It's funny how our beginnings can often feel like stepping stones towards endings.
After diving into A Million Little Things Season 4 Episode 1, the hour was this lovely blend of closing doors firmly and stepping through new ones indicative of the ebbs and flow of life that the series always tries to capture.
The premiere was a relatively quiet hour for this series, almost as if it was an installment at a midway point, but the ending is bound to get fans talking most.
After the jaw-dropping cliffhanger regarding Gary and Peter on A Million Little Things Season 3 Episode 18, the premiere took the suspenseful approach of immersing us into the next day as life went on as usual for this friendship group, and we still didn't find out what happened behind those closed doors yet.
Instead, we faced all of these other factors, like coming to grips with whether or not Delilah and the Dixon kids were moving to France, Tyrell getting an update on his mother, the Howards recovering from the loss of Someday, and Eddie reeling from that phone call.
Eddie finding out who hit him was the next biggest cliffhanger, and we didn't get much forward movement on that yet either.
We learn that he recorded the phone call, which came in handy when he pulled out some of his mixing equipment, isolated voices and sounds in the background, and he got a lead on where this woman works.
Eddie's mind is spinning from this, and he has every right to be. His entire world got upended by this accident, and everything around him fell like the domino effect from that point forward.
And now, the second that it seems as though he's gathered his bearings again, this woman calls him months later to apologize, and she rushed off the phone, not giving him the time to react to the bomb she dropped on him.
Gary: I hear you. You want justice. Believe me, nobody understands that more than me. I just don't want you to do something you're going to regret, OK?
Eddie: No. You're right.
Eddie getting to the bottom of this woman's identity is something that will consume him. But at least it'll be a reprieve from the frustrating crap show that was the dissolution of the Savilles relationship and marriage.
Overnight, it's as if Eddie has his life together better, and he's moving forward. Gone are the pity party and other aspects of his storyline concerning his life as a wheelchair user.
He has found an accessible apartment, drives on his own, and he's taking his physical therapy seriously.
He gleefully peed in a cup as per his arrangement with Katherine. Also, Eddie showed her the apartment as a gesture of consideration and maturity, without her needing to ask.
They are getting along well, the bad blood between them, seemingly under the bridge now. And it was such a noticeable shift that it felt as if the series used the real estate agent to highlight that as a nod to the audience.
The same sentiment extended to the situation with Delilah moving to France, too. Katherine's casual joke about suing Delilah if she relocated to France, followed by a hearty "just kidding," was almost jarring in its lightheartedness.
It felt as if they wanted to treat the break between installments as a time jump but couldn't afford to do that with storylines that required immediate follow-up.
Without any further discussion, Eddie and Katherine have accepted and embraced that Delilah is moving to France, her original selfish reasoning all but swept over in favor of something more palatable.
Hey, D, just so you know, if you take Charlie to France, I'm going to sue you for everything you have. Just kidding!Katherine
Eddie is disappointed that his daughter will be in France again, but he's made peace with it easily.
The series is back to trying incredibly hard to make Delilah a sympathetic and likable character by course-correcting storylines to bend in her favor. But it would be infinitely better if they left them be and allowed people to feel as they want about her.
If I speak from my most biased standpoint, the attempts only trigger a knee-jerk reaction to double down on displeasure with her further out of spite.
It often feels as though they're afraid to leave her in the hot seat without writing some favorable result in a desperate attempt at reshaping how people perceive her, and it's so apparent that it backfires more than helps.
Because everyone blew up at Delilah and responded to her selfish, rash decision ten seconds after returning rather than the genuine grief she's battling, the series took a red pen to add "context."
Delilah's father had a stroke. It's hard to say if this was a recent development after her grand announcement or the leading cause for it that they came up with later to make her sympathetic, but now she has a reason to return to France that elicits compassion.
Her father is dying, and the heavy toll of loss weighs heavy on her as she's still battling with Jon's death and now the myriad of emotions that come with grieving a parent with Alzheimer's.
In many ways, she lost him a long time ago, but now, she's about to lose him permanently, and yes, Delilah is suffering and hurt. She has a lot on her plate.
Delilah is someone who is in desperate need of therapy. She needs to process all of these tragedies and work through her pain. And we're meant to respond to that place she's coming from-- whether it relating to the struggle of losing someone to suicide or Alzheimer's or anything else.
But it still ended up feeling like their way of writing themselves out of a corner with her so people's justifiable anger could get handwaved away in favor of the "poor Delilah" narrative the show loves to pitch. Also, is she really leaving?!
Eddie (and Katherine) can't be upset about her moving to France with Charlie because of her father. Gary had to make amends for what he said.
Although, Gary's apology worked in the sense that he wasn't apologetic for the feelings behind what he said, but rather that they came out poorly, so that was genuine progress with this.
Delilah: I know you'd do anything for this family.
It was more space than Sophie got on the matter, where Danny confronted her with how selfish and insensitive she came across about their mother's pain when she returned home and learned about her grandfather.
Sophie isn't wrong in what she said, especially about how she has to set her feelings aside while they get usurped. And damn, call it the curse that comes with the eldest role, specifically the first-born girl.
Sophie couldn't think beyond how she's dealing with the Peter situation to consider Delilah's feelings about losing her father. And even though her response got presented as a fit of selfish, inconsiderate, short-sightedness on Sophie's part, it still didn't feel that way.
Danny was there to defend Delilah and plead her case, shaming his sister into seeing her imbalanced reaction to Jon versus Delilah and proudly proclaiming to be the support their mother needs without apology.
Sophie: I'm sad about grandpa, but I'm just going through a lot right now and once again that's going to take a backseat to her. I mean watch, I'm going to have to help her do this even though she was barely there for me when I needed her.
Danny: Soph, how angry are you for dad for leaving us?
Sophie: What? I'm not. I mean I'm sad and I'm hurt, but I'm not mad. Dad was suffering.
Danny: Yeah, so was mom. And you won't have to help her through it. I'm going, too. I'm going to go with her.
Sophie: To France? For how long?
Danny: For as long as she needs me.
Danny didn't set out to invalidate his sister's feelings, only to chastise Sophie into considering those of their mothers. The irony of all of this wasn't lost.
Sophie wasn't angry at Jon for what he did and how much it hurt; she knew that her father was in pain and suffering. But she was outraged at her mother so much that she couldn't see her mom's suffering, too.
It was the gist of what Danny was getting at, and it was an expectedly mature take for this teen who is always wise beyond his years.
Surely the gaslighting that came across was unintentional, so it bears no further discussion on the matter.
All we know is that Danny is no longer upset about moving because he's prioritizing his mother's feelings and wants to be the supportive son she needs now that he knows how much his mother is hurting.
And Sophie is sympathetic and reconciled with Delilah while also maintaining in a wonderfully mature, insightful manner that she'll be staying behind at the house alone (?) while her family is away.
Sophie recognized that Delilah deserves to grieve and work through things in a way that suits her, and it's OK that it sets them on different paths right now.
They reached the best position they could, one that serves both of them well and gives them what they need. No one has to lose here. She threw her mother a happy sendoff celebrating in the form of Friday Night Pizza, and it was all warmth, fuzzies, happiness, love, and camaraderie.
It's doubtful that Delilah will leave permanently or stay gone for too long, especially taking Charlie and our beloved Danny with her. We can't be going through another season of Delilah "away," right?
Yet the pizza dinner part was one of the reasons the premiere felt more like a finale. It had notes of a chapter ending, and one can't discern what that means.
A lot of the Howards' storyline had that tone of finality, too. Gina saying goodbye to her restaurant's patrons, leaving that voicemail was heartbreaking.
She's devoted all of herself to the restaurant for the past two years. Now she's starting from scratch, but she has no idea what to do with her life right now.
Her friends could enjoy all of her incredible cooking at the dinner, and someone needs to release Gina's apple souffle recipe for scientific purposes.
The loss of Someday is disappointing, but it also feels like a natural progression from their pandemic acknowledgment. Gina is in an unsettled place where life forced her to start a new chapter -- and that feels relatable.
Whereas Gina feels a bit lost right now, Rome got his mojo back with the film he and Tyrell did. They submitted for consideration, and the excitement was off the charts.
But all things shifted when Rome learned about the Haiti airports reopening. Tyrell has become such a member of their family. The idea of losing him if he reconnected with his mother terrified Rome.
Gary: You good?
Eddie: Just looking at some photos from tonight, of me, Theo, and Charlie.
Gary: You know, between the blond one and the Asian one, you got some really weird sperm. It's like tofu, it just takes on the flavor of whatever it's cooked with it. I'm into it.
He had to make the least selfish choice, and it took him a minute and some conversations with Gina to deliver the news to Tyrell, but he did it.
Tyrell is head to Haiti to be with his mother, but the message he left the Howards was heartwarming. He does intend to return to them in a few weeks.
I wonder what this means for their parenthood story. Is this a sign that the Howards will look into fostering on an official basis? Do they plan to revisit having a child of their own?
Are they content with only Tyrell? It feels like all of this would reignite those conversations again.
Speaking of conversations, while Maggie's storyline on Dr. Stacy's hot mic debacle had some funny moments, it felt like they were desperate to give Maggie a storyline of her own during the premiere.
She's been on this journey toward kickstarting her podcast for some time now. If the previous reactions to Maggie are any indication, her temporary gig as Dr. Stacy's replacement will be permanent.
Meanwhile, the damage the assailants did to Peter could be permanent, too.
They left us hanging with the Gary/Peter thing, but they built up the suspense with Gary's behavior.
He greeted Colin, checked on a sleeping Eddie, and then proceeded to strip and wash his clothes. The eerie calm Gary possessed in those quiet moments effectively conveyed that something disturbing happened.
The blood on Gary's arms was another indication he went through with something unsavory and violent.
He spent the rest of the day on edge, googling Peter's name to see if any news got released about him and inwardly spazzing out at little things.
He practically jumped out of his skin when the doorbell rang, but it was only the photographer he hired. He was the same way at Eddie, Darcy, and others' comments that made him think they knew something happened.
Otherwise, he carried on that day as if he didn't spend the night potentially doing something horrific. The news of Peter's coma was shocking, especially for those who may have still held out hope that things didn't go badly.
Gary made so many cryptic comments about the things he'd do for family and so forth, and you could sene that he may become haunted by his actions.
One thing that got under his skin was when Maggie shared that Detective Saunders called Sophie and told her.
Gary pieced together what the rest of us did -- the detective suspected Sophie had something to do with Peter's assault. It's irritating as hell that there wasn't enough to follow-up on Peter, but the second he got attacked, the detective dove into trying to solve that case, pointing at Peter's victim.
Gary: I was talking about what happened to Peter. Maggie told me.
Sophie: It's crazy, right? When I first heard, I felt he got what he deserved, you know?
Gary: Yeah, I do.
Sophie: But then I realized that if Peter's in a coma, then he didn't hear what I said to him on Maggie's podcast. And the large reason I did the podcast was so that he'd hear me tell the truth. And now I don't know if he ever will. I just wanted him to know that I'm stronger than he is.
Gary didn't even consider that Sophie would be a suspect if something happened to Peter. You could see his mind race when he pieced that together.
And in the end, it probably didn't feel worth it when Sophie expressed her feelings on the issue. At first, she was thrilled that Peter got what he deserved.
But then she realized that Peter didn't get to hear HER advocate and fight for herself. SHE didn't get to dictate how to get justice.
She said his name on a podcast and told her truth, and Peter didn't get to hear that she wasn't afraid of him. Gary made that decision for her, and while she doesn't know about it, it hurt her all the same.
Peter could die, Sophie doesn't feel like that's justice, and thanks to Gary's actions and Sophie's revelation falling on the same night, he inadvertently dragged her into more trouble.
But it was SHOCKING when we saw glimpses of that night, and we learned that Gary wasn't alone. It wasn't solely a Gary plan; Christopher Gregory, Layla's father, accompanied him.
The events of that night have gotten more shocking and disturbing, and we need all the details soon! Is it safe to say that Gary probably didn't beat Peter into a coma, but Christopher did?
How did things get so out of control that night?! I cannot wait to find out!
Gary: Anybody see you?
Christopher Gregory: No.
In the meantime, Darcy came around and decided she wants a child with Gary. She loves him that much, and it's something she wants for them.
She saw how much he cared about the Dixon kids and Theo, and it reassured her that he's never one who doesn't treat the people he cares about like they're family.
They're taking all of these life-changing steps, moving, possibly having a kid, but all of that can come to a screeching halt with this Peter situation.
Over to you, AMLT Fanatics. Are you thrilled to have this series back? Are you shocked by the Christopher Gregory reveal? Hit the comments below, and let's discuss!
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.