A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 9 Review: Time Stands Still

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If the series wanted to leave us on an emotionally wrought note, then they semi-succeeded. 

An abundance of powerful moments got mined from A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 9 with some standout performances.

The fall finale intriguingly led us in the direction we anticipated but left a small mystery to carry over into the second half of the season.

Life-Changing News- Tall - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 9

For much of the season, a few storylines were spinning idly on their wheels, waiting for the right moment to take off.

They both pertained to paternity and the inevitable effects of it. We knew how PJ's quest for determining who his father was and how that affected him dovetailed into the Charlie, Delilah, and Savilles situation.

Early into the season, it was evident that neither situation would come close to being reconciled until the midseason finale, which left a whole lot of handwringing waiting for the inevitable.

Secret Siblings - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 7

Once one wraps their head around the predictability of that, it was about enduring the journey.

It's evident that AMLT still struggles with its pacing. The sophomore season has made some improvements in some areas.

Pacing, however, is more pronounced with less mystery and climactic material to sustain it for those "big" moments. Unlike A Million Little Things Season 1, there is a lack of the mystery building up to shocking revelations.

A Serious Decision - A Million Little Things

Instead, the series has resorted to dragging on the two biggest mysteries serving as plot points because of a lack of anything else to explore (yet).

It even manufactured a mystery regarding PJ's paternity when everything leading up the revelation told us the answer.

Rome: PJ, what does it mean to be family? Huh? You helped me bury my mom. Stood right next to me, Eddie, Gary, and my brother because you are MY family. Family is not just the people who had you. Family is the people who raised you. Who loved you. You don't think Mitch loves you?
PJ: He lied my whole life.

We suspected PJ wasn't Jon's son. It would have contradicted A Million Little Things Season 1 Episode 17 if he was the father, and it's one of the reasons many people struggled with the storyline.

Man of Mystery - Tall - A Million Little Things Season 1 Episode 17

As much as Delilah and the Savilles were conflicted in telling their children the truth, we knew it was happening regardless.

One could even anticipate PJ's suicide attempt, no matter the revelation about his paternity. You don't introduce that element without exploring it.

So, most of the hour wasn't so much about being surprised by the development or how it would play out but experiencing the journey.

Meeting the Gang  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 6

It's a remarkable difference from the first season, but it doesn't mean it's not enjoyable.

The sophomore season is not about "if" something would get from point A to point B but how and when.

The PJ plot was at the forefront of the hour, and the reason behind the viewer's discretion.

I get it now. The reason she didn't want me to know is she didn't want you to know.

PJ

Chandler Riggs put forth a heartrending performance. It's one deemed laud worthy, no doubt.

Life-Changing News- Tall - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 9

He and Malco were magnificent and the best parts of the hour. When you think of the series, its origins, and what it intended to do, you think of Rome and PJ on that rooftop.

It took the series back to its origins. It's the raw, honest, aching exploration of depression and suicide that the series promised.

Rome: Gina, everything that I have put you through today must've been hard to see but I am not-
Gina: I am so proud of you, babe. I almost lost you six months ago, but today, you were strong, confident, brave.

It's what some of us came for at first. It's what made you say, "This is why you should watch this series."

It often feels like the series strays too far from this theme, which should be present.

Whoops! - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 8

I mentioned it while reviewing A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 8 -- the series is richer when Romany Malco has more to do beyond a well-timed joke.

He consistently gives incredible performances, and when he gets the meatier material, he draws you in every single time.

In the absence of Ron Livingston's charismatic but complex and nuanced portrayal of Jon, there are gaping spaces in the series at times.

Relating to PJ - tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 9

In those spaces is room for the others to flex their skills. In some ways, the series has recognized that, and thank God, they gave Grace Park more to do.

The cast as a whole is excellent, but Malco, Park, and Roday remain its heaviest hitters.

They work magic with their scenes, and the hour belonged to Malco first and foremost.

Everything that has transpired in the months since his suicide attempt was designed to break him.

Ugh, Siblings - tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 8

Rome has silently endured stressor after stressor and trigger after trigger.

He has done most of that with his battle falling to the background. It hasn't taken priority over a plethora of other issues.

A lot of his journey has fallen to the wayside. Does he still see his therapist? Did he give up anti-depressants or not?

Has he experienced dark moments again? Did he ever take his first suicide call, or was this it?

Baby Blues  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 1

Rome's battle with depression shifted to a marital spat over having children (with little discourse on what it would mean potentially passing that down to a biological child). Both of those got hijacked by the PJ paternity storyline.

Battling depression isn't a sprint; it's a marathon. But we saw Rome's progress when his mother died.

He was sad; he lost one of the most prominent women in his life. It was a "normal" sadness, though.

Regina: You were willing to risk your life to save PJ's. The way you were with him today, that's what a parent should do. Part of the reason I wasn't sure if I could be a mom is I didn't have that growing up. But I look at you and your mom, and I realize what a great job she did, and I want to do that for someone.
Rome: Are, are you saying?
Gina: I'm saying I want to adopt a baby. I want to save someone too.

Then, days after burying her, he was talking down PJ down the edge of a rootop.

Momma's Boy - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 8

No one else could've done it for PJ. As agonizing as it was for his parents and Regina, Maggie made the right call in keeping them at bay and trusting Rome.

It was such an incredible moment of coming full circle. Rome couldn't save his friend. He learned how to save himself and PJ, though.

PJ wasn't Jon's son, but he was an extension of him, and they were able to get him the help that he needed.

Siblings? Or Not? - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 6

They lost one to the battle, but they learned, and they weren't trying to lose anyone else to it again.

It wasn't going to happen on Rome's watch. Through PJ, we've experienced Rome's grieving process over the loss of his friend.

He didn't have the crippling sense of loss that the Dixons had. His grief wasn't loud like Gary's, nor was it overtly overcome with guilt as with Eddie.

Maggie: Wait, Gary's coming here?
Delilah: Yeah. It seems like a lot of people are talking about me behind my back.

Rome's grief, like everything else with him, was quiet. PJ was the outlet for him.

Marital Drama  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 5

The series centered their mishmash family again, and Rome's impassioned plea to PJ about what family means and how you define it struck the emotional chord better than Gary's attempt earlier in the hour.

The emotional impact of the guys -- Rome's brothers -- helping him bury his mother wasn't lost in the previous hour, so it was touching to have the words spoken during this one. It's how you knew it wasn't Rome feeding PJ nonsense.

It was real. Everything about the scene was authentic.

PJ: What are you doing?
Rome: Same thing you're going. A year ago, I was right where you are. It wasn't a rooftop, it was a mouthful of pills, just like that script you read. Yes, man. There are some dark days, but there's also tomorrow, and I'm here for you. We are all here for you, and I will not lose you. I will not lose you.

In a short while, PJ became Rome's family, and Rome welcomed him into it.

To Tell or Not to Tell - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 8

They're brothers. And to borrow from the late Sense8, they're brothers, "not by something as accidental as blood, but something stronger than that."

Rome helped him redefine family. Mitch wasn't related to him by blood, but he chose him.

It's why the poignancy of the chosen family can knock you off your feet. Someone had their choice of anyone, and they picked you.

Gary: Wow. It's just that you thought I was going to propose and that's your reaction.
Maggie: Gary, we've known each other less than a year, that would be crazy.
Gary: Would it?

Mitch chose to be PJ's father, and regardless of how rough around the edges he is, overbearing, and his colossal mistake of lying, he's a good dad who loves his son.

Standing Firm - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 9

Secrecy almost tore their family apart when honesty would've put them at ease.

PJ almost disrupted his parents' marriage believing that Barbara lied to Mitch, too.

They were steadfast in their attempts to protect him from the truth, and to this moment, nothing about it makes a lick of a sense. Why were they adamant?

Hey, pal. There's something we want to talk to you about.

Eddie

Why double down on the lies when he displayed a longing for more information? Did they not see how much he was suffering?

Barbara's Worried - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 9

They didn't comprehend how bad things had gotten with their son until they listened to Rome talking PJ down from the roof. Every word was like a sharp stab.

They thought they were doing the best for PJ, but the teen's expression of feeling as though pieces of himself were missing spoke volumes.

PJ's pain was a combination of the usual existentialism, and something more profound than that.

Feeling the heat - tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 9

Again, Riggs put his all into his performance, and he was brilliant. PJ walking down the street with his yellow backpack, beleaguered, with dark circles under his eyes was haunting.

The escalation of his pain was done well too. He was insistent that he was fine, but anyone paying attention knew it wasn't the case.

It was distressing the second he and Rome crossed the threshold of the rooftop because of how deep in your bones you knew what would happen.

The second Rome realized where it was headed, it was written all over his face. PJ was like a volcano waiting to explode, and it was built up right to the moment he was teetering on the balcony.

Rome joining him, getting on his level, as only he can, letting him know that he was there before but isn't now was a nail-biter.

Regina: You were willing to risk your life to save PJ's. The way you were with him today, that's what a parent should do. Part of the reason I wasn't sure if I could be a mom is I didn't have that growing up. But I look at you and your mom, and I realize what a great job she did, and I want to do that for someone.
Rome: Are, are you saying?
Gina: I'm saying I want to adopt a baby. I want to save someone too.

PJ didn't want to die, but he didn't want to hurt anymore, and he cared enough about Rome not to take him down, too.

Response to PJ's story arc is mixed, but the relationship between PJ and Rome is something special, and it would suck if we lost it this soon when it reached a point of interest.

Thankfully, PJ is getting the help he needs; and hopefully, the Barbara Morgan storyline is over.

Barbara's Worried - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 9

Gina was terrified listening to Rome talk PJ down, especially when she knew he had accompanied PJ on the ledge.

Their scene in bed solidified why they are the best pair. She was awestruck and proud.

The strength he exhibited, losing and burying his mom and saving PJ, was extraordinary.

She saw something she didn't consider, and it made her rethink her stance on children. She doesn't want to bear any, but she's interested in adopting a child.

Keeping Secrets - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 7

She wants to save kids the way that Rome was able to save PJ. He's great with them; she wants his natural abilities to make a difference.

With both of their backgrounds, they would be great foster parents to troubled children and teens. And, the storyline potential for them is vast.

It also keeps the stablest couple from separating over their different stances on children.

Baby Bliss - tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 7

The frustration is anytime the storyline is explored, it almost always results in the person not wanting children somehow coming around to the idea.

Why can't a couple decide they don't want kids and stick to it?

Last season, I suspected Gina not wanting children had to do with her childhood experiences, and I had a lengthy chat about it with one of our commenters, Steph. I had mixed feelings about it being an excuse instead of her simply not wanting them.

I hoped it wouldn't be the case, but suspected it would. Gina and Rome have found a compromise, but it still involves having children.

Auntie Gina  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 7

Where is the space for the woman who doesn't want children, and it's OK?

How about a couple who doesn't want them? Where's that story and representation?

In the end, it's never about how good they are with children or even whether they like them or not.

Delilah: You know what, Gina. I get that you think you know what's best, but you don't have kids. So how can you possibly know what's best for mine.
Gary: Stop!

Of course, Delilah's comment probably played a role in Gina reaching her decision, too.

Feeding Charlie - tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 3

It's nothing like having your whiny best friend throw it in your face when she's upset at you for her actions.

The audacity of Delilah will never stop being astounding.

Since she can't catch a clue if you give her a map, she refused to see the parallels between what was happening with PJ and his parents and her situation with Charlie and the Savilles.

Everyone wants what's best for their family, what about this family? My family. Because all you're doing is ripping us apart. Ever since Jon died, I am trying. I'm trying to keep us together. Man, I took you in. I agreed to be the guardian of your kid. And D, I held you in that driveway. I told you he was gone, and I promised you that I would be there and we would still be a family. I have stood by you through everything, even when I didn't agree with you because you are like a sister to me. I spent so much time helping people through cancer, and depression, and divorce, that here's an interesting little fact. I lost my job. But I would do it all over again if it meant keeping us together. Because I can get another job, but I cannot get another family.

Gary

She refused to see it until she was privy to PJ's suicide attempt as she stood on the other side of the door with his terrified parents and heard him talk about how much their lies destroyed him.

Decisions to be Made  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 5

Delilah was upset at Regina for keeping PJ's identity under wraps. Sure, the woman lost her mother-in-law a day ago, you know, like how Delilah lost Jon months ago (is it six months or a year? Why does it keep changing?), and uses that as her excuse for everything?

If you don't recall, Delilah expressed she couldn't handle any more life-altering news when Regina tried to tell her the first time, but Regina's default of protecting Delilah didn't meet Delilah's expectations this time.

Oh D, I'm not taking sides. The fact is you had the affair. You kept this a secret, and now you are angry at anyone who doesn't share your opinion.

Regina

It's difficult for Delilah ever to be in a position where she's allowed to get so upset about any of her friends lying to keeping a secret from her when she's the poster child for secrets and lies.

Mom Glow  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 5

It never works out, and it doesn't do her any favors in the eyes of those who don't care for the woman.

Also, she can't lean heavily on everyone for everything all the time and cherry-pick when they have a say and don't, or when they're family or not.

Delilah was snippy because Regina agreed with Katherine, and Rome's comment upset her, too. She didn't anticipate Gary somewhat jumping in on the action as well.

Look at where we're standing. This is Jon's last gift to us. Do you think this is the someday he imagined? It's not. It's not the someday I imagined either. So clean it up!

Gary

No one ever does. It took Gary's outburst and PJ's horrific ordeal for Delilah to see the light.

Gary Rants  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 9

She signed the paperwork to change the paternity on Charlie's birth certificate. She even took the necessary step and broke the news to her children.

Do you think it would've been better or worse if she sat down with Eddie and Katherine and they told the kids together?

Danny: What's going on?
Sophie: What is it?
Delilah: There's something we need to talk about as a family.
Sophie: Is this about dad?
Delilah: It's about Charlie and me.

Maybe the fallout wouldn't have led to Sophie taking it out on Eddie's guitars and studio.

It was one of those muted scenes where we didn't get to hear what Delilah said or what the children said back. They were upset understandably.

Fawning Over Charlie  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 5

The gist of it got captured. Objectively, it was a beautiful way of doing it. As someone who relishes moments when Delilah stands in her truth, it would've been cathartic if we heard the words.

Sophie is the one person whose reaction to Delilah would've been explosive. Maybe, during the second half of the season, it will, and we'll experience a fraught relationship they have to work to mend.

Sophie: You spoke at his funeral! You were his friend. I trusted you.
Eddie: I am so sorry.
Sophie: Don't! I hate you.

But, you know, for now, like everyone else, Sophie is taking it out on Eddie. It's the type of visceral reaction you'd expect from a teenager.

She's destroying his property, something they shared and loved: music, and his studio. She has every right to be livid about Eddie giving Jon's eulogy knowing damn well what he did.

Preserving Jon's Memory - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 5

Eddie is smarter and more mature these days, and he's taking the lashing in stride. He didn't try to stop her, nor did he attempt to explain and reason.

He's taking it to the chin. It would be best if they got to share things with Theo, since now telling him is marred by Sophie's emotional display.

Eddie: She listens to you. You should talk to her. She's like a brother to you.
Gary: Oh, because I don't have sex with her? Is that how we came to that dynamic? Dude, this is not where you where you eat.

And hopefully, the Savilles will divide and conquer to deescalate the situation. Katherine is good with Sophie, and she may be able to calm her down.

Hurricane Sophie is delivering, and Lizzy Greene killed that scene.

Jon's Girl - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 6

Is it wrong and petty to hope that Sophie directs the same energy to Delilah? Did she sneak out of the house?

Eddie has all of Sophie's ire coming to him, and it's a sight to behold. But Delilah deserves it and some, too.

He was livid with all of the distance and infighting in his family. He was tired of geting placed in the middle of things.

Eddie informing him how he and Katherine consulted a lawyer and were considering taking Delilah to the family court must've been the last straw for him.

Savilles United - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 7

Gary is a good friend, but he does let a lot of the issues he brought up fester without tackling any of them, so even some of his complaints didn't capture the full extent of everything.

For as much as he did for all of them, a lot of stuff he didn't put his foot down on soon enough.

Thanks for telling Delilah she was acting like a baby over other people not agreeing with her, but since she does seem to listen to Gary, what would've happened if he kindly called her out months ago?

Gary: You keep saying that you need to know who you are without cancer. I get it. While you're doing that, maybe I need to figure out who I am without you.
Maggie: Is that really what you want? You want us to end this.
Gary: No, what I want is for you to want us the way you used to, but you don't. So go.

He did agree to be Theo's guardian, but what would've happened if he called the group out for how they treated Katherine months ago?

Big 10 - tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 7

He was the most consistent person in their friendship group who helped Rome through his depression, but it still sucks that Rome stopped being close to a priority.

But Gary was right in feeling as though he's the only one who tries to hold their family together. During A Million Little Things Season 1, Gary made it his mission, whereas he lost some of that along the way this season.

Instead, he put his energy in trying to maintain his relationship with Maggie.

New Journey - Tall - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 8

It's taking a lot out of Maggie and Gary as they try to figure out what their relationship is like outside of cancer.

They moved fast, and now Maggie is realizing it and trying to pump the brakes.

Gary wants to move forward. Maggie reacted brutally as he explained when he got the engagement ring. It's hard for him not to be hurt by how relieved she was.

They should've taken a step back instead of one forward, and when they had their spat earlier this season, the writing was on the wall.

Bedhead - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 8

There are a lot of factors at play. Maggie doesn't know who she is now that she's cancer-free. She's still figuring out a lot of things. She's younger than Gary, too.

It's a lot to process, and their relationship went at a breakneck pace.

Gary: Let me ask you something when you were lying in that hospital bed, and you looked at me, and you told me you wanted to spend the rest of your life with me, did you only say that because you thought the rest of your life would only be six months?
Maggie: I don't know.

It was evident how she viewed the relationship before he even had to ask if she only agreed to forever with him because of the limited time.

Maggie and Gary love each other, but love isn't enough. They need time, which is something they both have now.

Fun Times with Gaggie  - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 8

Maggie had to understand that Gary was moving forward with their relationship at the pace they've always gone, and it's a lot to expect him not to want to continue in that way.

She said she was "all in," and he believed it.

Maggie isn't unreasonable in what she's saying and asking, though. The onus was on her to slow things down and communicate better here.

Gary: You keep saying that you need to know who you are without cancer. I get it. While you're doing that, maybe I need to figure out who I am without you.
Maggie: Is that really what you want? You want us to end this.
Gary: No, what I want is for you to want us the way you used to, but you don't. So go.

She wasn't talking to him, and when she did, she wasn't saying enough to make him understand. However, her behavior has spoken more than words have.

She gave him so many mixed signals, and then she projected and deflected.

M'Lady Maggie - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 1

In a heated discussion about their relationship, what did his mother have to do with it? He was right.

Maggie didn't get to bring up his mother in a conversation while expressing she's the one with the commitment issues.

Also, since she knew about his mother and his fear of abandonment, then why couldn't she communicate with him better in the first place?

I'm in love with you, but before I can say that I can be half of us, I have to figure out what my half is.

Maggie

Gary and Maggie needed the break. It was no way around it, but their breakup still sucked.

Maggie's Run - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 2

Maggie was feeling a certain way before she gave up her apartment, so why couldn't she have the conversation then?

The fellowship fell through, so she's not going to London, and now she has nowhere to stay. Does that mean she's staying with Eric until she gets on her feet?

Hey, what's up buddy. Yeah, I'm helping her move right now. I'm going to tell her, now it is just not the right time.

Eric

It took until post-breakup for her to realize her entire life for months was Gary and his friends.

She doesn't know a soul in Boston, which gives credence to her figuring out who she is without Gary, too.

Back and Blissful - tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 7

It was upsetting when Gary went back to his old ways of one-night stands. He wasted no time with that.

He's not good with change, as he and Enid ( who Gary has taken to visiting and helping her out since his guilt got the better of him) mentioned.

Will it be another case of him unraveling and the others not noticing? Will they remember to support him this time and kick his ass in gear like Jon used to do?

Gary: You keep saying that you need to know who you are without cancer. I get it. While you're doing that, maybe I need to figure out who I am without you.
Maggie: Is that really what you want? You want us to end this.
Gary: No, what I want is for you to want us the way you used to, but you don't. So go.

It seems they like to rotate who is going to channel Jon, and Gary has carried the torch for a long time, but will Rome or Eddie be the one to pick it up?

Earnest and Trying - tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 3

It seemed like it would be Eddie, but Rome has made a good case for himself in that regard.

Meanwhile, Maggie is going to be caught up in whatever is happening with Eric.

Who was he speaking to on the phone, and what is their connection to Maggie?

He has to tell her something important, but it wasn't the best time. What is the lastest mystery, and will it be an intriguing one?

A Man in Mourning- Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 5

What are the odds that Maggie's brother is still alive? What if Eric isn't the one who got Chad's heart?

What if Eric and Chad knew each other years ago, and he knows more about Chad and how he died?

Everything we know about Eric, we know from what he's shared, but people are not forthcoming with the truth on this series.

Eric Hugs Maggie - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 5

Who is Eric? Better yet, who the bloody hell was Eric speaking to on the phone?

I cannot wait to read your theories and thoughts in the comments. Hit the comment section below!

A Million Little Things will return with a new time slot, January 23 at 10/9c on ABC.

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

Time Stands Still Review

Editor Rating: 4.9 / 5.0
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Jasmine Blu is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 9 Quotes

PJ: What are you doing?
Rome: Same thing you're going. A year ago, I was right where you are. It wasn't a rooftop, it was a mouthful of pills, just like that script you read. Yes, man. There are some dark days, but there's also tomorrow, and I'm here for you. We are all here for you, and I will not lose you. I will not lose you.

PJ: Why do you think he never tried to reach out to me?
Delilah: I don't think he knew, PJ. There's a lot about Jon, I didn't know, but he was a good dad, and he would've wanted to know his son.