In an unexpected episode, A Million Little Things jumped back in time, to the day leading up to John’s suicide, and provided a lot — though not all — of the answers to this season’s biggest mystery: Why did John end his own life?
He killed himself to save his family. Or at least, that’s what he believed in his head. A real-estate deal left him in financial ruin, and his marriage was crumbling (and he knew it). We also got a glimpse into the why: He tried to buy up an entire block in Boston in order to save the apartment he grew up in and for which he had a nostalgic fondness (a fact only known at the moment by Ashley).
Rather than face potential ruin, John used his own death to secure the financial future of his family. He established the Rutledge Trust (to be funded by his life insurance), and he made Ashley his trustee. He bought an airline ticket for Ashley so that she could fulfill a dream by going to Barcelona. He arranged to buy the restaurant for Regina. He had one last conversation with Gary, telling him to seize the damn day.
And then John — having seen that his wife, Delilah, seemed to be in good hands with one of his best friends, Eddie (“Love each other”) — leaped to his death, but not before changing the battery on the smoke detector. It’s the little things, isn’t it?
Of course, in his death, John left a mess, but his hope was that Ashley and his friends would be able to clean it up for Delilah and his kids. Ashley would continue making payments on John’s old apartment, and she’d set up the trust for John’s family. The life insurance policy — left to Eddie, Gary, Rome, and Barbara Morgan — would fund the trust, and by putting it in his friends’ names, the proceeds would be safe from creditors.
There’s just one catch: Barbara Morgan. Who is she? What did John owe her? Why did he make her a beneficiary of his life insurance? Answers to those questions should begin to come into focus next week:
— Rome almost killed himself the day after landing a Super Bowl commercial, which again emphasizes how little depression cares about your success. It is a motherf*cker and it will crush you anytime it wants.
— Meanwhile, we got to see Maggie spend some time with her father and reminisce about her late brother.
— In his final hours, John also took some time to comfort Regina after she was sexually assaulted at work (which is also what prompted him to buy the restaurant).
Header Image Source: ABC