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Spoilers below for ABC's A Million Little Things, so be sure to catch up before reading.
When it comes to emotionally driven storytelling, ABC's hit drama A Million Little Things features slightly less than a million details worthy of fans' attention. Christina Ochoa's Ashley is at the heart of quite a few curiosities, with that mysterious blue envelope as a holy grail of potential Dixon family bombshells. According to Ochoa, who spoke with CinemaBlend ahead of Episode 7's debut, fans will have to wait just a while longer for answers about Ashley and the blue envelope.
I would say towards three-quarters to the end of the first season, you start really getting an insight into what it is that she's even doing, you know, and then kind of why she's doing what she's doing. There's still going to be twists and turns; we're going to get glimpses, and then we're going to fill them in with more information later on. But ultimately, you'll start getting more of a grasp on what it is that she's up to, and what Rutledge is, and all these issues -- what's in the blue envelope? You'll get it piece by piece, and you'll get it towards the end of, maybe three-quarters in the season.
Of all the characters whose lives were thrown into dismay when Jon killed himself, Ashley is the one whose background and motivations haven't been heavily developed just yet. Not that we know every single factoid about Will or Katherine or Delilah, but Ashley remains the show's biggest living and breathing enigma, beyond maybe Barbara Morgan. (I mean, she didn't factor into the episode "I Dare You" at all.)
Since we just got the seventh episode in a 17-episode season, it seems like A Million Little Things will be offering more answers and insight right around Episode 12 or 13. That means we'll probably have to wait until after the show comes back from its winter hiatus to pull more clues together. Although the midseason finale, airing December 12, could certainly drop a big cliffhanger that keeps people talking.
Even though we've seen some of what is inside the blue folder, where it's said that Ashley could be trusted to handle everything, the bulk of it is still a complete unknown to audiences. (As well as characters other than Ashley and Jon.) When I expressed my own curiosity about how much information could possible be hidden inside that folder, she alluded to the fact that it won't necessarily contain ALL the answers that people may be hoping for.
Enough to carry us through, enough to keep the mystery, and enough to kind of not give us a full picture of why. I think that's the thing with John, right? Ultimately, it's not so much about the why, because we never, we will never know the entirety of that answer of why somebody commits suicide. I think that the show is less about the 'why' somebody would do it and more about what do you do with the aftermath as this group of friends who loved him, and why did he not reach out? Why did he not talk to the people who are there, who were loving him, and who seemingly seemingly had everything? You know, it's kind of that dynamic that really runs the show more so than the why he did it.
Indeed, the details behind Jon's death may be important in many ways, but for the sake of viewers, A Million Little Things focuses more on how the motivations behind the suicide affected everyone else who is forced to reconcile with them. Even the ones that they have no idea they'll be reconciling with anything in the future.
As Christina Ochoa put it, A Million Little Things creator D.J. Nash and his creative team are intent on piecing these stories out little by little, so that the late-game reveals can have the biggest impact. The actress spoke to just how little viewers can actually claim to know about Ashley or her motivations. In her words:
I think that's the thing about Ashley. She's the one that you don't necessarily get to understand just yet, or know her secret the way we know everybody else's. So I think that it may take a little longer to understand her. I don't know if you're going to agree or empathize with her, you know. She's operating from a place of love, but at the same time, I'm not going to say that she's not making mistakes on behalf of it. So I think that that's going to be up to the audience to kind of decide and feel if they empathize and understand her, or they ultimately condemn her for what she's doing. To me, that's interesting. It's like, let them decide.
As it has gone with many of the characters already on A Million Little Things, no one's story sets them up as a 100% moral protagonist or as a devious and irredeemable antagonist. At this point in the narrative, Ashley may seem like she's got nefarious intentions in keeping everything a secret, but upcoming episodes could flip that entirely with one shocking explanation or another.
In Episode 6, fans watched as Ashley came extremely close to passing the blue envelope to Delilah, but had a change of heart once she thought ahead to the potential consequences of that act. All she could think of was Delilah raging out and blaming her for keeping it all hidden, even though Ashley claims to have a reason for keeping it all hush-hush.
Not that Christina Ochoa is making excuses for Ashley's actions. The actress acknowledges her character is in pain like everyone else, which plays into the choices she's making, and Ochoa says that Ashley does believe she can handle everything that needs to be done. Does that mean she should? The jury is out on that one. Here's how Ochoa said it:
She made her bed by taking the envelope in the first place. I think that was out of panic. She was in shock, and she didn't know what to do. She now has to justify and figure out and, you know, you make one mistake and then in order to cover it up and start lying and you start building on it and it snowballs and becomes a big thing. I think that's what it's been like for Ashley. She did one thing out of panic and shock, and then she didn't know how to deal with it and then it was too late. She shouldn't have taken it, she should have given it to Delilah. And now it just snowballed into her entire existence revolving around this blue envelope.
Sounds like Ashley needs the biggest pair of snowshoes out there. What information do you guys think is hiding in the blue envelope, and how will Barbara Morgan factor into it all?
We'll find out later, but make sure to get all the information firsthand by watching A Million Little Things every Wednesday night on ABC at 10:00 p.m. ET. For more mysteries and dramas that have viewers hooked, take not of everything in our fall TV premiere schedule.