Culture / Media

The Fosters: Play

Ready for The Fosters tonight? Miss last week’s episode or need a refresher? Here’s a play by play (note the title of the episode).

This week’s episode opens in the kitchen where Brandon is letting his moms know that the band is coming over to play in the garage. Meanwhile, Mariana is looking through photos on her mobile with a sad face on. When Lena asks, “Why the long face?” but not really those words, Mariana tells her that the girls on the dance team keep posting pics of them hanging out together without her, and she is clearly upset that her dyed blonde hair and her Lee press on nails are not enough to become a card carrying member of White Girl Club Popular.

PHOTO CREDIT: THE FOSTERS

PHOTO CREDIT: THE FOSTERS

Stef changes the subject and asks Brandon when his moms get to hear his new band. Brandon tries to deter her with noises about not being ready for prime time. “I see…” she says. “He doesn’t think that we’re cool enough. I’ll have you know that your mother and I used to listen to rock and roll all the time.”

I’m yelling at the screen in my mind. Please don’t say you listened to Erasure. Or Styx. Or…gulp…Hootie and the Blowfish.

Instead Lena comes through with Springsteen, REM and…Banarama. Wait, what?!? But to our relief, Stef redeems them both with, “I can’t believe you just said that. I’ll have you know that I went to a Nirvana concert once.” The kids nod in approval. Brandon asks why they stopped listening to music.

I stopped listening to the latest and greatest hits on a regular basis shortly after becoming a parent because:

a)    I was too sleep deprived to reach the stereo

b)   the sound of silence was the most heavenly sound in my house

c)    music became a painful reminder that the best days of my life were behind me, or

d)   all of the above

Stef remembers a time when she and Lena used to have all the dance parties but dismisses all the good times as history saying that they just got too busy.

Jesus changes the subject asking if Lena and Stef are still doing the babymoon thing. Luckily for all of us, Jude asks what that is, and Stef explains that it’s like a honeymoon but instead of going away after you get married, you go away after you get pregnant, but before the baby comes and there’s no time for fun or travel or romance. We detect a bitter tone that Lena clearly catches as well and seethes quietly. Of course, Stef is right. New babies suck all the living life out of you, but telling an expecting mother that her relationship is as good as dead is just plain stupid. She deserves whatever she’s definitely going to get. Lena don’t play.

Turns out, Grandma can’t come and stay with the kids for the babymoon, and Stef says they’ll have to postpone. Callie suggests that she and Brandon step up and take care of the Family Foster in Grandma’s stead. Stef ums and ers so she doesn’t have to say, “Hell to the no,” but Lena insists that they need this. After all, it’s only for one night. It’s settled. Stef and Lena will go away for one night on their last hurrah, and star-crossed lovers Brandon and Callie are the minding the shop.

So now I’m already imagining kids dancing in their underwear, singing into hairbrushes and starting a prostitution ring.

Next we see Brandon rehearsing with the Lou and Mat. Brandon stops in the middle of a song that Lou’s singing.

Brandon: I wonder if Lou is coming on a little strong in the chorus.

Lou: I’m sorry?

Brandon: We’re all in mezzo forte in that section, and I was wondering if you should just follow us.

Lou: Follow you?!?

He proceeds to recommend that she start with some “pianos,” which he has to explain means playing soft and plain. Lou is not having it, but sees that both Mat and Brandon think she needs to quiet the eff down. She agrees to play it their way in front of friends at the Ground Space to let them decide whose dish reigns supreme, I mean who makes better music, but Brandon is unavailable now that he is in charge of the Family Foster during the babymoon. Lou’s all, “Well we’ll just invite people to come to your house.” And Brandon is all, “I can’t just have people over. And then Lou’s all like, “Shocker…” which is as good as saying, “I double dog dare you,” so Brandon has no choice but to accept the dare but he’s all, “Ok, but only a few people.” Shyeah. Only a few people.

Back at Anchor Beach, Connor is chasing Jude down because he wants to know what’s going on, why he hasn’t been so available. “Is this about what my dad said because I don’t care if you’re… if that’s what you are. Are you?” This is the moment we’ve been waiting for! We want Jude to come out of the closet, and now his buddy is opening the door. But Jude does one better making us all feel bad for assigning him a sexual identity just because he paints his finger nails, pals around with Connor and never talks about girls.

“What, gay?? You can say it. It’s not a bad word, but why do I have to be anything? Why does everybody go around labeling people all the time? Putting us in boxes. I don’t get it.” Color us schooled.

Connor: You’re right.

Jude: What about your dad?

Connor: He doesn’t have to know.

Jude: I don’t want to be anyone’s secret. Tell your dad it was nice knowing him.

Got to take your hat off to the little man. It’s takes a lot of courage to sacrifice a friendship in order to live your unlabeled, unboxed truth.

While Mariana is looking longingly at the cluster of giggling dance team girls, Mat appears with the news that the band is coming over and they’re bringing some friends to listen to their music. Mariana hears, “Party at my house!” and immediately invites the cluster of giggling dance team girls, who immediately invite everyone and their brother.

Callie is showing Wyatt the picture of Sofia, her half-sister, when she hears gigging dance team girl inviting friends to the party at Mariana’s house. Callie is none too pleased now that she is in large and in charge, and she is going to have to put a stop to all of this talk of party.

Stef and Lena have arrived at their babymoon hotel, but Stef is unimpressed and kvetchy. “The room is too small. We should ask for an upgrade. I should call the kids. Don’t open the hotel fridge! They charge you for just opening up the door, and we can’t afford to splurge right now.” Such a Debbie Downer on what is supposed to be their last night of freedom before baby.

I’m annoyed with Stef. When my kids walk into the kitchen and start complaining about what I’m serving for dinner before they’re even in their seats, I make them leave the kitchen and walk back in with a new and improved attitude. I want Lena to make Stef walk out and do a do-over.

Back at home, Callie confronts Mariana about the party, and the kids have a perfectly adolescent conversation that leads to the perfectly flawed decision that a massive party is a perfectly good idea…as long as they don’t get caught. Callie shows a bit of restraint and insists that the party be held outdoors and that no one be allowed inside the house. Also, she clearly needs to invite Wyatt to stay in the house so that he can help keep everyone out of the house. Jude asks Callie if she isn’t breaking the rules about letting people in the house by inviting Wyatt, and she tells him, “Sometimes you have to break the rules to keep them,” which makes perfect sense…to her. And then Jude has to invite Maddie to help Wyatt and Callie. Perfect.

Later, Brandon walks into the kitchen where Wyatt is helping Callie has block doorways with tape and signs to keep all grubby teenagers out. Brandon makes a remark about walking into the House of Boring and asks Callie when she became so anal. She asks Brandon when he became such an ass. He complains that no one will have anywhere to go to the bathroom, and Wyatt suggests they allow guests into the bathroom off the kitchen. Brandon and Callie agree. Wyatt says that he’s never seen Callie and Brandon act like brother and sister before. Does that mean that fire is out completely? Are ashes all that are left in the smoldering relationship that was Brandon and Callie? We can only hope. Unless what’s coming is worse. That’s always possible.

PHOTO CREDIT: THE FOSTERS

PHOTO CREDIT: THE FOSTERS

Stef and Lena are getting a double massage, courtesy of Lena who had made the arrangements before Stef started whinging about money. The two of them are face down, side-by-side, getting rubbed down and kneaded against a gorgeous sunset. Surely, now is the time for an exchange of sweet nothings and undying love. Stef, however, decides that it’s time to get to know her Serbian masseuse and starts chatting with her. Kids? Yes, you? How many? One, you? Five. Oh, so is this a girls get-away from your husbands? Actually, we’re a couple, hence the couple’s massage. Stef is the only person I know besides my lady-spouse who uses the word hence conversationally. I would have found it endearing except for the fact that she’s a complete idiot.

The party is in full swing, and the cluster of giggling dance team girls has arrived. I forget all their names, and I don’t care enough to try to figure out who’s who, but one of them tells Mariana that Haley’s douche of a boyfriend broke up with her and that she’s vulnerable. Mariana is not to let her drink because she doesn’t want her to break Code of Excellence. “What?” asks Mariana. “Oh yeah. We don’t hang out socially, so you wouldn’t know we have a few rules.” Way to pour salt on the wound, bee-atch. “We all stick to one drink maximum. We don’t dress like sluts. We don’t hook up with randos, and if there’s dancing we don’t use any of our patent moves. They’re exclusive to the team. If anyone breaks code, they’re kicked off the team. Thanks for having us over.” And she bounces away. In the world of simple television writing, we can be sure that all of these rules will be breached at some point during the Party Foster.

Brandon is getting twitchy because Lou hasn’t shown up, yet. He runs into Jesus who is carrying his party-issued plastic red cup. Brandon takes a whiff of Jesus’s drink and proceeds to spill it out onto the ground as if he has suddenly decided to act responsibly. Back in the kitchen, Callie and Wyatt are plunging the backed up toilet in the kitchen. Maybe the big kids have this party under control after all. Who’s snickering??

Jude and his guests Maddie and Chelsea, are spying on teenagers making out while Jude calls the play by play. The girls are bored and suggest they do something else – like play Spin the Bottle. “We don’t have a bottle!” says Jude trying to avoid all things kissy. “There’s an app for that!” says Chelsea. Who knew? Apparently, she did. “But there are only three of us,” says Jude.

Knock, knock! It’s Connor!!

Jude asked him if his dad said it was ok for him to come over, and Connor said, “I didn’t ask if it was ok.” Jude is impressed with Connor for making his own decision. So now there are four people playing Spin the App. Now, I only have a basic knowledge of statistics, but I’m going to say that there is a good chance that Connor and Jude end up on the either side of a bottle app. But two pre-pubescent boys kissing on ABC Family? The question becomes what natural disaster or divine intervention will occur to prevent the two lads from locking lips? I’m going with teenage zombie invasion.

Jesus finds Hayley crying on the floor.

“Hey, are you ok?”

“My boyfriend just broke up with me.”

“That sucks. I get it. My girlfriend just broke up with me.”

“Emma? That was dumb of her. You’re hot.”

“You, too.”

“Why did he break up with you?”
“He said I was too needy. Honesltly, I think he just wanted to date older girls. He’s in college. Why did she break up with you?”

“We were not a good match.”

“Is my mascara running?”

“A little.”

“Will you get it for me? Here…on my vagina.”

No, she didn’t say the vagina part, but somehow mascara blotting became kissing. But no one touched anyone’s vagina.

The kids are playing Spin the App but no one seems excited about kissing anyone. It’s Jude’s turn to spin, but he gets up to run to the bathroom before his turn. He goes into moms’ bathroom to swig some mouthwash only to find Kaitlyn falling off the toilet on to the floor. He calls Mariana to come get her, but Kaitlyn has disappeared. Not to fear. Callie finds her passed out on moms’ bed. After trying to find her sleep number and sufficiently folding her in awkward poses, Callie is able to wake her up just in time for Kaitlyn to puke on moms’ bed. Unclear whose side it was.

PHOTO CREDIT: THE FOSTERS

PHOTO CREDIT: THE FOSTERS

Lena is on the bed in her robe waiting for Stef to come out of the bathroom for their romantic night. “Hey, they’ve got lesbian porn!” she tells Stef while she’s looking for some get-us-in-the-mood programming. “How does Breakfast on Tiffany sound?” Perfect, I say to my screen. Stef, however, gets all Women’s Studies lesbo on her. “Horrible! There is no bigger turn-off than two straight girls in stilettos pretending for a man that they’re hot for each other. Gimme a break!” Uch, Stef! Give ME (and Lena) a break! We’re all just trying to get the juices flowing here. Besides, these porn women are actors. They are perfectly capable of playing lesbians after all the training they’ve done in acting school. Shees.

Lena doesn’t have the same reaction that I do and agrees to leave Tiffany to her own devices. But because she is a porn-lover scorned, she does take the opportunity to ask Stef why she was more interested in her masseuse than she was in her lady-spouse. Stef acts as if she has no idea that she has done anything wrong, but when Lena leaves the room to take a bath, Stef knows she’s in the doghouse. Sometimes women can be so emotionally opaque. I love that phrase. I actually picked it up from my brother’s wife when she was describing my brother. She meant it in the kindest way, and my brother wasn’t upset by it at all. Then again, an emotionally opaque person isn’t likely to take much personally.

Back at Party Foster, Mariana is apologizing to Callie for her drunk ass friend when…

Knock. Knock.

Doesn’t anyone ring doorbells in California? Is it a noise pollution thing? Seriously. I want to know because on the East Coast, you can ring my bell.

It’s Connor’s dad, and he’s looking for his son. Mariana warns Callie. Callie sets out to find Connor and does not knock before throwing the door open just as Connor and Jude were leaning in for their Spin the App Kiss! Jude tried to get out of it. He said it was dumb, but Connor didn’t want to chicken out – which is appropriate given he may be, in fact, a chicken in the young gay boy sense of the word.

Connor’s dad appears to find Jude sandwiched in between his two young lady friends, arms over each one of them looking as straight as he possible can. Too bad he was unable to locate a smoking jacket, slippers and pipe.

“Where’s Connor?” asks Connor’s dad. “Don’t know,” answers Jude Heffner. “I thought he wasn’t allowed to come over. I’m just hanging with my girls.” There’s not denying Jude’s blatant heterosexuality, and Connor’s dad is forced to reevaluate his inaccurate assumptions.

Outside on the patio, Lou shows up. Finally. Brandon is more than irritated and let’s Lou know that her tardiness is unacceptable. “Cool it, Beethoven! We’ll start in a minute,” she snorts. But Brandon is ready with his backhand. “Contrary to what you might think, you’re not talented enough to make people wait.” Clearly there will be kissing soon.

Lou returns the volley. “Really? Well, contrary to what you might think, you’re not a member of this band. We don’t need you or your big fat classical ego.” Touché, Lou. And forget the kissing. We’ve moved on to groping with a high probability of dry humping. But before any action can happen, Brandon asks why they’re doing this at all, and Lou answers with, “We’re not. Peace” and storms off. I guess groping might not happen until next week.

Now Lena is in the bath soaking in bubbles and bitterness. Stef walks in and asks if she can join her. I know that it’s ABC Family, so I don’t expect her to drop her robe and slip into the bath. She means, “Can I talk to you fully clothed while you fume at me from under the soap suds.” They both accuse each other of not listening to the other, but Stef takes the point when she sums up their exchange with, “So when I don’t talk, it’s my fault, and when you don’t talk, it’s my fault, too. I get it. It’s all on me. I’m the one failing the relationship.” And she walks out leaving Lena to prune in her self-pity.

That party sure could use some live music, but Lou has found her way to Brandon’s room where she is taking in the many trophies. Callie finds her there, and Lou asks if Brandon has always been such a pompous ass. Yes, I say to no one, but Callie disagrees with me. She tells Lou all about how he was a brilliant classical pianist until he got beat up. Callie adds that he’ll never be able to play like he used to, and just when we can see Lou softening, Callie goes in for the kill. “Brandon is not doing you a favor. You’re doing him one.”

While Mariana continues to look for her drunk ass friend, Brandon decides to play the one song he’s got, a love song he wrote for Callie. Lou appears in time to pick up the tune and join him in a heartfelt, perfectly arranged duet. Marianna keeps looking for Kaitlyn and finds Hayley instead…on top of someone she doesn’t realize is Jesus.

PHOTO CREDIT: THE FOSTERS

PHOTO CREDIT: THE FOSTERS

Lena and Stef take their share of responsibility for not working hard enough and vow to take better care of each other. Hats off to them for doing this well with their full plates and all, but it’s going to get hella crappy when baby is born. There will be absolutely no time for porn. Just as they’re about to snuggle, they get a call from Jesus, but he’s not on the other end. Uh oh. Butt call. Must have happened when Jesus and Hayley were getting dressed. Luckily, moms didn’t hear them admit that they’ve each only been with one other person or that they’d like to call each other now that they’ve played horizontal hula. My words, not theirs. Obvo!

PHOTO CREDIT: THE FOSTERS

PHOTO CREDIT: THE FOSTERS

Moms are calling Jesus back, but he doesn’t answer. Then they try calling each kid on their cell phones. The kids find each other and listen to their phones ring one after the other as they try to figure out what to do. Callie answers the phone, and they make up one story after another to cover up all the tomfoolery and hijinks. Moms seem to be satisfied and they all hang up. They all pat themselves on the back for their quick thinking and for successfully throwing a party. Callie summons the gods when she says, “At least nothing horrible happened!” And that is when we see the rambunctious young men on the porch swinging the porch swing in the wrong direction, sending it directly into the picture window in the living room. Glass shatters everywhere. Don’t worry though. Wyatt worked in construction and knows how to glaze, so he’s going to fix it.

PHOTO CREDIT: THE FOSTERS

PHOTO CREDIT: THE FOSTERS

Being a highly trained member of law enforcement, Stef is not fooled. She is sure that the kids are having a party but insists that they stay and have a party of their own. Lena agrees and they commence with the kissing. No tongues. No boobs. Eyes closed. No whimpers, pants or moans. What was Stef saying about straight people making lesbian porn?

PHOTO CREDIT: THE FOSTERS

PHOTO CREDIT: THE FOSTERS

Next day, Mariana tells Mat that she didn’t think the party was so excellent because she spent the whole time trying to keep the giggling dance team from breaking all their own rules and no time having fun herself. Mat tells her that their rules will always apply to her because of who she is. “Why? Because I’m Latina??” “No. Because you’re not like those girls, and you never will be. Don’t you know that?” Mat means it as a complement, but perfectly adolescent Mariana doesn’t know enough to take it as one and storms off. Mat and Mariana will not be kissing for at least two more episodes.

Callie tells Brandon that she was happy to hear him play again. He tries to apologize for playing “their song,” but Callie is cool with it. “Brandon, you’re really good, and with you, the band could be really something.” “Thanks for being such a good sister,” he says. Hmm. I’ve got my skeptical hat on. It’s giving me hat head, but I’m not taking it off until I know this pair is over for good.

PHOTO CREDIT: THE FOSTERS

PHOTO CREDIT: THE FOSTERS

Not enough time has elapsed for all of Wyatt’s good work to set, however. Just as soon as moms get home and they all start chatting about their night as if nothing happened, someone closes the door and the new glazed window comes caving in.

And scene.

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