The friend group unexpectedly lost a loved one on A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 1, and we're still crying.
Was Javier's death really necessary? Should Anna have stuck around and given her and Eddie a second chance? Will the Mendez baby be named Maverick?
Our TV Fanatics, Jasmine, Jack, and Christine, are ready to dive in and debate that and more!
Gary's father, Javier, died in the first five minutes of the premiere. Was his death necessary to move the plot forward in this final season?
Jasmine: I don't think this death was necessary at all. It felt like it was mostly for a "who died" red herring or hook after that cliffhanger about Gary. His death, especially something as vague as dying in his sleep, felt so unnecessary and needlessly cruel.
We've had a lot of death in this series over the years, so it felt a bit played out.
Gary already has cancer, a baby on the way, and he doesn't know when he could die. Killing his father off instead of letting him build a closer relationship with him and allowing Javier to meet his grandkid bothered me.
Also, it generally sucks that there aren't many grandparents on this show who fare okay or have prominent enough roles, excluding Katherine's mom.
Jack: Yes and no. I agree with Jasmine that it was mostly a red herring and that there's been enough death in this series, but it also set up Gary's determination to teach his son to live fully and to take Danny to see Gene, which he never got to do with Javier. So in that sense, it was important.
Christine: I'll admit they got me with that red herring. My heart rate increased for a moment, thinking Gary was gone seven months later. Was Javier's death necessary? No, but sometimes, people die unexpectedly, which changes your outlook. This is what happened with Gary.
What did you think of Gary's diagnosis that his cancer is treatable but not curable?
Jasmine: It leaves an opening for him to die at any moment, so we'll be on edge the whole season. Something can go wrong at any moment. That said, it was incredibly realistic, and I appreciated that they veered toward realism with this storyline rather than using it for shock value alone.
Jack: It was realistic. I think technically that's true of most cancers -- isn't that why people have to have follow-up scans after they are supposedly cancer-free?
Anyway, it felt like this was a temporary reprieve, and things would go seriously wrong later.
Christine: It felt realistic. I know more than one person who has had treatable cancer for over a decade. But this diagnosis pushes Gary to live life to his fullest as he knows how quickly things can change. I hope he's still cancer free when the series ends.
Anna is relocating to her sister's in Ohio. Would you have preferred her to stay in Boston and rekindle things with Eddie?
Jasmine: I had completely checked out of Anna's story and expected her to disappear between seasons, frankly, so for a bit, I was annoyed that we got Eddie picking her up from her early prison release and the implications that they were moving in together.
Anna was a great transition relationship for Eddie. I loved what she had to say to him about how he never let her down once in their relationship because Eddie needed to hear and know that he could be that in a relationship and get over that chip on his shoulder about his past.
But I'm glad she's gone. I only hate that it limits how long they have to introduce someone for him and build a beautiful love story that, my goodness, I'm saying this about EDDIE, but that he deserves. Please, God, don't let it be Delilah.
Jack: I could have done without any more of Anna. I found it hard to focus during her and Eddie's scenes, and I'm glad she's gone. I agree with Jasmine that Eddie deserves a beautiful love story. Not with Delilah, not with Anna... with someone fully worthy of who he is now.
Christine: Ditto to all of the above. The best thing about Anna's return was that she and Eddie ended their relationship positively for both of them. After how badly things ended with Katherine, Eddie needed this to move on and find lasting love.
Was Sophie right to feel as though her parents weren't always there for her?
Jasmine: I really appreciated this scene and Sophie's realization because it felt real. When we're younger, it's easy to lionize or vilify our parents without any nuance. But as we get older, we can better see things for what they were, good, bad, and ugly.
Her conclusions about her parents feel accurate, and her feelings seem valid. Delilah isn't the greatest mother on earth; we've seen that, and Sophie's relationship with her over the years has reflected that.
Delilah is very self-absorbed and scatterbrained, and I can believe she missed out on something as simple as buying her daughter deodorant and marking that milestone into pubescence. And Jon, though great when he was there, was still a workaholic.
Jack: I don't know that there's ever any right or wrong with something like that. Her perspective is her perspective, and she has a right to feel that way.
That said, I totally believe that Delilah was too self-absorbed to be a full-time parent for Sophie, and we know Jon was always at work. Sophie's feelings made total sense to me.
Christine: How Sophie felt made total sense with what we know of Jon and Delilah. Jon was suffering from survivor's guilt for years and gave most of his focus to his work.
Delilah was Delilah. She was likely more focused on her feelings than how anything affected their kids. Sophie is just beginning to get some perspective on it all.
How do you feel about Florence breaking up with Walter? Is Rome prepared to step up to deal with his father's possible decline?
Jasmine: It was heartbreaking, but it was totally understandable.
It's a herculean task and emotionally taxing to be with someone as they decline that way, and Flo has done that already before. She knows she doesn't have it in her to do it again, and I respect that.
I don't think Rome is prepared to deal with his father's decline at all. But it's something he'll learn to navigate this season, I'm sure. It breaks my heart to see this type of storyline, too.
It also feels a bit redundant since Delilah's father battled the same decline. It kind of goes back to my statement about the senior-aged characters facing such obstacles.
Jack: I am already having a hard time with this story. Not only did my grandfather die of dementia in real life, but I found it heartbreaking and hard to take on This Is Us, and I'm not sure how I will handle another story like this.
I think Flo's decision was understandable. She's been through this before, and dementia is especially difficult to support your partner through to the end. It's too much to ask her to do it twice.
Christine: I wanted to hug Flo. That had to be a horrible realization for her. That the man she cared for was suffering from dementia and that she couldn't put herself through that again.
No, I don't think Rome is prepared for anything coming his way. You could see that in how he kept dismissing Flo's concerns. Neither Rome nor Walter will want to face the truth, making this even more heartbreaking.
Do you think Gary and Maggie will name their son Maverick Mendez?
Jasmine: It seems like a name Gary would come up with, and I can appreciate the alliteration. But I'm going to hold out that they name their son after his father or Maggie's brother for the sentiment.
Maggie, as she's worked through her issues regarding the loss of her brother, and Gary, as he worked through his identity issues as a Latino and the loss of his father. I'd like something like that.
Jack: No, I don't. My brother-in-law had all sorts of names like this in mind when my sister was pregnant, and none of the kids ended up with them, so hopefully, Maggie will talk Gary out of this name in favor of something more meaningful.
Christine: I'm not against Maverick Mendez, but I'd love to see them name the baby Javier to honor Gary's father. It would be doubly meaningful as Gary spent his younger years trying to hide his Latino heritage. Maybe they can use Maverick as a middle name.
Did anything disappoint you in this episode?
Jasmine: I don't know if I was disappointed, per se, but I didn't find Eddie's portion that interesting, and Katherine felt underused. I don't have a clear enough guideline for where some of the other characters are headed this season, and I would've liked that more.
Jack: I was bored by the Eddie/Anna portion. Also, if we were going to have Javier's death, I'd have liked to have it be a real story, not a plot point.
Christine: I hated Danny convincing Gary to steal something just for the heck of it.
And Katherine felt like an afterthought in this installment. I know not every character can shine in every episode, but with so few episodes left, that will be harder and harder to accept.
What was your favorite quote, scene, or storyline?
Jasmine: Gary, Danny, and Gene's scene talking about grief and sexuality gutted me. Danny telling Gene thank you for battling a different type of war and paving the way for him made me an emotional mess.
I also LOVED how Rome and Eddie crashed Gary's chemo appointment. I loved their brotherhood and how they knew exactly what approach to take and what Gary needed. I probably would have done it the same way.
Jack: I also loved Gary, Danny, and Gene's scene. That got me more than anything. Similarly, Gary finally breaking down and crying when he told Gene the story about Javier and the snowball fight was extremely emotional for me.
I also enjoyed Sophie and Gina packing a care package for Tyrell.
Christine: Yes, Danny thanking Gene for his service was the highlight of the episode for me.
I also loved the scene between Sophie and Regina. Where Gary has stepped up to be a paternal figure for Danny, Regina has done the same for Sophie, even though Delilah is still very much alive, but is more of an absentee parent by choice.
Was there anything else, good or bad, that you'd like to point out from this installment?
Jasmine: James Roday Rodriguez is an absolute force. It's a real shame that this series doesn't get a certain type of recognition because he's unquestionably one of the strongest actors on the series, and he's done some incredible work this entire series.
He's fantastic, and I have such a newfound appreciation for his range as an actor since his role as Gary Mendez.
Jack: I was so relieved that Gary's attempt at shoplifting didn't get him in trouble! Also, I wondered if the snobby lady at the store assumed Katherine and Maggie were a couple. It might have been fun if they'd tried to make her think so.
Christine: I appreciated Anna recognizing how difficult it is for Eddie to be away from Charlie and that she wouldn't ask him to move away from Theo. Especially since Delilah doesn't seem to care a lot that moving to Europe has robbed Eddie of being a full-time father and Charlie from growing up with one.
Now it's your turn, TV Fanatics! What did you think of the A Million Little Things premiere? Is Rome ready for what comes next with his father?
Will Gary survive through the end of the series? And should baby Mendez be named Maverick?
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.