A Million Little Things: Season 2 – Episode 15 ‘The Lunch’ REVIEW

Unrealistic performances and complicated post-breakup behavior clouds “The Lunch”.

A MILLION LITTLE THINGS - the lunch - Gary accidentally crashes Maggie's first date with a new guy, and Delilah is forced to have "the talk" with Sophie. Rome has an important meeting with a Hollywood big shot, while Eddie teaches Dakota a tough lesson in what it takes to succeed in the music business on an all-new episode of ABC's "A Million Little Things," airing THURSDAY, FEB. 27 (10:01-11:00 p.m. EST), on ABC. (ABC/Jeff Weddell) ALLISON MILLER

“The Lunch” gives us some of the answers we need, but acts as more of a filler episode given its content. That’s not to say there weren’t any meaningful moments, but unfortunately, some of the performances held the episode back.

Cultured Vultures spoilers

More often than not lately, Gary seems to have taken on the role of father figure in the Dixon household. He does care about the Dixons, but I think he’s also spending more time with them to avoid himself and his feelings for Maggie. In “The Lunch”, Gary was ready to break down doors to protect Sophie, whom he and Delilah believed had cut work to be with Jake. He also accidentally overheard the conversation Delilah was trying to have with Sophie regarding the joints discovered in the previous episode. My theory is that Gary needs the Dixons because he needs someone to need him, especially with Maggie out of his life.

Speaking of the Dixons, Delilah got more than she bargained for with Sophie this week. Things between them may not be as fragile, but Delilah is still steady in her approach, unwilling to upset Sophie and watch her leave the house again. She finds out that Sophie wants to take birth control pills. Apparently things between Sophie and Jake are headed towards serious territory, all too fast for Delilah who’s struggling with her daughter growing up.

The talk between them in the hospital as Jake undergoes surgery was a meaningful moment. The meaningful performance between mother and daughter was one of the best parts in “The Lunch”, giving us further reconciliation between Delilah and Sophie, and adding something significant to the plot overall, given their newfound understanding of one another.

Gary’s new job seems to be going well so far, too. Working from home is nice, but he finds he gets a little too restless in his own four walls. It leads him to Delilah’s and Regina’s restaurant, where unfortunately Maggie happens to be going on her first date since breaking up with Gary.

I was disappointed in Gary’s character for not being honest with Maggie. He’s afraid, but you have to face your fears in order to overcome them. It’s just making things between him and Maggie worse. Who is he kidding? He wants to be more than friends with her, and it’s already blowing up in his face.

Meanwhile, Maggie’s character was unbelievable. She was being selfish in “The Lunch”, and I had absolutely no sympathy for her. The drama she’s exemplifying affects not just her but Gary also. Her expectations of him are unrealistic. Given their tension adds drama to the show since their break-up, but there comes a point when it’s overdone, and that point was made in “The Lunch.”

Admittedly, Gary made things worse by frequently going over to Maggie’s table to talk to her and learn more about her date, who never actually showed up. Their tension was palpable, but that was the only thing about their performance that was noteworthy. Otherwise, it was just the same old, same old.

I sympathized with Rome regarding his struggles with his father. He’s trying to be there for his dad, but his dad isn’t necessarily easy to get along with. I couldn’t believe it when it looked like his father was trying to sabotage Rome’s lunch with Isaac, a famous actor who potentially wants to star in Rome’s movie. With his wife gone, why wouldn’t he want to connect with Rome in a better manner than he has before?

I found Rome’s father to be out of character in that regard. Rome’s father has always been difficult, but this is new grounds to the extremes of threatening his son’s opportunity to make a movie, which is Rome’s real dream. Granted he won’t change overnight, but it’s hard to believe he’d start giving Isaac a hard time when he knows how important Rome’s meeting with Isaac is. I’d hoped he had long learned his lesson by now and would be trying harder to do better by Rome, especially given the loss of his wife and all the struggles he and Rome went through then.

Rome’s ultimatum in the kitchen, while Regina watched, was the best-performed scene in “The Lunch”, because it’s direct and intense. I could feel Rome’s frustration and flinched on behalf of his dad. I found it heartwarming that Regina is actually the one that tries helping Rome’s father, at least initially, until Rome repairs things himself.

It was a bold move for Rome to walk away from Isaac to go after his dad. Luckily, Isaac appreciates Rome’s priorities and that’s what gets him to agree to do Rome’s movie. People surprise you sometimes, and Rome’s dream is coming true. He more than deserves to have his movie made, and I look forward to watching Rome undergo that process.

One aspect where Rome and Regina failed, however, was protecting Eve, their birth mother. Derek somehow manages to track down Eve at the restaurant. Obviously Derek is unpredictable and dangerous, given what we’ve learned about him from Eve.

Eve was frantic and terrified in the previous episode, so I found her performance lacking severely when she seemed totally calm and at ease. To a certain degree, I understand she would have to be to avoid a scene, but it seems too toned down in comparison to her previous behavior.

Moreover, she willingly went with Derek. She says it’s to get him to sign his parental rights away, but I’m concerned that she wants to hear him out, which could pose problems for Rome and Regina regarding the adoption of the baby. I understood their uncertainty at what to do, but I can’t believe they didn’t try to follow Eve, at least discreetly, to ensure she was alright. They’re more than invested by now, so I can’t imagine them stepping back so easily. It’s definitely out of character for them, and that lack of characterization in turn hurt their performances, because they didn’t get the chance to perform what could have been a strong and emotionally-driven scene.

Overall, Eve’s performance was lacking. It wasn’t realistic given what we’ve been shown, as it was too smooth and calm and collected. She didn’t show much fear. When you’re that afraid, you shake, you can’t look the person in the eye, or there’s some giveaway.

Eddie’s storyline seemed more subsidiary, but it was sweet the way he tried to help Dakota even after she’d been awful and said some hurtful things to him. Eddie obviously believes in her and her music to put up with that.

As for Dakota, she says she fears the label will drop her any moment. If she fears that so much, why keep acting the way she does? It’s a simple remedy. I found her character to be a bit selfish and painfully unaware in that regard. Putting Eddie through the wringer because he’s the closest target is frankly immature as well.

I understood that she felt her creativity was being threatened, but Eddie’s right. With so many people involved, you have to be willing to make sacrifices to put your content out there. One of her motivators seems to be avoiding going back to her small town as a nobody. If she wants to prevent that from happening, she has to make the necessary sacrifices. Eddie knows a thing or two about the business, so hopefully she listens to him more as time goes on.

I liked that the two had more of a mentor-mentee relationship this episode, and less flirtatious attitudes. Given Theo’s reaction to their previous behavior, it’s obvious they’ve made a change. I hope it continues that way, because Eddie and Dakota have all the potential to work well as teacher and student.

Catch up on our previous A Million Little Things reviews here.

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A MILLION LITTLE THINGS - the lunch - Gary accidentally crashes Maggie's first date with a new guy, and Delilah is forced to have "the talk" with Sophie. Rome has an important meeting with a Hollywood big shot, while Eddie teaches Dakota a tough lesson in what it takes to succeed in the music business on an all-new episode of ABC's "A Million Little Things," airing THURSDAY, FEB. 27 (10:01-11:00 p.m. EST), on ABC. (ABC/Jeff Weddell) ALLISON MILLER
This episode was more of a filler than anything else. “The Lunch” didn’t take opportunities with certain plots and performances, especially regarding Eve and Derek, and it caused the plot to lose some of its impact. However, given Sophie and Delilah’s reconciliation at the hospital and the performances between Rome and his father, it holds up “The Lunch” to provide it with some kind of working balance.