Our Favorite Lesbian Moms Are Back on “Good Trouble”

It’s Thanksgiving at the Coterie and everyone’s families — both chosen and actual — come together to celebrate the occasion. Malika invites her father and brother to join in the festivities. Though Sumi’s spending the holiday away from the Coterie, Alice invites her parents and brother to join her for Thanksgiving. Lyric celebrates her first holiday with her co-parents — Gael, Jazmin, and Spencer — and her grandparents. And the Mamas, Ka’maya, Callie, Jamie, and Jude join Mariana to give thanks and gratitude for everything they have. But, as is their wont, holidays at the Coterie never go quite as expected.

“I just wanted to be a nice, normal family for Thanksgiving,” Malika laments, as she helps prepare the dinner buffet.

Gael chuckles and confesses, “well, I hate to break it to you, but you are.”

“Yeah, every family fights on Thanksgiving,” Alice adds. “Family drama is the definition of Thanksgiving.”

Stef expresses nervousness to Lena about her social anxiety with so many new people around.

With 27 place settings on the table for dinner, Stef’s social anxiety is starting to kick in. As is her wont, Lena tries to calm her beloved wife but Jude seems to have the better idea: he shows up to the festivities completely stoned. Thanksgiving is, Jude notes, the perfect day to have the munchies which is sound logic to me. Surprisingly, it’s Lena not Stef who takes a weed gummy from her son to ease her anxiety…well, on second thought, maybe that isn’t all that surprising.

Later, Lena slides back in next to her wife, after having left her alone to engage in awkward small talk with the other Coterie parents. It only takes a second — and an offer of a marshmallow — for Stef to realize that her wife is also high. Lena insists that she needed an edible to cope with her social anxiety but Stef reminds her that she doesn’t have social anxiety. The timbre of Stef’s voice changes and Lena picks up on her agitation, asking if she’s really mad.

“I do not approve of you doing drugs with our kids,” Stef insists.

Lena mocks her in return — “okay, Officer Foster” — and I chuckle at my television while Stef storms off in search of another drink. I guess she really is mad.

Meanwhile, Callie’s keeping a secret: she and Jamie are engaged. I’ll reiterate here something I noted in Callie’s final episode as a series regular: am I thrilled that Callie — of all people — has ended up engaged to this Republican? No. Is it still better than all those years watching The Fosters where the audience was cheering a relationship between Callie and her brother? Lord, yes. Thank goodness for the lowest of low bars, I guess.

Callie shares the news of her engagement with a surprised Mariana in their former shared loft.

But, for the moment, Callie wants to keep their engagement a secret — much to Jamie’s consternation — because of everything that Mariana’s going through and she doesn’t want to monopolize the holiday. But Mariana senses that something is awry between her sister and Jamie and presses Callie for answers. Callie confesses that she’s engaged and assures Mariana that she’s the first to know. Mariana sees through her sister’s reluctance to share the news with everyone: it’s fear. If Callie tells people, then suddenly it all becomes very real. Callie insists that’s not the reason but it’s clear the lady doth protest too much. When Mariana calls her bluff by promising to share the news herself, Callie rushes to stop her and concedes the point. But before Callie can explain further, Mariana asks to see the ring…and Callie goes to dig it out of her suitcase only to find that it’s missing.

Mariana realizes that the best course of action is to ask the moms for help — “where was this smart thinking when you decided to infiltrate a cult, Mariana?” I think to myself — so she invites them into the loft and shares Callie’s good and bad news: the engagement and the lost ring. Callie admits that she’s been reluctant to share news of their engagement because, once she does, it becomes real…and when something becomes real, so to does the possibility that you might lose it.

Stef dispenses motherly advice to Callie as they sit on a couch in Mariana's loft. Lena looks on, intently...but high as a kite.

“When you were young, you had the rug pulled out from underneath of you so many times so, of course, you feel like you can’t trust that anything good can last but it can,” Stef advises before listing all the good things that have happened in Callie’s life. “I think that you can trust that this is another one of those good things.”

This entire time, Lena’s been standing there — still very, very high — only intermittently engaged with the conversation. She picks up a picture of the Adams Foster kids from Mariana’s vanity and gets emotional over the prospect of another one of her babies getting married. She sits down next to Stef and listens intently as Stef comforts their daughter.

“That’s very deep,” she says, while rubbing Stef’s back, “Good job, mom.”

And then Callie laughs and Mariana laughs and I laugh. Then Lena forgets that it’s Thanksgiving (“what is this day called?” she asks) and I laugh until I’m near tears. Gosh, I miss The Fosters so much. Can we have a reboot of that show but with Good Trouble‘s humor? I’d love that. Also? I would very much like some of whatever edible Jude’s handing out. That looks like fun.

Persuaded by her family, Callie invites Jamie in for a chat. He reads her tentativeness as reluctance and promises to slow things down. Callie assures Jamie that it’s not about that and just when she’s about to tell him about the missing ring, she spots it: superglued to one of Ka’maya’s dolls. She announces her engagement to her Coterie family over dinner and passes the doll around so everyone can get a good look at her ring.

As the party’s starting to wind down, Lena questions if Stef’s still mad that she got high with Jude. Stef confesses that she was never really mad, she just felt left out. She felt like the uncool mom. Lena, having seemingly come down from her high, admits that sometimes she feels left out when the kids go to Stef with all their real problems. She reminds Stef that kids go to different parents for different needs but what’s most important is that they have someone to go to for everything. They kiss and make up and promptly go see if Jude has anymore gummies.

Alice stands up at Thanksgiving dinner and welcomes their dysfunctional families to the Coterie.

Alice’s parents are upset with both Alice and her brother, David, when they arrive at the Coterie. Alice is understandably aghast — she hadn’t even done anything — but they blame her for inspiring her brother to leave his well-paying job at the bank for a career in acting. Immediately, Alice understands their frustration and chastises her brother for doing something so stupid. Later, David corners his sister about her lack of support for his new dream. She assures him that there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be an actor but notes that it’s always been her dream, not his. He’s talented, Alice acknowledges, but in other things and the shift to acting just feels impulsive. David admits that he doesn’t know whether acting is something he’ll be good at it but he wants to try…and he thought, if anyone would support him in exploring this new career, it’d be Alice.

Before dinner, as everyone expresses gratitude for their family members, David adds, “I’m grateful for my sister, Alice, for inspiring me to follow my dreams. She doesn’t know this but even though she’s my little sister, she’s always been the person I look up to most.”

It’s a touching moment and Alice turns to him, looking contrite but then he whispers “and scene!” to let her know he was just showing off his acting chops. Well played, David Kwan, well played. Later, Alice assures her brother that he always has her support and he assures her, he wasn’t entirely acting.

Malika's puzzled as she receives two trays of mac n' cheese from her dad and brother (who have their backs to the camera). Luca is in the background of the picture, working in the Coterie kitchen.

Malika’s dad and brother, the newly minted roommates, both show up with mac n’ cheese and she immediately senses the tension between them. Malika is determined to have a great holiday with her family so she touches base with each of them, individually, to figure out what the issue is. But when that doesn’t work, Malika sits them down and pushes them to address whatever is threatening to upset the special Thanksgiving that she planned. Dom admits that when his father moved in with him, he thought it’d be an opportunity for them to reconnect, to make-up for all the time that they’d missed. But, instead, his father’s been absent, again. His father acknowledges that he’s been spending a lot of time at his girlfriend’s place but he’s doing it so that he can stay out of Dom’s way. He offers to spend as much time with Dom as Dom can stand and the two share an embrace. Malika joins them and cheers that they can finally begin their perfect Thanksgiving.

Jazmin talks to Gael about having Baby Lyric baptized.

Before dinner, Gael’s parents gift Jazmin with the christening gown that both Gael and Jazmin wore, just in case they change their minds about baptizing Lyric. Jazmin’s surprised to hear her mother suggest that they wouldn’t baptize the baby but she’s just repeating what Gael told her. Later, Jazmin initiates a conversation with her brother about making this decision about Lyric without their input. Gael assumed (as I would have) that Jazmin and Spencer would agree with him. The co-parents spar over the decision but, eventually, Gael puts his foot down: asserting his rights as the biological father.

Later, Gael approaches his father for advice on how to handle disagreements when you’re co-parenting. For his father, disagreements with his wife usually meant an argument, a walk in the backyard to cool down and, ultimately, acquiescing to whatever his mother wanted. He admits that, maybe, that won’t work for Gael’s unique situation. But no manner the circumstances, his father tells him, Gael should strive for compromise and neither him, nor his sister or Spencer, can act as if they have a greater say than the other person. The advice gets through to Gael and he apologizes to the couple after dinner. He admits not realizing how difficult co-parenting would be and promises to look towards compromise in the future.

In that spirit, he suggests having a special blessing at the Coterie. They could invite all their friends and family and everyone could offer their own blessings for Lyric.

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Natalie

A black biracial, bisexual girl raised in the South, working hard to restore North Carolina's good name. Lover of sports, politics, good TV and Sonia Sotomayor. You can follow her latest rants on Twitter.

Natalie has written 400 articles for us.

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