From the reason behind the shocking death of Jon (Ron Livingston) in the show’s pilot episode to the truth about faux-heart transplant recipient Eric (Jason Ritter) early in season 2, A Million Little Things loves a good reveal. Yet, in its season 2 finale, it’s hinted that what happened with Eddie (David Giuntoli) and Alex (Olivia Steele Falconer) on that boat may never be solved — and it could torment Eddie for the rest of his life.
Eddie’s life is finally looking up. He worked things out with his long-suffering gem of a wife Katherine (Grace Park), and, in the season finale, they planned to renew their vows. However, a secret revealed by Eddie’s sister Lindsay (Sprague Grayden) earlier in the season continued to torment him, and he realized that he couldn’t renew his vows without learning the truth.
When Eddie and Lindsay were teenagers, they spent a summer in a cabin by a lake. Their friend Alex drowned in the lake, after Eddie, Lindsay, and the other teens spent the night partying. Eddie never thought he had anything to do with what happened to Alex, until Lindsay returned to his life and told him that she found him, soaking wet, on the shore that night. She pulled Eddie into the cabin, cleaned him up, and got rid of his wet clothes so he would never know he may have had something to do with Alex’s death.
In the finale, Eddie tries to get answers from Alex’s sister Colleen (Betsy Brandt), but she refuses to resurface the past — even if it means never learning the truth about what really happened that night. She tells Eddie that Alex, who had a huge crush on him, never took off a charm bracelet that he had given her that summer. It sparks something for Eddie, who then asks Lindsay where she hid his clothes that night. Eddie, against Lindsay’s wishes, goes to the cabin and discovers his clothes under the house, with Alex’s charm bracelet in the pocket of his jeans.
It’s then that Eddie remembers attempting to save Alex, who was already in the water. As he tried to grab her, her bracelet came off in his hand — hence why he found the bracelet in his pocket. Eddie, devastated by this memory and that he couldn’t save Alex, goes to a bar to drink, despite being 10 years sober.
Eddie doesn’t drink. He gets really, really close to taking a shot before a drunken man knocks his beverage over, a move Eddie tells the bartender just “saved” his life. Eddie calls Katherine, promising to explain everything, and the two exchange “I love yous.” However, just as he tells Katherine he loves her on the phone, Eddie crosses the street and gets hit by an oncoming car.
It’s hard to imagine a version of A Million Little Things in which Eddie dies for rea, but it is worth wondering if we’ll ever come back to the mystery that Eddie was attempting to solve about Alex’s death. He knows he was on the boat with Alex, but since he was blacked out from drinking at the time, he doesn’t remember much else. Did Eddie accidentally cause Alex to fall in the water? Did something more happen? Does it even matter, or was the situation with Alex just a reminder to Eddie that it’s all too easy to slip into destructive habits?
Maybe the best mystery A Million Little Things could create for Eddie is one with no definitive ending. Eddie can’t wrestle with his past forever — he has to build a better future. He’s doing that now...unless that car accident causes even more problems for Eddie than this Alex situation ever did.