A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 4 Review: A Bird in the Hand

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Well, that was a mostly uneventful hour.

With A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 4, we're a quarter  of the way through the final season, and while it's nice to spend time with this group of friends and see the things going on in their lives, it doesn't feel like much is happening.

Most of the hour was the very definition of "filler," and we still don't know where the season is headed for most of the characters.

Birthing Class Besties  - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 4

Checking in with your favorite characters is fun, but it helps if their storylines are headed somewhere. Right now, there's little indication of how the final season will end for everyone involved, and there's limited cohesiveness, threading one installment from the next.

We need to get the ball rolling on these stories if we hope to have a satisfactory ending for all the characters. I'm starting to wonder if they'll be able to give us that before the series comes to a close.

Dad Plans -tall - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 4

We're biding time until Gary and Maggie have their baby, and Maggie's career is at an influx, but that's all we have. Gary's stagnancy with his cancer always hangs above our heads, but all we can do is hope for the best and that they won't pull a blindside on us before the show ends.

Eddie attempted dating, but he's still looking for someone who makes him happy and could settle down with or at least has the potential to do so. And he's formulated a plan to go back to school, but it's a slow-moving arc that only sometimes has follow-up.

Katherine has been mostly absent, and we have the occasional redundant issues with her and Greta, but that's about it on that front.

Gina maybe has found a new passion for feeding the unhoused, but she has little happening too.

Judgemnt  - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 2

Rome is the only one with a solid storyline headed somewhere, most likely tragic, with Walter, and it's the most consistent arc of the season.

For the most part, we're wading through the installments waiting for the final season to begin or pick up speed somehow. The most follow-up we had with the Dr. Jessica situation was Gary ignoring her phone call and making an Encanto joke.

Maggie: I can't believe she has the nerve to be calling you right now.
Gary: Nope. We don't talk about Bruno.

But Maggie and Gary happily put their irrational ire about that situation aside and got sucked into a silly plot point about making new friends at a birthing class in an arc that lasted infinitely longer than necessary.

Maggie and Gary basically found a different version of themselves with Evan and Claire. Gary and Evan are incredibly similar and have fun chemistry; you can imagine them hanging out a great deal.

Evan and Claire  - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 4

They'd also be the perfect dad friends who resort to all the Dad jokes.

Maggie and Claire were similar enough too. The running joke that Maggie hates people explained away some of her behavior. She behaved rather arrogantly about the whole thing as if she didn't want to befriend anyone if they weren't worthwhile.

And she didn't show any interest in Claire until she realized that she had a decent, respectable career and was facing some of the same issues that Maggie was with work/mom life.

Was Maggie always this judgmental and offputting, or has this slowly progressed over the years? Pregnant Maggie is a lot. It's like the baby sucked up all the likable traits about her and exacerbated all of the worst ones.

Birthing Plans -tall - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 4

The storyline was light-hearted and fun, and it was nice to see the two of them connecting with new people, but it lasted too long.

Nothing of substance came from it until the end when Maggie, like a person heavily influenced by her friends and wanting to be cool like them, decided to do an at-home water birth.

Lucian: So the agency was a little unclear about the drug testing policy.
Rome: Thank you for coming out, Lucian.

It seems pretty late in her pregnancy to be discussing this option and searching for the perfect midwife. To be fair, she spent much of her pregnancy worried about and handling Gary and his chemotherapy.

But given their track record and luck, an at-home birth feels risky. It's a stressful situation, and I would imagine that Maggie is already a high-risk pregnancy.

Maggie and Claire -tall - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 4

Gary doesn't seem enthused by the idea and is worried, but based on the season trailer, Maggie will likely get her way on this.

Another storyline that was a slog to get through was the bird plot with Theo, Greta, and Eddie. It's almost odd that we get more time with Eddie and Greta than with either of them and Katherine.

They get along well, and the friendship they've formed is endearing enough, but there wasn't anything interesting about Eddie guiding Greta through parenthood with Theo.

It's sweet that he values her, isn't threatened by the idea of Theo having another parental figure in his life, and he's so happy to have her in Theo's life. Still, it came out of nowhere and felt like another effort to enmesh Greta into the family when we've done that.

New Dads -tall - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 4

It could be something that will lead to more exploration of marriage for her and Katherine if they get on the same page regarding that.

We were lamenting how stunted Theo feels as a character, and this installment perfectly highlighted that when it felt as if he was perpetually stuck at eight years old with his response to everything.

The storyline with the bird felt like a dull and contrived way for Greta getting the stamp of approval as a first-time parent, though he handled everything incredibly well.

And it was also used to bring up Theo's high anxiety linked to Uncle Jon's death. Unsurprisingly, a child as anxious as Theo internalized everything he overheard Eddie and his uncles saying about Jon, which has shaped his outlook on things and his approach.

Supporting His Mom -tall - A Million Little Things Season 4 Episode 12

The biggest gripe about this particular storyline is that they should have introduced it earlier. At this point, it's been years of Theo struggling with this, and neither Eddie nor Katherine were none the wiser and never talked to Theo properly about loss, grief, or mental illness.

With both being helicopter parents who have handheld Theo through every aspect of his life for as long as we've known them, it's odd that either of them dropped the ball on this for so long.

It feels like something they would've walked Theo through when Jon died, or the numerous gatherings honoring Jon because he was his uncle, and loss is hard on a child, especially one as sensitive as Theo.

He internalized that Jon had "given up" and applied that same outlook to this bird who needed a humane euthanization rather than a fight to live when it wouldn't do so.

Big Plans -tall  - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 3

Eddie did a great job of talking Theo through that and delving into depression and how their outlook on it has evolved as they, too, as adults learned more about Jon's pain and understood what he was struggling with and why he shouldn't get the blame for his tragic decision.

And Eddie had the wherewithal to think about all the things that have impacted Theo since, owning up to most of the changes in Theo's life resulting from things happening to him.

Parenting isn't always about being there to fix it; it's about being there to support him when you can't. Let's tell him together.


Greta's joke about how he'll have just as much to deal with because of her could be foreshadowing if the series intends to explore her own mental illness and its effects on loved ones. With more knowledge and because he's a bit older, Theo will be prepared if and when that happens with Greta.

But if that's why they introduced this belated reaction to Jon's death on Theo's part, it's a clumsy way to do it.

Greta is Shocked -tall  - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 3

The death of Joseph is tragic for someone we barely knew, and its direct impact seems to be inspiring Gina and Sophie to get involved with the unhoused and serve the community.

It suits them because they're both caring and compassionate people. It gives them something to do, but I don't know about this storyline as a final-season ordeal.

Where does it go? What will it mean?

Will the summation of Gina Howard's arc be running a soup kitchen out of her food truck or something? It's beautiful for apparent reasons, but okay?

Starting Fresh Food Truck -tall  - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 2

Putting an even more personal face on homelessness and the reminder of how easily anyone could fall on hard times was her seeing Dustin at the encampment.

Thankfully, they gave us those flashback images to remind us of who he was because otherwise, it wouldn't have clicked.

Eddie: I think for a long time he's felt like he has to take care of the people who are supposed to be taking care of him. Greta: well, hopefully, that'll turn around for him soon.
Eddie: I think it already is, especially now that he has you.

He was a genuinely nice man with a heartbreaking story of losing his wife, and he showed up at Someday's door during A Million Little Things Season 2 Episode 4. Through her experience with him, she changed her entire plan for Someday, and it's how she made it a success for the time it was around.

Opening her restaurant to the public seeking shelter through a storm, including Dustin and his construction workers, and using family-style meals to feed everyone and avoid wasting food reminded Gina of happier times.

A Meal with Dad  - Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 7

Perhaps Dustin's return symbolizes a new change for Gina, too, in finding a different calling, hence the soup kitchen or non-profit work theory.

After her wariness with Joseph and lack of awareness of the unhoused, Dustin prompts investment in this crisis.

They wouldn't have brought back this (barely) familiar face if they weren't going to do something more with this storyline.

Interestingly, while this group has had its fair share of harrowing life experiences, they've all been financially privileged and not nearly as affected by things like the pandemic or economic shifts and issues.

Fun While Filming - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 2

That someone, even loosely connected to one of them, has fallen on such hard times can be an eye-opening experience.

Dustin was trying to avoid Gina; you could tell he was embarrassed. It'll be interesting to see where this storyline leads, and both women will likely utilize it to honor Joseph's memory and their new cause.

Gina and Rome feel very disconnected, but they had fun vetting home healthcare aides for Walter.

It provided the most humor out of the hour, and they found their perfect fit.

Standing By Maddox  - A Million Little Things Season 4 Episode 19

He knew how to handle Walter perfectly, so it was surprising when it all went to hell over a sports game.

But it inevitably led to Walter staying with the Howards, which is what Gina suggested ages ago and feels like the natural course of things.

Walter is a difficult man. They aren't the type to put him in a facility, and he wouldn't go along with that anyway. And he's on such a decline that it's becoming hazardous to have him living alone and starting fires and other things.

It's the most solid storyline with continuity, a clear outline, direction, and follow-through. It sucks that it's the most heartbreaking storyline of the bunch at the moment, though.

Walter Smiles - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 2

It was nice to see that Rome still teaches and his students enjoy him. It was a nice nod to previous arcs, and they are dropping little bits here and there to acknowledge the show's past storylines throughout the series.

With Tyrell gone, Walter will stay in his room and drive the Howards crazy.

Now, they're living in that critical period, essentially taking care of their parents and pseudo-kid.

In some ways, I wish we had revisited adoption and fostering for the Howards, but where they are in their lives right now feels realistic.

Over to you, AMLT Fanatics. Did you enjoy this installment? How do you feel about the pacing? Sound off below.

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

A Bird in the Hand Review

Editor Rating: 3.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (31 Votes)

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You'll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on Twitter.

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A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 4 Quotes

Lucian: So the agency was a little unclear about the drug testing policy.
Rome: Thank you for coming out, Lucian.

Maggie: I can't believe she has the nerve to be calling you right now.
Gary: Nope. We don't talk about Bruno.