We've been so focused on the Barbara Morgan mystery in A Million Little Things that we might have lost sight of the bigger picture. Well, TV Guide has exclusive photos of Melora Hardin's first appearance on the show that have us very worried about a core member of the group.

Hardin will make her first appearance as Maggie's (Allison Miller) mother in Episode 16, airing Feb. 21. Our photos, below, reveal her first encounter with Maggie's boyfriend, Gary (James Roday), which appears to be happening in the hospital chapel where Maggie's mother is praying. Last we saw, Maggie's tumors had shrunk, proving that the chemotherapy was working. She just needed to reduce them another eight percent in size before they could be removed via surgery — so why is her mother praying in the chapel? In the world of TV melodramas, that move is saved for when someone is really close to death.

"Maggie and her mom have a very contentious relationship, but it's from a place of love," Miller explained to TV Guide at the Television Critics Association winter press tour this week. "They've been through some really big challenges together, specifically the loss of Maggie's brother and how it affected them differently. I think with those kinds of events it can bring people together or tear people apart, and it was a little bit of the latter with them."

Discover your new favorite show: Watch This Now!

As for Maggie's mom and Gary, Miller teased that their tense introduction will lead to some laughs in the episode when Maggie finds out about it.

"It is a surprise for her the way she finds out that they even have met, but it is going to be so good and funny," the actress said. "I can't say more than that but their dynamic is really good together."

That doesn't sound too bad, right? The logline for Episode 16 teases that Maggie will have to go in for life-altering surgery, but it's actually executive producer DJ Nash who has us the most worried about Maggie's condition and whether she's going to make it.

"I asked everyone in our crew, everyone on our show, if they wanted to submit a name of someone they had lost to cancer to be in the place of my logo at the end of the show and we got 235 names. You'll see the card at the end of Episode 15 [airing Thursday, Feb. 14]," he told us. "What is true about cancer is that it's not fair. It doesn't always play out the way you hoped."

That is the most ominous foreshadowing he could give us, and now we can be worried sick over it for the next few weeks!

A Million Little Things airs Thursdays at 9/8c on ABC.

PHOTOS: First Look at Melora Hardin as Maggie's Mother on A Million Little Things

Melora Hardin, <em>A Million Little Things</em>Melora Hardin, A Million Little Things