[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for A Million Little Things Season 3, Episode 9, “The Lost Sheep.”]
Has Katherine (Grace Park) reached her limit after her husband, Eddie (David Giuntoli), paralyzed after getting hit by a car, started taking pills, throwing his sobriety out the window? The April 7 episode of A Million Little Things picks up right where the previous one left off, and she is pissed as he explains what led him to be unable to stop taking the painkillers.
'A Million Little Things': David Giuntoli on the Bigger Problem for Katherine Than Eddie Taking Pills
She leaves it to their friend Gary (James Roday Rodriguez) to drive Eddie to rehab and ends up leaving her mother to watch her son Theo (Tristan Byon) while she heads to her office. There, she begins drinking and opens up to friend and fellow lawyer Alan (Terry Chen) … before leaning in to kiss him. (He stops her because she’s not sober or single.)
Park opens up about Katherine’s emotional episode.
Throughout the episode, Katherine seems to be heartbroken, angry, tired, and almost defeated. What’s going through her mind when she comes home, sees Theo talking to Eddie, and closes the laptop?
Grace Park: Katherine has been pushing far past her emotional limits for some time, and she is at her breaking point. When she comes home to greet Theo, but he leaves and the laptop is still connected to Eddie, not a lot is consciously going through her mind. She’s exhausted, overwhelmed, depleted, and cannot keep things together anymore like she used to. She wants it all to end but has to keep going. She just doesn’t know how.
When I spoke with David, he said he thought that Eddie’s lying is worse for Katherine than him taking the pills. Would you agree?
While Eddie breaking his promises of “no more lies” is bad for Katherine, her very strong reaction is from their buried history. While others may be more understanding in the light of Eddie’s accident, his pain, and being physically paralyzed, for Katherine, she’s thrust into the past which she never really healed. The years of lies, drinking, lack of trust, and subsequent feelings of fear and lack of safety all come rushing back, and her feelings of fear and betrayal are unearthed again.
Does any part of her believe rehab will work and they can come back from this? The latter can’t happen without the former, right?
Because Katherine has been overtaxed and overexerting herself for so long, Eddie going back to rehab is the straw that breaks. While a healthier Katherine would have some hope and resilience, the current version has been running on fumes. If Katherine had been taking care of herself inside, had a flourishing internal life, been setting healthy boundaries leaning on Eddie more, this would just be a bump in the road. But she has been focusing externally, and now the internal is imploding.
Katherine kisses Alan, but her emotions are everywhere. How much is that moment about Alan — they have been growing closer — and how much is there maybe just an attraction to someone who’s listening and there for her?
Katherine and Alan have an easy affinity, with their shared knowledge of their careers, cultures, and relationship with Jon. But she is definitely a hot mess, and having someone she can relate to and be available to her draws her in. She’s not in top form and we rarely make the best life decisions during these times, especially with alcohol!
Katherine’s mother says her father wasn’t perfect. How much did Katherine need to hear something like that from her mother at this moment but at the same time maybe isn’t ready to just yet?
What’s interesting is the same words or advice at the wrong time can backfire. Here we have a great instance of the cultural and generational divide of their Korean and Western cultures. Her mother deeply cares but shows a lack of empathy in the way Katherine understands. Her mom having endured the Korean male behaviors and mindset, she’s trying to pass on the way of hardship. But with their differences, it’s received more as a sting with the undertone of “suck it up.”
My heart broke for Katherine over and over in this episode, but especially when Theo blamed her for doing something she has to do: working to pay the bills.
One of the pains of parenting is absorbing accusations or attacks from the child and experiencing the breaking of this beautiful bond. Out of love or consciousness, parents hold back their pain and anger, but internally Katherine feels a deep new pain. Though thrown, she can see why Theo would come to that conclusion. But for her to change his mind, it may ruin his version of his dad. Out of love, she allows Theo to have his own thoughts and feelings. It’s really the birth of an individual and she’s wise enough to pivot and make room for these growing pains.
Katherine and Gary have had some great scenes this season, in the premiere and this episode. Is he the one we’ll see her leaning on most from the friend group going forward? Or will it be someone else?
Gary is the friend we want and sometimes don’t want. But it’s his huge heart beneath all that distracting humor that’s why we and Katherine love him. We are going to see Katherine continue to break down on the inside, and she’ll want support and friendship from anyone in the friend group. Everyone except Eddie.
It’s still a thrill to see Katherine in her own firm like she deserves. What’s next for her at work?
With COVID in the storyline, Katherine’s managing like everyone else. More sweatpants, more online meetings, more snacks. Having Carter is her saving grace both with work and as her trusted friend. I’m not sure what’s on the horizon for her, but I think she should quit law and follow her dream of starting a cat-walking business. Or kimchi mandu food-truck with Carter. Or learn Brazilian Portuguese. Anything as long as she starts taking her real self into consideration and having fun.
A Million Little Things, Wednesdays, 10/9c, ABC