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Gary and Maggie's Road Trip on A Million Little Things May Not Be the Reconciliation Fans Are Hoping For

Gary still has some work to do

Megan Vick

[Warning: The following contains spoilers from the fall finale of A Million Little Things. Read at your own risk!]

Could a fan-favorite couple be on the verge of reconciling on A Million Little Things? Gary (James Roday Rodriguez) was forced to get some closure with Darcy (Floriana Lima) after meeting her ex-turned-partner Stephen and realizing that the two of them actually belong together. The painful realization was followed by Gary discovering Maggie's (Allison Miller) "I'm In" Post-It note from when she was in the hospital. He then volunteered to go on a road trip with her to confront her stalker. It's obvious that romantic notions are back in Gary's head, but it remains to be seen if Maggie feels the same way, especially after just telling her hockey pro boyfriend Cam (Ryan Hansen) that she loves him. 

The first half of Season 4 has been a big one for Gary, who narrowly skipped prison after helping to beat up Peter (Andrew Leeds) when it was revealed the music coach wouldn't face any consequences for sexually assaulting Sophie (Lizzy Greene). When Darcy discovered what Gary had done, she left him, and Gary finally put himself in therapy. He's working on himself, but this new Maggie situation is a landmine of triggers for Gary's worst habits. 

TV Guide spoke to James Roday Rodriguez about what this trip could mean for Gary and Maggie's future and what Gary still needs to figure out before he's ready to be in a functional relationship with anyone. 

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What can you say about Gary's mindset heading off on this road trip with Maggie after having that conversation with Stephen and seeing the Post-It note?
James Roday Rodriguez: He's sort of he's living in a rather serendipitous is-the-universe-trying-to-tell-me-something place, because frankly, I think that that's easier to do than facing reality, which everyone on the show struggles to do. That's just scary. That door is officially closed with Darcy, I think, and any closure that he might have been looking for has been had. His reality is that a new chapter is about to begin, and what do any of us do when faced with that reality? Our first instinct is usually like, "Hey, what piece of familiar real estate might make me feel better in this moment? Because it's scary, and I don't know where I'm headed. And I don't know what the future looks like. Let me reach for this thing that I know will make me feel better in the moment." So it's not surprising that he could look at that Post-It and think it means a lot more than just "Oh, I found this Post-It because it was the bottom box."

They are heading into a situation where Maggie could be in physical danger, which could be very triggering for Gary. He's in therapy, but how worried should we be that chasing down Maggie's stalker is going to encourage Gary to make bad decisions?
Roday Rodriguez: I'd like to believe that he could learn something from Peter's situation. He literally flirted with real prison time and got off by the skin of his teeth. I'd like to think that he would have a different approach if that situation were to present itself again, that the therapy is doing some good, and the fact that Maggie herself is a therapist you'd think would be a potentially helpful element if things were to go sideways. But you just never know because it's the friend group, you know? So hold tight.

Have you approached playing Gary differently after the time jump, knowing that he's in therapy now and has Doctor Jessica in his ear?
Roday Rodriguez: I don't know if he's more centered. I think Gary's fundamental issue remains unchanged. He projects his own value through other people's lenses. He measures purpose by what he can do for others. In a way, that's avoidance, and while he may be talking to a therapist about different kinds of coping and finding new mechanisms, I think the core of what he should be talking about with a therapist is: Why can't [he] be happy in his own skin? Why can't [he] prioritize himself? Until that happens, I think it's always going to be Band-Aids. We'll have to see some major evolution before, I think, we can say he's changed or has grown, or anything like that. It just so happens that at the moment there's nothing to trigger a poor decision. Maybe we'll be surprised. I am pulling for him to do just that.

James Roday Rodriguez, A Million Little Things

James Roday Rodriguez, A Million Little Things


Speaking of putting himself first, is his journey to do that going to affect his ability to be there for people in the group, like Rome, who just relapsed with his depression?
Roday Rodriguez: That is innately who [Gary] is. It's a decision he made after Jon died that this group simply cannot function unless someone's attempting to fill that role. [Gary] has deemed himself to be the most equipped and the obvious choice to do it, so I can't imagine he ever won't show up. Let's hope he shows up in a healthier way.

He's still very much on the outs with Sophie. How much of a priority is mending that relationship going to be in the back half of the season?
Roday Rodriguez: It's an incredibly high priority for him, but what he recognizes is that he has no control over that situation. If there's something that could jolt him into the direction of truly learning the lesson, I think it's losing that relationship because it was incredibly important to him and different to his relationship with the adults. Sophie grew to trust Gary, probably more than anybody else, including her own mother. The fact is that he let her down and sees that it's such an epic betrayal he can't do anything about it... Although it's painful, I think that if there was anything he could learn in a fundamental way, it's that while [he] may not get the happy ending and everything turns out OK... there could be some modicum of growth that comes out of that. He really has to look inward and say, "I get this. This didn't happen to me. I did it. I drove the train. I was the architect. I was the conductor, and this is what happens when you make those types of decisions." A constructive life-growth lesson in the pro column; maybe Sophie never speaks to him again in the con column.

What do you hope for Gary in the back half of the season?
Roday Rodriguez: I've always wished for Gary to find some space in himself where peace can live, where he doesn't have to define himself by what he's doing for someone else at any given moment, where he could just sit at home with his dog and feel at peace. That's obviously a very hard thing for all of us to find, but I think Gary especially is very far away from that, so that would be my hope. 

A Million Little Things returns in 2022 on ABC. 

A Million Little Things is streaming on Hulu Watch Now