Warning: This story contains spoilers from the Thursday, November 19, episode of A Million Little Things.
With A Million Little Things, nothing is as it seems — and the season 3 premiere proved just that. The episode picked up right where the finale left off: Eddie (David Giuntoli) was rushed to the hospital after being involved in a hit and run.
So, is he dead? Who hit him? Why? The premiere answered one of those questions, revealing that while Eddie is alive, he is not well. In fact, he’s paralyzed from the waist down — a decision that creator DJ Nash made partially due to the experiences he went through in his own life.
“David Marshall Grant is one of the writers on our staff. He and I share a bunch in common, but one thing specifically is that we both are sons of physically challenged parents,” the showrunner, who dedicated the premiere to his late father, told Us Weekly exclusively. “As I teased the season, I said ‘I won’t say whether Eddie lives or dies, I’ll say that Catherine and Theo’s life will never be the same.’ And that really is so true. Growing up with a dad who was blind — there’s not one thing that affected who I am more than having that man as my male role model. For DMG, his mom, who was in a wheelchair when she was alive, I think that totally informs him and how we are as people, as parents to our kids and as writers.”
He noted that he’s always looking for new stories to tell that also come from a personal space — which is exactly what happened here.
“Eddie is not going to be able to be the husband he used to be, he’s not going to be the dad he wants to be and he’s not going to be able to be the friend he used to be,” Nash said. “He has to either come to terms with that and redefine who he is — which could be different and possibly better — or that struggle is going to break him.”
As for who hit Eddie and left the scene, it looks to be Alex’s dad, the reverend who was at the scene that night and was later outside Eddie’s house. He also has a motive — Eddie was somehow involved in his daughter’s drowning.
“Who hit Eddie is part of the mystery we’ll be following. Some may feel it’s the drunk guy at the bar. Some may think it’s Alex’s dad or somebody else altogether,” Nash said. “At the end of the premiere, you see Alex’s dad sitting outside, who is a reverend and has a Bible next to him in his car. It’s possible that the reverend himself needs to confess something.”
If that seems too obvious — it probably is.
“If it were any other show, it’d be him. But you know, when Constance Zimmer shows up at a church, and you assume she’s Barbara Morgan, it doesn’t always end up that she’s Barbara,” he noted, referring to the mystery around last season. “Sometimes you think we’re going to zag because we’re zigging and zagging. I’m not gonna say, but that is part of what we’re following.”
The producer also cleared up the timeline in the show. While Eddie is recovering in the hospital, Dr. Anthony Fauci is shown on the TV screen, but no one is wearing masks. Nash revealed that the story line is pre-COVID. When the show jumps ahead one month for the final moments of the premiere, it’s late January or early February.
“For a brief moment, we talked about not including COVID in our story line,” he told Us. “We didn’t want to weigh down on people who might be needing an escape — but at the same time, we realized that our show lives and dies on the top intensity. When you look at our issues on our show — depression, suicide, breast cancer, chemical dependency, domestic violence — all of them are made worse by COVID. So, there was this opportunity to take the stories that are already happening to our characters and have them tested.”
For now, the friends will be shown, not knowing what the world knows now. When the story line catches up, “everyone’s going to have a different response” to COVID.
A Million Little Things airs on ABC Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET.