A hiatus does the body good.
The series returned and A Million Little Things Season 1 Episode 11 wasted no time jumping back into all of the mystery and intrigue that has people hooked.
That is where the series is at its strongest, and while Maggie's cancer battle was still featured prominently, and Eddie and Delilah still had a couple of moments, the midseason premiere was one of the more well-balanced of the series. All of the characters were featured, including the children.
Here's the thing, it's going to be frustrating if the series goes out of the way to portray Jon as troubled to prop up Delilah. Gary is probably the only person in the universe who thought Jon was a saint. Jon being an imperfect person isn't the issue; the way it could be used to absolve Delilah is where it gets irksome.
Even Delilah's angry rant to Gary about how she felt guilty (but did she ever?) about cheating on Jon and thought her secret was to blame for his death, but it was his financial issues that were likely to blame felt like a desperate attempt to shift the focus.
She eagerly jumped on that, and maybe it wouldn't have been annoying if she at any point came across contrite, but I digress.
Gary: There's gotta be an explanation, right? This doesn't make any sense.
Delilah: Yeah? It makes perfect sense, 'cause this whole time I've been trying to figure out why he did this thinking that I killed my husband! That my secret is the reason that he did this, when all along, it was him. He lied, Gary! He lied to me, to all of us. And he couldn't live with himself, so he just left us with nothing. Not even a note!
Gary: I refuse to believe that. The Jon that I knew -- the Jon that we all knew --
Delilah: Will you stop defending him! Stop defending him. Ever since you met him on that elevator you've put him on a pedestal. Guess what? That Jon Dixon he doesn't exist!
Gary: Come on, that man had a plan for everything.
Unfortunately, as a Delilah loather, I'm going to have to make peace with her presence and appreciate the series' attempt at making her at the very least tolerable even if the methods for doing so are troublesome.
But for the record, the peak "poor Delilah" moment of the hour was when she had to call their entire group to Katherine's office to be moral support when Katherine gave her the news. Jeebus, this woman.
Also, it's still both smart and ballsy AF to go to Katherine for all of this help. If this is how she approached Katherine when she needed favors, I can understand why Katherine was misled to believe that they were friends.
Oh, and spouse or not, it's common sense to at least peruse the documents you sign before you sign them. And if Sophie can be mad at Jon who she idolized, then that puts Delilah in better standings. Delilah rolled with that until Danny dropped some wisdom.
Now that all of the Delilah grievances and potshots are out of the way, it was a stronger hour for her character. Delilah showed the most emotion and range during this hour than she has for the entire first half of the season.
Delilah's blowup at Gary was one of the best scenes. Gary does not know how to read a room. The woman found out that she was losing her house and business, saddled with millions of dollars worth of debt, and the life insurance policy she was expecting would go to that. It was not the time for Gary to be trying to defend Jon.
Delilah was pissed and had every right to be. How do you even process all of that? The man she thought she knew was nothing like how she imagined, and he had secrets that impacted their family.
Danny: The thing is Ella isn't a girl. Ella is Elliot.
Delilah: Oh sweetie.
Danny: I'm sorry I didn't tell you earlier, I just didn't want to disappoint you.
Delilah: Disappoint me? Are you kidding? Listen to me, you have never and will never disappoint me for just being you. OK?
Danny: Okay. I guess I was just trying to be the person you thought I was. Maybe that's why dad kept things from us too because he was just trying to be the person we thought he was.
Delilah: Well, just when I thought I couldn't be more proud of you.
Another fantastic scene for Delilah was when Danny came out to her. She had the perfect response to Danny, and she told him exactly what he needed to hear. Danny lost his father, and that's hard enough for a kid his age. It's a relief that his sexuality won't be something that causes him more grief.
Delilah partnering up with Katherine was unusual, but it was impressive that they were able to push the friction that should be between the two of them aside to get to the bottom of this mess Jon left the Dixons in.
The two women found a groove that worked for them, but the reality of how tenuous their unspoken truce of sorts hit the moment Eddie returned.
That scene in the Dixon kitchen was flat out uncomfortable. Eddie blew into the place like an overly concerned boyfriend wanting to know why Delilah didn't tell him about the house while he was away on tour. Eddie couldn't control himself, and Katherine isn't stupid.
Katherine yearning to be close with the others is fascinating. She wants to be part of the group and a good friend. She would've stayed for dinner and maybe even enjoyed herself if Eddie's return wasn't like cold water to the face. Hell, even Carter wondered how she could help Delilah without a second thought (you and me both, man).
I also wonder if she's piecing together that Eddie may be the biological father of Delilah's baby.
However, Katherine playing a pivotal role in this investigation is exciting because of how it brings her into the fold with the group. There had to be something that tied her to the group more than being Eddie's ex.
Carter: There have been six payments made since Jon died.
Katherine: But who's making them?
Katherine and Gary's burgeoning friendship is one of the most underrated dynamics on the series, so I could not be more thrilled about them coming together to track down Ashley.
We're in deep trying to figure out Jon's secrets, and this hour was the best as far as delving into them and giving us clues and pieces to dissect and theorize about like crazy people. Katherine and Carter realized that there were payments made in Jon's account after his death, and they traced them to Ashley.
It wasn't a surprise when they psyched us out. Gary knew where Ashley lived, but he doesn't know about the other apartment. That wasn't the most intense Ashley scene. The first was when Ashley was at the bank closing the Rutledge account and taking all the money out.
Was I the only one waiting for Delilah and Katherine to bump into her? Delilah wouldn't have done shite, but Katherine was a total badass, so she would have if she figured out something hinky was going on.
For example, why is she shredding all of those files, and does that mean that she destroyed everything in the letter that Jon left Delilah? I called Ashley a few choice words during this hour, but I'm happy that we're making some headway in this part of the storyline.
But that final scene of Ashley confronting guest-star Constance Zimmer was the Ashley scene that had me the most intrigued. Who is she?! What does she want?!
Ashley: We need to talk.
Mystery Woman: No, Ashley. We don't.
Ashley: You owe this to him.
What did Ashley mean when she said that the mysterious lady owed Jon? How? Is she Barbara Morgan?
The top of the hour had Jon leaving a video where he was apologizing to Barbara. Didn't it sound like Barbara was an ex-wife or something to that effect? He mentioned abandoning her, but abandoning someone can mean so many different things, right?
There were more questions than answers, but we know the origins of Rutledge. It was the name of the elevator inspector based on the paper in the elevator the guys were stuck in.
After so many hours of being in that elevator and joking and learning about one another, it became an inside joke or shorthand. So are we supposed to believe that Rutledge was Jon's backup plan to take care of his family when the sh!t hit the fan after his death?
That's why he had the other insurance policy with the guys listed on it. They made a promise to take care of one another's families if anything ever happened to any of them. But what does Barbara have to do with Rutledge if she didn't know any of them?
Ashley was careful to ask everyone about Barbara, but she never mentioned Rutledge since she knew they would figure something out. The elevator scene was interesting because of how each guy came across in the beginning.
Gary: Ever since that day in the elevator we always joked that if something happened to one of us, Rutledge. It was something we came up with as shorthand.
Katherine: For what?
Gary: Take care of my family.
Jon was the put together one who knew how to close deals and get what he wanted. Gary was snarky, standoffish, and guarded for a bit there. Eddie was a bit ditzy, and he has always been the butt of the jokes. Rome was reserved.
Once again, Jon and Gary stood out a bit more because of the focus on the beginning of their relationship. Gary said Jon was the first person to believe in him at a time when he didn't believe in himself, but there feels like there is so much more to his obsessive devotion to Jon.
He needed that reminder that his version of Jon was still real, but that Jon was still human like the rest of them. The hero worship has to stop somewhere. Gary reminds me of how young kids idolize their parents before they grow up and learn that their parents are flawed humans too.
Gary also has to stop hovering over Maggie. He means well, but he's smothering her. She has a long road ahead, but she knows what is at stake, and she's been there before. She has to work through stuff in her way and not his.
It was sad to see her lose steam during the race, but it was such an adorable moment when Eddie and Rome slowed down the truck so that she could finish and the others had a finish line set up for her.
Rome is feeling himself, but as happy as he seems right now, it's not going to last long. It's disconcerting that he stopped taking his meds and thinks that he's better or fixed.
Jon was everything you thought he was. He was strong. He was loyal. He was brilliant, but he was also human like the rest of us. You are not betraying him by admitting he was human.Maggie
I get that he wants to have a healthy sex life with his wife, but that's not a priority. He's going to slip back into his depression in no time flat; that's how depression works. There is no quick fix, and he has to be willing to do the work.
Speaking of work, while their financial security is an issue, especially now that they know about the loans and debt Jon incurred, Rome going back to do something that he described as "soul-sucking" is not the best idea.
Gina is concerned, but she also isn't pressing the issue hard. Maybe she is, but she needs to try harder. Nothing good is going to come from this. The signs are on the wall.
Shelly was offputting the last time she was on the series; however, she was right about Gina giving her a chance. She can't say she wants things to be better between them if she's not going to be able to give her mother a chance. Shelly investing in the restaurant may be a blessing in disguise if Gina allows it.
In Shelly's defense, her comment about Gina's cooking sounded as though she was concerned that Gina wasn't cooking what she was passionate about last time.
Let me ask you something. Did you want me to invest, or did you just need someone to invest? Yeah, I thought so. You say you want a fresh start, but how is that going to happen if you don't give me a chance?Shelley
- Theo is such a quirky kid who sometimes sounds like a mini-Yoda. I laughed when he told Sophie that everyone thought he was reading, but he was listening instead.
- Carter is the friend that Katherine deserves, and no one in this group deserves Katherine.
- Eddie looked good while on tour, yes? He looked good, and I don't think he's been drinking, and I'm proud of him for that.
- Jon said that he would have dinner with his family when he answered the question. How does a man this devoted to his family end up leaving them in this type of ruin? He always has a plan, and he's all about family, so there has to be more to this.
- No, really. What the hell is Ashley doing? It's driving me crazy!
Do you think the series is improving? Are you happy the pace is picking up, and the mystery is taking off? What are your new theories? Hit the comments below!
You can watch A Million Little Things online here via TV Fanatic!
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.