This Is Us isn’t the only network series providing tears and mysteries, with A Million Little Things returning for even more of both.

While the season 1 finale of the ABC drama gave some closure to the story of Jon’s (Ron Livingston) suicide, it also left the rest of the gang in what creator DJ Nash says are “pretty tough situations.” Let us list just a few of them: Eddie (David Giuntoli) coming clean to Katherine (Grace Park) about fathering a child with Delilah (Stephanie Szostak); Regina (Christina Moses) and Rome (Romany Malco) disagreeing on whether to have a child of their own; Maggie (Allison Miller) and Gary (James Roday) navigating a cancer-free life together for the first time; and PJ (Chandler Riggs) discovering the true identity of his father.

Credit: David Bukach/ABC

And if that all that wasn’t enough, season 2 will find a mysterious figure (Jason Ritter) “coming into the world and threatening to shake everything up.” Shares Nash: “It’s a character that comes up based on stuff from the first season. Throughout the first half of the season, we follow the question: Who is this person? And then once it’s known who they are, their potential to shake up the world comes.”

Jon’s suicide was the original event that shook up the group’s world in the series’ pilot, and while we now have more answers about the circumstances, the characters will realize that time doesn’t necessarily help them move past their friend’s death.

“From the moment we decided to tackle the issue of suicide in the show, I wanted to be careful not to suggest that after you die you have a chance to control the narrative,” says Nash. “It’s just not what I’ve known of suicide. In the beginning, we really made sure we weren’t glamorizing suicide, but showing the harsh reality of the impact it can have on friends and family. So Jon’s story has been told. We’ll never know exactly why Jon took his life, you never have the benefit of knowing that. As the title suggests, it’s not one thing, it’s a million little things. In the second season, the aftermath of Jon being gone is still felt — in some ways, it’s harder. What happens in your second year is that life goes on and yet you still have the reminders and the absences. As our friends pursue their lives, they realize that the loss is still profound and will always be a part of the fabric of their lives. We don’t see Ron Livingston as much as we did in season 1, but Jon will be back and he will be impacting their determination to finally live life on their terms.”

Credit: Robert Trachtenberg/ABC

As previously mentioned, in addition to their continued feeling of loss, the A Million Little Things gang has plenty to deal with in season 2, so Nash gave EW a tease of what to expect early on for each of his characters.

Eddie and Katherine: “All the work that they’ve done over this year, will that be thrown out the window? How will they get past this? In some ways, he hasn’t done anything more wrong, all he did was tell the truth, but this truth threatens everything they have.”

Delilah: “As hard as last year was, dealing with the loss of her husband and raising two kids without him, her challenges seem to be even greater this year, because now she has a third child. She’s determined to keep this secret because she believes in her heart that this is what is best for Sophie and Danny; they’ve already lost one parent and she doesn’t want them to find out the truth and potentially lose her. And yet, with the arrival of this baby and the idea that even though Sophie and Danny’s father is gone, this baby’s father is very much still here.”

Rome and Regina: “We left them in an impossible situation. Very much in love, despite the fact that when they got married they both agreed they’d have no kids, Rome changed his mind and it looks like Regina hasn’t. Is he going to keep the promise to not have kids and possibly resent her for that? Or is she going to change her mind and give him a baby and maybe resent Rome for the changes that happened in their life?”

Maggie and Gary: “From the moment they met, their life was about cancer — they literally met at a breast cancer support group. They shared something that very few heterosexual couples can, which is both people having breast cancer. And what started as trying to convince Maggie to live and then fighting for her to have the ability to live is now a journey about what their life is going to be post-cancer. I think we will see them struggle to figure out their dynamic, a dynamic that’s never existed before — a life without cancer.”

PJ: “We left PJ watching a video that let him know that his father was not who he thought it was. And as PJ searches for answers and the truth, Barbara, PJ, and Mitch’s story becomes a cautionary tale for Delilah and Eddie as they debate what to do with their own paternity secret. And PJ is pursuing and trying to figure out who his father, why there were lies, and what is going on. Some of which the audience is ahead of, some of which the audience is unaware of.”

A Million Little Things returns Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

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A Million Little Things
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