Okay Wow Let’s Process “The Fosters” Right Now

Anyone else walk out of the last 10 seconds of the mid-season finale of The Fosters last night? Just me? I literally screamed, “No! No! No!” at the TV and stormed out to the kitchen and then I came back in and wailed, “Whhhhhhyyyyyyyy?!” because this was apparently the worst thing that happened to me all day. But we’ll get to that later…

If you have been watching Season 2 of The Fosters, you know what an emotional roller coaster it has been. If you haven’t been watching, here’s the Top 6 Things You Might Have Missed This Season:

1) Stef Looks Really Hot in a Toolbelt and Makes Some Sort of Butch Home Video, Presumably For Lena To Watch While Alone In Her Tent On Her Camping Trip

Let’s just get this out of the way — because this moment out-lesbianed all the lesbian moments on this lesbian show. While Lena is on a school camping trip (with Jude and other students), Stef decides it’s time to fix the sink. For some reason, she dons a toolbelt for this occasion, which I don’t think is a thing people actually do when fixing faucets in their own home. Do they? I feel like no one does this. Anyway, I guess she is really into making this hot video for her wife. Maybe it’s, like, a role-playing thing? Of course, she botches the plumbing job. Actual video script: “How hot is your mama? In her hot tool belt… using power tools… fixing things? Look at that pipe! Oh, crap!” Rewind. Watch again. Rewind. Watch again.

via The Fosters

Just cleaning out the pipes… 

2) Lena Has a Medically Necessary Abortion Which Is Really Sad But Actually Handled With Authenticity and Respect

Lena and Stef face a very personal and difficult decision when Lena’s doctor tells Lena she has a life-threatening case of preeclampsia. Lena is 20 weeks pregnant with her first pregnancy, which she wants so much that I could feel her feelings through the TV screen. I was over the moon about this episode, even though it was super super sad. Why? The Fosters team treated Lena’s decision with the honesty and sensitivity it deserves, showing that abortion is a truly personal decision that people make for many reasons. They didn’t sensationalize it, nor did they gloss over the feelings that Stef and Lena and their kids went through as they both supported Lena and grieved the pregnancy loss. Honest portrayals of abortion decisions are really important as anti-abortion conservatives introduce hundreds of restrictions and bans on abortion across the county.

Because abortion is an LGBTQ issue, too (via The Fosters)

Because abortion is an LGBTQ issue, too. 

3) Sexual Assault is Treated Like Sexual Assault

Another happy-sad favorite moment that totally won me over as a fan of this show is when Brandon opens up to Lena about his guilt over “having sex” with Mike’s girlfriend, Dani, and his fear that telling will get everyone in trouble. Lena and Stef call this what it is — statutory rape. Mike is not so sure because he’s the worst ever. He and Stef have a heated argument where he mansplains like a douche and she totally schools him. In the end, not only is it validated that Dani “having sex” with a very-drunk Brandon is, in fact, statutory rape, but Dani is arrested. Bonus points for not only naming statutory rape for what it is, but for portraying a situation where a woman is the perpetrator and a boy is the survivor, a situation that is rarely talked about and, I’m sure, resonates with many male survivors of sexual assault. After watching Glee and Pretty Little Liars parade around sexual relationships between minors and adults like it is totally OK, this was such a glorious affirmation that a TV show can get it right sometimes.

In the same episode, Callie begins taking the next step sexually with Wyatt and suddenly has a panic attack and has to stop. She comes to realize her panic attack was caused by being sexually assaulted by her former foster brother. When she finally tells Wyatt about this in a later episode, he is so totally cool with taking it slow. Go Wyallie! Then he goes off and punches the dude who raped Callie, which is less cool, and she lets him know that it’s not OK and I guess they are kind of on a break or something?

Brandon tells Lena what happened and she believes him and takes steps to protect him. Well done, Fosters, well done. (via The Fosters)

Brandon tells Lena what happened and she believes him and takes steps to protect him. Well done, Fosters, well done. 

4) Mariana and Jesus Make Consistently Bad Choices and Give Us Feelings About Race and Adoption

Mariana joins the cheerleading team and has lots of feelings about race, passing privilege, hanging with the cool girls and whatnots. She has some friend drama. She dyes her hair blond. She questions mean girl stuff. She does some mean girl stuff. She goes to a Mexican street festival with a date where she has all sorts of confusing feelings about her cultural heritage and her blond hair and her complicated relationship with her bio mom.

Meanwhile, Jesus, on the cusp of his latest breakup, has sex with some random girl in the garage of his house at a party. This girl, of course, ends up being a friend of Mariana’s on the cheerleading team because Jesus can only sleep with Mariana’s friends. He is kind of a dick for a while, leading her on for the sexy times, then goes from zero-to-sixty and becomes attached at the hip to her and gets her name tattooed on his side. Really, Jesus, get it together.

Mariana and Jesus’ bio mom, Ana, wants to see them to make amends — Ana is in AA — which eventually happens and is both heartbreaking and cathartic. (Sidenote: Mike is apparently living with Ana now because he is an adult child that also consistently makes poor life choices.) After the visit with Ana, Lena finds Mariana crying in her bedroom. In one of the best scenes of the season finale, Mariana asks Lena why she wanted to have a biological kid and wishes that she could share DNA with Lena instead of Ana. Lena assures her that DNA doesn’t make a family and we all cry together a little.

via The Fosters

Churros — hot and delicious.

5) Connor and Jude Take Their Friendship to New Levels of Awesome and Horrible

Jude is, like, this close to coming out. As you know, Jude has a major straight boy crush on Connor. However, Connor is interested in girls. That doesn’t stop him from being a really good friend to Jude and he just almost maybe kisses Jude on the lips during a game of spin the bottle at the Fosters’ house. (Way to walk in at the wrong time, Callie.) In fact, Connor and Jude are kind of becoming BFFs. Unfortunately, Connor’s dad is a total homophobic jerkface and, because he thinks Jude is gay, makes a rule that Connor can’t stay over at Jude’s house. Connor’s dad is also clearly emotionally and physically abusive. Connor comes to school with a black eye and Jude tells Lena, who calls Connor’s father in. They proceed to get into a shouting match about Connor and Jude, which results in Lena accusing Connor’s dad of being a bully and quitting her job when the school won’t take action against Connor’s dad. Probably should have checked with your wife on that one, Lena, since you have five kids and a house and seem to live paycheck-to-paycheck, but whatever, you do you.

Meanwhile, Jude admits in the mid-season finale that he and Connor “did something” in their shared tent during the camping trip. Yeah, we need the deets on that. Did they pick up where that spin the bottle game left off? We’ll have to wait until January 2015 to find out.

Go forth, Ship Jonner. (via justthefosters

Go forth, Ship Jonner. (via justthefosters)

6) Callie Finds Her Rich Biological Father and Half-Sister and Then Everything is Nice and Then Everything is the Worst

Callie finds out her biological father is not who she thought it was. She needs this newly identified bio dad to sign away his parental rights in order to be adopted by the Fosters. He had no idea that she existed, either. She meets her bio dad, Robert, his wife, and her half-sister, Sophia. They are super rich, like really really really rich. Callie’s bio dad and sister all kind of fall in love with her, especially Sophia, who is a selfish and spoiled little rich girl that really wants Callie to be her best friend. (Great casting — Bailee Madison looks like Maia Mitchell in a way that is almost eerie.) Robert offers to put aside a college fund for Callie and obviously wishes he’d known about her and raised her himself. Jude is scared about losing Callie to her bio dad and sister, so Callie introduces him to them. Callie and Jude join the bio fam for a fancy boat trip on their fancy boat and it’s kind of awkward.

Robert finally agrees to sign the papers and does so… OR DOES HE?! He does. But Sophia intercepts them and rips them up because she is a little brat. Then, at the very last second, Robert decides that he can’t sign the papers again because he loves Callie SO MUCH. So much that he can’t do this one thing for her even though it is what she wants and she is, like, pretty old for a kid, so what, is he just going to buy her a pony and try to make up for all those years they didn’t know each other and if he does love her so much why would he want her to be miserable? I don’t know. We’re well into Season 2 and Callie is back at square one with the adoption thing, so that’s fun.

I'm 13, but I dress like I'm a 63 year old Senator's wife. Don't you like my jacket? Don't you want one just like it? TAKE MY JACKET, CALLIE!!!. (via The Fosters)

I’m 13, but I dress like I’m a 63 year old Senator’s wife. Don’t you like my jacket? Don’t you want one just like it? TAKE MY JACKET, CALLIE!!!

Callie’s world is crumbling down at the end of the mid-season finale. She runs out of Robert’s house at the end of their fight about the papers and runs into Brandon (whose band is playing at the fundraiser that Robert and his wife are hosting for Girls United because their house burned down because Becca stole Dev’s drugs and accidentally set a fire in the basement, which is a surprise because Dev thought Callie stole the drugs and no one has a place to live except maybe Cole because he got into the LGBT house and oh yeah, Brandon plays in an angsty teen band now and — uh, you know, there’s a lot of other stuff that happened, but I can’t recap a whole season in one post, so you’re just going to have to trust me here).

Anyway, Callie is all like, “Maybe this is the way it’s supposed to be. Maybe this is the way it was always supposed to be. I gave up so much to be adopted,” and well, you know where this is going…

No. Nope. No. Seriously? (via jacobsfoster.tumblr.com)

No. Nope. No. Seriously? (via jacobsfoster.tumblr.com)

Is this the Season 1 finale? Because it sure feels like it. Excuse me while I swallow this barf in my mouth.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


KaeLyn is a 40-year-old hard femme bisexual dino mom. You can typically find her binge-watching TV, standing somewhere with a mic or a sign in her hand, over-caffeinating herself, or just generally doing too many things at once. She lives in Upstate NY with her spouse, a baby T. rex, a scaredy cat, an elderly betta fish, and two rascally rabbits. You can buy her debut book, Girls Resist! A Guide to Activism, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution if you want to, if you feel like it, if that's a thing that interests you or whatever.

KaeLyn has written 230 articles for us.


  1. If anyone actually managed to watch that last scene without shouting, “NO NO NO,” I will be impressed.

    • I actually walked out of the room. Not that anyone saw it other than my cat and my partner, but I felt really strong about it, OK? I can’t go back to Brallie. I just can’t.

    • My actual words were (I tweeted it actually), “No. No! We do not kiss our brothers! Is V.C. Andrews on the writing staff of this show??”

  2. ok wow, haven’t read this yet but thank G——-DDDDDDDDD for this. I have been having so many feels all season all by myself. ok. gonna read it now

    • Me, tooooooooooooo! It’s time to bring the Fosters recaps back. Starting in January. It’s happening. Let’s process our emotions together and hold each other because Brallie is happening again.

    • 1. I am so disappointed. We were ALL ROOTING FOR YOU ABC FAMILY. I can’t believe they keep bringing back this Callie/Brandon shit.

      2. I just remember being washed over in relief when Brandon finally told someone and hating Mike for questioning it and I’m just really glad Dani is gone?

      3. Ugh the Ana story line made me weep because like angry Mariana and Jesus trying to protect everyone and make everyone feel better and just ughhhh so so so many feels.

      4. Little brat Sophia I wanted to rip her face off BUT ALSO she closed herself into a bathroom at the end of the episode? Is she gonna hurt herself? Can’t we have less than 12 Really Tough Issues every episode???

      5. I just want Callie to be happy and single but like she’s a 17 year old girl and I don’t know any 17 year old who is both happy and single so I don’t know, maybe this show is more realistic than I say it is.

      6. I was super into how many moments of Stef and Lena being Sexual Beings there were this season. Last season was very, “we are MOMS who happen to be lesbians but we do NOT have sex. Because we are MOMS”

      bless this post. bless this site. curse this damn show though.

      • Yeah as much as Sophia sucks I was worried about what was going on at the end of the episode. In some other episodes she said somethings that sounded like she was depressed.

      • OMG I didn’t mention the bathroom thing with Sophia because I don’t even know what is going on there. Are they implying what I think they are implying? Because I’m not OK with that.

  3. Why is the break in the middle of the season so long??? I really want to know the details on the conner/jude situartion.

    • Yeah, like, did they make vision boards? Did they play backgammon? Did they spoon? WHAT HAPPENED IN THAT TENT?!

      • I think they smoked a cigarette or something like that.
        Lena was probably busy watching that Stef with the tool belt video. I don’t blame her, to be honest

  4. I loved this half season so much – it repaired all of the awful mistakes it made in season one. And then it undid everything in TEN SECONDS. Why, The Fosters, why?!

  5. Not a Sophia fan at all, or really of the actress who plays her (Once Upon a Time), though it could just be that she gets cast in obnoxious child roles

    Also I don’t understand why the writers want to make Brandon and Callie a thing. Who would be rooting for that??

  6. Is it January yet? I hate how they unload this much stuff and we have twice the wait of most shows.

    • Yeah, “mid-season finale.” What is that?! Why is that a thing now?!

      I didn’t even get into the cliffhanger with Sophia locking herself in the bathroom.

  7. How did I know that those ten seconds were related to Callie and Brandon? SIGH.

    I still need to watch this show, don’t I…?

    • I’m loving the Lena/Stef relationship stuff and I was so happy about their handling of abortion and sexual assault issues in this season, so a round of applause for that.

      But yeah, I can’t handle another merry-go-round of Brandon and Callie. Gaaawwwwd.

  8. The reason Brallie bothers me so much is that homophobes’ favorite argument is “If we allow same-sex marriage and same-sex parenting, next thing you know we’re going to be allowing incest.” So, for as progressive as this show is trying to be, I feel like taking a boy raised by two moms and writing his main romantic arc with his foster sister is among the least helpful things they could possibly do.

  9. Fb is full of teenyboppers cheering for Braille. How can we make them understand?! WHY are the writers enjoying the Braille ship SO much?! Ughhhhhh- No+NO!

    • Other than that, hooray Fosters! Lena & Steph are my fav tv couple (other than my unfulfilled dream of Swan Queen on OUAT, of course). ♥

  10. That ending infuriated me. We came so close, Fosters! I was rooting for you! We were all rooting for you!!!!

  11. There’s suppose be a christmas themed episode in December but I don’t know if it’s going to pick up right where the finale left out, which would be confusing because it’s not December in the shows timeline or if they’ll skip ahead and then back track come January

    • Oh yeah! I heard that. I think PLL and a couple other series are getting a holiday episode, too.

      It might be kind of like the Girls United webisodes, in that it is a companion to the series, but doesn’t move the main plot forward?

  12. This puts Callie in the worst situation, because if they’re discovered she won’t be allowed to live with the Fosters, but living with her shiny new bio dad will be incredibly complicated given that they heavily insinuated that Sophie is about to either attempt suicide or do some major self-injuring.

  13. i feel like probably the jude/connor thing will be that they became blood brothers or tried out tequila coolers. they want us to want it to be that they got together, but i don’t think it will be that. if it is that, that will be awesome, because connor is kind of the best.

    i think the younger sister has some kind of mental health issues and there’s going to a whole storyline where callie is made to feel responsible for taking care of her and cal lie’s presence was supposed to ‘fix’ things

    jesus is acting so ridiculous that he’s utterly credible. i love the constant swinging from one pole to the other with the women. i love the completely absurd (!) girlfriend-pleasing tattoo. i love mariana’s SCORN towards him. i love his insecure swaggering machismo. clearly in the next season he’s going to meet somebody he actually cares about and get his heart thrashed. i think that’s where that’s goin

    i don’t agree with you about the abortion — i was very shocked by that storyline and didn’t think enough airtime was given to something so extreme, esp the physical recovery needed for that. the camping trip afterwards is unrealistic and the Zen Monk Skype convos from camping were downright creepy. Hello From Forest Grief I Have A Platitude For You OH GOD. her floating disembodied head saying that crap was like a vintage episode of Star Trek in an episode where they teleconference with a planet populated by life coaches

    steph’s video was indeed hilarious

    the brandon/callie thing is just bizarre. when brandon went on that half-a-pot-brownie-after-school-special trek through a public park all i could think was, “you are such a lightweight and also you are not in a desert because THERE IS A PICNIC TABLE BEHIND YOU”

    these are all my feelings

    • OMG thanks for all your feelings! They are all valid feels.

      I agree the Connor/Jude thing is totally going to be something non-romantic. They are hyping it up, but Connor has never really showed that kind of interest in Jude, even though he seems to be fine with Jude possibly being gay. I still ship them, because how cute would that be?! Awful for Connor, though. His dad…yikes.

      I’m looking forward to Lena and Stef finding out about Jesus’ tattoo. That’s gotta’ be coming soon. I’m also looking forward to more sexy exchanges between Lena and Stef. I wouldn’t turn down more Stef home improvement vids, personally.

      I like that they showed that she was having some emotions processing her abortion. I think it’s pretty normal to have complicated feelings about it, which is what I read into the awkward Facetime thing where Lena was kind of sad and out of it. I’ll agree that going on a camping trip right after an abortion probably isn’t the best move, though for a 20-week abortion procedure, it’s unlikely that she’d have more than a 2 week total recovery time and would be able to go about life fairly normally even immediately after. I think I’m also just glad to see a couple talk about an abortion decision on TV. It’s so rare that it’s ever talked about and, when it is, rarely without bringing politics into it.

      I can’t do Brandon and Callie again. I really can’t. Especially now with the complication that Sophia is probably going to harm herself and Callie will be stuck with two equally bad options–living with Sophia and probably feeling guilty for her mental health issues or living with the Fosters and trying to establish (again) a platonic relationship with Brandon. Maybe she should just become an emancipated minor. Jeesh.

Comments are closed.