A Million Little Things Season 1 Episode 12 Review: The Day Before

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I have to be honest; I don't know what to think about the latest installment. 

A Million Little Things Season 1 Episode 12 is one of those hours about which you will either love, hate, or feel ambivalent. It's difficult to place what it was about this hour that has led to such jumbled up feelings. 

One thing I will say is that this installment should have come with a trigger warning. 

Jon's Last Day - A Million Little Things Season 1 Episode 12

The best part of this installment is the amount of time we spent with Jon. Ron Livingston is incredible; if you're familiar with his body of work, then that goes without saying. 

Livingston in the role of Jon is OK. Up until this point, there wasn't enough of the character to feel strongly about his performance in the role. 

Despite the hero worship by the other characters, there hasn't been anything exceptional or remarkable about what we have seen as viewers (at least not compared to what we hear from the other characters). 

Jon, I got your message. You have to stop calling me. I'm sorry. I can't do what you wanted me to do.

Mystery Woman

Scenes with Jon have been understandably limited, and when we get them, he's the guy with the platitudes and inspirational speeches. There has always been a quality to him that made him inaccessible to the viewers. 

That could have been a deliberate choice since, in the end, he was inaccessible to his loved ones as well. However, where this hour differed from the others is that we were with Jon instead of catching glimpses of him. 

It was as though we were sharing the space with him, even though we weren't in his head to know much of anything that was going on or how he reached that point where he jumped off of a ledge. 

Livingston's performance was the most nuanced it has been in the series thus far. Jon's isolation, alienation, and tremendous sadness were palpable. It was heavy, like a weight, as if we were carrying some of it with him while his portion of the hour unfolded. 

It's All About Perspective - A Million Little Things Season 1 Episode 9

It was so heavy and melancholic to be sharing this headspace with someone so profoundly sad and defeated. I wanted to shake it off -- that heaviness and sadness, that sense of reclusion.

My skin is still crawling from that, and while many of us have the luxury of stepping out of that and shaking it off (I have a cup of tea, chocolate, and feel-good television on the ready at this moment), individuals who are profoundly depressed and suicidal do not. 

Related: A Million Little Things Review: Secrets and Lies

It's stifling and suffocating, and it's as though we're experiencing his depression with him instead of being observers to it. That is where Livingston's performance during this installment was remarkable. That was the best part of this installment. 

Other than that, the hour showed us the same things from a different perspective with the intent to drop tiny nuggets to prolong the mystery and shade in some of the characters. Did it work? That's where the root of the ambivalence lies. 

What's the point of living if you're not going to live?

Jon

The series captured the complexities and contradictive nature of suicidal people. There Jon was angry at Gary for breaking things off with another girl without giving a relationship a chance to be serious. He was irate that Gary wasn't living his life to the fullest. 

Gary lives day to day, and he lives like a man who is existing until he gets news that his cancer returned. That's how Jon viewed him, and it's something else hearing that coming from a man who took his life. Jon didn't want Gary to be like him. He wanted better for Gary. 

I understand where Gary felt that Jon was being judgmental and treating the time he spent in chemo with him as though it were an IOU, but I also understand Jon's point, and his desperation during that scene was heartbreaking. 

Jon Struggles - A Million Little Things

It also puts into perspective the relationship between Jon and Gary. Their bond was so strong and fraternal. Jon was like the big brother that Gary must not have, at times it even feels paternal. The vibe there coincides with Gary's obsessive behavior when it comes to Jon after his death. 

It's interesting that Jon didn't have a standout moment with Rome that day before he killed himself. Instead, he had it with Gina. Regina called him after that jackass grabbed her ass and her douchey boss dismissed it, and she wanted to speak to someone who she felt could understand. 

Related: A Million Little Things Round Table: Is Barbara Morgan Jon's Wife? 

For one, the Delilah loather in me who often points out how crappy of a friend Delilah comes across, found it validating that during that moment, Regina wanted to speak to Jon. It gave him that final push to close the restaurant deal before he died. 

Besties - A Million Little Things Season 1 Episode 4

It's striking that Rome is so similar to Jon. It was disheartening that he got his Superbowl ad and should have been on top of the world, but instead, it hit him how deeply unhappy he was. The way his mood changed, as though he gave up on pretending was difficult. 

I got emotional when I saw that Gina was the one to put the empty water pitcher in the refrigerator. She had a role in saving his life with such a mundane task, and she didn't even know it.

Between the similarities between Rome and Jon and how the others have fallen back into a routine of getting lost in their own stuff, Rome's depression is more concerning than ever. 

Jon's relationship with Ashley was about as expected too. He wasn't having an affair with her, and she was the one to misread the situation. He took her to the apartment to show it to her and tell her how much it means to him. 

Ashley: You're making me trustee?
Jon: Yeah.
Ashley: Why?
Jon: Because I trust you, with my life.

He took her there because he knew he wanted her to keep that apartment after he was gone. He didn't share too much though. It's frustrating that Ashley didn't ask more from him. 

It was the apartment that lived in when he was in college, and he bought up the whole block just so he could keep it. He said he had the best memories there, but there has to be more to it.

There is something about the circumstances surrounding that bottle of wine that haunts him, and there was a picture that Ashley asked about that which he didn't want to talk. 

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We still don't know for sure if Constance Zimmer is Barbara Morgan (is she an old college friend?), but we do know that he called her character in hopes that she would help him, but she couldn't, and it made him angry. He also left another envelope for Barbara Morgan. 

Jon's Apology - A Million Little Things Season 1 Episode 11

What we have is more questions than answers, and I don't know how long the series can drag much of this out with this little payoff along the way. Most of the hour was about the confirmation of things we already suspected. 

As for the Jon, Delilah, and Eddie of it all. The series tries hard to make Delilah and Eddie sympathetic, and maybe they are to some people. Personally, I don't give a damn about either one of them, how crappy they felt their marriages were, their relationship, or their baby. 

I have zero damns left to give about this situation, and at this rate, there is nothing that can be done to make it interesting. The hour confirmed that Delilah does love Eddie back, so it isn't one-sided. I guess I was wrong about that.

 
Does Eddie Tell the Truth? - A Million Little Things Season 1 Episode 12

They both planned on telling their spouses and shacking up together or something, I guess. As expected, they were reckless as hell about their affair, since Delilah got a speeding ticket while she and Jon were canoodling in Jon's company car. 

The surprise is that Ashley knew about it, and she kept it a secret from Jon. Of course, that didn't last long either since Eddie couldn't bear the thought of Delilah being stood up by Jon at a restaurant and thought it made sense to be with her. 

It felt like this was all designed to make the two of them sympathetic, give us background on their relationship, and maybe make us root for them.

It made me feel worse for Jon who saw the two of them together, knew he failed and that she would be happier with his best friend, and either comforted him or confirmed something about his decision to kill himself. 

I hate that it took so long to get here, but I promise you that it will never happen again.

Eddie

The fact that he remembered to bring the batteries and put them in the smoke detector hurt my heart more. Jon gave his blessing, but I don't have to like it. 

Outside of Jon's part of the hour and more crumbs dropped and things we didn't desperately need confirmation on being confirmed, it was essentially a filler hour. The worst part of it was Maggie's portion. 

The most frustrating thing about Maggie's character is how she is often shoehorned in. She had no place in this hour and didn't belong in it. 

Gary Adops a Dog - A Million Little Things Season 1 Episode 12

Maggie was irrelevant, and it's doubtful that anyone cared what she was doing the day before Jon died because she didn't know any of them then, and if she did, they should have revealed it to make her relevant. 

Maggie's storyline was a pointless addition to this hour. As cute as it was that Gary took in Colin, outside of the basketball scene, Gary didn't fit into the hour well either. 

And we still haven't met Barbara Morgan. 

Over to you guys, what did you think of the hour? 

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

The Day Before Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (28 Votes)

Jasmine Blu is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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A Million Little Things Season 1 Episode 12 Quotes

Regina: Hey, what the hell do you think you're doing?
Regina's Boss: Pardon?
Regina: Don't "pardon" me, you grabbed my ass!

Jon, I got your message. You have to stop calling me. I'm sorry. I can't do what you wanted me to do.

Mystery Woman