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‘A Million Little Things’: Three Pieces of Evidence Reveal the Disturbing Depth of Suicidal Thinking

On ABC’s drama, Jon may have had it all, but he may have thought others deserved it more.

David Giuntoli, "A Million Little Things"

David Giuntoli, “A Million Little Things”


[Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers from the “A Million Little Things” Episode 2, “Band of Dads.”]

Jon Dixon (Ron Livingston) always had a smile on his face and thought of others, even when he took his own life. And as viewers learned in this episode, he’d been thinking about his suicide long and hard. The why is yet unknown, but clearly death had been on his mind for a while.

The Suicide Note

In the pilot episode, Jon’s friends and family believed there wasn’t a note; they were wrong. His executive assistant Ashley (Christina Ochoa) found a blue envelope labeled with his wife’s name, Delilah, and read it herself. However, it’s filled with lines like, “I know there’s nothing I can say…” and “I never stopped loving you.” That does little to clarify his mindset, but it does include instructions for Delilah to follow upon his death. So far, the only thing that’s clear about Jon’s agenda is that he clearly had one.

The Life Insurance Policy

The instructions reveal that he hid his life insurance policy behind a painting and the last time Jon updated the policy was October 10, 2016. And two details may signal that the change was significant… which could then suggest that he thought of dying two years ago.

First: His wife and kids are not named as the beneficiaries. Instead, it lists his pals Gary (James Roday), Eddie (David Giuntoli), and Rome (Romany Malco). That’s strange enough, but even odder is the naming of a fourth beneficiary, Barbara Morgan. Who is she? She’s not in the core circle of friends and family introduced to viewers thus far.

Lizzy Greene and Stephanie Szostak, "A Million Little Things"

It should be noted that the grim realities of most life insurance policies is no death benefit will be paid if a person dies by suicide within two years of taking out the policy. The show doesn’t make clear on what day that Jon killed himself though, but that will no doubt be revealed in coming episodes. Jon’s meticulous and generous nature would suggest that he’d choose to wait until those two years passed.

The Final Voicemail Message

Before jumping from his balcony, Jon made one last call, to Eddie. At the time, Eddie did not pick up the phone; he was busy  cheating with Jon’s wife Delilah at the time. When Eddie finally listens to the voicemail message, he hears this: “I just need you to do me a favor. Love each other.”

The fact that he called Eddie over anyone else is significant, and may indicate that Jon knew about the affair, and wanted to give the relationship his blessing as his final act. It’s a gruesome detail that highlights just how much Jon was focused on everyone else being okay.

Jon didn’t look depressed or desperate, but only suicide survivors can begin to truly understand what may push people to kill themselves. His actions show that his death was not a spur-of-the moment act of passion; it was methodical and deliberate, which makes it more alarming. It’s as if his last act of generosity was his death. It’s a disturbing thought, but it’s one more step on the way to understanding a senseless act.

”A Million Little Things” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

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