The Fosters Recap: Don’t Call Me Dude

by Shilo Adams 730 views0

the fosters

the fostersLena and Stef are having a party for their friends, but Jesus is desperate to go upstairs with Lexi and “play video games”. However, he’s not allowed to bring a girl upstairs without having either mom on the same floor, so he’s forced to stay downstairs and clean up the dirty plates the guests have left strewn about the house.

Some of those guests include Kelly and Jenna, a lesbian couple with a teenage son named Garret, an aspiring poet who intrigues Mariana and invites her to a poetry slam he’s competing in. The two have been together for 20 years and friends with Lena and Stef for nearly as long; while they seem to have the type of relationship that others can only dream of, the reality is that they’ve been talking about splitting up. Jenna gets Lena alone in the kitchen and mentions that she and Kelly haven’t been paying each other the proper attention for quite a while. Something (e.g. bills, Garret, work) always gets in the way of them taking care of each other the way they used to and after a while, they stopped caring that things had changed and that the romance had died down.

The last remnants of the party get cleaned up, thanks in part to Wyatt staying behind to do the dishes, and everyone begins winding down for the evening, though Brandon takes the opportunity to inform Callie that Wyatt broke up with Talya the day after convincing her to have sex with him, but Lena still haven’t stopped. Rather than relaxing with her partner and enjoying a successful evening, she’s doing the laundry and her mind is working overtime after hearing about Jenna and Kelly. She shocks Stef with what she heard and mentions that their friends hadn’t had sex in a year before asking her about their own dry spell. Though Stef mentions the same excuses that Jenna and Kelly used with one another, the two are eventually flipping through their phones, trying to find the best opportunity to do the “other stuff” that typically follows a date night; they settle on an upcoming day where Stef would take a late lunch and Lena would come home early from work. There wouldn’t be any children home and they’d have at least a little bit of time to themselves for once.

Also having time to themselves are Jesus and Lexi, who are at her parents’ house by themselves. The two make out until Brandon pulls away, suggesting that they take a break because he got too hot and bothered. However, Lexi tells him that they don’t have to stop and the two end up having sex. The following morning, Jude walks in on Mariana doing her nails and she offers to paint his, though Callie warns him about wearing it to school. When she makes it to school, Callie confronts Wyatt about the Talya situation and he explains the details that Brandon forgot; namely, Talya’s entire personality changed once she had sex with Wyatt and the controlling edge that she now had proved to be too much for the free spirited bad boy, so after nearly two weeks, he called it quits. After teasing her a bit, he invites Callie out for the next night, confident that Lena and Stef will say yes thanks to his performance at the party.

Jude and his new friend Connor are just out of their math class when they get separated and bullies Blake and Jeremy surround the smaller boy and taunt him for the blue nail polish on his hand. Before anything can happen, a teacher catches them and sends them to the office as Connor looks on. At lunch, Jesus finds Lexi and brings her something to eat, but she doesn’t exactly feel like eating right now. She’s worried about the possibility of being pregnant, since she didn’t use protection when she was with Jesus, and having to tell her ultra religious parents about what she did. They come up with the idea of getting a morning after pill, but it turns out that they can’t get one without an ID, so Jesus gets a random woman from the street to go into the pharmacy and purchase one. Unfortunately for him, she was in front of Stef in line, as the police officer was picking up some massage oil for her afternoon quickie with Lena, and Jesus ends up being found out rather easily.

Jesus and Stef arrive home and he admits to Lena that he had sex with Lexi, they didn’t use protection, and it was her idea to buy the pill. They send him to his room and begin talking about whether they should give Lexi the pill or not; Lena thinks that they should tell Lexi’s parents first, considering her role as the girl’s vice principal, while Stef wants to give her the pill, due to Lexi’s parents being unwilling to let her terminate and the adoption process being too much on two 15-year-olds. That evening, Mariana arrives home from seeing On the Road with Garret and while she didn’t care for it, calling the characters selfish, she invites him in to watch TV. However, television’s not his thing and he leaves, disappointing her and raising doubts about her chances of impressing him. However, she gets to share a laugh with Callie about the situation, so all is not lost.

Lena tries to talk to Jude about his rough day at school, only to be interrupted by Callie, who is irritated that he ended up wearing the nail polish to school rather than apologetic about what he had to deal with. Jude leaves to go take the makeup off and Callie tells Lena that while she appreciates the comforting, supportive home life that she and her brother have been provided, that’s not how the real world works. Not everyone will be okay with everything and she doesn’t want Jude to get his hopes up that everyone will accept him like Lena and Stef have. While she goes out with Wyatt on their date, a pristine beach house where they’ll watch an impending meteor shower, Lena helps Jude take off the nail polish and tells him about how she gets angry at the fact that she can’t hold Stef’s hand everywhere, that there are neighborhoods and situations where a public display of affections could threaten their safety. She’s angry about people making the world unsafe for her love to be shown and she’s angry at the fact that she won’t stand up to the hate; she then assures him that there’s nothing wrong with him wearing nail polish and having to hide what makes you different can cause shame to build up within yourself, so while he’s living there, he can express himself however he pleases.

The meteor watch is a bust, thanks to clouds and planes, but Callie and Wyatt do share a kiss – right as the real owners of the house arrive. Wyatt told Callie that the house belongs to his parents when in actuality it was a place he worked during the summer; he just thought that the owners wouldn’t be there that night. Afraid of her probation being revoked, Callie’s upset, even moreso when she realizes the police cars are blocking their access to Wyatt’s car, pinning them behind a dumpster near the house. She then calls Brandon to come pick them up, which he does before confronting her about her dating Wyatt in the first place. He doesn’t want Callie dating Wyatt, nor does he want her dating anyone – but him. She can’t do that, though, since she’s worried that Lena and Stef would be like a former foster home she and Jude stayed at and kick her out for having something going on with one of the biological children. One of her previous homes booted her and Jude out the following day after catching Callie with their son and the son pinning all the blame on her. Now that she’s found a sense of stability in Lena and Stef, she doesn’t want to mess that up, even if it means staying away from someone she has chemistry with.

While Jesus urges Stef to make a decision about the pill, considering that it’s the morning after pill and all, Mariana goes to the poetry slam and watches Savannah, the girl that Garret coached, do extremely well. She then gets up on the stage for her first ever appearance in a poetry slam, meaning to impress Garret but ultimately not making it through to the next round like he and Savannah did. The main flaw, per the judges, was that Mariana wasn’t as raw as she could have been with it, though they assure her that that rawness will come. The following day, Wyatt tries to apologize to Callie, who seems distant now that she knows Brandon likes her and wants to be with her. At lunch, Jude and his nail polished hands find a table to sit alone, only for Connor, also with nail polish on his hands as a sign of solidarity, to find him and plop down beside his friend. Jesus and Lexi take a walk on the beach where it’s revealed that Lena and Stef did give her the pill and that for the most part, she’s okay. However, she doesn’t want to have sex again for quite a while, something that Jesus pledges to be okay with before grabbing her hand. That afternoon, she goes to Lena’s office to apologize for disappointing her and mentions taking the pill, which, by Lena’s reaction, Stef gave without consulting her partner.

Lena arrives home upset at Stef going behind her back to give the pill. Stef rationalizes that had they waited any longer, Jesus could have been a father and that she made the decision in order to spare Lena the conflict of interest. There’s no time to argue, though, with the whole family going to Garret’s poetry slam and Mariana piercing her nose In order to get his attention. His entry into the contest is a story about taking a drive with his parents and thinking that they were going to tell him they were separating, only to find out that it was a triumphant moment that symbolized how far they had come as a family and all the places they were going to go in the future. For all the hearts the poem touched, it turns out to be a lie; Kelly and Jenna will be separating.

The Fosters arrive home and the kids bound into the house, leaving Lena and Stef in the car. They apologize for their wrongdoings and take the opportunity to spend a little time in the backseat of their vehicle, “catching up.”

Additional thoughts and observations:

-I really hope that they turn this Mariana plot into something about her own identity and goals as a person rather than making it about her and Garret, which their final exchange makes me think it’ll be about. To put it lightly, he’s about as unconvincing a (heterosexual) romantic lead as I’ve seen in quite a while.
-Was that the first time Jesus and Lexi had sex? They’ve been very touchy feely, but I don’t remember any talk, explicit or implied, that they were sexually active. I ask because if this was their first time either together or individually, having a pregnancy scare feels a little after school special-y (yes, I know, it only takes one time to get pregnant), even though the way it was concluded was good.
-To avoid rambling on and on until the point of no return, I’ll just say that the Jude storyline they had tonight was magnificently done: sensitive without being preachy, extremely touching in verbal (Lena’s monologue, Jude not wanting to take it off at the end) and nonverbal (Connor’s nail polish) ways, and encouraging that it’s something the show’s capable of doing five episodes in. Bravo. -Also wonderful to see: Lena and Stef’s sex life approached, especially in a way that didn’t shy away from any details (the robe, the oil) and introduced an issue (time management) that’s universal to all married/long-term couples. -Also also wonderful: Lena and Stef changing positions in an argument. Typically, Lena’s the more liberal parent and Stef is more conservative, but with the Jesus issue, they flipped and that was a nice surprise. It makes them seem like more complex, fully rounded characters rather than archetypes and keeps the show itself fresh, since you aren’t able to guess exactly who’ll say what when a situation pops up.
-So, now we know what happened with Liam, as I imagine that the boy who turned on her was him and her essay was about feeling guilty for starting anything with him. Judging by the preview for next week, we won’t have to wait long to find out if it is him and the complexities of their relationship and the events that sent Callie and Jude packing.
-I embedded a couple of spoken word poems that I enjoy. I hope you like them.
-Next week on The Fosters: Lexi’s parents are invited to dinner by Lena and Stef, while Callie attends a group therapy session and Mike shows up late for something important to Brandon.