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A Million Little Things Season 3 Episode 5 Review: non-essential



Coronavirus is closing in and already affecting this found family, but there’s something hopeful in knowing they all have each other.


In the aptly named “non-essential,” A Million Little Things Season 3 Episode 5 picked up where A Million Little Things Season 3 Episode 4 left off, with their lives carrying on but on the cusp of a halt as COVID closed in on everyone.


For those who are fatigued with coronavirus storylines, is this too much for you? Or do you appreciate a series depicting how everyday non-essential people are affected by the pandemic onscreen?


The thing about a series like this touching on COVID is how there are many ways the show can explore how this affects people, and it’s reflective of our experiences. For some, there’s something cathartic in that, and for others, it still impedes their escapism.


For most of them, things were going well until they weren’t.


Rome’s first table read was an exciting ordeal for him. After two years of pouring his heart and soul into his script, the process for filming was beginning, and he couldn’t contain his excitement.


It was such a huge accomplishment, unimaginable, and it’s his dream come true. It was absolutely heartbreaking when Will informed him that everything was coming to a halt.


Rome and Shanice were doing everything they could to make it work, pushing the schedule around and hoping to salvage the project so that they could work around the two-week halt on filming.


However, as we know, it was a tentative thing. The investors didn’t want to take that risk, and in hindsight, they shouldn’t have. Two-weeks turned into a hell of a lot longer. No matter what Rome or anyone hoped for or attempted to do, it didn’t matter.

This is a culmination of years of hard work. You totally deserve today.

Gina [to Rome]


It’s interesting to consider. Sure, we often think about the inconvenience of our favorite series or movies not getting created. Most of us probably thought about it where it involved established series or blockbuster hits.


But what about all of those people like Rome — those who were having their first experience and debut? The uncertainty of this meant they worked so hard for their big shot. What if they never got that opportunity again?


Shanice’s words were reassuring to him, and it’s the type of thing he needed to hear in the face of all of that awfulness. He set out to impact multiple people and provide something that resonated and maybe saved lives.


His script moved her; it resonated and saved her. It isn’t what he had in mind when he set out for all of this, and his dream is on hold for the time being, but there’s solace in knowing that.

Look, Rome. You told a story because you wanted to impact people. Just know that you affected one person so deeply. Thank you. Thank you for letting me be your Regina.

Shanice


Rome’s moment at his mother’s grave was lovely. He wanted to make her proud. Even in death, it doesn’t stop him from seeking his mother out for advice and comfort when it seems the world is going to hell.


The gang coming together to read his script and give Rome the table read he deserved was such an archetypal AMLT moment. Delilah wasn’t there, but Darcy could step in and read her part, and it’s beautiful how these friends find ways to support each other.


Darcy isn’t exempt from that; she continues to blend in with the group seamlessly; the situation with Darcy, Maggie, and Gary is not as predictable in its complexity but no less complicated.


Gary was rightfully worried about Darcy and wanted to help. He called Maggie, and she recommended a therapist for Darcy. It was the perfect fit, as Darcy’s therapist is also a female veteran, and while she didn’t get into her nightmares yet, she felt comfortable with the woman.

Writing this script, it was my attempt at trying to figure out why I’m still standing here and Jon isn’t. And the truth is, I will never know why, but I can tell you what I did discover through these characters, you all. Is how to make every moment count, because life isn’t just about the moments, it’s about who you share them with. Everyone at this table has impacted my story, so now, it’s our story. I couldn’t ask for help today, but when I needed you, you showed up, and for that, all I can say is thank you.

Rome


What Darcy wasn’t comfortable with is Gary going to Maggie and telling her Darcy’s business while eliciting help. You can’t blame Darcy for feeling exposed and hurt by the maneuver. She’s a private person, and it takes a lot for her to let her guard down with others.


She did that by confiding in Gary about her PTSD and her nightmares, which no one else knew about, and he divulged the information like it was nothing to his ex-girlfriend.


Darcy should have control over who she wants to discuss such personal things with, and the last person she’d feel comfortable with knowing what she likely deems her weakest and most vulnerable flaws is her boyfriend’s ex.


Darcy, Maggie, and Gary have such a mature dynamic happening right now. They are all trying to navigate the relationship and friendship; each of them is a good person, and they all want the best for each other.

Darcy: So you reach out to your ex-girlfriend because your new girlfriend is so broken.
Gary: No, that’s not how I see you.
Darcy: That’s what it feels like. I know you and Maggie are still connected and I’m not asking you to change that. I’m only asking that you understand how that affects me.


Darcy and Maggie get along well and genuinely like each other, so Darcy’s issues didn’t come from how close Maggie and Gary are. She respects that closeness and doesn’t think it should stop, but she wanted some privacy and needed Gary to know how it can affect her at times.


Maggie does try to respect Gary and Darcy’s boundaries, and Gary is trying to be a great friend to his ex while maintaining his relationship with his current girlfriend.


Offering Maggie a place to stay while she was in town was sweet and genuine, and while they all hit some awkward bumps, it’s not from an unsavory place or beyond what they can work through.


Gary’s maturity continues to be a highlight of the series as it progresses. For example, as great of an uncle as he is, who’d have thought he’d be the best person to stay with the kids while Delilah was away?

Gary’s babysitting, you breed ’em, we feed ’em. This is Gary.

Gary


And now that Delilah’s father broke his hip, and she’s stuck with him for at least another eight weeks, Gary has his work cut out for him taking care of the Dixon kids for longer than expected.


The craziest part is that now that Europe is closed due to the virus, it means it’ll probably be a long time before Delilah and the baby can return. It poses so many things here.


How does Delilah raise two of her kids from thousands of miles away? The separation will be awful for her while she’s with a baby and a father with dementia.


What’s the separation going to feel like for Eddie, whose daughter is across the pond? No parent found themselves prepared for kids and teens in quarantine, and now Gary and the others have to help the Dixon kids and an anxiety-ridden Theo through that.


And that’s before we get into what life will be like for Gina running a fine-dining restaurant.


The situation with the sublease and Gina and Katherine facing eviction was a storyline that started off uninteresting, but then it became emotional when Alan proved to be another piece to the Jon puzzle.


He was the person Jon was on the phone with before he died. He was the last call made –the one that orchestrated the deal for Regina to get her restaurant.


The weight of being the last person someone spoke to before they killed themselves weighed heavily on Alan, and he hasn’t forgotten any of it.

Alan: I hope I didn’t seem too caught off guard when you mentioned Jon. Truth is his death really affected me.
Katherine: Yeah, it changed all of us.
Alan: The thing is, the last call Jon made, the one when he negotiated the space for the restaurant. I was the person on the other end.
Katherine: Oh, Alan, you can’t think.
Alan: No, no, I don’t. But after he died, I thought about that call a lot. I just assumed that he was being a shrewd businessman, and I didn’t realize that he … I didn’t realize.


Suddenly, it shifted from Katherine fighting like hell for her and Gina despite Carter’s screwup, and it was something else entirely. It moved Alan when Katherine shared why the place was so important to them.


Jon still has a way of connecting people, and his impact on their lives continues to surpass his existence on his earth. It’s such an incredible legacy to have.


Alan choosing to cover for Katherine and Gina was such a genuinely beautiful moment. Unfortunately, the magic of it vanquished when Gina realized that her restaurant has to cut its capacity.


It only gets bleaker from here, and this rockstar chef will have to figure out how to stay afloat on take-out and delivery probably.

While this may look like a rental property to you, it’s actually a place where three women have seen their dreams come true all thanks to the legacy of their friend, and if your client evicts us, all of that goes away.

Katherine


And Katherine, it’s such a storm coming for her too. She opened a small firm, but she’s going to have a tough time once shutdowns happen. It can go one of two ways, either she won’t be busy enough, or she’ll be too busy given her area of law, but only in time.


And she still doesn’t know about Eddie’s addiction. So far, he’s doing a great job hiding it from others.


We get to see his relapse unfold before our eyes. Because of the slippery slope road leading to it, he still manages to remain sympathetic despite him violating his sobriety and the vows he made to Katherine and Theo. Though, it’s still frustrating to watch.


It’s another element of the pandemic that you don’t see discussed as much. While Eddie started taking the drugs beforehand, it does shed light on the difficulties many have faced.

Darcy: Did you tell her about my nightmares?
Gary: I did.
Darcy: You only know about that because we sleep together. Nobody else knows until now.


His physical therapy is deemed non-essential, and so are many of his appointments. It’s a matter of priority and putting public safety ahead of individuals, but what good does that do for someone like Eddie in real pain?


He phoned in for a refill on his prescription, but he flushed those, and because of the opioid crisis and laws set into action to avoid drug abuse, he couldn’t get them refilled until after the full 30 days.


Eddie feels the pressure of trying to be the best dad he can be to Theo, mourning his glory days when thought he was at his best, and he’s trying to keep his pain under wraps. In his efforts to be the best husband and father and not screw things up, he’s messing them up by relapsing and lying about it.


He can’t go through an entire pandemic without getting help, so it’s best if he confesses now. He already stole Vicodin from Rome and Gina’s place, so it’s only a matter of time before that comes to light.

Rome: What are you talking about, man. You’re the best dad in the world.
Eddie: Yeah, I don’t know about that, but I’m trying.


Eddie is probably scared of losing his family and letting them and his friends down in this effort to do the opposite. However, this situation isn’t like relying on booze and drugs out of inconsideration and irresponsibility.


Everyone knows what he has gone through and how much pain he’s in, so they’ll be there for him. All he has to do is ask for help.


It was too much for him to expect to go through all of this without any drugs. He should’ve taken the cortisone shots the first time. He should’ve set up a plan where Katherine distributed the medication to him so that they could manage his intake and addiction.


It’s still not too late for that.


A pandemic is only going to add more stress and pain to this situation.


Speaking of stress, what on earth is going through Maggie’s mind? She went to her appointment fearing that her cancer could be back, and she left it finding out that she’s pregnant!


Things were awkward when she bid Jamie farewell in London. They like and care about each other, but it’s as if they don’t know how to categorize their relationship or know where they stand with one another.


Maggie suddenly going back to Boston was a blow to Jamie. You could see it all over his face. He didn’t want her to leave, and when they were saying their “see you laters,” you could tell that they both weren’t sure if that was true.

Katherine: Looks like Jon came through for us again.
Regina: You played a part too, but unfortunately, it doesn’t really matter anymore.
Katherine: What do you mean?
Gina: I just found out that restaurants have to go to 50% capacity starting tomorrow. I don’t know how long we can survive like that!


Jamie was frantically calling her nonstop. Maggie’s short trip to Boston is now something more permanent. Where does it leave her position in her program?


What does that mean for her job? All of her things are still in London right now. Oh, and she’s discovered that she’s pregnant with Jamie’s kid, and she hasn’t told him yet.


How awful is it going to be for them, going through all of this apart from one? They don’t even know what they are to each other right now? They won’t even be able to figure all of that out face to face.


And we haven’t even considered the Gary aspect of it all!


Over to you, AMLT Fanatics! Are you shocked by Maggie’s pregnancy? How do you think the pandemic will affect the group? Hit the comments below!


You can watch A Million Little Things online here via TV Fanatic.

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





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