As promised by last week’s promo, this week’s episode of The Fosters dealt with secrets and the consequences of those secrets coming to light. “Justify” began with the looming news about Stewart’s financial crisis, and just how bad things have become. Lena believes that her father with find a solution and prevent them from losing their home (always the idealist), Stef isn’t so sure (always the realist). It becomes apparent that Stewart cannot find an easy way out of this mess; three mortgages and four years of evading income taxes cannot be solved by another failed investment. Lena seems to lose some of her idealism by the end of the episode, as family members continue to fail her. The heartbreaking moment was seeing her father finally realize that he cannot fix the grave mistakes he has made, “all I ever wanted to do was take care of my family”. The episode ends with the moms showing the house to a realtor, the fate of the family left up in the air once again.
News of Nick resurfaces just in time to see how Mariana has been dealing with the pressure of their situation. Stef speaks at a hearing that will determine if Nick is ready to be released. Stef urges the judge not to release him, as he can still be a danger to himself and others. Louis Hunter’s performance was, once again, so multifaceted. His words so clearly showed composure and levelheadedness but there was something in his eyes and the weight he gave to his words that indicate that Nick has a long way to go in his healing. After Jesus confronts his sister about going to see Nick, she confesses that his messages have overwhelmed her. She doesn’t want to feel responsible for what happens to him, it is clear that Nick has not been able to let her go. It is because of this stress that Mariana acts out of character with the male students on her STEM team, not standing up for herself when they don’t respect her decisions and taking the blame for their mistakes. The final confrontation between Mariana and one of her teammates was amazing! After being called a bitch for not standing down from a decision, Marianna responds with one of the greatest lines I’ve ever heard, “bitches get things done”. The male teammates leave the team, it’s really disgusting that young women have to face so much opposition for participating in a “man’s world”. I’m glad The Fosters is addressing the issue with so much honesty.
I loved the focus this episode took on the relationship between Lena and Brandon. Always the one to support and understand the crazy decisions her kids make, Lena warns Brandon that Courtney should be pulling her weight and not be taking advantage of the generosity Brandon offers her. The scene between Lena and Brandon, when she confronts him about the SATs, was incredibly difficult to watch. The disappointment on Lena’s face was so evident, props to both actors for this emotionally driven moment. The heartbreaking part about this was that we very rarely see this side of Lena, the shattering of the hope she so visibly radiates. When Brandon easily “fixes” the wrongdoings he has committed, with hopes that his momma will forgive him, she is not the one bit stirred. “You’re character is much easier kept than recovered,” wise words momma bear, wise words.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Jesus join the STEM team. I was not surprised, however, to see Emma being so hard on him, she is clearly still heartbroken. I loved seeing them discuss their insecurities with each other. Jesus thought Emma didn’t think he was smart enough for her, and Emma was just guarding her heart with the no-strings attached relationship, she didn’t want him to break her heart twice. Will they give their relationship another chance?
Callie’s storyline this week revolved around being a detective once more. With Stef’s help, she finds out that the detective assigned to Kyle’s case might have been so desperate to close it, that he was willing to put an innocent kid in jail. Balancing her senior project with searching for answers to help Kyle, Callie becomes overwhelmed at seeing her past plastered in front of her. Aaron comes in at the right moment to console her. The fact that Aaron is transgender and the simplicity with which he related his story to Callie’s was so refreshing, I think it made the story that much stronger. Aaron tells Callie that locking up the pain of the past, instead of facing it, won’t do any good. I really do love the friendship that is forming between them. When it seems that they have reached a roadblock in Kyle’s case, Callie finds something that might help him. We’ll have to wait and see what happens next week.
Let’s end this recap on what was surely meant to be the lighter story, to balance the emotionally heavy episode we had. When talking to Taylor about his undefined relationship with Noah, Jude finds out that Noah likes to smoke weed. That was not what I was expecting, at all. Apparently Noah takes it for his anxiety but also just enjoys it, no one saw that coming from the preacher’s son. But I also love this refreshing take on Christianity: an openly gay son of a preacher, the preacher being his mom, his mom being totally cool with her son using marijuana. I definitely never thought I’d see that on a TV show. Moving on to the scene between Jude and Brandon in the hallway, that’s the best scene they’ve had since like season one. It was just such a brotherly thing for Brandon to ask about Jude’s new relationship and for Jude to ask his brother for advice on smoking pot; you almost forget that it’s only been a year since Jude became part of the Adams-Foster family. But by far, the funniest scene in the episode was when Jude unknowingly got high from Noah’s pot-infused candy. It was just really funny to hear all the crazy things they said, their laughter infectious.
“Justify” was definitely over-packed with drama and storylines but next week’s episode doesn’t seem to be slowing down; Jesus in the hospital, Mariana taking some kind of unwarranted medication, Jude telling Callie to stay out of his life. What is going on?! Let’s hope we get those answers next week!
The Fosters airs Mondays at 8/7c on FreeForm!