The midseason premiere of A Million Little Things, aside from being a very sweet episode about supporting one’s friends, also brought some clarity to a couple of outstanding mysteries, while also deepening another. At the outset of the episode, we see John — in some sort of suicide video — leaving a message to … Barbara Morgan. “I abandoned you, and for a long time I’ve owed you some answers. There’s nothing I can tell you that will make this make sense, except just … I’m sorry, Barbara.”
Obviously, that in no way answers who Barbara Morgan is, although we do know from a scene from next week’s episode that she is played by Constance Zimmer, seen briefly at John’s funeral in the pilot. I think we can rule out the possibility, however, that Ashley is the daughter of Barbara and John, after having seen Ashley and John sleep together, because I don’t think that A Million Little Things is that kind of show.
In any respect, while the Barbara Morgan mystery deepens, we do learn both the origins of “Rutledge” and its purpose. When John died, he left behind $18 million in debt, debt for which Delilah — having unknowingly signed documents for a commercial mortgage back by their personal property — is on the hook. But John, see, was thinking ahead: He created a trust — the Rutledge trust — that presumably the creditors cannot touch (perhaps the trust itself is directed to the benefit of the children).
But how does that trust get funded? There may be some other sources, but my guess is that it will largely be funded by John’s life insurance policy, and this is where things get particularly interesting. Recall that the beneficiaries of the insurance policy were Rome, Eddie, Gary, and Barbara Morgan. Obviously, John made Rome, Eddie, and Gary beneficiaries because — as his best friends — he trusted that they would do what was right with the money, namely fund the Rutledge Trust. Had John made Delilah the sole beneficiary, however, creditors would have been able to make claims upon the proceeds.
Smart, right? John did have a plan. Of course, we don’t know the whole plan yet, nor how Barbara Morgan fits into all of this, although I am guessing that my making her a beneficiary, John is determined to do right by her, but also perhaps force her into the lives of his family. Ashley’s role — aside from facilitating all of this, perhaps out of sense of guilt (having slept with John) — is still a little cloudy, as are the origins of her own debt problems.
In any respect, John may have been a giant f*ck up, but Gary was right to trust him — he did have a plan. As we can see here, it’s taking a while to all come together. My guess is that when it does, Delilah will be able to keep the house, while Regina will be able to finance her restaurant (without the aid of her mother).
Putting that aside, the episode itself largely dealt with themes of support, converging around a 5K everyone ran to support suicide prevention. Unfortunately, chemo treatment got to Maggie before she could complete the race, although Gary and the rest of the gang stepped up to help her eventually cross the finish line. Meanwhile, Katherine is helping Delilah investigate John’s finances, and as soon as those two seemed to make some inroads toward re-establishing their friendship, (f**king) Eddie shows up and ruins everything, just like Eddie always does, because Eddie is the worst. GO BACK ON TOUR, EDDIE.
Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to that “twist of fate” in upcoming episodes, and Delilah: Before you start crapping on Ashley for sleeping with your husband, try and remember whose baby you are carrying.
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