Culture / Media

The Fosters: Say Something

Ready for tonight’s episode? Here’s your refresher from last week!

They say that families who open garage doors together, stay together. This bodes well for the Adams-Fosters who all lift the great garage door at the opening of the show in order to start clearing space for Branden’s new studio.

Once inside the garage, Jesus steps on an empty beer bottle, a reminder of the great Foster party. Jesus kicks the bottle to Mariana who shoves it in a box and hands it to Brandon to remove. Excellent teamwork, kids! If only Brazil had demonstrated the same in its matches against Germany and the Netherlands. Que vergonha.

Jesus suggests that if Brandon wants to use the garage as a studio, Brandon should clean it himself. Lena corrects him as it will be a hang out space for everybody…because we don’t want the baby inhaling pot smoke until it’s at least 13 years old, she thought to herself.

Lena starts leafing through an old album after Stef has banned her from lifting heavy boxes. The album is her family tree that she started putting together in college. She traced her mom’s lineage all the way back to Africa.

Hey, there’s Vee!! No wonder she wasn’t able to watch the kids during their babymoon.

PHOTO CREDIT: THE FOSTERS

PHOTO CREDIT: THE FOSTERS

Stef pulls out a bicycle, and Mariana is pleased to see an old friend, Mikey the Bikey. All the kids learned how to ride on him. Lena doesn’t want to get ride of Mikey. “Don’t you think we should keep that for the baby to learn? You know she’s gotta start somewhere.”

Mariana catches her pronoun slip and all the girls squee with joy now that the boys will be outnumbered. Stef and Lena are probably fantasizing about a house of three girls when the kids start leaving for college in the not so distant future. I’m disappointed in Lena. Every gay knows how to play the pronoun game. When we found out the gender of our babies, but did not want to share, it was easy to slip back into closeted pronoun speak after years of practice. I know that the pronoun game will happily be a dying art one day, but Lena should have been up to the task.

Callie finally tells Jude that she wants to meet her half-sister, which leads to a what makes a family exchange. Am I your half-brother like she’s your half-sister? Donald is our dad, and Robert’s just some guy I got some DNA from. This theme will pop up again and again. And again. And … you get the idea. Love makes a family. I got it. And yet…

At Anchor Beach, Connor apologizes to Jude for being a lying liar who lies about sneaking out of the house instead of telling his father that he was going to his sexually unidentified friend’s house. In the popular game of Why I’m a Chicken Shit, Connor plays the Blame Others card. He didn’t want to hurt Jude’s feelings and then, his father is culpable of, I’m not sure actually, but he can’t stand up to him nonetheless.

Timothy has no problem standing up to Lena, however. He lets Lena know that he has employed a lawyer to represent his interests regarding the baby. I know we’re supposed to hate Timothy for getting all up in her womb, but I don’t. He never signed the agreement. You can’t have your spluge and sole custody rights, too…without consent that is. But something tells me Lena will get her way. She always does.

Back at Anchor Beach gymnasium, Hayley tells Mariana that dancer April was kicked off the team for getting “completely faded” at her party and leaking photos all over social media. Mariana doesn’t understand why April has been kicked off whenever everyone else was breaking the Code of Excellence, too, but Hayley tells her not to “poke the beast.” Do kids say that? Is that a West Coast thing? If you’re poking a beast in Jersey, you’ve probably gone to dinner and split a bottle of wine first.

Because the dancers and the wrestlers share the gym, we can also see in the center ring that Jesus and Hayley are making googly eyes. Emma misinterprets his distraction and tells him that they don’t have to make things weird. They can still be friends. But Jesus agrees with little conviction, which doesn’t sit well with her.

Back at the far ring, Hayley confesses to Mariana that she poked Jesus’s beast. Or did he poke her beast? Well, beasts were poked. Mariana is hellamad. At home, Mariana confronts Jesus and asks him why he’s always gotta be poking her friends? Why not girls in science club? “Science club, really??” he says, and I’m calling foul because he’s clearly saying that he doesn’t see how he could have any chemistry with smart girls. He’s more impressed with the physics of being able to kick your leg over your head.

Jesus tells Mariana not to worry because it was a one time thing, but she’s not having it. “I’m not gonna let you be some douche who mows through girls faster than Mom’s weedwacker!” Wait. Is that a euphemism, too? Does Mom poke beasts with her weedwacker. I’m confused. And slightly aroused.

Wyatt and Callie are getting friendly down in the sand. Wyatt tells her that he wants to poke her weedwacker, but she tells him that’s a violation of her parole. He is surprised and asks if they can do that. Callie assures him that “they” can do a lot of things. Just as Lena’s mom, Vee.

PHOTO CREDIT: NETFLIX

PHOTO CREDIT: NETFLIX

Wyatt says he’ll wait forever for her because he loves her. She smiles but does not say the words back. Hmmmm…

Speaking of Brandon, he’s playing keyboards in the garage. Callie comes in, and she tells him she has decided to meet her half-sister. But before they can get too deep, Lou arrives, and Callie takes the hint. Lou asks Brandon about the obvious history and/or present between them, and Brandon gets defensive. “She’s my sister,” he says. “But you’re not related,” she says. And we’re back to what makes a family. Branden insists that Callie is just as much his sister as Mariana is even though she hasn’t officially been adopted, and Lou seems satisfied that there won’t be any Woody Allen-esque beast poking going on. She would rather get cracking on that “Outlaws” song. Brandon resists at first, and when he tells Lou he had other plans for it, Lou says, “Yeah. Plans change.”

Lena is planning on talking a lot to the baby because if she doesn’t, the baby will be become a crack whore. Stef reminds Lena that she talks a lot, so there’s that problem solved. Timothy, on the other hand, is still an issue. Stef thinks that Timothy deliberately went legal on her right before her interview in order to sabotage her bid to be principal. Could it be?

During her interview, Lena fields questions with beauty pageant ease. Then Timothy throws out a question about her pregnancy. He wants to know when her due date is and how long she’ll be on leave. “I’m certain you didn’t ask the male applicants that question, “ she says. I’m certain that the male applicants weren’t pregnant. But I’m also fairly certain it’s not legal to ask about due dates.

We see Jude briefly in class. His teacher calls on him to answer a question and he does not answer. Connor looks concerned. We leave the scene before we learn anything else.

At dance auditions, Kaitlyn’s friend Jenna is kicking ass. But then Tia, of a darker hue, steps up and dances even better. Kaitlyn gives Jenna a look like, “Please don’t hate me for making the obvious choice.”

Lena hopes Timothy makes the obvious choice by choosing integrity. The pregnancy question convinces her that Stef was right about his devilish ways and calls him on his assholery. “People with integrity honor their word even when it’s not convenient even when they change their mind. You can’t just say you have integrity. You have to act like it.” I can tell by her impassioned speech that Lena will once more, but I was kind of looking forward to a legal battle exposing the complications of making families with a donor.

We will also not be exploring the complications of dance auditions because everyone votes for Tia – except Mariana who questions whether or not she’ll fit in. The girls explain that they don’t vote for friends. They vote for the best dancers. Mariana changes her vote, but it leaves her feeling confused about her place on the team. She knows she’s not the best dancer and feels pretty tokenized. Maybe after she made the team, the filled their quota and didn’t have to vote brown after that.

When Mariana gets home, she asks Lena how her interview went. Lena says she killed it and asks about auditions. Mariana asks if there are rules for clubs about picking brown kids. Lena is still in pageant mode and says, “No. We certainly encourage diversity because when kids from different ethnic and religious and cultural backgrounds come together, it’s been proven that it enriches learning and creativity.” Mariana is even more confused about why she’s on the team.

PHOTO CREDIT: THE FOSTERS

PHOTO CREDIT: THE FOSTERS

Stef takes Callie to meet the Quinns, They have lemonade on the patio of their grand house and chat awkwardly about zodiac signs. I am distracted by the mother/daughter matching ladies-who-lunch outfits that make me want to pull my shoulders back for better posture. Mom asks Stef how long Callie has been with her and her partner. “Wife,” Callie interjects. “They’re married.” “That’s great,” says Mrs. Quinn. “We had a little marriage equality fund raiser here a couple of years ago.”

And Stef wins the comment of the episode not just in language but in delivery. She smiles sweetly and cocks her head and stutters, “Oh… that’s nice.” A few awkward beats pass when she adds what she assumes is an expected “…Thank you.”

They get around to talking about how Callie and Jude came to live with them. Callie shares that she was in juvie and that her caseworker thought that she would do better in a house with no male authority figures. Stef shuts down further questions by explaining that they were with an “unfit foster father.”

Sophia takes Callie upstairs to hang out, and Mrs. Quinn then asks why Stef and Lena haven’t adopted Callie yet. Stef says they’re waiting for her husband to sign the paperwork. Mrs. Quinn looks confused. I think she looks confused. Her uptight, upscale, emotionless face is difficult to read.

Upstairs, in what might be an entirely different area code, Callie is looking at all of Sophia’s horseback riding trophies. Sophia doesn’t ride competitively anymore. She rides her own horse, of course, but she has no time to show given all the academic pressure she’s under. Sophia envies here sister who makes time for fun. Callie tells her that she plays guitar and hangs out with her boyfriend whom she loves but hasn’t told yet. Something about betraying the boy she used to love. Ugh. Move on, Callie!!

Mr. Quinn is telling Stef his sad story of wealth and familial obligations while Mrs. Quinn in the kitchen, most likely popping some Xanax. His family assumed that anyone who was not wealthy was a gold digger and probably would have sued for custody had they found out that Colleen was pregnant. “They would have done that?” asks Stef with that same Wyatt naiveté. They would do a lot of things.

PHOTO CREDIT: NETFLIX

PHOTO CREDIT: NETFLIX

Leaving Colleen was the “single greatest regret” of his life and takes the lead in Why I’m a Chicken Shit. He tells Stef that if had any idea she was pregnant, he never would have left. Mrs. Quinn walks on to the deck at that very moment. There will be no beast poking or weed wacking tonight. Mrs. Quinn says Sophia has a lot of homework which is high society speak for “get the fuck outta my house!’ As they’re saying their good-byes, Mr. Quinn offers to set up a college fund for Callie. After all, “she is my daughter.”

Stef’s daughter Mariana has brought Hayley home so that she can get with Jesus. Mariana asks her why she got on the team. Hayley confesses that they gave her a spot on the dance team because her mom is soon to be principal, and they wanted to avoid any possible cuts. “So I’m an insurance policy? Great. I’m the Geico lizard of the dance team.” Well done, Mariana. Well done. Hayley tries to make her feel better. “Ok, but so what? Everyone uses whatever advantages they’ve got, right? And you’re so much better now. You could almost make the team anyway.” You have to give her points for honesty even if she is a complete cow.

Lena is licking her wounds after learning that she did not get the gig. Timothy walks into her office and says he’s sorry. He voted for her and only asked her about her pregnancy because it was on people’s minds. He commends her for handling it perfectly. While all the teachers fought for her, they went with corporate experience of education. And then Timothy hands her an envelope. We assume that his signed donor agreement is inside, and we know that he is not the villain than Stef thought.

When Jesus and Hayley come up for air, Hayley ask Jesus to keep their relationship on the down low. She doesn’t want to deal with gossip, and she doesn’t want her ex to find out. Jesus asks if she’s still into her ex. She says she’s not and asks if he’s over Emma. “Yeah. Of course!” But we are not convinced.

Ding dong.

Finally someone found the doorbell on this show. Mariana gets the door. It’s Emma! She’s looking for Jesus, but Mariana tells her he’s not home. Her mom isn’t going to be principal, so she needs Jesus to be HER insurance policy.

Stef is trying to lick Lena’s wounds, metaphorically of course, and then tells Lena about Quinn’s college fund offer. At first, Stef felt weird about it, and then it got her thinking about … what makes a family and wonders if it would be a bad thing to let Timothy be a part of the baby’s life – as a donor or a friend. “Everyone wants to know their history and are we really going to keep that a secret from our child? As long as he’s not asking to be a dad, isn’t a little more love and support a good thing?”

And then Brandon and Callie are talking, and Brandon asks if it’s ok if the band sings the song that he wrote for Callie. “Brandon, it’s not up to me. You wrote it.” But Brandon feels like he is betraying something, and Callie tells him to give the song to Lou. Next thing we know Callie is kissing Wyatt and she tells him she loves him, too!

What a tidy little episode this is turning out to be.

Oops, did I say that out loud? Well, I may be talking, but Jude isn’t. School called. Jude refuses to speak. Stef, Lena and Callie walk

PHOTO CREDIT: CHILD STARLETS

PHOTO CREDIT: CHILD STARLETS

into Jude’s room to talk to him, but Jude has become mute. All I can think about is that 1974 made-for-tv Disney movie “The Return of the Big Cat,” starring Beverly Housewife Kim Richards about a pioneer girl who was attacked by a cougar and becomes mute. I forget what happens, but I’m pretty sure she talked at the end of the movie. Does Hayden Byerly get paid less for appearing without words? Mike and Dani have been absent these past couple of episodes. I wonder if money is tight. Let’s see if they break open the piggy bank and let Jude talk next week.

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