A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 13 Review: One Big Thing

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And with that, we say goodbye to this beautiful series and what very much feels like an end of an era.

It was the most bittersweet finale, with A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 13 giving us the expected, heartbreaking death of our beloved Gary Mendez.

But the hour also gave us a glimmer of sweetness, flashing forward 15 years so that we could see that everyone, including a handsome teenage Javi, is alright, with a full circle ending that brings a smile to your face.

Gary's Goodbye  - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 13

After the progressive heaviness of A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 12, it was a bit difficult to retread losing Gary, having to watch him die in front of our eyes.

But, unlike the previous installment, the humor and lightness of this episode eased the pain of losing the very heart and soul of this series as we did.

Gary Passes Away -tall  - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 13

Everyone worked to give Gary a proper farewell while also honoring his wishes, and they couldn't have ended things better for him.

It was hard to see Gary but not hear his voice beyond his labored "we won" as cancer stole his words from him. But it didn't take away his smile or his laughter, and he spent much of his final moments doing plenty of both.

So, when you find that group of friends, and you will, hold on to them. And as amazing as they'll be, know this... I will always be right here, right next to you, loving you. And anytime a complete stranger smiles at you out of nowhere, there's a decent chance that's me. Oh, and mijo? Have a beautiful life.


Even on his final day, he went in good spirits, and it's true to form for Gary. And here's where there is much credit to show creator DJ Nash and James Roday Rodriguez himself for penning this final hour.

Their collaborative efforts as both the person who created this character and the one who brought him to life meshed beautifully to capture the very essence of Gary and everything he means, and the impact he leaves behind within the hour. It was a farewell worthy of the character that worked.

Gary's Final Days  - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 13

It was utterly heartbreaking when he gave the guys the word to seek Kevin for the drugs to end his life. And, again, the series has worked overtime within the past few installments to hit every single mark at coming "full circle," and that included starting the hour with a tragic suicide and ending it with an assisted one.

Disease ravaged both Jon and Gary with different results, but in between it, Gary really got to live. It wasn't the full life he wanted, but he did alright, yes?

One of the most unfortunate things about this series is that it never got the acclaim of its counterparts. Because one thing that this series has always had is a tremendous, laud-worthy cast that elevates everything put in front of them, and we saw that on full display during this final installment.

Rodriguez, Miller, Malco, and Giuntoli were mainly standouts during the hour.

Returning Home  - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 13

The way Maggie crumbled the second she heard that it was time will likely be at the forefront of my mind for a while. She collapsed right into herself, needing that moment as it hit her hard what she was facing and about to lose.

But then she pulled it together when Gary needed it most, her strength and resilience in his final hour of need leading to a tragically beautiful final scene between the two as they shared their inside jokes, and she reassured him as he slipped away that she and Javi would be just fine. Colin's final whimper was gut-wrenching.

I need you two to help me end it.


It's not how we would've wanted this love story to end, but they did well with their time, and I can't think of a more fitting goodbye for the two.

The goodbyes for the other characters were a mixed bag, though. It's no secret that I'm not the biggest Delilah fan in the first place, so while she and Gary definitely deserved a decent farewell since she was his lifeline when Jon died, I was disappointed that hers took so long. The others didn't have that time or any time at all.

Delilah and Gary's Final Goodbye (GIF) - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 13

She thanked him for taking care of her children when she couldn't, looking after her after Jon died, and that pesky thing where he basically pushed her and Eddie together since the finale still had to shove that godawful pairing down our throats yet again.

And then they had their fun with fart humor. And there was a sweetness there. But it was upsetting when the other characters' goodbyes felt rushed.

Did you know that when I first met you, I pegged you to be this snarky smartass who seemed angry at the whole world? I was right. But I was just outside thinking about the day you came to the house. Every day in every single way since then, you have stepped up for us. Me, especially. No, I'm gonna say all the good things I want to say, because for once, you can't cut me off. You're the best friend I've ever had. You're more than that. You're my brother.


Gina's goodbye to Gary, bringing up that time they dated before telling him she loved him, was brief but impactful and made me long for a time when they could've shared more screen time together. It was also disheartening that she found out from a distance about the assisted suicide plan.

Her kissing him on the forehead broke me a little, but I hate that it all happened so quickly in comparison. And, naturally, Gary saying goodbye to his brothers is the type of thing that would gut you, but that, too, was brief in comparison.

Gina Kisses Gary -tall  - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 13

Instead, Rome and Eddie spent most of their time procuring the drugs after a reckless confrontation with Kevin and some utterly hilarious plotting in the car. They're such a fun, comedic duo, and I appreciated the humor they provided.

Eddie's call to Dakota was amusing.

But then we had Eddie going to Katherine, because she's still his "person" for advice on how to deal with giving his friend drugs to kill himself, prompting the wisdom that only Katherine can bestow and a standout moment for Theo, dropping pearls of wisdom like the kid who has always gone back and forth with being wise beyond his years.

His voice was so deep! He's gotten so tall. Time flew by so fast!

Katherine and Theo in the Future -tall  - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 13

But that moment also had me lament that Katherine didn't get to say goodbye to Gary. Instead, she hosted the gathering and family dinner during and after his death, a full-circle moment in its own right.

In that sense, she's becoming more ingratiated into the group and becoming a hub the way that Delilah used to be, and she even was holding and comforting Delilah, too.

And much of Katherine getting to that point in the group was because of Gary and how he embraced her, which is more of a reason why I wish they had at least shared another scene together.

Meanwhile, Rome turned to his father for comfort as he made peace with the notion that he was losing his best friend. His and Walter's scene was on the list of some of the most emotional of the hour.

The Final Episode Featuring Rome -tall - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 13

Walter was having a good day, lucid and aware of what was going on, and he had so many good lines that would've moved anyone to tears if they weren't already bawling over Rome breaking down in his father's arms.

Seriously, Romany freaking Malco is and forever will be a masterclass actor, and much like Roday, this series has showcased some of the finest work of his career.

Walter: You tell Gary I said thank you for being such an amazing friend to my son. Rome: I will. I'll check in on you later. Don't forget to take your pills, Pop.
Walter: Don't forget to take yours.

Walter's joke about having white friends made me laugh out loud and was a great mood breaker, but his telling Rome to thank Gary for being a great friend was enough to have a person sobbing.

And the sweet nod to Walter's progress in understanding Rome's depression via his reminding Rome to take his meds, too, was just such a heartwarming moment. I'm thankful that the time jump spared us from having to see whenever Rome lost Walter, too, because my heart wouldn't have been able to bear it.

Saying Goodbye to their Brother  - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 13

Gary's goodbyes to his brothers were meaningful enough but brief. And I would've also given anything for some final scenes with the Dixon kids. Danny was his everything, and Sophie and he had a special bond too.

It would've broken me if there had been one solid scene with Danny and Gary. I'm still reeling over how much he's grown throughout five seasons. When did that kid stop being a kid? Goodness!

They did manage to honor Gary well with their fun antics at the funeral home while picking his coffin, though.

Even Greta had a moment with Gary via her work of art on that billboard, calling back to Gary and Maggie's past. A "Gary was Here" mural was badass and sweet.

Greta and Katherine's Kid  - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 13

The family gathering at Katherine's place was a great way of bringing everyone together for Family Dinner like they used to do.

Gary gave them plenty of good times, laughs, and fun stories to share, and it's how he would've wanted to be remembered best, so it was a great scene to help people laugh through the tears and smile despite losing someone they love.

And fortunately, all those tapes that Gary filmed went to good use. It wasn't surprising that we had a flash forward. The series practically begged for it.

Seeing a handsome teenage Javi watching his father's final video was emotional. Hearing Gary's advice and wisdom as we caught up with everything and everyone else was exactly how you'd imagine this story ending.

Teenage Javi  - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 13

They had fun with the aged-up makeup; some of it was a bit rough, and we had wigs, hair dye, and some new faces representing old ones, too.

An aged-up Maggie visiting Gary's grave was touching, and it was amusing to see his Go Bruins engraved on the headstone.

She opened up about meeting someone new, and it was going well, and with time and distance, there was comfort in knowing and seeing that she was alright and she wasn't closed off to finding love again.

She and Javi in the car together were amusing because even though Javi didn't get to spend much time with his father, he had some of his essences. And it was touching to know that he speaks Spanish fluently, and the kid is Latino AF, too.

Javi's Birthday -tall  - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 13

It's just nice to know that Javi won't have the same battles Gary did regarding his heritage and identity.

Those final moments will be worth a few rewatches to catch all the little details from it.

Apparently, Sophie became a famous singer and at least had a band and went on tour based on Rome's t-shirt. And she and Tyrell have been happy together over the years, and they are now expecting a child of their own.

From the looks of things, Katherine and Greta had a kid of their own, so that's something that came to fruition.

Aged Delilah and Eddie -tall  - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 13

Charlie didn't appear to be obnoxious anymore, and Delilah and Eddie were still together.

Danny is happily married and rocking a new do, too.

But one of the sweetest, full-circle moments of the hour was the ending. As Gary wished his son a full and beautiful life and told him that he'd find his tribe, we saw that he did, in his found family.

Javi, Danny, Theo, and Tyrell have followed in their fathers' footsteps, forming their own band of dads or something akin to it.

Older Tyrell and Rome -tall  - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 13

Theo, Danny, and Javi were even rocking their fathers' Bruins jerseys, having a great time at a hockey game, the end very much being like the beginning.

It's cliched, predictable, and saccharine, no doubt, but it's also what makes you smile and happy. It's the type of ending that feels worth it.

A pity of the finale was that they didn't give us some more meaningful Jon flash or something. The whole thing with Sophie meeting her namesake by happenstance was so random and unremarkable that it didn't even need to make the cut.

And even though things didn't pan out, I wondered if Darcy knew that Gary died or if her son genuinely loved him. It's the little things like that and the people he impacted along the way that you wonder about and wish was referenced more.

Danny and His Husband - tall  - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 13

We can only guess at some things like Eddie becoming a drug addiction counselor. We don't know the next phase in Gina's career since her councilwoman storyline was pointless and mostly fizzled out.

Heaven only knows what happened with Delilah beyond her, maybe raising Charlie, or what Theo became, or even Danny.

It's all those little details you wish got filled in a bit more, but it's natural to wonder about them.

DJ Nash making a cameo at the game was a great moment. It's fitting that the final notable cameo of the series was of the man responsible for it.

Final Scene Cast Photo  - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 13

It was an emotional hour. It was a series finale that felt like it checked off all of its boxes, but in this day in age, when we're too often robbed of the chance to say goodbye, it felt good and right.

And despite the mixed feelings, it was time for this series to come to an end, for these stories to conclude, and for us to say goodbye to these characters, and I'm so grateful that they did it like this, giving us some closure, and leaving us with a beautiful message.

If a show leaves you a better off person than you were when you started, it's a win.

A Million Little Things has left its mark through all of its ups and downs, tears, laughs, craziness, and beyond. It's rare to have shows like it these days, and it'll leave a void now that it's gone.

Bespectacled Gina  - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 13

A remarkable cast and crew did their best to tell powerful, poignant, human stories that evoked passion in its fans; for that, there's eternal gratitude.

It's been a pleasure covering this series over the past five seasons.

Over to you, AMLT Fanatics.

Did you love the ending? How much did you enjoy the flash forward? Is there anything you wish we had gotten more of in the finale? Hit the comments below.

Moving Forward  - A Million Little Things Season 5 Episode 13

Let's discuss it all.

Seriously, I can't wait to read all of your thoughts in the comment section below.

Remember to join us for our AMLT Round Table as we discuss the finale.

To relive this great series, you can watch A Million Little Things online here via TV Fanatic.

One Big Thing Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (61 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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