A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 12 Review: Guilty

at .

Well, the truth is out.

We now know the story behind Eric and Chloe and his connection to Chad. And A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 12 also introduced us to Gary's mother and gave us a taste of what things were like for him growing up.

Between revelations and mommy issues, the hour touched on a few things.

Alice  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 12

What is it about road trips that bring about changes and self-reflection? The road trip Gary, Rome, and Delilah took was therapeutic and impactful for at least two of them.

To a lesser degree, Delilah got accolades for being a good mom, and it reaffirmed that she was doing the best thing by allowing Sophie to have her space to sort things through.

Play time - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 12

She didn't give up on Sophie or cast her aside, and motherhood is something that she's decent at or what have you. So maybe Delilah got something out of this road trip too.

But frankly, it's long overdue and refreshing to have her playing a supportive role in someone else's story and situations. She's leaned on everyone around her for a season and a half and been the center of everything.

You know I always say you're like a sister to me, but today you were more of a mother than Alice ever was.

Gary

She works much better this way, and it has led to the other characters getting to unpack their plethora of issues and get supported through everything too.

And that has been amazing.

Rome's Growth - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 12

Rome, for example, has, without a doubt, been the shining star of this season, and the show is better for it. When they give Romany Malco the work, boy does he deliver every single time.

And he's proven why he's easily one of the strongest actors and characters of the series.

Todd: You know as well as I do you can't copyright an idea, but hey, if that's what you need to do, maybe my law firm can finally earn their retainer.
Rome: Good line. Did you steal that one too?

Even something as seemingly innocuous as Malco's renaissance colleague from, like, everything, and guest-star Jerry Ferrera, returning as Rome's producer frenemy Todd became a meaningful storyline illuminating Rome's continued growth.

When he found out that Todd had stolen his idea and retooled it, Rome was justifiably livid. He pitched it to Todd, but for whatever reason, Todd wanted to turn it into some cliched "bros and sports" drivel.

Betrayed - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 12

Rome's story was too personal for him to give it away like that, so he had more than enough reason to say no. However, Todd using it to pitch his story with damn near the same dialogue, and everything, was enough to make any creative screech in condemnation.

Ugh, the gosh damn gall of that pint-sized twerp. He spent all of that time dodging Rome's calls and emails, and then when Rome came face to face with him, he was a total douche.

But Rome handled him beautifully when he waltzed in and interfered with Todd's meeting with in-demand actor Isaac.

Producer Friend - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 12

It was clear where and how the conversation would go the second Rome greeted him warmly and um, with his equivalent of "the nod" or "the handshake."

One point in Rome's favor over Todd with that move alone, even though that can go either way, it was Rome's honesty and passion about his story that spoke to Isaac more than anything else.

Rome: Do you know why I didn't take your no to turn a suicide attempt in the script to a sports injury?
Todd: Come on, Rome. I'm trying to have a meeting here.
Rome: I didn't take your no because those guys didn't come together over a sports injury. We came together because my best friend jumped from a building just as I was about to overdose on pills. That's righ, I tried to kill myself. So yeah, Todd, suicide is real to me. Depression is real to me. I've been trying to tell a story about how my friend dying saved my life, but then he tried to take that from me. But then I realized he can't take my story. Because the real story is mine.

Rome calling Todd out for what he did was beyond gratifying and cathartic, but it also made you proud of him. For so long, he was in denial about his depression. He was ashamed about it too.

And a factor in that as well was the cultural component in not acknowledging what he was battling and what it meant. It was a milestone for him to come out and admit that the story wasn't just his story, but it was HIS story.

A Creative Spat - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 12

He could be open with these men without shame about his fight and journey.

And his story is one of importance. A story about a sports injury barely scratches the surface of what could've been explored with the initial story of such heavy, raw topics like suicide and depression.

Todd: You know as well as I do you can't copyright an idea, but hey, if that's what you need to do, maybe my law firm can finally earn their retainer.
Rome: Good line. Did you steal that one too?

Todd's spin on the story was too shallow, and it wasn't anything that hasn't been done before either. Rome's story is powerful, and it would generate buzz and touch others.

It would get people talking, and for Isaac, who probably cares about his craft more than the dollar signs, that resonates more.

Explaining His Work  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 12

So it wasn't a surprise when Isaac contacted Rome willing to star, produce, and help fund this project, but it sure as hell was incredible and rewarding.

And there was the other component that Todd didn't have the insight to consider. Sadly, there is a long history of others stealing the work of ethnic minorities and disenfranchised groups.

Isaac: Guys like Todd have been stealing our stories for years.
Rome: Well, let's not let him steal another one.

Isaac wouldn't participate in the silencing of voices and stories. He, like Rome, knew the significance of Rome's story culturally.

Life is going well for Rome. He's winning in every aspect of it. It leaves me thrilled for him beyond measure but also worried something negative is coming.

Getting the Hang of Motherhood - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 11

Regina is in a bright place in her life too. She's excited about the adoption decisions, but she was concerned about telling her mother.

Sharon reacted better than anyone could've imagined. She was so excited that you spent the rest of the time wondering in what way would the other shoe drop.

Gina: Rome and I have made kind of a big decision, a decision that may surprise you.
Sharon: Oh my God --
Gina: We're adopting.
Sharon: We're having a baby.
Gina: Well we feel as a couple that adoption is the right choice for us.
Sharon: Yes, yes, I heard you. Adoption is incredible. I mean it's all of the joy and none of the stretchmarks.

Sharon means well, but she's always self-absorbed, and she's so easily offended by everything.

Again, kudos to the show for how they're willing to touch on the racial microcosms of their characters of color. They're doing a decent job at this, mostly with Rome and Regina without reducing them to just being the black/biracial friends of the group.

It's tough; you don't want to make all of their storylines or their experiences about their race, but you also can't gloss over and ignore it -- it's inauthentic and doesn't give a realistic depiction of their experience.

They do a good job covering the little things, like the hostess not realizing Sharon was her mother. They are the little moments that happen with a biracial person.

We would like to start a registry, and we need everything. Everything. In organic only and gender-neutral colors, OK? Who's woke? Me!

Sharon

And from a bigger point, Sharon's inability to understand the extent of what Gina has endured as a biracial woman was on display again.

Just as Sharon was commending herself on being "woke," Regina hurt her feelings by saying she preferred to adopt a kid who looked like her and Rome.

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

Sharon felt like Regina was rejecting her and implying that she wasn't part of her community like they didn't share blood, were family, and the same.

Her reaction wasn't unexpected, but it showed how hard it must have been for Gina growing up.

Regina: You may not see color, but I don't have that privilege. I know you did the best you could.
Sharon: Well, apparently, it wasn't enough, was it? Anything else? I think we're done here.

Her mother preferred to live in a world where color didn't exist and race wasn't an issue, but Gina never had that luxury.

Unfortunately, after her father left, she had to grow up with a mom who naively refused to see nor prepare Gina for a world where color matters.

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

She was a seemingly black girl and woman in an all-white world with no one else around who understood how that felt.

And Sharon didn't know things like the difference in hair texture and how awful it is when a stylist ruins it because of them not knowing how to style black hair, or how alienating it was when Regina was the only person of color at her all-white school.

I realize I've done that my whole life. Skating past the bad to get to the good. Pretending the world is better than it is. Honey, I turned a cheek to so many things because I thought it would be easier for you, but now I get how wrong that was. I let you down, Gina. I know that. That's why I was so happy today because deep down I thought the reason you didn't want children is because of me. Because I didn't set a good enough example. But starting now, I just hope I can be half the mother I know you're going to be.

Sharon

Regina was also sexually abused, and Sharon dismissed that too, so the layers to Sharon and Regina's relationship are intense.

Sharon came around and apologized, and it was a sweet moment. The two women have come a long way in repairing their relationship.

Making Peace - tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 12

But I'm sure the past will always come between them often. Regina spent a lot of time not feeling seen by her mother, and while the road trip trio was a refreshing dynamic not usually explored, it made me wonder what it would be like if Gina and Gary talked to each other about their mommy issues.

Gary split fandom with his immature behavior, but some of us maintain he was due for spiral after a year of keeping it together for everyone else.

Gary: Just because you're out of kids to mother, does not mean you get to scratch that itch with me.
Eddie: Hey, you do not get to say that to her.

He was acting like an ass, but the group came to kick his butt into gear. They worked together to do it too, which was amusing.

The humor in the past few installments has revitalized the series and kept it from being bogged down by too much heavy material.

Someone pushing another person into confronting family matters is risky. In some ways, they might have overstepped. But in the end, Gary benefitted from reuniting with his mother for as an adult.

Alice was not cut out for parenthood, and that's OK. It's not for everyone, but she was a selfish person who didn't care about Gary.

Alice: You were better off without me.
Gary: You saw what you wanted to see.

Marcia Gay Harden is such a delight, and she made Alice come to life in such a short period.

You understood this woman and the effect she had on Gary. It was hard to sympathize with her at all, though.

Disgraced Mom - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 12

She left, and when he accused her of not coming back, she thought she was doing something telling him about when she returned a year later.

As he said, she saw him laughing and playing with friends for a few minutes and deluded herself into thinking she made the best choice.

I smiled with some friends and that was enough to convince you that I didn't need you?

Gary

And then she never saw him again. What the f**k? Everything she said about how she was waiting for that moment didn't ring true.

If she wanted to see him, she would have. She had more to go on. She could have tracked him down at any point, but she didn't bother.

Gary Confronts His Mother - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 12

She didn't care, and there was nothing she could say to argue against it.

Gary's poor father spent years grappling with being abandoned and telling Gary that Alice didn't leave because of him.

Alice: I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Can we try again? Come back tonight, and I'll take you to dinner after the show. I know you have a lot of questions, and I want to be able to answer them.
Gary: Yeah, I don't think so.
Alice: Please?

It had to knock the wind out of him when he saw that cheesy tv show and Alice had a two-bit role in it.

The hurt had to be too much for him. She went off to live her dreams, and they weren't part of them.

Doesn't it make you wish you met him? Gary's entire life was shaped around severe abandonment issues and him thinking people left because of him.

Gary's modus operandi has always been not getting too close to anyone. If anything, he left before they could leave him. But Maggie changed everything.

Gary: The one person who was supposed to love me no matter what didn't.
Delilah: No wonder it was so hard for you to believe anyone else could.
Gary: Until Maggie. I finally opened myself up again, just to get burned.

We knew he had some deeper issues, but meeting Alice put things into perspective. Finally, he let someone in, and Maggie wanted to put the brakes on their relationship.

He felt like she was bailing on him too, and in his defense, Maggie did pull the rug from beneath him.

Gary Talks to his Mom - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 12

But meeting his mom gave him some clarity and closure. Maybe this is the end of Gary's little spiral.

He apologized and recognized that the group of people he calls his friends are his real family. They're the family that counts. Alice doesn't fit into the equation.

He got to express as much with Delilah, and their friendship has always been one that that stood out.

You know I always say you're like a sister to me, but today you were more of a mother than Alice ever was.

He even apologized to Maggie, and he came to support her after what happened with Eric.

He isn't ready to be anything more than friendly and cordial, and that's OK. He deserves his space.

Maggie's Dilemma - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 11

He put down a reasonable boundary. She shouldn't be running back to Gary after admitting to having feelings for Eric anyway.

So, we now know the real story and what Eric was hiding. It was what many of us had speculated.

Chloe was the real recipient of Chad's heart.

We got flashbacks to what happened on the day of the accident. And in true A Million Little Things fashion, it was the same day of Eric and Chloe's accident.

Chloe - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 12

Or maybe it was just that Eric happened to be there when Patricia took Chad off of life support.

Like he told Maggie, the worst day of her and Patricia's life was the happiest for him.

Chloe was the one who got your brother's heart. The best day of my life was the worst day of yours. Because of Chad, Chloe got six more years, but she should have had more. She should have had a lifetime if it wasn't for me.

Eric

Chad's heart went directly to Chloe. As a result, she got to live another six years.

Was anyone else trying to make sense of the timeline and Chloe and Eric's relationship?

Going for a Ride - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 12

Were they together for over six years, and they never got married? They were engaged, but after such a horrible ordeal, wouldn't you expect them to get married right away?

Because life is too short to wait for those things.

Or did he lie about being engaged to her, maybe? What if they were married?

Maggie: Where's your scar? Oh my god.
Eric: Maggie, just, just please let me explain!

And why and how did he buy her store? Her parents were upset enough to sue him for wrongful death, so they would have an issue with him buying the store.

Kissing Couple - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 12

Also, if she died six years after the transplant and the accident, then why did they sue him for wrongful death all that time later?

OK, kate277, you already called the Chloe connection and Eric's motivations stemming from pure intentions. Help me understand how Chloe's parents filed a suit against him six years after the accident that didn't kill Chloe?

I love you. Before I met you, I couldn't see anything but my grief. You changed that. And I know that I lied, but I just needed you to know that my feelings for you -- our connection I felt -- that was real.

Eric

Eric recounting this story and apologizing to Maggie while standing in a hallway, through a door was awkward.

It lost some of the emotional impact with that choice.

Taking a Pic - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 12

And they sailed through Eric and Chloe's connection and what happened rather quickly for it to be another one of those mysteries.

I'm happy they didn't drag it out and knew to give us some answers, but they rushed through them.

Is this the end of Eric's arc?

He didn't mean to, but he came into Maggie's life, blew it up, and then packed up his things and planned to leave.

What is Eric Hiding? - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 10

Even though he didn't mean to disrupt everything, and he started from a place of wanting to give Patricia some comfort, I can't say I sympathize with him.

His actions were gross and disturbing. It got far too out of hand to be forgivable.

Maggie: I don't understand. Why are you leaving? Don't you think that Chloe would want this for you? Don't you think she would want you to try to move on?
Eric: It's -- It's not that simple.

He reciprocated Maggie's feelings, but he couldn't do anything about them until he told her the truth.

He planned on moving and leaving, but he also hoped Maggie would be able to move past it.

Maggie's Discovery - Tall  - A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 10

Didn't it seem like he hoped they could be together?

Maggie is the first person he developed feelings for since Chloe's death. But that doesn't mean they should be together. And it doesn't mean Maggie and Gary should be together any time soon either.

She was ready to fall into Gary's arms again after Eric hurt her, but that's not how they should reunite. Gary doesn't deserve that.

Alice: Hi, who should I make it out to?
Gary: You should make it out to Gary. Gary Mendez.
Alice: Oh my God, Gary.

She wanted space and to figure things out, so she can't retreat to the safety and comfort he provides the second things get hard.

He's a person with needs of his own, not a security blanket.

Over to you AMLT Fanatics, did you guess the Eric, Chloe, Chad connection? Are you proud of Rome for owning his truth and getting his script produced? What did you think about Gary's mother? 

Hit the comments below!

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

Guilty Review

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

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A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 12 Quotes

Gary: Just because you're out of kids to mother, does not mean you get to scratch that itch with me.
Eddie: Hey, you do not get to say that to her.

Maggie: Looks like we've all got mommy issues in common. Some of us worse than others.
Delilah: Well, on behalf of all mothers everywhere, I apologize, ladies.