The Season 1 finale of ABC’s A Million Little Things revealed a grim 9/11 connection to the death and suicide of Jon, further clarifying some of the reasons why Jon took his life — and revealing the series of events that led to his tragic death.
The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the finale depicted a back story wherein Jon missed his scheduled flight out of Boston by seconds, a flight that would later be hijacked by terrorists. Flight 11 — the flight in question — was one of the planes taken over by terrorists on September 11, 2001. His friend Dave made it onto the flight, and was later killed. Because of this, Jon was left with survivor’s guilt.
Barbara Morgan, Dave’s girlfriend, was a friend of Jon’s and knew his secret — but the two lost contact in the horrible aftermath after the events of the day. He stopped speaking to Barbara after learning that she was pregnant, and was planning to wed a firefighter she met after Dave’s death. Jon had not met his wife Delilah yet, so this secret was well hidden for many years — before meeting the rest of the characters that are now the show’s core ensemble. Bringing this critical back story to life was pivotal in understanding one of the myriad reasons the character felt despondent.
“I think ever since what happened, Jon felt like he had to justify still being alive,” showrunner DJ Nash said to The Hollywood Reporter.
“There are some famous stories of people who missed that flight and went on to not have that affect the rest of their life negatively, but Jon was predisposed in some ways. I pitched the idea on that first day with the writers, and for the whole season we’ve been driving toward that,” said Nash to THR.
Nash also made it very clear that all of the core characters on the series — including Jon, Rome, Gary, and Maggie — are all dealing with survivors guilt in their own way. The real way that this impacts their lives helps drive home the genuine and touching moments that this ABC drama delivers to its viewers.
The show also ended on a cliffhanger, revealing that PJ — played by Chandler Riggs from The Walking Dead— is Barbara’s son, the boy that Mitch raised as his own. It was revealed that Mitch lied to PJ, telling him he was legally adopted, so he would not grow up under a cloud of death from losing Dave in such a horrific way, per TV Line.
“How do you deal with the discovery that the person you thought was your dad may not be your dad?” revealed Nash, remarking that the story will also splinter into the secret Eddie and Delilah are keeping.
A Million Little Things Season 2 will air in the fall of 2019.