Jon is gone, and the series moved on from his death and the mysteries surrounding it, but his presence lingers.
It is one year after he died, and A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 17 beautifully commemorated his life and death throughout the day as the ones he left behind reflected on how their lives have changed since then.
It's by no means the season nor series finale, but the hour had that vibe. The series could've ended with this installment, and it would've been on a positive, full-circle note. Like Gary said, it's a fresh start.
It was an hour that showcased how the group of people has grown and evolved since Jon's death and had forgiveness on full display as nearly everyone made peace with the past and their actions.
There was a sense of hope and finality as if a chapter of the series had officially closed, and maybe that's why it feels like a bookend.
Even though he's gone, Jon is still bringing us together.Katherine
The series teased Ron Livingston's return as he reprised the role, but instead of more flashbacks, Jon appeared in the dreams of a select few. Arguably, the people who were grappling the most with his death and where they are in their lives now.
Sadly, it didn't extend to Rome or Regina, or his children, and the hour dashed our hopes of flashbacks to Jon and Katherine's friendship.
But the most meaningful dream of them all was the one at the end when he finally went to Delilah.
She's gone two seasons believing that Jon was upset with her and wouldn't come to her. It's something she expressed when she went to speak to the psychic, and the spirit of Maggie's brother showed up instead.
Gary: I need to fix my life. I don't know how I'm going to fix my life.
Delilah: So what prompted this existential crisis?
Gary: Your husband. He's haunting my dreams now.
Delilah: Oh. I wish I had dreams about him. I never do anymore. It's almost like he doesn't want to talk to me.
Delilah felt that Jon was upset with her and didn't want to see her, and she lamented, on occasion, having his memories slip. It wasn't surprising that she was bothered upon learning Jon went to Gary in a dream.
Eddie was dreaming of him too, and she felt left out. She thought he was angry at her over the affair, Charlie, and whatever else, and it was eating away at her throughout the day.
Delilah claims that guilt has been eaten her since Jon's death, and we've seen it now and then, so it holds a bit.
Of course, her evening with Miles went so well that the young, hot millennial was texting her incessantly and utterly sprung. Oh, the Delilah effect, am I right?
Delilah: I'm not sure. I'm ready to move on.
Maggie: If you're not ready, that's fine. But if it's because you feel guilty, or you think you don't deserve it. I don't accept that.
Maggie encouraged her to call him again or go out with him and to be happy. She told Delilah that if she isn't ready to date again, then that's fine, as long as she wasn't avoiding it out of guilt or as punishment.
I guess Miles made her happy, and deep down, she at least wants to date or be physical with someone else? Delilah said she wasn't ready for it, and she mentioned that with everything that has transpired throughout the year, she never got to grieve her husband.
She was reflective of the good times in their marriage and her love for him, and often, the series strays from the love that was between them, so it was one of the handfuls of times when Delilah felt like she was grieving.
But then, dream Jon showed up to officially absolve Delilah of her sins, so to speak, and take accountability for breaking their vows first. Oh, and of course, to give his blessing for her to move on from him.
Dream Jon: You should answer it, Delilah. I mean give the guy a break already.
Delilah: I don't want to answer it. He's not you.
Dream Jon: Yeah. But I wasn't me either. Not at the end. We both know I broke my vows long before you broke yours. I stopped being there for you. It's time to let me go. If you want to know what I want, it's for you to be happy.
Delilah: I miss you so much.
He wants her to call the hottie she picked up at the bar, you guys! Go forth and bang to your heart's content, Delilah.
Sorry, it was a beautiful moment since we haven't had a scene like that for them. And before anyone gets testy, no, Delilah shouldn't have to feel guilty and beat herself up for the rest of her life.
It's not the issue; it's that anytime she comes close to acknowledging her actions and actual contrition, someone always swoops in to make sure she doesn't feel guilty.
She rarely sits in her guilt, so we don't see it often at all. And her conversation with Maggie in the kitchen was such an introspective moment wrought with a myriad of feelings, but then Jon appearing via dream so HE could more or less apologize and give her his blessing undoes that moment for Delilah.
So much has happened since he passed. We were lost. And now it feels like we're all finally in a better place. All of us. Not because he died but because he convinced us to live.Rome
She's right about not having time to grieve. So much has happened, and we haven't seen the wife mourn. For some people, grief is quiet, but for Delilah, it's something that slipped down the list of things she was facing.
We've seen others grieve Jon more than she has from Gary's anger to Rome's sadness and fear to Katherine's quiet, sullen moments. We've seen Delilah hold other people's hands through their more overt forms of grief, but we rarely got that from her.
Her conversation with Maggie opened the possibility that maybe now that she HAS the time to focus on herself and feelings, she would.
I almost wished we saw Delilah during or after her hookup with Miles as it hit her that she was intimate with a stranger for the first time since her husband died, and she freaked out or something.
Delilah: Jon would have wanted you to have this. You gave me my house. The least I can do is give you an office.
Eddie: With your name on the door.
The hour opened up Delilah's feelings about her husband and the good times they had. It introduced us to her deep sadness and mourning, not her flirting with guys at a gas station, or cursing his name for saddling her with debt, and I would hate for them to shut the door on that instead of letting it breathe.
With Delilah, it's always a weird thing of her getting closure without us witnessing the struggle toward her reaching it.
Dream Jon gave her closure, even though neither of them uttered an apology per se, it was implied, at least on Jon's part, and he gave her his blessing. But in a sense, she got closure on something we rarely saw her grapple with, and that's what always makes her portion fall short.
You can't let one mistake define a person.Gary
The show did better this season, intentionally allowing her to be unlikable and messy and getting called out on it, but it's so eager to make her sympathetic. More often than not, it backfires.
When that happens, it misses some great moments of character study.
But it at least feels like they put the past behind them, and everyone got a new beginning.
Despite forgiving her mother, Sophie's anger toward Eddie hadn't dissipated. It wasn't a matter of blaming him exclusively for the affair after understanding why her mother did it.
I heard my mom say you haven't visited yet. Look, I'm just so tired of being mad. You should visit him.Sophie
She was upset with Eddie for betraying her too. Every time he was with her and they were playing music and having a good time, he was lying to her. It was a betrayal of their relationship.
But Sophie overhead Delilah talking to Eddie, and she learned that he hadn't been to Jon's grave since the funeral. He felt too guilty, and how could he ask forgiveness of his friend when Sophie wouldn't forgive him?
It took a few months, but when Eddie listened to Jon's message again, he didn't immediately put a positive spin on it. Before, he accepted the message as forgiveness.
It was suitable that he would listen to the message multiple times a year to the day and also that he made amends that day, too.
For so long, I wondered whether or not you knew, but it doesn't matter. I knew. I knew what we did. And I'm so sorry, Jon. I'm so sorry. I love you man.Eddie
Eddie apologizing to Jon at the gravesite was another touching moment, and he and Sophie making up was more emotional than when she did the same with her mother.
Gary's approach to getting her to forgive was an effective one. He mentioned that he loved Jon, and if he used his one action of taking his life and not letting others help him overshadow everything else, it would be awful.
Sophie and Eddie have such a special bond, and there was always a connection through music. It's lovely that Sophie hasn't abandoned that, and Eddie was able to encourage her to stick to music even if she was upset with him.
It was also an opportunity for Rome and Walter to make amends again. Their relationship is a complicated one, and it's realistic for them to show that it isn't always roses just because they came to understandings before.
You know what I think? I think you're scared to look too closely at your son because you might see yourself there.Regina
Walter read Rome's script, and he was upset that Rome never told him about his suicide attempt. Walter is a hard guy to speak to, but he isn't always aware of the effect he has on Rome.
Regina nailed it when she said the reason Walter responded to Rome the way he did was because of his fear that he'd see himself in his son. He's a man who went his entire life battling depression and denying it.
Rome is a reflection of him, and it has to be difficult for Rome to carry a birthright from his father and have Walter fight him on it the entire way out of fear.
But their reunion was also sweet, and Walter learned that he does have to show Rome how much he loves him in other ways. The two of them setting up the stars on the ceiling in the nursery was the best.
Katherine: Eddie I can't put it all on you.
Eddie: Yes, you can. Katherine, after all the years of supporting my dreams, let me finally support yours. For the first time in a very long time, I got this. I got us.
And so was Delilah, Regina, and Eddie working together to give Katherine the space above Someday.
Katherine's job search wasn't going well, but it did give us great moments like she and Regina commiserating over being women of color in the job force. It's moments like that A Million Little Things Season 1 lacked and one of the reasons Katherine's lack of integration in the group or connection with anyone was irksome.
Those are the type of casual conversations friends and acquaintances have, and it's a more realistic depiction of interactions. It never made sense not to have Gina and Katherine as semi-closer friends.
Keeping with the theme of forgiveness, making amends, and fresh starts, giving Katherine that space was like acknowledging and making amends to the wronged party who was still alive.
Talking about Maggie is brave for fighting cancer. I'm fighting a disease. I'm brave too.Rome
It was silently acknowledging her exclusion, and Delilah was able to give Katherine something back. I mean, it really was the least she could do.
Katherine has been a saint throughout most of it, and she's helped so many of them through multiple things with little to nothing in return. Katherine getting an office of her own is what she deserves.
She admitted that she never thought she'd feel like part of the group after Jon's death, and the others had the sense to look guilty. She called them her family, though, and she's part of the group now.
As a diehard Katherine fan, they still don't deserve her, but her inclusion means more dynamics, interactions, and screentime. What's not to love? She already stole the season (along with Rome).
To be honest, I never thought I would feel like part of the group again after Jon was gone. He was the one who always made me feel like I belonged. Not anymore. You really are like family to me, so thank you.Katherine
Also, it means more group scenes like the emotional dinner honoring Jon. Little Theo stole the meal with his profound speech about death and our loved ones living on as long as we remember them.
Family is messy, and it isn't perfect, but for better and worst this gang has gone through it all together.
They're good now. In addition to starting a firm above Someday, Katherine and Eddie are renewing their vows. And you know what? They earned that.
What a difference a year makes.
Theo: I'd like to make a toast. The Egyptians believed that you die twice. Once when you take your final breath, and then again the last time someone says your name. They believe your spirit lives on as long as people kept remembering you. So as long as we all keep remembering uncle Jon, he'll never really be gone. Was that okay?
Delilah: That is more than okay, Theo.
Maggie and Gary also got some closure and aired out their grievances. Gary apologized for the pressure he put on her and their relationship.
He knew it wasn't fair that he transferred his insecurities about not saving Jon to Maggie. But she also acknowledged that she brought more baggage to their relationship than her cancer.
It almost felt like they would fall back into each other's arms and share a kiss during the intimate bathroom scene. They made such progress in their relationship, and it was in a similar spot to how things begin between them.
But they're better, more mature people now, and even though Gina and Rome have shared things with both Maggie and Gary, and the couple is rooting for the pair to reunite, it's not happening.
Gary: When I first met you, you were dying, and I think maybe I was dying too. I just didn't know it. But I was broken. And you were right. Instead of dealing with that, I tried to save you the way I couldn't save Jon. And I know now that I put way too much pressure on our relationship, and I screwed it up. And I just didn't want today to go by without saying it.
Maggie: Thank you. But it's not all on you, Gary. Cancer wasn't the only problem I brought to our relationship. I was broken too.
Maggie is thinking about Oxford, and she's conflicted. She has feelings for Gary, but it's probably better for her to do something for herself.
She almost felt guilty when she told Rome about it after he mentioned how much of a godsend she's been in his life.
They're hoping that Gary will be the one to make a grand gesture.
Gary was afraid he hadn't changed and disappointed Jon in a sense, as a result. He went and slept with the college-aged girl at laser tag, but his signs of growth came with how he let her down afterward.
You never stopped trying to teach me. You never give up. And I realize now no matter how bad you feel. No matter how hopeless it seems. It's never too late to start over. I am not supposed to tell you this, but Maggie is going to Oxford. She leaves in a week.Rome
Also, Rome rightfully acknowledged that had Gary not called him a dozen times that day, he would be dead. And Gary has been there for Rome the entire time as he fought his depression.
Gary has been there for everyone throughout the year. It's no way he can say he hasn't grown and matured for the better.
Of course, that also meant making amends with Maggie without necessarily pursuing her. He could've gone back to her at Rome's prompting, but he made a mature choice by calling Darcy.
As much as it will pain those who are fans of the Maggie and Gary pairing, he needs this. He said Becky was his rebound, the last of the many women he's been with since he and Maggie broke up.
Gary: There you are. I wasn't sure if you'd be up for this.
Darcy: I'll be honest, I was surprised you reached out, but I'm glad you did.
Gary: So am I.
Darcy: What happened to Becky?
Gary: I realized she was just another rebound.
Darcy: So what does that make me?
Gary: A fresh start.
However, he's looking at Darcy as a fresh start, and it's something he deserves to see through. Darcy can be essential to his growth.
He needs to know that he can have healthy, mature relationships outside of Maggie. It's imperative that he learns Maggie isn't some exception to the rule.
He took a big step going to meet up with Darcy, and whether it's something long term or not remains to be seen.
Darcy could be a pitstop. He could plead with Maggie to stay and be with him again now that they've communicated and are in a better place, but I'm actually rooting for him and Darcy for now.
Is that the voicemail again? Eddie, you have to stop torturing yourself like this.Katherine
And with the bookend feeling of the hour, Eddie's dreams led to a new one.
Eddie dreamt of Jon, but he didn't realize it was Alex he was thinking about instead. His dream was more than that. It appeared to be a repressed memory struggling to come to the surface.
I loved the subtle things along the way. Eddie's backward cap, use of "wack," and other vernacular at basketball had 90's vibes.
In his dream, he was wearing one of those ponchos that were big in the early '90s and have gained popularity again. He was in a boat on a lake, and even his hair looked a bit boyish.
Hey Lindsay, it's me. Look, I need to talk. I had a dream about Alex, and I need to know what happened the day she died.Eddie
He was drunk and trying to get a beer, but then Jon fell into the water, and Eddie couldn't retrieve him. Jon's hand became one of a young girl with teal nail polish.
By the end of the hour, Katherine painting her nails triggered another memory of Alex calling out to him and smiling, and he called his sister to ask about Alex and the lake house.
I cannot wait for this mystery!
Eddie doesn't remember what happened at the lake house, and he's unaware of the details of Alex's death. If we're going according to his dream, there was an accident.
Eddie, there you are!Alex
Young Eddie was probably drinking and fooling around his friend/girlfriend, and she drowned. At the moment, it seems cut and dry, but we know there's probably more to the story.
Lindsay's addition to the series was welcome. She's a likable character, and she has her life on track, but damn if you can't curse her a bit for bringing up the lake house.
The first time she sees her brother in a decade, and she brings up something that has likely traumatized them both and could be triggering.
Rome's depression is a pivotal part of the series as it moves beyond Jon's suicide. It feels like we've ended the Jon portion of the show for good.
But moving in a direction that's still connected to mental illness is smart, and they may do this via Eddie and his sister. Can we expect a complex story exploring PTSS?
If so, the series is setting itself up for a third season that could be better than this one. What do you think?
Over to you, AMLT Fanatics. How do you feel about Darcy and Gary? Did the hour feel like one of closure?
What happened to Alex at the lake house? 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.