Culture / Media

The Fosters: Truth be Told

This episode is all about truth and all the ways we can avoid it because sometimes a lie can used for good if we close our eyes and pretend not to hear anyone.

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Callie is in bed and wakes up to heavy rhythmic panting. Are moms doing it next door? No, this is not Breakfast on Tiffany! Mariana has her headphones on while she practices her dance moves, so she doesn’t hear herself hyperventilating. Mariana apologizes for waking her up. “I’m just glad you weren’t doing what I thought you were doing,” Callie says. It takes Mariana a few beats to get her meaning and answers with, “Ew! No! I don’t do that.” Well maybe she should. She might be less concerned about being loved by in the in-crowd if she was loving herself a bit more often.

In the kitchen, the family talks about Jude’s selective mutism. Lena and Stef explain that it is an anxiety disorder, and they should be patient and act naturally around him. Jude walks in as they’re talking about him and renders everyone mute. Maybe it’s contagious. Eventually, Mariana breaks the silence with talk of dance practice. Lena tells her that she’s so proud of how hard Mariana has been working.

“Apparently too hard,” says Mariana. “Kaitlyn says I smile too big. It looks like I’m teaching Zumba to toddlers at the Y. So, I’m shooting more for a medium smile.” I know that smile. I pasted that smile on my face while teaching preschool. Not that I was unhappy, but it takes restraint and a frozen expression to prevent reacting when a preschool child sneezes in your face or vomits on your shoe. Taken out of the preschool classroom, however, that particular happy face is super creepy.

Ding Dong. El timbre suena. Name that tune. Someone is at the door. Stef tells Callie that someone is for her. It’s Sophia with a fancy shopping bag in her hands. We know it’s fancy because the handles are made out of ribbon. Sophia has a present for Callie. She found Callie’s address in her dad’s legal documents and had her nanny Marisol stop at Callie’s on the way to school. Sophia bought her a jacket to match the jacket Sophia was wearing at their last visit, the one that matched her mother’s lady-who-lunches jacket. “Do you like it??” Sophia asks like a puppy looking for a treat. I am not a fan of gifting and fishing, and she’s giving off a super creepy vibe – but not the preschool teacher out of context creepy. More like Yolanda Saldívar – I love you so much Salena that I’m going to have to kill you – creepy. Callie tells her she loves it, which we know is a lie because her words say “love,” but her face says, “Did someone smell something?” This is the first of many lies told in this episode in the name of protecting feelings.

PHOTO CREDIT: THE FOSTERS

PHOTO CREDIT: THE FOSTERS

Stef is in her uniform for much of this episode, which is always a happy thing, and that’s no lie. She’s at her desk staring at Ana’s dental records, but she puts them aside instead of sending them to the coroner. She’s not ready to deal with the fact that Ana might be dead, and Mike may have killed her.

Mike joins her at her desk and asks about Lena’s pregnancy. “I remember that first trimester. It can be a real bear. Nausea. Mood swings. Weight gain. And that was just me.” I can’t even bring myself to roll my eyes, but I groan in my mind. Stef responds with an equally predictable come back. “I see you still haven’t taken off that baby weight, yet.” Oh how they laugh with each other as they reminisce. Mike tells Stef that Dani has gotten him in to yoga, a great stress reliever. Stef says she could use some of that given that she’s about to have six kids. Mike tells her what great moms she and Lena are. Flattery will get you everywhere, Mike. When the captain or sergeant or whoever the plain-clothes detective is asks Stef if she got the dental records to compare to the dead Jane Doe, Stef lies and says she hasn’t gotten them yet.

At Mike’s apartment, Dani gets a call from Mike to say that he’s not going to make dinner with Brandon and her. Brandon tries to leave because without Mike there, there’s no reason for him to stay. Dani finds a reason. She’s going to try to convince Brandon that when she slept with a drunk minor, it was all his fault. Branden is to blame because he wasn’t screwing Dani. He was screwing his dad to get him back for all the times he hurt him. And just in case Brandon doubts her virtue, Dani reminds him that she and Mike had broken up. Therefore, she is neither cheater nor child molester. Brandon is not convinced, but Dani plays her final hand. “If your dad finds out, I’m not the only one he’ll never forgive.” Well played, Dani.

Jesus is all mad that Mariana didn’t tell him that Emma stopped by the other night. He still has feelings for our Wrestling Top. Mariana tells him that he’s got to tell Hayley the truth, and he agrees that he will…as soon as he figures out what to say. I’m going to take a stab in the dark here and guess that he’s not going to figure out exactly what to say until he wishes he had. Just a hunch.

Jude is still mute and spends his time playing video games. Or it could be that he just doesn’t speak and play. When my children are playing video games, they speak not at all, which is why I allow them to play video games. Often. For long periods of time. Because it’s quiet. But rather than take Jude’s selective mutism as a gift, Lena tries to engage. She tells him about her chat with Connor. She admits that she is still mad at Connor’s dad but feels worse for Connor who is growing up surrounded by judgment. Lena makes sure to say for the record that she is so happy that Jude is their son and that there’s nothing he can’t tell them. His eyes say, “I’m touched,” but his mouth says, “You’re not even close.”

Stef thinks she’s close to fingering Mike – but not in the literal sense. ABC Family. She tells Lena that Mike seems to be the prime suspect. Lena tells Stef that Mike is not the bludgeoning, killing kind of guy. One might think that Stef would know her ex husband a little better than Lena, but we all know that Lena is the voice of reason and right on this show, so we can discount all that Stef knows about her ex husband and father to her child no matter how convincing the evidence.

Brandon is off to the Woodshed with the band. They seem to be walking for ages when Brandon asks how much longer. Turns out, the Woodshed is not a location. It’s a state of mind. The band brought pot brownies probably because ABC Family felt better about marijuana in baked goods than bongs. Brandon is not sure that he wants dessert, but band dude tells him, in the words on Bob Marley, “Don’t worry. Be happy.” Brandon proceeds to lecture the band about the fact that it was Bobby McFerrin who wrote that song, providing all sorts of fun facts, convincing the band that no one needs dessert more than Brandon. He concedes.

Hayley is ready for something sweet, too, and his name is Jesus. She’s ready to go public with their relationship because Jesus gets her and sees the real Hayley…through her vagina. Everyone knows that the vagina is the periscope to the soul. Jesus would like to take a closer look at her soul, so he doesn’t tell her that he’d rather wrestle Emma. He wants to keep their love on the DL a little while longer to spare Emma’s feelings now that Emma wants to get back together with Jesus. Hayley agrees with the sincerity of a serial killer.

Back in the woods, Lou is making up stupid lyrics for a song, and Brandon is not enjoying his high. Kids, don’t do drugs!

Callie has decided to screw her parole and screw her boyfriend in the name of taking control over her life. But, after rolling around in bed with Wyatt, she flips out. She can’t breathe and has to stop. Kids, don’t have premarital sex!

Brandon has left the band to fly high on their own and he has managed to contact Lena to ask for a ride home. He get in the car, and she asks if he’s ok. Cue tripping Brandon who is way more likeable than sober Brandon. Sorry if I offend by somehow condoning drugging, but I blame the writers for making sober Brandon a pitiful pill.

Sweaty, trippy Bradon rattles out one sentence after another without taking a breath: “No. I’m not ok. I ate a pot brownie, and I’m freaking out. Is that normal? I don’t feel normal. I feel nervous. Have you had pot before? I feel like you haven’t, which is smart but you guys told me if I needed a ride home I should call. I shouldn’t have called. I’m sorry.”

Lena smirks and tells him that it’s ok that he called and explains that some get anxious or paranoid. Zoom in on hand holding. “We’ll get you through this.” He thanks her and she says, “You don’t have to thank me. I’m your mom. That’s what we do.” Aw. Lena will take of you and everyone else for that matter. I feel so much better.

I don’t feel so good, however, about Hayley who seems more unhinged every time I see her. She tells Mariana that she and Jesus are officially a couple but that Jesus wants to spare Emma her feelings by keeping quiet. As Hayley sees it, however, the most humane thing a friend could do is tell Emma before she finds out via the grapevine. She nominates Mariana. Mariana tries to recuse herself from the position of heart breaker.

“Look, I love my brother. He’s my twin, and I’d totally give him a kidney any time, but when it comes to girls, he can be a little all over the place. Not in a bad way. He’s just not very good at expressing his true feelings-if he even knows what he’s feeling, which most of the time he doesn’t.”

To the emotionally disturbed, Mariana’s assessment of her brother translates into “Jesus doesn’t like you, and you shouldn’t date my brother.” Mariana clarifies that she doesn’t want Hayley to get hurt, but Hayley insists that the only who’s going to get hurt is Emma. Mariana should do something nice because “girls have to stand up for each other.” Whuh? Sometimes, girls give girls a bad name.

Speaking of Dani, she is in Stef’s face asking about Mike’s schedule. He leaves for work early and stays late and missed dinner. Maybe he’s drinking again or having an affair, and it’s clearly Stef’s job to look into it because if Mike is using again everyone has to deal, and Stef should find out what he’s up to “if not for me, for Brandon.” I’m getting tired of the manipulative crazy girls on this show. Sophia, Hayley, Dani…can we order a different flavor of female? Something with a bit more depth and vulnerability, please?

Brandon is still ranting and sweating on his ride home about cars, trains, tracks, stations and journeys to Moscow when you really want to be in St. Petersburg. He gets all Crime & Punishment, but Lena doesn’t catch on.

PHOTO CREDIT: THE FOSTERS

PHOTO CREDIT: THE FOSTERS

Callie is transferring her anxiety on to a table at work while she scrubs with the fury of Lady Macbeth on that damned spot. Daphne sits her down to talk, and Callie tells her of her failed fornication with Wyatt. Callie wonders if she’s still in love with Brandon, but when she looks up, she sees Liam at the register – who turns out not to be Liam – which means there’s some PTSD to address.

Brandon is finally coming down from his trip. Lena asks why he called her instead of anyone else. He confesses that he couldn’t call Stef because she has a tendency to overreact, and he couldn’t deal with her yelling.

“She only yells because she loves you so much,” explains Lena. I’ve put that one in my back pocket for future occasions, thank you very much. And then Brandon blurts out that he slept with Dani. What a weight off! Now he can eat pot brownies with a clear conscience and have a much better time.

Jesus is angry with Mariana – again. This time it’s because Mariana did Hayley’s bidding and told Emma that she and Jesus would only be wresting fully clothed from now on. Jesus is not happy that Mariana is messing up his mess. Mariana defends her actions by informing him that his behavior with the girls on the dance team affects her.

Jesus sees red. “You want to protect your little spot on the dance team? News flash: you’re a terrible dancer!”

But Mariana, who already knows she’s a terrible dancer, hits him with her best shot and accuses Jesus of being a terrible brother and an even worse boyfriend the way he goes through them. “I’m taking a stand for woman-kind.”

Jesus is not having it. “Don’t go all high and mighty. This is about you trying to be like all those other girls. Have you looked in the mirror lately? If you’re going to be a giant pain in my ass, admit why you’re doing it – cause you want to fit in. Cause you’re a sheep!” “You herd me. Flock you!” No, he didn’t say that last line.

Brandon begs Lena not to tell anyone about sleeping with his father’s girlfriend – at least not until they sign the contract to appear on The Jerry Springer Show. Brandon thinks that Stef will kill Dani and that Mike may start drinking again, but says nothing about saving himself from looking like an asshole. Lena does not commit to stay silent.

Jude is still silent, in case you were wondering, which I wasn’t. We find him once again playing video games, but this time it’s Callie who tries to break through. She reminisces about foster families past and then sends a text that appears on the screen. Please talk to me. Jude closes the text box and continues to play. Callie sends another text. I thought I saw Liam today. Jude reaches for her hand and holds it but doesn’t speak. Good try, but maybe Jude wasn’t the right person to burden at this particular time. Just a thought.

Stef follows Mike to a shabby motel where he parks and enters a room. Stef gets out of her car and eventually knocks on the motel door.

It’s ANA!

So, Ana is not dead. Mike didn’t kill her. What gives? Tune in next week to find out if:

  1. Mike is working extra hours to pay Ana blackmail money.
  2. Mike and Ana are in business together baking pot brownies that they deal to local high school kids.
  3. Mike has discovered that Ana had a clone sister whom he met after killing Ana. Delilah, the clone, is a yogi master and is helping Mike with his yoga poses. In other words, I ‘d rather be watching Orphan Black.
PHOTO CREDIT: BBC AMERICA

PHOTO CREDIT: BBC AMERICA

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