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A Million Little Things - I Dare You - Review: I'm Still Standing



WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.


Excited to be taking over as reviewer for A Million Little Things as it is one of the new fall dramas I've gotten attached to! Especially since ABC has given it a full-season pickup, or at least ordered a few more episodes! I'm hoping that will mean a renewal down the line.

MAGGIE & GARY


Rise and shine lovebirds. Maggie and Gary seem to be in bliss despite the impending sadness hanging over them concerning Maggie's refusal of cancer treatments. They get a little reminder of that from a radio show that comes on after Gary's blaring alarms. Maggie calls her a crock and wishes someone would call-in and tell her that. Gary dares her to do it. I mean why not right? She's got nothing to lose and I'm sensing a theme of the episode.

Maggie takes the dare! She's calling in to radio show to give this Doctor Stacey a piece of her mind. Her question is a fake one about how she doesn't like Gary's dog to get on to the show. Stacey assumes Maggie is referring to her boyfriend's dog which Maggie is quick to correct, much to Gary's chagrin.

Have to say I loved seeing James Roday working with Gary's dog here to reassure him Maggie didn't mean anything she said. They've spooned after all!

It looks like Maggie's plan to ridicule Stacey backfires as she seems to actually pinpoint Maggie's issues, namely that she has intimacy issues and a hard time giving herself fully to a relationship. "That wasn't as fun as I thought it would be." You don't say.

But now it's Gary's turn. He didn't think he could dare Maggie and not get dared back did he?

His dare is to put on a lemonade stand after their joke about one earlier in the episode. It gets cut short though when she calls him to let him know Rome was rushed to the hospital.

Just when you think the dare game has been wrapped up, Maggie ups the ante at a lunch date and dares Gary to steal the microphone and jam out the Elton John song he was singing in the beginning of the episodes, wrong lyrics and all. It's a painfully sweet scene, especially when Maggie joins in to make it a duet (her dare from Gary). Allison Miller has a nice singing voice.

The way they look at each other while singing the lyric "I'm still standing..." Ugh, these two are totally going to make me bawl later this season aren't they?



And the beautiful, lighthearted moments of the episode between Maggie and Gary are brought back to crushing reality when Gary notices a large bruise on her inner arm. She's going to start bruising more easily as her immune system fails. "I dare you to show the world you aren't afraid of anything." Gary wonders where to begin doing that.

Before Gary takes Danny to his date-or-not-date, he shows Maggie his final completed dare request. He's spray-painted "MAGGIE WAS HERE" on a giant billboard. This is how he proves he isn't afraid of anything. It scared the hell out of him and broke countless amounts of laws just to ensure she will always be remembered, even after she's gone. She's left a permanent mark now.

But then Gary breaks the spell. He dares Maggie to get chemo. Needless to say, she gets pissed. They made a deal not to talk about this anymore.

I do get Maggie wants to make her choice, so I'm a little of mixed minds here. On one hand, I think Gary needs to back off. Maggie is a grown woman who should be able to dictate what she wants to do with her body. Just because he doesn't like her decision not to get treatment doesn't mean he has the right to belittle her choice or push her to do something she doesn't want to do. It's her life, it's her body, it's her cancer.

That said, I understand the emotional toll this must be taking on Gary too but he can't force Maggie to change her mind just because it's what he wants. He needs to get on the same page as her or leave.

To her credit, Maggie seems painfully confused by the episode's end. Standing in front of the mirror, flashing back to various memories of Gary and things she's told him in the past, it looks like she is on the verge of doing something drastic when the episode comes to a close.

EDDIE & KATHERINE


It looks like Katherine might have a little office flirtation going on? She's well-liked by her coworkers, one in particular who she'll be working with on a City Planning case.

Meanwhile, Eddie is in talks with Cory about his songs. Except, they don't want Eddie singing his own music they want KC to sing it. He could make a lot of money selling his music. This is not the news Eddie was hoping for and I can't say I blame him. It must be like a kick to the heart to hear that people only want a part of you but not all of you. Especially when he had received such good feedback from his set.

Eddie winds up meeting with KC to give him some tough love. He's being forced to sell a great song to "someone like you" someone who is a ghost of Eddie's former self, in love with booze and the lifestyle more than the music itself.

Katherine's storyline this week feels a little bit out of place. It's so far in the backseat and only in a small amount of scenes it's hard to understand the purpose. We already know Katherine is a workaholic who has to learn to be "present" and make more time for family so this didn't really tell us anything new except introduce a possible new love interest for her.

That said, I appreciated Gary telling Katherine she deserves to be happy after running into her at a restaurant at the end of the night where she goes with her date business associate. He's right. She does deserve to be happy. I want to see more of Katherine in the future. Mainly because I love Grace Park, I'll admit.

ROME & REGINA


After finding Rome's suicide note, Regina is watching her husband like a hawk. He wakes up with some sharp stomach pains and she's quickly thrown into high alert. She winds up so nervous about it she calls Delilah and lets her know she can't go to the ultrasound with her because she's worried about Rome. It's hard to watch Regina struggle with this alone I hope she fills Delilah in on how she's feeling soon.



Rome calls Maggie in agony over his stomach pain. He's wondering if it could be a side effect of the antidepressants. He ends up taking a stumble and Regina discovers that Rome was on the phone with Maggie. She doesn't seem to process it at the moment, clearly she's more concerned about getting Rome to the hospital but I wonder if it might come back up later.

The visit to the hospital is painful for both Rome and Regina, and not just physically. The nurse needs to talk to him about his suicidal tendencies and she wants Regina to leave the room. "But he's my husband." She tries to say, clearly agonized over the fact she can't be there for Rome in the way she wants to be.

It's an awkward moment when the nurse comes back to tell Regina that Rome is refusing activated charcoal, a method to rid the gut of drugs in case he took something even though Rome insists he didn't. It seems strange to me that the doctors would jump to that without running any other tests first. Regina is being put in a tough spot, I feel for her and I wonder how she's going to feel when she learns Maggie knew about Rome's depression and suicide attempt.

Rome is not happy about drinking the "liquid lava" that is charcoal. Though the mood is sufficiently lightened by the banter between Rome, Gary, and Eddie. Gary points out that if Rome had just talked to Regina about his depression she wouldn't be panicking in the other room about it all butt having it sprung on her was devastating. Though I agree with Gary this is probably something physical. I hope it's nothing too serious but with these type of shows you never know. However, I don't believe that Rome took drugs.

Also Rome's reaction to drinking the charcoal made me nervous about all my charcoal face products!

Maggie reveals to Regina the nature of her impromptu meetings with Rome. Even though she hasn't been meeting with him as a therapist, only as a friend. I can't be mad at Maggie about it, I think it's better Rome was talking to someone even if it wasn't his wife. Sometimes the people you love most can be the hardest ones to open up to and make yourself vulnerable too because you don't want to appear weak or seem like you can't take care of them and I imagine that is a lot of what Rome was feeling.

Delilah is there for Regina, she understands how she's feeling more than anyone since John mostly kept her in the dark too. I love these ladies together I'm glad Regina was able to forgive Delilah. They need each other now more than ever.

Well while Delilah is having her ultrasound, Rome is getting one too! She calls Gary while he and Maggie are getting lunch at a ramen place. Gary was right. Rome has a kidney stone. Also Regina is not mad at Maggie, or so she says though her tone doesn't sound entirely believable.

"If I had told it to you it would have made it too real." Coming from someone who has struggled on and off with depression her entire life, Rome has some lines in this show that feel like a punch to the gut.

Even amidst his suffering, Rome ensures Regina knows how much he loves her and how much he needs her.

"If it weren't for you I would have been dead a long time ago."
"The scary part is, I believe that."

Regina is conflicted about all of this. It's complicated. On one hand she wants to be there for Rome but he's been keeping her in the dark so long it's hard for her to get to the place he needs her to be. Not to mention, there is always some emotional manipulation when it comes to depending on other people for your mental health. Rome needs to want to truly get better and hopefully now he's on the right path with Regina there as a healthy beacon of support on his journey.

THE DIXONS


Danny's texting a "friend" that he intends to meet up with at the arcade after school he tells Delilah. It looks like Gary is going to be giving him a ride as he's texting him about whether or not he should call it a date. So far, Gary is the only one who knows that "Ella" is actually an Elliot.



At least Delilah won't have to go to the ultrasound alone. Even though Regina can't accompany her right now, Eddie offers to take her there. I know I shouldn't be rooting for them but I think I am, at least a bit. It's complicated I guess.

"This can't be our baby." It might be too late for that Delilah. I know her guilt is making it twice as difficult to grapple with this new pregnancy but I don't know that lying to everyone and this child about the father is going to make things better. Own it, lick your wounds, face your penance and move on with your lives. It doesn't mean John's legacy can't live on in other ways or still be apart of this new child's world.

They do both agree on not discovering the sex of the baby. It's too early to tell anyways but thus far everything is looking healthy. Both Eddie and Delilah get emotional while listening to the baby's heartbeat. Regardless of who the father winds up being, it's clear this baby is going to be very well-loved.

God, Eddie is killing me here. I don't really understand why Delilah is making him pretend not to be the father. It seems more painful for everyone involved especially because the secret about their affair is already out there and it's not like John is around anymore to find out the truth. Keeping the baby's real father out of the picture to pretend their dad is dead feels needlessly cruel to all parties in my opinion. I know Delilah is hurting and struggling right now so I hope she changes her mind down the line.

Back at home, Delilah wants all the details about Danny's date. It went well given the giggles and blushing when he tells her about it. I can't imagine Delilah rejecting Danny when/if he eventually comes out.

EXTRAS


DUO OF THE WEEK: Regina and Rome! I love them so much. I loved Rome asking Regina out on a date at the end of the episode. "I have to warn you, I'm married."

CHARACTER OF THE WEEK: Have to give credit to Regina played with such elegance by Christina Moses. She's grappling with a lot after learning the truth about Rome's depression and Christina is fantastic at portraying her conflicting emotions.

BEST SCENE: Maggie and Gary singing karaoke in the bar for sure.

A MILLION LITTLE THINGS WILL RETURN WITH A NEW EPISODE ON NOVEMBER 28TH @ 10:00 PM EST ON ABC.


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