If you thought the first season of NBC’s "This Is Us" was crazy, that was nothing compared to season two. I was one of those people that waited until the season one finale to find out what all the fuss was about, and I was immediately hooked. Each episode, without fail, ended on a cliffhanger – a cliffhanger that was insane enough to lead me straight into the next episode. I must have finished it within a few days, and immediately after finishing the finale, I felt an aching in my bones for the autumn television season to just come, already.

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Seven episodes in, and season two is already exceeding expectations. The Big Three are definitely going through some changes (oh, and spoilers ahead): Randall is fostering 12-year-old Deja, Kate is expecting a baby with fiancé Toby, and Kevin may have just royally screwed up the best relationship of his life with long-time love, Sophie.

What’s new?

What’s interesting to me, though, is how each of them – through their individual actions – are inherently channeling their father, Jack Pearson, who died in a house fire when they were teenagers. Randall wanted to adopt a baby, just as his father had adopted him, only to be convinced by his wife that they should take in an older child, one that would need their help more than anything. After a broken knee on a film set flares up an old football injury for Kevin, he becomes addicted to his pain medication, setting him into a downward spiral. And Kate so fears getting married without her father there, that she almost convinces Toby to get married at City Hall.

Another fascinating part about episode seven of season two, in particular, is that the scenes chronicling the childhood of The Big Three focuses on Jack and Rebecca’s adoption of Randall, and brings forward the aspect of race, which has always been dealt with delicately.

However, the most endearing part is that they don’t give up. Even when the judge, an African-American man, refuses to grant an all-white family custody of a black child, their love for Randall urges them on, and they do not give up until they’re finally granted official custody.

And while the Pearsons work on formally adopting Randall, the baby’s biological father, William, is given a chance by a merciful judge – a chance to live his life, a chance to set himself straight, even after descending into a life of drugs. That chance set William on the right path for the rest of his life, which gave him a chance to one day meet the adult Randall, who came looking for him back at the beginning of season one.

With more than half a season left, I have no doubt that the writers of "This is Us" have more in store for us – stories that are sure to bring tears to our eyes. We may laugh, we may cry, but at its heart, that’s what this show is about. It is about the pain of life, about the joys that come before it, and the idea that life always carries on.

Food for thought

Will Kevin reunite with Sophie despite his abysmal failure? Will things smooth over with Deja now that Randall has spoken to the 12-year-old’s mother? How will Kate handle her upcoming marriage while reconciling that her father won’t be there to walk her down the aisle?

Tune in to NBC Tuesdays at 9/8c to find out.