Recap a million little things: protests, police and priorities
Most of Jon’s friends take part in a protest against Black Lives Matter in A Million Little Things that leads to victims both physically (Regina – although it’s scary, she’s fine) and emotionally (Eddie and Katherine – definitely not fine). George Floyd’s horrific death by Minneapolis police officers becomes a way for the ABC drama to expand on its earlier conversations about race.
It’s a sobering hour. Read on for the highlights of “Lists”.
NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE | Flo and Walter come to Regina and Rome to meet with them and Tyrell before heading out one day where they meet with everyone else who goes to protest. But Walter surprises everyone when he announces that he has no intention of marching because he doesn’t think anything will change. “If you can find a jackhammer big enough to break the foundations of this land, I’ll go,” he says. “Because that’s the only thing that’ll make a difference.”
At that moment, Gary calls and has a few annoying questions about the daily schedule. Rome explodes. “You understand that this is not my protest, do you?” he snaps. Gary apologizes and says he was just trying to help. “The last time you tried to help, I ended up in the back of a patrol car,” Rom replies and ends the call. A few minutes later, Rome tells Regina that he is not going to protest because at the moment he doesn’t dare: If a police officer does something to trigger him, it would be BAD. So she gently tells him to do whatever he has to do.
Before the ladies and Tyrell leave, Rome pulls the teen aside to make sure he doesn’t contact law enforcement officers. “There are cops out there looking for a reason to kill themselves,” he says deadly serious. “Young man, don’t give them a reason.”
While Walter and Rom sit on the couch, Rom explains to his father how part of his depression is based on the feeling that the world makes him an “unwanted guest in my own home” and how he wants to protect Tyrell from letting it go what he’s feeling to get him. Walter stands up abruptly and says that he is actually going to protest: “I’ll be there for you.”
OH HI, ALAN! | One day, Katherine and Eddie are surprised to see Alan show up – Tyrell has invited him. That won’t be uncomfortable at all! Elsewhere in the restaurant, Darcy asks Gary how he was called “Javier” in the school video they saw in the previous episode. In short, he was born Javier Mendez Jr., his father was a steward at his elementary school, and the children made “very racist and horrific” jokes about his family when he was growing up. The summer before high school, Gary met a cool camp counselor named Gary and adopted the name on his first day of school. Darcy points out that while Gary had a chance to tell the world how he wanted to be seen, Rome never made that choice – and maybe that’s why his anger came from earlier on the phone.
The group goes to protest. Theo gets lost on the way for a minute or two, and when he comes back thanks to the help of a stranger, the guy assumes Alan is Theo’s father. Oops! (Eddie later apologizes to Katherine for not realizing what she and Theo are going through as Asian Americans.)
Everything else runs smoothly … until Walter calls Rom: Regina is injured and has been taken to the hospital.
‘YOU ARE MY WORLD’ | Here’s what happened: someone sprayed pepper spray and everyone started running. A man fell and when Regina tried to help him, a police officer knocked her down and her head hit the sidewalk. Rome is ecstatic when he arrives at the hospital and apoplectic when COVID logs mean he cannot go in and be by Gina’s side. But Tyrell stays calm and asks a nurse to have Regina call her from Rome on her phone. when she finally does, Regina is a little wacky, but otherwise fine and about to be released.
After Rom hung up, Walter asks if he’s okay. Rome begins to sob and Walter hugs him.
Gary comes to Rome’s apartment that evening to apologize for not really understanding what his friend was going through, even after the incident at Sophie’s softball game last season. “Coming here is the beginning, the beginning where I try to do better,” he promises. Rome is joking with him and they seem fine. Then Rome goes into the bedroom, where Regina freezes the bump on her head and tells her that her injury gave him a tiny taste of the terror she must have felt when she found out he attempted suicide. “You are my world,” he says, repeating what she told him a long time ago, and they kiss.
SEE YA, DR. STACY | As it turns out, Maggie is not well suited to delivering therapy in five minute doses. Her tenure as one of the radio advisors to Dr. Stacy ends abruptly after the producer interrupts her trying to connect a black listener with a therapist who can best help her. Maggie gives up. Dr. Stacy smokes. And then the producer contacts Maggie to give her the woman’s contact information … as well as a number of advertisers who may be interested in sponsoring Maggie’s podcast.