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Why A Million Little Things Said Goodbye To A Key Character In The Season 4 Premiere

ABC

a million little things season 4 premiere lizzy greene stephanie szostak chance hurstfield

(Image credit: ABC)

Spoilers ahead for the Season 4 premiere of A Million Little Things, called "Family First."

A Million Little Things returned for Season 4 with a number of cliffhangers to pay off on, not the least of which was Gary attacking Peter at his home for what he did to Sophie. But the biggest twist of "Family First" arguably centered on the character who is leaving the show as a series regular, as Delilah made the decision to go back to France, and showrunner DJ Nash has already confirmed that actress Stephanie Szostak truly is gone as a regular character. So, why did A Million Little Things say goodbye so early in Season 4 to Delilah?

The answer is straightforward, and not the result of any kind of bad blood. The story of Delilah's father suffering a stroke and needing her to move back to France came about because Stephanie Szostak ran into some problems when it came to the challenges of living in one place and filming somewhere else. Speaking with TV Guide, showrunner DJ Nash revealed the reason for Delilah's departure:

[Stephanie] came to me at the beginning of last season and said, 'You know, I'm in Connecticut flying to do this show. I used to go home every other weekend for five days or four days. I can't do that because of [Canada]'s two-week quarantine.'…I talked to her when she came back for the last two episodes last season and I said, 'Hey, where are you for next year?' And she was like, 'It's hard for me to be away.' So I totally get that. I called the premiere 'Family First' because I get it, I respect that. She wants to be in fewer episodes and the only way to really do that and have her still be a member of the friend group was to put her in France, because if she's in town and someone skins their knee and everyone goes to the hospital as they do, it would be hard to explain Delilah's absence.

Although A Million Little Things is primarily set in Boston, the hit ABC show actually is one of many shows that films up in Vancouver, Canada. While traveling between Vancouver and Stephanie Szostak's home in Connecticut was doable in earlier seasons, quarantine requirements between Canada and the United States meant that it just wasn't practical. And according to the showrunner, the decision was made for her to focus on staying home. The actress is the mom to two boys.

And as DJ Nash pointed out, the group of friends at the forefront of A Million Little Things is too tightly knit for it to make sense for Delilah to remain in Boston but conveniently off screen, especially since Sophie is sticking around. The good news for fans who were bummed to see Delilah bow out and head back across the Atlantic just one episode into a super-sized season is that she isn't necessarily gone for good. DJ Nash continued on the situation with Stephanie Szostak, saying:

By putting her in France, she can come back and visit whenever it's good for the story creatively, and whenever Stephanie's schedule will allow. She will be back a bunch this season. We already have her in two episodes so far. I will definitely be building towards something at the end of the season with her and it's just a question of what her schedule allows. But if you ask me what I want to do, I want to have her in all episodes. If you asked me as a human, as a friend, and as a fellow parent what I am prepared to do, I will adjust for her.

Apparently, Delilah is already set for one more episode beyond the series premiere, and the plan is for her to be back "a bunch." It's clear that A Million Little Things isn't just going to forget about Delilah once she's gone as a series regular, and DJ Nash's comments indicate that the door is open for Stephanie Szostak to appear as much as she wants to, schedule and story permitting. Delilah's departure may have been definitive insofar as she left as a regular, but it wasn't a goodbye forever.

Plus, there is plenty going on with the characters who Delilah left behind, so it's possible that viewers will barely even have time to miss her. Peter may not survive the attack from the end of Season 3, although a flashback revealed that Gary wasn't the only one present that night, as he was joined with Layla's dad.

It's possible that Gary wasn't responsible for the beating that Peter sustained and was just the one who put the bag over his head, but he definitely started the whole attack. So if Peter survives and has his memory, that could be bad news for Gary. Even if Peter didn't see his face, Gary definitely spoke, so could Peter recognize his voice? Just when things were looking good for Gary and Darcy!

Plus, Sophie wasn't even happy to hear that Peter had been attacked, because it meant that he didn't hear her powerful message on Maggie's podcast. As for Maggie, she got some good news when it comes to her career, but on the less good side, Eddie is seemingly already obsessed with finding the woman who called at the end of Season 3 to confess to hitting him with her car. And it's not hard to imagine that obsession getting in the way of his new agreement with Katherine regarding Theo.

Meanwhile, Rome and Regina told Tyrell that he could go to his mom in Haiti, but were relieved and thrilled to get a video message from him promising to come back. Throw in whatever is going to happen with Sophie now that her mom and siblings are headed to France while she stays behind, and there is no shortage of plot for the show to handle until the next time that Delilah appears. See what happens next with new episodes of A Million Little Things on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC. You can also revisit the earlier seasons streaming on Hulu now.

Laura Hurley

Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.