide instead of just saying he needed help. That has destroyed all of the trust he and Katherine had fought so hard to build.

Unfortunately, Katherine may not have it in her to give Eddie yet another chance, and I can’t blame her for that. She has the right to be happy.

Jack: I think this has been building for a while. If Katherine wants out, it’s the best choice, especially if they want Theo to have a stable home life. And, as Jackie said, Katherine was first dealing with her emotions about Eddie being back.

Addiction is a disease, but it’s not one that everyone is equipped to handle, so I can’t really blame Katherine for wanting to leave, even though it saddens me.

Meaghan: I am completely on board with whatever decision Katherine makes. She can’t just stay with Eddie because he is an addict and needs her.

She, at some point, has to put her own needs first. It wouldn’t be fair to her or Eddie for her to stay and be miserable. That isn’t the healthy thing for either of them and will only hurt them in the long run.

Once they aren’t married anymore, their relationship as co-parents will have more room to blossom and strengthen. I think they will remain great partners in that sense.

Do you think the series rushed through Eddie’s rehab?

Christine: Yes. I hope we see Eddie interacting in group therapy or with a therapist.

Rehab isn’t a magic pill. He’s in a very precarious place right now, especially with his marriage on the rocks, and he’s going to need help maintaining his sobriety.

If Jackie hadn’t been there when Eddie got the call from Katherine, I’m not sure how he would have reacted.

Jack: Absolutely. When they jumped a month and Eddie was coming home, I thought it was awfully fast. Twenty-eight days is not really enough time as it is, but I wish we’d at least seen Eddie participating in his treatment a little more.

I also hope that he has arranged for outpatient care — going from rehab to nothing is going to make it tougher for him than it needs to be, especially with Katherine wanting to end the marriage.

Meaghan: Definitely! With how wonderful the show has been at tackling huge issues throughout its run, especially in this season, in particular, I think they could have really shone a spotlight on the recovery process for addicts.

There are a lot of misconceptions about addiction and recovery. I would have loved for them to really dive deep into that. It’s also hard to accept that Eddie is in a good place when we are just being told it versus seeing him really put in all of that work.

Are you enjoying how well Tyrell fits into the Howard family?

Christine: Tyrell, Rome, Gina, and Walter were so much fun in this episode. I loved how they talked and joked about the condom in the car and all of its possible implications. I hope we see more of these types of scenes for them moving forward because they all felt like family.

Jack: Yes, I thought he was the perfect addition to the family, and I loved how he encouraged Walter with Florence.

Meaghan: I love their dynamic so much! He managed to fit into their family perfectly. It’s crazy because you would think it would feel rushed, but the chemistry between them all is so natural.

What are your thoughts on the series addressing George Floyd?

Christine: Honestly, with the Chauvin trial having just concluded, this felt a bit heavy-handed. It’s an important topic, but this was such an otherwise fun episode that the change in tone felt almost overly dramatic.

I wish that they’d held off on this until the next episode because I’m left with a feeling of dread moving forward.

Jack: I think the fact that the news put a damper on a fun occasion was the point.

I’m not a person of color, but my friends who are have said over and over that this is something they live with every day, that whenever one of these incidents makes the news, they think about whether it will be them or their loved ones next time.

The people this affects most don’t have the luxury of having a nice family moment without the possibility of yet another racist incident intruding, and AMLT did a great job of showing that.

Meaghan: I trust that the series can handle George Floyd and police brutality in a way that doesn’t feel it is just another box to check off like it has come across in other series lately.

Something I am already happy to see is that it seems like they will take us into a protest situation next week, which is an area which a lot of shows have shied away.

What was your favorite moment? Is there anything else you’d like to address?

Christine: I thought Walter explaining why he feels awkward moving things forward with Florence was really sweet.

And I loved that Gary sold the engagement ring he was going to give to Maggie. That felt like a serious end to the Maggie/Gary reunion speculation. And Gary saying how you don’t reuse an engagement ring sounded like he might be thinking of a future where he proposed to Darcy!

Jack: I thought the scene where Gary told his dad off for judging Jon’s suicide was one of the most powerful of the hour. I’m glad that AMLT continues to put the focus on taking mental health issues seriously.

Meaghan: Gary’s dad having his talk with Danny about his friend from Vietnam. It was the perfect accompaniment to Danny’s coming out story.

Over to you, AMLT Fanatics. Do you agree with us or disagree? Hit the Show Comments tab below and sound off!

A Million Little Things airs Wednesdays on ABC.

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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