It's deceptively simple installments like this one that keeps fandom coming back to the series time and again.
When it comes to forward movement with any significant plot points (and I imagine at this rate, the Saville marital state is the biggest thing going on), A Million Little Things Season 3 Episode 12 didn't make as much headway.
But the hour was satisfying with humor, warmth, drama, and an overwhelming sense of sadness by the end. It's life.
The summary for the hour stated that the Howards would end up watching the George Floyd video. It was easy for it to slip the mind as the Howard family carried on like a normal, loving, hilarious family.
Tyrell fits in with them perfectly, and they dominated with the humor and charm throughout this installment.
They felt like they had an entire family sitcom on the side. They could carry a series of their own.
As you looked on with mirth, pleased as punch with the way Gina and Rome eased into parenthood of a teenager while also juggling the curmudgeon widowed parent, it felt like escapism.
All of the giggles started when Rome went from annoyed that Tyrell took the car out for fro-yo and didn't throw out his garbage to his eyes damn near bugging out over the condom in the car.
Gina and Rome handled the situation like modern sitcom parents, and it was amusing when they wondered if they needed to give Tyrell the talk or not.
Tyrell: That's not mine. I use a different brand.
Gina: So, you are sexually active?
Tyrell: I'm 17 years old with this face and a killer sense of humor. Opportunities present themselves.
Tyrell is such a hoot and blends in with this family perfectly. It was laugh-out-loud funny when he alluded that he totally is having sex because his face and personality entice others, but that wasn't his brand of condom.
His level of comfort teasing Rome makes for hilarious conversations, and when the realization hit that it was Walter's condom, the jokes never stopped
Can I be part of the Howard family? They were the best part of the hour.
Walter and Flo both like each other, but they were dancing around starting something. You can understand Walter's hesitation, though.
Renee died less than a year ago. She wanted him to be happy, and he's up in age, so it's not as if he needs an allotted time to be by himself.
But he was with Renee for his entire life. They were together since he was a teenager. She's the only woman he's ever been with, and it comes with a set of insecurities
He also claimed that he didn't know for certain if Florence was into him or not. It was so genuinely cool that he was able to talk about these things-- sex, relationships, and all of that with Rome and even Tyrell.
And they were able to give him some advice, reassurance, blessings, and ribbing, too.
Meanwhile, Florence is such a vibrant woman, and she's the exact type of person Walter needs in his life. The woman goes bungee jumping, and she's well-traveled. She lives!
Gina picked up that Florence liked Walter and hoped to move forward or move on, and Gina spilled the beans about the condom in her version of serving as matchmaker or wing woman.
All of it was so warm, funny, and sweet, this family dinner with these newcomers who already click into place like puzzle pieces. They had the laughs and easiness of being around family-- delicious food and cake that had me fondly recalling my own family recipe for the same.
The Howards and friends felt relatable and like home, so Tyrell coming in and three generations of Black people watching the George Floyd video felt like a sledgehammer to the gut.
It knocked the wind out of you, and that was the entire point. It was a reason the series showed fun times with the Howards.
It was a regular day of laughs, awkwardness, and sweet familial moments.
They were living their lives, and all was well until it wasn't.
And that's how news like that works. It collectively knocks the wind out of an entire community. Everyone was gutted.
I don't know where else they'll take this. I'm assuming it's headed somewhere. Otherwise, the show wouldn't have presented it to us.
Rome: Is everything alright?
Tyrell: No. Kiki sent me this video. His name was George Floyd.
But that build-up of what it's like when it's just a run-of-the-mill day with your loved ones and then BOOM was fairly accurate.
I still want to be part of the Howard family. They also remind me of some of my own. Speaking of family, Paul Rodriguez guest-starred as Gary's father, and my goodness, he was great.
For some reason, I had reservations about the man and anticipated a not so stellar guy and that he and Gary had a strained relationship.
But Javier was such a lovely addition, and he brought all of the lovable grandpa energy and bordering on uncouth behavior that felt realistic.
Javier: How long has he been gone now?
Gary: About a year and a half.
Javier: That's inconceivable.
Gary: Yeah, I know.
Javier: I mean putting aside what the Bible says. In 'Nam I served with tons of guys who would've loved to come home to a house like this a family like that. What he was thinking?
Gary: Dad that's not the same thing.
Javier: It's just so selfish.
Javier: What? He left a beautiful family. Committed suicided.
Gary: He died by suicide. We don't say committed suicide anymore because commit implies a crime. Commit also implies that he was of sound mind. And I don't know what was going on Jon's mind, but I will not let you tell his kids that their dad left them. Not in this house.
Javier loved Maggie, and the two bonded over their veteran status. Apparently, Darcy's time away was fruitful. I wish we had seen more of what she experienced, though.
The introduction of Darcy's PTSD was an important topic to explore, but the series didn't delve into it nearly enough as it should have, and perhaps that was a disservice.
She's "getting better" offscreen.
Even the extent of her conversation about it with Javier was something the show dropped us in rather than allowing us to be privy to the conversation along the way.
However, they did well with Danny. It was nice to check back in with the younger Dixon after the Sophie situation.
I love Daniel Dixon with my whole heart, and Gary is often at his best with him.
While there are many things to explore with Danny as a young teen, it's realistic that his sexuality remains at the forefront and ongoing.
It was sweet that his friend was trying hard to conceal Danny's sexuality to protect him. He was aggressive in stating that Danny was straight to throw the others off, but he meant well.
It prompted Danny to determine if he wanted or even needed to come out publically.
He's proud of who he is, and thus far, he's navigated his sexuality well. But there reaches a point where not sharing it feels as if a person is still hiding when that's not their intent.
However, why should anyone have to tell anyone anything about who they're attracted to or love?
Danny didn't want to be the first out person in their grade or school. But there is a precedent set when someone opens that gate and allows others to feel free to come out, too.
Gary didn't have any advice regarding it, but he did tell him to make a pro and con list.
It isn't a decision where there is a right or wrong answer. Danny could only do what was best for him. And Gary could support and protect him as best as he could.
Javier: Look, I don't know what all this stuff is, but I do know that if that's who you are, you shouldn't be ashamed of it. Because anyone who loves you isn't going to let that stop them from loving you, and anyone who doesn't isn't worth a damn.
Danny: Wow, thanks. You're right.
Gary takes the protection of Danny seriously on a good day but especially after what happened to Sophie.
I still think Gary's anger issues and hero complex are lingering and need to be addressed at some point.
But for now, his protective streak is something you can't knock for having.
Javier's observation about Jon being selfish was the type of uncouth and overly simplistic thing you'd expect him to say. It wasn't a surprise he saw suicide in such a black and white manner.
But Gary wanted to make sure that his father didn't bother Danny with statements like that.
He was also worried that Javier would have something ignorant to say to Danny about his sexuality, especially when he saw his list.
Javier's reaction was probably a surprise to viewers and Javier Jr. A.K.A. Gary.
Initially, it seemed as though Javier would reveal that Donald was his lover from the Marines.
Instead, he shared that this man he lost was his friend. The story of how Donald died shielding and protecting Javier in Vietnam and that he hid a photo of his boyfriend in his helmet was such an emotionally impactful, unexpected story.
Javier: You're gay?
Gary: That's right, and he doesn't know if he should tell the people at school because believe it or not, everybody isn't as accepting as they should be.
Javier never shared that with Gary before. Most Vietnam veterans rarely talk about the war.
Gary was surprised to hear about how his father got together yearly with some of his old buddies, whoever remained.
But Javier provided Danny with the type of advice and support that Gary didn't anticipate, and it was such a beautiful moment between the two.
Javier didn't care about who Donald loved. He only knew that his friend died protecting him. He believed that you have to be your authentic self, and anyone who doesn't like that isn't worth it.
And then the gang watched home movies of Gary.
The feels didn't stop there. Eddie harbored some anger toward Gary before he left for rehab.
We don't know what type of things he got into while he was in rehab or if he's interested in making amends beyond Katherine.
But he was shocked to discover the insurance didn't cover most of his rehab. And he was even more so when he found out that a newly employed (got to love the show for acknowledging fan commentary) Gary paid the remaining balance of his rehab after selling the engagement ring he had for Maggie.
It's a telling sign of how committed Gary is to Darcy and not looking back.
Eddie: Your hair...
Katherine: I, uh, --
Eddie: No, no. It looks beautiful.
Katherine: I just needed a change.
The most we got out of Eddie's rehab are those great scenes with Jackie. I suppose they didn't anticipate spending too much time there checking in on him or delving deeper into things that may have led to his addiction.
I wish we spent a little time with Eddie at rehab and learned more about life before Katherine. He was there for all of ten minutes. Eddie's relapse wasn't about giving in to his addiction, but his addiction is much deeper, and it's as if we keep skirting around matters.
I also wish that they went into more detail about Eddie figuring out how to manage his pain.
His return home was a bit frosty. It already spoke volumes that Jackie had to drop him off.
Katherine put on a pleasant enough show for Theo, but she's lost right now.
I loved her new haircut. It's go-to when a woman is going through something. It's almost tribal.
It was interesting that the first time in ages where she and Darcy spoke to each other and felt like close friends again, Katherine was confiding in Darcy, and she felt as if Darcy ganged up on her.
It was a twist that Darcy defended Eddie to a hilt; it's complicated.
Eddie isn't a bad person, and his relapse wasn't cut and dry. He didn't fall off the wagon for some selfish reasons. His relapse has made him sympathetic.
And there's plenty of reason for people to root for him and hope for the best. But Katherine is also done. And you can't blame her for that either.
It's the straw that broke the camel's back, and now, it's an interesting position where the one time where Eddie is more deserving of sympathy, Katherine doesn't have any left to give after using it up on all the things from before.
My heart hurts for both of them. Eddie was excited about making dinner. And it had to be a hell of a meal to begin to make amends to Katherine.
Hell, he should've hired a personal chef or something. He's working along with Katherine's mother to get back in Katherine's good graces.
His friends are supporting him and rooting for him. Jackie wants this to work out, and even Darcy is in his corner.
But Katherine finds comfort in Alan. She can't look at Eddie the way that he wants her to, but Alan offers her things she doesn't feel she gets.
She took him to that same hotel Delilah and Eddie went to, but she didn't have it in her to sleep with Alan.
She isn't ready for that right now, and she doesn't want to feel as if she's using him.
She has a connection with Alan, and they like each other. But she can't pursue something with him while she hasn't resolved everything with Eddie either.
Eddie: How did things go at the office?
Katherine: I wasn't at the office. I was with Alan.Nothing happened. We just talked.
Eddie: Katerine, you don't owe me an explanation.
Katherine: I do. I think, I think we should go to counseling. Not because I want us to fix our marriage, but because I want us to figure out how we're going to end it. You told me you were with Delilah because of how she looked at you. I don't think I can ever look at you that way again. And I don't think it's fair to you, and I know it's not fair to me. But I think we should go to counseling because what we do now is all about Theo.
Katherine isn't that type of person. I'm a bit surprised that Alan was willing to go along with anything knowing that Katherine is married and in such a vulnerable state. He refused to take advantage of her on both counts before.
Eddie is trying to make his marriage work and fix things between him and Katherine, but she wants to end it.
When she said she wanted to go to counseling, it sounded like the best decision and long overdue.
But then she added that the only reason she wanted to go was, so that they could figure out how to end their marriage and talk about it with Theo.
Katherine has been through hell and back, more than she deserves.
Katherine: I should've listened to you the last time. I shouldn't have taken him back. I wouldn't be dealing with this right now.
Darcy: Look, I know what I said, but since I've been around, I've seen this whole other side of Eddie. And don't get me wrong, I remember how devastated you were when you found out about Eddie and Delilah.
Katherine: You mean when I found out my husband was having an affair from the concierge.
Darcy: Yeah, and I hated him for that. But you guys have come a long way from that since then, and he's not that guy anymore.
Katherine: No, he's the guy who lied to me about taking pills.
Darcy: Yes, and again, not excusing. But I think a lot of the reason he was taking those pills was he was trying to be the husband and father he was before the accident. And I think it was naive of us to think that he could do that without some type of pain relief.
Katherine: Great, so now you're defending him. Should I add my mother to the call?
She deserves good things, love, security, and such.
All this time, we know Katherine deserves better, and yet there is an allure to the Savilles. When they're in their happiest place, you root for and want the best for them as a couple.
Katherine has every right to end things. It still was a blow that she decided that she can't take it anymore.
I don't even know what to think anymore about Katherine and Eddie and the state of their relationship. Should they divorce? A season and a half ago, it was the most logical choice in the world, but so much has changed since then.
But then, not enough has either.
Looking back, it does suck that they worked hard to get themselves in a better place and got thrown this curveball that has their relationship in ruins again. The accident would've been a strain enough on them as a couple and family, learning how to adjust to disability and caretaking.
Even the addiction storyline itself could've played out differently if they acknowledged things like Eddie's very real pain management that needs to happen but is mostly glossed over. It always goes back to the Savilles' rocky marriage, though.
A Million Little Things knows how to play with our emotions and twist us all up, making fickle fans out of the lot of us, don't they?
Over to you, AMLT Fanatics. Should the Savilles divorce? What did you think of Gary's dad? Do you love the Howards, too? Hit the comments below and remember that 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.