A Million Little Things‘ Band of Dads gets back together for an encore in this week’s episode, an hour that highlights how much time has passed in the lives of the characters since the series’ first season.
To wit: Danny, who was very much a kid when the ABC series got underway, seeks advice from Gary, Rome and Eddie in advance of his first sexual encounter with boyfriend Milo. And though that particular topic means the three older men have to venture into virgin territory, they do a pretty good job of steering Jon’s young son in the right direction.
Speaking of Jon: If you’ve been with this show for a while, you know that Boston Bruins hockey games are to this friend group what cheesecake was to Blanche, Dorothy, Rose and Sophia: an excuse to share feelings under the guise of an enjoyable, leisurely pursuit. And they also were an ongoing tie to/reminder of Danny and Sophie’s dad, Jon, who died by suicide in the series’ premiere. But at the outset of this week’s ep, the male sector of the Friends of Jon are — gasp! — poised to discontinue their tradition.
Read on to find out what happens in “In the Room.”
‘A NEW CAREER OPPORTUNITY‘ | We pick up with Gary in Dr. Jessica’s office, where they talk about his reluctance to sell his father’s truck and how the vehicle brings him a kind of comfort. She reassures him that he’ll be able to part with it when it’s time, just like he was able to let go of his lucky Bruins cap. “I honestly don’t know what I’d do without you,” Gary says earnestly, which the doc follows with some news: She’s up for ‘a new career opportunity,’ which means she might soon take a sabbatical. At home, Maggie listens to Gary rant but tries to insert a little logic into the conversation: “Whatever Dr. Jessica is going through, I promise it has nothing to do with you,” she says calmly. Hold that thought, Maggie!
THE GREAT ESCAPE | That night, Maggie, Katherine, Greta, Regina and Sophie take part in an escape room as one last hurrah before Mag’s baby arrives. But just because the women can’t get out of the place doesn’t stop outside emotional entanglements from wiggling their way in. Greta is mad that Katherine scoffed earlier when Theo said he wouldn’t mind if his mom and her girlfriend got married. After a boy flirts with her at the snack bar, Sophie reacts weirdly and then worries that Peter’s abuse messed her up for life. And Maggie gets a call from Claudia informing her that Dr. Jessica — as in, Gary’s Dr. Jessica — is auditioning for her radio show’s fill-in slot that evening.
Maggie tries to rush through the game, eventually having a sobbing breakdown about how she feels “like the walls are closing in from every direction.” But this galvanizes the others to help solve the puzzle as quickly as possible, which they do!, and Maggie rushes to the station to see what’s up. Meanwhile, Greta eventually confesses to Katherine that she worries that Katherine isn’t as serious about their future as she is; Katherine banishes her lady’s doubts by kissing her soundly and then introducing her to an escape room staffer as her “girlfriend.”
At the station, Maggie confronts Dr. Jessica, calling her potential involvement in the job a conflict of interest, given that she learned about it during one of Gary’s sessions. Colton interrupts, icily saying that he reached out to Jessica after hearing Gary talk about her on the air in the previous episode. “And I’ll remind you that I’m the statoin manager, and I’l hire anyone I damn well please,” he adds. Ouch. But Gary and Maggie are still salty about the whole thing; Gary attends his next scheduled session only to inform his shrink that she’ll never be as good as Maggie, then all but slams the door behind him on the way out.
THE END OF AN ERA? | Because Bruins season tickets are so expensive, the guys decide not to re-up their plan for the coming year. So they don their jerseys — and invite Danny to do so, as well — to attend their final Bruins game as a group. At dinner before the event, Danny admits that he’s there with them (and not celebrating his one-year anniversary with Milo) because he’s nervous about having sex with his boyfriend for the first time. They talk him through it, offering stories about their own first times, and then a cheered-up Danny chooses to skip the game to hang out with Milo instead.
And that’s probably for the best, given that the game was a day game, and Eddie didn’t think to check the time on the tickets before they arrived at TD Garden. A friendly usher who knew Rome’s dad does them a favor and lets them sit in their seats one more time. While they’re there, Eddie admits that he’s thinking about going back to college and becoming a licensed addiction counselor. Rome, near tears, shares that his father’s test results indicated that Walter has Alzheimer’s Disease. And then Gary, looking to lighten the mood, announces that he’s going to sell his father’s truck so that they can re-purchase Bruins season tickets. Oh, and also? Eddie, Rome and Danny will be godfathers to Gary and Maggie’s son. “Band of dads,” Gary says in celebration. Somewhere in the afterlife, Jon pumps his fist in the air and yells, “Go Bruins!”
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Are you glad the Bruins tradition stands? Sound off in the comments!