Callie and Jude found a semi-permanent home, Brandon and Callie grew closer, and Jesus took the blame for Mariana selling drugs.
After last week’s stellar pilot, I was looking forward to this week’s episode to see if it would continue with the slow and steady, character driven, realistic story-telling we had last week. Is it possible that episode two was even better? The show masterfully built upon the characters we met last week, deepening their connections, and further complicating their family roots. I’m already counting down until next Tuesday.
Lena and Stef dealt with some very realistic marital struggles this week. They worried about bringing Callie and Jude into their home for a lengthy period of time, especially when they were already raising three teenagers and didn’t have enough space for two more kids. A meeting with Callie and Jude’s social worker tipped the scales. They learned Callie’s mother died when she was ten, her father wasn’t around, and she and Jude went into social work and experienced consistently devastating situations like the abuse they’d been given at their last foster home.
As if that wasn’t enough for them to deal with, the wives came to blows with Mike when they decided not to ground Brandon. Stef and Lena believed he was aware of the mistake he’d made and knew the amount of danger he’d put himself in, but Mike didn’t agree and thought he should be punished. The dynamic of co-parenting with an ex-wife, her spouse, and the ex-husband was fascinating to watch. It’s a natural argument that happens in a lot of families. How do you take a broken family, put it together with another one, and then still co-exist with one another? It also emphasized Lena’s role in Brandon’s life. She’s technically not his mother or father, but she feels as if she’s just as much a parent as Mike or Stef and struggled when Mike and Stef made her feel like she wasn’t. And as if that wasn’t difficult enough to watch, Brandon accused his father of never being around and only calling every couple of days for five minutes at a time to check in on him. Talk about a punch in Mike’s gut. It was the kind of fight that families have, especially ones requiring co-parenting and the Fosters situation is more unique than others.
Later, Brandon admitted that he didn’t mean what he said to his father. He was just caught up in the heat of the moment. Mike also admitted that he felt Brandon was right and he let Lena and Stef have a bigger role in his son’s life. He wants that to change, which will be interesting to watch become a factor. One of the best parts about the tense situation was how Stef, Mike, and Lena all made jokes in passing about the remarks made, just how people do when they’ve realized an argument got out of hand and went too far.
Meanwhile, Lena and Stef also had to deal with the situation over Jesus’ pills – which we learned were for his ADD. When rumors of pills being sold on campus were discovered by a teacher, Lena had the police search the school. Nothing was found… until Lena discovered a girl snorting pills in the bathroom. Mariana had sold pills to Kayla, who pinned the drug deal on Callie. When Mariana learned that Callie kept her secret, she was torn about whether or not to come clean, but Jesus took the blame for her. It’s yet again another realistic family dynamic. The twins have each other’s backs, even when one is in the wrong.
It wasn’t all drama for Jesus though. While he almost got in a fight at school, it was to defend the honor of Marina’s friend, Lexie, who rewarded him later with a kiss!
In the midst of dealing with all their school drama and lying to their parents, the kids were also faced with their parents telling them Callie and Jude would be staying. It wasn’t a permanent home, but it would be their last foster placement until a family was willing to take them both forever. Callie has to share a room with Mariana and Jude with Jesus, neither of whom were pleased that their space was being invaded.
Brandon was the least upset by the two staying, not surprising since he’s grown increasingly closer to Callie – despite Talya’s jealousy. Callie and Brandon’s connection deepened when she told him that her mother was teaching her to play guitar before she passed away. Later, Brandon gifted her with the first guitar he ever bought after saving up for it, making it quite the meaningful gift to pass on to someone new in his life. He even passed on sneaking out to see Talya in favor of playing music with Callie.
In what was one of the sweetest scenes in the episode, Callie and Brandon played music together. She was on the guitar, he was on the piano, and in a matter of minutes she became a part of his family composition piece. It was the perfect integration that brought the message of the show full circle. The Fosters is here to open our minds and remind us how many different ways we can define family. Callie and Brandon showed us a new way last night as did Jude in his conversation with Lena – another one of the sweetest scenes in the episode. Jude asked Lena if she and Stef were married, bringing the reality of same-sex couples not being able to marry straight to the surface. Lena said they weren’t legally, but they are in their hearts, and Jude said that was basically the same thing. And just like that the open-mindedness of a child brought into their unique household reminds us what family and marriage is.
In short, the Fosters continues to be everything it was in the pilot and more. What were your favorite moments from last night’s episode? What do you think about Brandon’s connection with Callie? Has this show changed how you define family? Or has it just you feel stronger about how you already define it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!