A MILLION LITTLE THINGS Season Finale Post-Mortem: DJ Nash on the Big Jon Reveal and What Comes Next - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

A MILLION LITTLE THINGS Season Finale Post-Mortem: DJ Nash on the Big Jon Reveal and What Comes Next

February 28, 2019 by  

A Million Little Things Season Finale spoilers

A MILLION LITTLE THINGS – “goodbye” – With questions still lingering around Jon’s death, his loved ones try to move on, each taking meaningful steps forward in their own lives. As most of them begin to accept that they may never get the explanation they desire, an unexpected member of the group decides to dig even further into the mystery behind Barbara Morgan on the season finale of “A Million Little Things,” airing THURSDAY, FEB. 28 (9:01-10:00 p.m. EST), on The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Jack Rowand)

[This post contains spoilers for the A MILLION LITTLE THINGS season 1 finale.]

The ABC promos teased the season 1 finale for A MILLION LITTLE THINGS would answer all of the questions about Jon (Ron Livingston), who killed himself in the opening moments of the series—and it was mostly correct.

Delilah (Stephanie Szostak) came face-to-face with Barbara Morgan (Drea de Matteo), who disclosed that she knew Jon through her former boyfriend, Dave, who was Jon’s best friend. The duo took a trip together and Jon missed the plane…and then the plane crashed into the World Trade Center.

The experience fundamentally changed Jon—who never told Delilah or any of his friends—and was one of the factors that ultimately led to his depression and suicide. But as (the newly in remission) Maggie (Allison Miller) noted, suicide is never caused by one thing; rather, it’s everything adding up.

Elsewhere, Eddie (David Giuntoli) and Katherine (Grace Park) called off their divorce, but he got cold feet before he moved home the season ended with it appearing like he was on the verge of telling her that Delilah (who was in labor) was actually pregnant with his child.

So what comes next? A MILLION LITTLE THINGS creator DJ Nash shared insight on the finale’s big twists and insight into what’s ahead…

Suicide is not caused by one factor, but at what point did you know that 9/11 was a pivotal part of Jon’s backstory and why was that an important story for you to tell?
That is exactly correct. As much as we were doing a mystery this season and wanted to answer a mystery, we wanted to make sure we did not imply, suggest, [or] say there is one reason why someone does it. There isn’t. Our consultant and the writers worked very closely [on that]…Gary says something like, “I thought if we turned over that stone, I would feel better, and I don’t.” Maggie, who is the doctor who is representing our consultant in that scene, says, “That’s just it, Gary: it’s never one stone. It’s a bunch of stones all stacked on top of each other.” I think that quote, in my mind, is the most important line in our finale because it really is so true to what goes on with someone; what goes on with a family who is coping with suicide.

This morning, I got a very moving letter from a family who lost their son this year, and have been watching the show. As much as we’re telling a fictional story, there are real people impacted by the issues of the show who have been so vocal. It’s so important to me.The compliment our show gets that means the most to me is that it’s so authentic. It’s more important than anything.

I really wanted to have a reason and a thing that had broken Jon. Not the reason he took his life, but the thing that set him in a different place. When I was writing the pilot, when I was writing the first draft, the [then-]network president said, “Is it possible to evoke Jon at the end of the show?” So I went and thought about how to do that. One of the ideas I had was to have Rome play the video of them caught in the elevator and have Jon voiceover the end of the pilot. And I thought of a few other things: the guys going to Game 7 and getting stuck at O’Hare—I had just gotten stuck [there in real-life]—but then I was thinking what if we tell the story and realize the guys didn’t make it on the plane to Flight 11 and they all shared that story.

When I talked to my producing partner—she was the only person I told that pitch to—she said, I love it, but it overshadows the whole show. At the funeral, Eddie would have mentioned it in the eulogy. You would have known this about the guys. And I said, that’s really true.

A MILLION LITTLE THINGS: Ron Livingston on Finding the Right Balance in Jon’s Flashbacks

The first day of the writers all being together, one of the writers said, what was the thing that broke Jon? What changed Jon? And I said, “What do you think about this?” And a group of drama writers—I was new to a drama room [after doing comedies for years]—all lit up. And we talked about it. I checked with our consultant, and I said, “Does this seem authentic to you, this story we’re telling?” And she said, “Yeah, it’s like a hot stove. He can’t touch it. He made big promises and he can’t keep them.” We told that story.

What was amazing for me is I came into the season knowing the first six or seven big stories we were going to tell and then the finale. So we were building not through the show, but almost building from both ends, working our way to the center. It allowed us, this season, to tell [the story] and lay in stuff to hopefully make it more authentic. Learning in episode 4 that the couple had met at the airport in the episode with Gerald McRaney as Delilah’s dad. And planting that bottle of wine, knowing there was something about the purchase of a bottle of win that had upset [Jon]. Just different things we had laid in there. And putting his jersey as number 11. There were things we did.

And then, when it came time to do the finale, I snuck the script to our crew. I said to them, “All season long, our actors have only known what the characters have known so far. I know I have to give you the script so you have two weeks to prep, but I don’t want the actors to know until the table read.” And everyone was very cool about that.

We really went to such lengths to downplay the September 11th of it all. We never say September 11th, you see it on a newspaper and Barbara says Flight 11. We don’t see anything on those TVs, it’s even quiet. It was really important for me, like with suicide and cancer, that even though we’re telling a fictional story, there are people who are watching who were impacted by these real events. I want to be sensitive to them.

We went to Logan airport [in Boston] and took photos of that gate. As a guy from Boston myself, I know every time I fly through Logan, when you go through security, it’s different than any other airport, because that’s where the terrorists got through. I wanted to be as sensitive to it all as possible.

Eddie and Katherine seemed to be working their way back to each other, but the audience knows he and Delilah have been lying to their friends and family about her baby’s paternity. How will that play into season 2?
Towards the end of the season, we saw Eddie and Delilah resume the friendship that brought them first together. Their relationship now, they’re forever connected because they’re having a baby together, whether other people know about it or not. It has transitioned from romantic to one of friendship. I think the conversation he had with her in episode 15 when Katherine gets into the car accident is him talking to his friend about how he wants to see this work with Katherine. And I think there’s a part of Delilah that really wants to see it work for Eddie and Katherine, because she also carries so much guilt about what happened.

That said, there is a huge secret that has not been shared. We saw Eddie and Katherine find a level to their relationship that is probably better than one they ever had. We saw them almost kissing when Theo had the night terror. And then [they walked back the divorce in the finale]. We want this. We want this so badly for them. Hopefully the audience has taken the ride the writers’ room has taken with them, which is just when you think it’s one thing, it’s not. We made you not like their marriage at first and now hopefully you’re rooting for it.

A MILLION LITTLE THINGS Cast on the Affair Fallout

The reason their marriage has worked lately is because they’re truthful with each other…they’re both owning their part in this. And then in the last scene, he is there in the car, [he calls her outside] and we realize a second before she does that he can’t step into that house and resume that marriage without telling her something. We don’t know what that something is, but we assume [it’s about the baby].

Grace Park is a phenomenal actor. I have loved telling her stories this year. Everyone thinks I’m Gary; I’m really Katherine. I’m not even kidding. The last episode, with the field trip, word for word, that happened with my son and I.

My formula for Katherine is put her in an impossible situation and watch Grace’s humanity shine. That is how we leave season 1—Katherine in an impossible situation, and as we start season 2, we’ll see her humanity shine.

The morning we were shooting that scene, I went to their trailers and I handed them the rest of the scene [that will eventually air]. I said, “I didn’t show this to anybody, nobody has seen it but you two. We’re going to shoot the whole scene today.” And they quickly read the lines with each other, we shot it, and it was phenomenal. They’re phenomenal.

A MILLION LITTLE THINGS: Romany Malco and Christina Moses Tease the New ABC Drama

Going into season 2, Gary (James Roday)/Maggie and Rome (Romany Malco)/Regina (Christina Moses) have swapped places in a way—Rome and Regina went through hardships, but were solid; Gary and Maggie really had to fight to get to where they are. Now, Rome and Regina can’t agree on whether to have kids and Gary/Maggie seem to be in a solid place. How is that dynamic shift going to play into those relationships?
Season 1, Rome and Regina had an issue that wasn’t between them: it was the depression they were dealing with. In season 1, Gary and Maggie had an issue that was between them. What was really exciting for us about telling the Gary and Maggie story is whatever you thought it was about cancer, it was about love and whenever you thought it was about love, it was about cancer. In season 2, this couple where cancer brought them love, basically—their meet-cute was a breast cancer support group. What better what to prove you love someone than to help them have the opportunity to live? But now what? The thing that was their glue is now gone, thankfully. How do you forge ahead when you’re no longer in triage mode?

There’s a line Maggie says to Gary in the finale: “You have to make sure you’re not doing the same thing Jon was doing. Trying to save me the way you couldn’t save Jon. And the way he couldn’t save Dave.” I think we’ll see the relationship have to find its level without that.

As for Rome and Regina, a lot of the characters in the show [have] struggles I’ve had in life. So, my wife and I got married saying “no kids” and meant it. And for eight years, that’s what our plan was. And then we were buying a car, just like they’re buying a car, and I thought we were talking about whether we were going to get an SUV or not…[and I realized] we are not talking about cars anymore. We were sitting right there in the dealership, and thankfully we both changed our minds. But Rome and Regina, where we leave them, they have not both changed their minds. So we will watch what happens.

It could be that it’s a stalemate. It could be that Regina decides, “I do want a kid for you” just as Rome is deciding, “I don’t.” I love when we put our characters in situations where they’re both guilty and innocent at the same time. I’m excited to tell that story for Rome and Regina. And [in season 2] the thing that is their problem is between them.

For more on A MILLION LITTLE THINGS season 2, check back with Give Me My Remote next week!


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