Planning has been underway for Lena and Stef’s wedding ever since the shooting, even though nobody will seem to let the latter do any of the heavy lifting. While there’s talk of dirty silverware and photo boxes to be carried, Stef has been pushed to the sidelines, her only influence coming through the decision not to walk down the aisle, which she seems to be very silly, the sight of two women meeting at the end of the aisle. Not helping matters is the fact that Lena’s parents will both be there for the ceremony, with her father officiating the ceremony, and Frank still hasn’t responded to his invitation.
Adding to the stress that Callie’s already dealing with from Brandon and Talya being back together just as she was ready to declare her feelings is the looming pretrial hearing in her case against Liam (which will boil down to her word against his and, unfortunately, her record against his) and Wyatt’s announcement that he’ll be moving to Indiana to be with his mother. After she lost their house, she wanted them to move in with her parents until she got back on her feet, so he’ll be driving out with the car that coming Sunday, the day after Lena and Stef’s wedding. While Brandon tries to help Callie regarding the trial with Liam, urging her to get the justice for herself that she’s been denied for 2 years, nothing can soothe her mind about Wyatt’s sudden departure, which leaves her with no one outside the family to lean on.
As Lena expresses that Stef’s yet-to-heal wound makes her uncomfortable and serves as a constant reminder of what the family had just gotten through, Stef’s mom Sharon goes to see Frank in hopes of getting him to come to the wedding. She tells him that it’s going to be a lovely afternoon and that he should get over whatever line of thinking that’s possibly going to keep him from watching his only daughter get married. Meanwhile, Jesus and Lexi are getting hot and heavy when she asks to have sex again, going against the agreement the two made earlier this season about waiting until later to try again, so to speak. Jesus is in disbelief at hearing this come from her and she gets annoyed quickly, as she wants to have sex in order to feel close to him, before leaving.
Callie’s lawyer comes over to the house and goes over the likely outcomes of the hearing. In a nutshell, it’s not good for Callie; considering her record, she would have a nearly impossible time trying to convince the jury that the sex was nonconsensual. However, if she says that it was consensual, she could get him on a technicality, due to him being over 18 when they were together, and possibly earn him a year or so in prison. (Talk of Liam going completely unpunished unnerves her, as she snaps at Brandon when he tries to comfort her after hearing what the lawyer said.) While unloading tables for the wedding reception, Mike tells Stef that the department is trying to leave him out to dry now that Ana has filed a statement saying that her boyfriend had dropped the gun and put his hands up before being shot by the officer. Stef confesses to lying in her own statement with Internal Affairs in a bid to not contradict a lie that Mike may have used; she said that she didn’t know whether or not the boyfriend had dropped the gun when she actually does remember. While he may have dropped it on the floor, his hands were not up, so she tells Mike that he did the right thing and that she would go change her statement the following day. He forbids it, though, because it would almost certainly cost her the job whereas there’s only a chance of him losing his, citing the fact that she has several mouths to worry about.
Lena’s parents Dana and Stewart arrive in town, adding to the headache that Lena and Stef already have from the wedding planning and the recent events. But it’s Sharon who causes the biggest problems when she buys Stef a dress even after knowing she was planning to wear pants during the ceremony and forces her way into taking care of the floral arrangements and decorations. Lena and Stef give both Dana and Sharon control over the decorations, thinking that it would get them out of their hair, only to find out that the two women have very different opinions over what their daughters should do. They try to separate Dana and Sharon in order to talk sense into them, but Dana gets very defensive and claims that Lena is ungrateful for her contributions, while Sharon calls Stef stubborn and storms out of the room with the dress. Making things worse for Stef is the fact that she made one too many cracks about how “dumb” the wedding is, in addition to special requests like no vows and no walking down the aisle, and Lena finally spoke up, telling her that she doesn’t have to marry her if she doesn’t want to.
Callie has trouble going to sleep the night before her hearing, even with the encouraging words from Mariana about how lying can get out of control quickly and how she wants Callie to put Liam away. The day of the hearing, she gets on the stand and her lawyer asks her about whether the sex was consensual or not, leading to Callie telling the court that she knows what she’s supposed to say but that the only thing she has going for her right now is the truth. She affirms that the sex wasn’t consensual and looks Liam in the eyes to tell him that she knows what he did to her and he knows what he did to her. Unfortunately, the ruling doesn’t go in her favor, frustrating Lena, who feels bad that such a good kid can be reduced to a few lines and a couple of mistakes.
Stef goes to talk to Frank about his absence from the wedding and the tongue lashing he received from Sharon. However, instead of letting her father off the hook or telling him that he doesn’t have to come, Stef lets him know that she doesn’t want him to come, not if he’s not 100% behind her marriage to Lena. Her own embarrassment about the wedding stems from an inner voice that she recognizes as her father’s, likely born out of years of ignorance and hurtful statements about who Stef is. But she claims to be done listening to that voice and letting it interfere in her relationship. Once she gets home, she apologizes to her mother for the way she’s been acting and tells Lena that she would of course want to marry her. Things are so good for Stef and Lena that they talk to the twins and Brandon about adopting Callie and Jude before telling the two in a sit-down family meeting. They obviously say yes.
At the wedding, Jesus and Lexi talk about her impending trip to Honduras to see her sick grandmother, who has taken a turn for the worse. Although Jesus promises to never forget about her and to wait for her return once the old woman is better, Lexi’s parents acknowledge amongst themselves that there’s not going to be a return trip, that they’re taking Lexi out of the country for good. Meanwhile, Callie takes Brandon aside to thank him for believing in her; she claims to know what she deserves now and the two passionately kiss, to the point where they don’t hear Jude coming with the trash. Brandon gets taken away by Talya, who didn’t see the kiss, while Callie chases after Jude, who ran out of the yard when he saw his sister potentially ruining their chances at staying with Lena and Stef. When she finds him, he lays into her about how selfish she is for doing what she did and how she’s not just ruining something for herself, she’s ruining a good situation for him, too.
Back at the house, Lena finds out that Stef will be returning to work the following week and takes her soon-to-be wife into the bathroom where she unbuttons the jacket to reveal the bullet wound. She then puts her fingers on it and tells Stef that she’s making her peace with it – not just the wound itself, but the fact that she’s in a committed relationship with a police officer. The wedding itself finds Dana doing a reading and Sharon offering a quote about marriage before the ceremony begins; officiated by Stewart, Lena and Stef exchange vows, rings, and a very loving kiss before their friends and family, with Jude acting as ring bearer. By the time the reception hits, Stef comes to terms with the fact that Frank never showed up, while Callie tells Jude that she won’t be selfish anymore and Mariana dedicates a song to her mothers, which the whole family gets on the “dance floor” and dances to.
That night, Callie packs a bag and gets one final look at what could have been her forever home before leaving down the road to see Wyatt. She asks to come along for the ride to Indiana and he tells her to go home to Lena and Stef. However, he follows her as she begins walking to the bus depot and allows her to come along with him to Indiana.
Additional thoughts and observations:
-So, that was lovely and incredibly touching. I think I counted the number of times I was choked up at five: when Lena and Stef offer to adopt Callie and Jude; the wedding vows; the shot of Lena and Stef in bed with their hands showing the rings; the wedding dance to “Same Love”; and Lena’s actions in the bathroom before the ceremony. Also, on a random note, not that there’s a competition or anything, but I find The Fosters to be a much, much better(/more authentic/less manipulative) family drama than Parenthood. And it makes me cry a whole lot more.
-Annie Potts! Y’all, television could use a whole lot more Annie Potts. Get on that, television industry.
-As I like Wyatt (and understand what makes Callie tick), I don’t mind the whole runaway-to-Indiana plot. It keeps a nice character in the mix and shows that while Callie has made progress throughout this season, her self-sabotaging tendencies, emotional walls, and extremely reactive personality are all still very much present.
-Do you think this will be the last we see of Lexi? I mean, I like the character, but having her escape from Honduras to come have sex with Jesus might be a little much. As much as I dislike her parents as people, I think they serve as an interesting commentary on society’s disdain for sexuality vs. its apathy/acceptance of violence. Because reacting to your daughter losing her virginity and having a pregnancy scare by taking her to one of the most dangerous countries in the world is just ludicrous.
-I adored how they handled Stef and her father. Although I understood why Stef was the more conservative of the two and the one least embracing of her sexuality, it was nice to see that she got why she was the way she was, too, and took action to stop it, if only to help her relationship with Lena. That internalized self-hatred, which tends to come from religious leaders or parents/authority figures, is one of the main reasons people have such a hard time coming out of the closet and it can take some many years to come to grips with it and figure out what to do about it. It’s also why I’m such a fan of the show, because it’s showing that it’s okay to be who you are and that even though you might think you’re alone, there are people out there just like you.
-On a similar note, is this the first time we’ve seen a lesbian couple on a basic cable show in bed together without their shirts on? I mean, there have been lesbian sex scenes on the likes of HBO, FX, and Showtime, but to have even the implication of something like this on ABC Family was surprising, in the best way possible.
-Thank you guys for keeping up with my Fosters coverage, which was more successful than I expected when I began covering the show. In case you hadn’t heard, the show was given additional episodes that will premiere in January, so please do join me again for talk of Callie’s emotional issues, Jesus and Lexi’s relationship, and Jude’s overwhelming greatness.