‘A Million Little Things’ EPs Break Down The Devastating Gary Twist & Season 5 Plans

'A Million Little Things' threw a heartbreaking gut-punch in the final moments of the season 4 finale. HL spoke EXCLUSIVELY with the EPs about the shocking Gary twist and what season 5 will bring.

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Gary and Maggie finally got the pregnancy news they’d been waiting for, but A Million Little Things had one last twist to hand out in the season 4 finale. Turns out, Gary’s cancer has now spread to his lungs. Rome and Regina find out this shocking news as they watch a video Gary made for his unborn child in the event he loses his cancer battle.

HollywoodLife got EXCLUSIVE scoop from executive producers DJ Nash and Terrence Coli about that devastating last-second twist and how this will impact the entire friend group. They also noted if we’ll ever see Anna again, who was last seen in handcuffs after coming clean about pushing Peter down the stairs. Get the latest scoop on season 5 below:

A Million Little Things
Gary and Maggie are expecting but Gary now has lung cancer. (ABC)

You guys pulled a bait and switch on us. Gary has lung cancer. I feel like there were inklings of something going on, and then there was a scare. We didn’t get the full picture just like Rome and Regina didn’t get the full picture initially. Where do we go from here?
DJ Nash: I will say to you that I’m so glad that you said what you said the way you said it because the camera is supposed to be like the ninth friend in this friend group. You’re supposed to feel like you are crashing the party and a voyeur in these lives. We really wanted that moment that the audience learns the truth about Gary to parallel and coincide with Rome and Regina learning that truth because it’s like you’re sitting next to them on that bed. That’s what we were going for. We wrote the finale one way, we edited it a second way, and then we re-edited a third way to create that. What we were going for was we want you to know when Rome and Regina find out, and I think that’s really a little bit true to a formula we have that just when you think you know what the story is, there’s something else that presents itself. The reason we love telling stories that way is because that’s how life happens.

This obviously changes everything for the entire friend group. Now that you have been renewed for season 5, do you want to pick up immediately where you guys left off in this final episode?
DJ Nash: We were joking earlier that I’ve been to at least four dinners where I knew someone at that dinner was pregnant but didn’t tell us yet. You’re sitting there going like, “You’re not drinking and I don’t believe this thing about penicillin and what’s happening.” I think it’s really difficult and challenging when you may know something about someone else, and you want to share it with them, but you also know at the same time they don’t want you to know yet. I love the predicament that Rome and Regina find themselves in. They’re very different people who find themselves in that situation. I think for both of them their instincts would be the same to run to their friends and say, “I’m so sorry. I heard. How can I help?” But for Rome, who has also had a reoccurring disease, he is really aware of the privacy someone might need during this time. To see that dilemma and to play that out is certainly a beat we don’t want to skip.

I know as writers sometimes things are set in stone and others are decided as you go. Have you come to a consensus on Gary’s fate?
Terrence Coli: What I’ll say is we’re very aware and calculated of the story we were going to tell this season from the very beginning. Where we ended last season with Gary throwing the bag over somebody’s head, we knew this was the season we would be getting Gary and Maggie back together, and we knew we were going to take them down that road. I think DJ can speak more to thoughts on Gary’s cancer recurrence, but I’ll just say that if you go back and you look at the last 5 episodes, including the game night episode that DJ directed and wrote with Michelle Leibel, we knew exactly where we were headed from that moment. I think if you go back and you look at the last 5 episodes, you’ll see the breadcrumbs that we left along the way for both Gary and Maggie and what they were really going through. 

DJ Nash: I will say that when I was directing 15, which is when we have that scene with the doctor, I threw in on that night the pages for the finale because we were already doing the setup. Joanna [Kerns] was there at my side because she was directing the finale and that would work fine. There was more than a whisper among the crew like, wait, what’s happening? Where did these patients come from? But we knew where we were going and, again, some of the people who watch our show tend to watch it more than once, so if you go back you’ll see the breadcrumbs are all there.  If you’re asking me whether Gary lives forever, none of the characters on the show are immortal, despite how cool they may seem.

So, have you decided or come to a consensus on his fate yet? 
DJ Nash: A hundred percent. Yes.

David Giuntoli
Sophie and Eddie in the season 4 finale. (ABC)

On the flip side, Anna finally comes clean about what happened the night that Peter died. She ends up getting arrested. Is this the last we’re going to see of Anna?
Terrence Coli: One of the things I love about our show is that people always come back. Once they’re in the family I think we’re always looking for ways to explore their future and what they’re really going through. I think the interesting thing for Eddie, in particular, is that he is no stranger to making life-altering decisions while he’s under the influence. I think that’s what happened with Anna at the moment. I think you can argue about whether that is something that can be redeemed or forgiven, but I think if anybody can understand it and empathize with it, it’s Eddie. I think there’s a possibility there for sure.

Have you started writing season 5 yet? What’s the status? 
DJ Nash: I’m jotting something down as we’re talking because I just thought of a great scene because of one of the questions you asked. So, yes, we’ve definitely gone through it a lot. We’ve talked to Craig [Erwich] and the team a bunch about some creative things we want to do this season. They’re unbelievably supportive. We went to them earlier this year and said, “Hey, should we end it this year?” And they said, “Absolutely not.” They wanted this huge cliffhanger. And then I was like, “Well, how are we a bubble? What’s going on?” But we’re really glad we’re getting a chance to tell stories in season 5. Coming up with the stories for season 5 might be the easiest to do since season 1 because so much of it is stuff that we have laid out.