“The Fosters” Episode 112 Recap: Callie Takes An R Family Vacation

This episode opens with Callie walking behind bars in a scene reminiscent of the first scene of the first episode. Callie is wearing a blue jumpsuit and looking very Blue Is The New Black. She meets with her new probation officer who asks her who, what, when, where, and finally why? She tells him that she can’t go back to the Fosters but doesn’t tell him that she can’t go back because she kissed a moody toad and now worries about the repercussions. She just says she wants the Fosters to adopt her brother. She says, “So, just tell them…” and Ed the Probation Officer says, “To give up on you?” and there is the theme for this episode.

Next, we see the rest of the Foster family in the Great Lesbian Kitchen eating in silence. Stef announces that she’s going back to work and Mariana asks, “Are you scared?” and Stef says, “No. Are you?” and Mariana says, “A little.” They start talking about jobs that are more dangerous than being a cop, like logging and crab fisherman. Is crab fisherman really a thing? That’s a very cumbersome name for a profession. I vote it be changed to “crabber.” All in favor say “Aye!” Jude breaks into the conversation to say what no one is saying but everyone is thinking, “What’s going to happen to Callie?” They mention that Callie has court and we learn that Callie doesn’t want them there and Brandon has all sorts of misplaced outrage and then someone says “Unless you don’t want her.” Then, Mariana says, “Of course we want her!” Can we take a moment and appreciate how far Mariana has come? She was one of the most self-absorbed and selfish characters on this show and now look at her! I could have never predicted that Mariana would become my favorite but she is. All the jelly bellies for Mariana.

Stef says she isn’t sure that Callie wants them. Brandon blurts out, “She ran away because I kissed her!” Stef turns and gives him a stare that would put Godzilla in his place.

Lasers? Daggers? Ice? Stef's angry glare is not messing around.

Lasers? Daggers? Ice? Stef’s angry glare is not messing around.

Digression 1: I wanted to make a reference to laser eyes but it turns out that Godzilla did not, in fact, shoot lasers from his eyes. Further research on the Godzilla monsters showed that Mechagodzilla, Battra, and M.O.G.U.E.R.A were the only monsters able to shoot lasers from their eyes. Godzilla’s powers were atomic blasts and regeneration. I am a serious writer.

Stef, Lena and Brandon take it outside and Stef is not happy. She asks a bunch of questions in a RAWR voice and Lena tries to remain calm and asks Brandon if Callie left because she didn’t feel safe and he said she left because Jude saw them kiss and Callie didn’t want it to jeopardize the adoption. Brandon says he is sorry and I don’t think he means it and Stef says, “Sorry doesn’t hack it!” No, it really doesn’t but Stef’s hair is really cute all messy and Lena’s hair is perfect and they are cute. Sorry – lost focus for a second.

Brandon goes to his room where Jesus and Mariana are waiting with crossed arms and unfriendly faces. Mariana says, “Are you so horny you can’t keep your hands off our foster-sister?” Brandon is annoyed and says Callie kissed him too and Mariana compares him to Liam and Brandon says, “Screw you!” and Mariana says, “I’m surprised you haven’t tried!” I say, “Damn Mariana!” and Jesus says, “Gross.” Brandon tells Mariana he wouldn’t expect her to understand because she’s never had a boyfriend thus introducing  the second theme for tonight’s episode. Mariana stomps out and Brandon appeals to Jesus and the bro code and Jesus is all “Nope.”

Meanwhile, Stef and Lena are trying to figure out where they went wrong and why their children are lying, sneaking thieves!

Digression 2: My partner asked our son to change the pillow case on his bed and he said, “Okay but what do I do with all the candy wrappers?” Kids are all lying, sneaking thieves and sometimes their breath smells like chocolate.

Jude joins Stef and Lena and they tell him they love him and that they are not going to give up on us, even if the skies get rough.

Callie walks into the courtroom and looks around but there is a serious lack of Adams Fosters in the house. Callie stands to face the judge and her probation officer says her foster mothers would like to speak on her behalf and Callie is surprised and we are surprised because they were standing right behind Ed the whole time! Curse you and your big noggin, Ed! Stef gives an impassioned plea for Callie to receive a second chance and there are teary eyes all around and then Stef says, “We are not prepared to bring her back into our home at this time.”

Sad eyes, angry eyes, it's quite the day for emotional facial expressions.

Sad eyes, angry eyes, it’s quite the day for emotional facial expressions.

At the school for surfer babies, Mariana sits at a table alone and takes her fancy plastic lunch container out of dumb paper bag. Why doesn’t she have a reusable lunch bag? What kind of family are these lesbians running?

Digression 3: I recently discovered that you can put a 1/2 cup of popcorn in a regular ol’ paper bag and put it in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes and make microwave popcorn that is easy and doesn’t taste like chemicals. So, I do have paper bags in my house but only for popcorn purposes. My kids have reusable lunch boxes like the Earth Goddess would want.

A traditionally attractive young man approaches her table and she bats her eyes and he introduces himself and I had to rewatch the scene four times because I wasn’t sure if his name was Chase or Jase. It’s Chase. He invites Mariana to a meeting for the theater crew and I invite her to consider the real possibility that this will not end in the way she wishes.

Brandon and Talya are reading lines from The Glass Menagerie and Brandon is having trouble concentrating because he needs more fiber in his diet. There is no other explanation for his facial expressions lately. Broody Brandon tells Talya they have to break up and Talya asks if it’s because of Callie and he says it is. Talya tears up and is not a bitch about the whole thing and tells him that he’s going to get hurt. Talya has grown almost as much as Mariana.

Hooray for character growth. Not hooray for Brandon.

Hooray for character growth. Not hooray for Brandon.

We then head to the theater department and we know that it’s the theater because of all the mirrors surrounded by big, round lightbulbs. A cute dorky guy in a boldly patterned shirt greets Mariana but she only has eyes for Chase Jase. Chase Jase uses totes a lot but not in the way that is funny but that doesn’t stop Mariana from volunteering to do costumes. Then, Kelsey volunteers to help. Remember Kelsey? The girl with the Skittle addiction who went to rehab? It is clear that she has not gone to the same finishing school as Mariana and Talya because she is still awful. 

Brandon arrives home and Mike is working on a car in the Adams Fosters’ driveway. Does Mike live there now? Like maybe in his car? Brandon goes inside while Mike and Jesus play basketball. Stef and Lena are putting away their groceries and we see that they do use cloth bags – thank the goddess! Brandon wants to know if Callie came home with them because he is stupid. They tell him Callie is going to a group home to learn coping skills and Brandon gets mad or is dismayed they didn’t buy Activia. Hard to tell. He yells, “We’re in love!” Seriously.  He is my least favorite Brandon and I know other Brandons – like Brandon Walsh.

Digression 4: I always tell my daughter, Zeca, that she’s my favorite Zeca and she says I don’t know any other Zecas which is true. So, I felt the need to clarify.

Callie arrives at the group home which is run by Rosie O’Donnell. Rosie/Rita introduces Callie to the other people who live in the house and they file past Callie like the most diverse yet sullen receiving line you’ll ever encounter. Then, they all sit in a group and talk about the things they’ve done to land them there. There are so many of them! Do I really need to keep track of them? Of note: Kiara, the brick-throwing, former gang member who will be Callie’s roommate, Cole, the former sex worker and trans guy, and Daphne, who has definitely not been riding around in the Green Machine solving mysteries with Velma and the gang.  

Jesus and Mike are still playing basketball and Stef is refereeing. Mariana comes out to tell them dinner is ready just as Jesus grabs his chest and falls to the ground. Stef tells Mariana to “Go get Lena!” What the hell, Stef? During a medical emergency, who yells, “Go get the high school principal!”? Mike and Stef are cops. Shouldn’t they know basic medical things or at least have the good sense to call 911? Thank goodness they called Lena because she prescribed a glass of water and Jesus is just fine. Apparently, the heart palpitations were a side-effect of a med increase. We then get a PSA about the use of stimulants to treat ADHD. Jesus doesn’t want to take meds and Mike is there to meddle so he suggests the kid just needs a physical activity and suggests wrestling.

There's a medical emergency? Quick, call the principal!

There’s a medical emergency? Quick, call the principal!

Digression 5: Why does Mike get a say in this decision? Also, this whole scene felt very, “What this young man needs is a sport! That’ll solve all his problems just like it solved mine when I was his age! Because we are men and must do man things in order to get out all our manliness!” As the parent of a boy with ADHD, this whole scene just irritated me.

Back at Rosie’s Place, Cole asks Callie to clean the kitchen counter again and Becca calls him “Nicole” and Cole identifies himself as trans and Becca says, “You’re a girl.” I want Becca out now. She can live with Kelsey. Kiara takes up for Cole, cementing her place in my heart. Then, Daphne comes in and she and Callie take the trash out and Daphne explains how you compost Scooby Snacks. Callie is being cold and Daphne says, “You know me?” Callie says, “You wanna take another crack at my face?” I did not remember Daphne but she was the girl who beat Callie up in juvie in the first episode. Daphne says she’s changed and Callie refuses the olive branch because she must really hate Daphne and olives.

Brandon, Prince of Pout, is listening to loud music on his headphones which means “anger” and “heartbreak.” Mike comes in and tells him he understands but he’ll get over it. Mike has become the Professor Binns of The Charming Craftsman, floating about and boring everyone with his wisdom.

Broody Brandon and Mundane Mike would be the best worst superhero team ever.

Broody Brandon and Mundane Mike would be the best worst superhero team ever.

Callie and Kiara are getting to know each other and Kiara tells Callie that this group home is better than her last one. She said, “I broke this girl’s nose. I mean, I like didn’t mean to. She was on the ground and I was kicking her.” Game, set, match – Kiara won that scene and I didn’t pay attention to anything else that happened.

Mariana is reading in bed and Jude comes into the room and stares longingly at Callie’s bed. Mariana says, “I know it’s kinda silly but I’ve been kind of scared sleeping alone since Callie left. Do you, would you want to sleep in here tonight?” You know how I have a slightly cynical edge when I watch this show? Well, I cried and my tears dulled that edge for a few moments.

The next day, Mariana and Kelsey go shopping for costumes and Kelsey wants to buy this expensive fedora for Chase Jase so that she can sleep with him before the end of the production. Fedoras are the quickest way to a person’s bed/heart. Of course, we already knew that. Mariana says it’s too expensive. Kelsey asks about Laura’s vibe in The Glass Menagerie and Mariana basically says a crippled virgin and my Magic 8 ball says “Outlook not so good.” Kelsey finds a dress and tells Mariana to try it on because she too is a crippled virgin. While Mariana is trying on the dress, Kelsey stuffs the expensive fedora of teenage seduction into Mariana’s backpack. I start having heart palpitations which must mean that I need to wrestle.

This dress will bring all the boys to the yard? Come on, Kelsey.

This dress will bring all the boys to the yard? Come on, Kelsey.

At the Eastland School for Bad Girls, Mrs. Garret is talking to Jo, Blair, Tootie and the gang. They each share stories about the horrible things that have happened to them and talk about addiction. The discussion implies that every person is addicted to something – drugs, food, love. It’s a really sad scene and I don’t want to recap it…

Digression 6: …but I do want to digress about it. I take issue with the idea that every person is addicted to something. As someone who worked in the field of social work for 15 years, I think it’s a misuse of the word. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

The point of the scene is that Callie tells them what happened and how she ended up there which sets up the next scene in which Stef tells Jude that he can visit Callie the following day.

We then dash back to Eastland and Becca is in Callie’s room heckling her and calling her a selfish bitch. Becca is the girl who said that she had been shooting drugs into her neck. My friend and fellow Real Lesbian Housewife of the Internet, Deborah Goldstein, and I discussed this at length and were both like, “Aren’t you supposed to do that between your toes?” Callie goes to the bathroom and walks in on Cole who is binding and he panics and screams at Callie to get out. She stands there and Cole pushes her and then Callie pushes Cole and he falls backwards through the glass shower door and I know Mrs. Garrett is going to find out about this.

No privileges for you meddling kids.

No privileges for you meddling kids.

Yep. In the next scene, Jude is sitting on his bed all dressed up to see Callie and Stef and Lena tell him that she lost her privileges and can’t have visitors. They offer to do something special with him but he just wants to stay home and do homework. Poor Jude. He doesn’t even know how to milk a situation.

Digression 7: I was transfixed by the length of Jude’s tie. It extended past the waistband of his pants. When I spoke with Deborah, she also wondered what was up with his tie. Is it Brandon’s? Mike’s? Something that belonged to someone from his past? I have never had a problem finding ties of proper length for my children but Deborah has so I guess I need to check my tie length privilege.

In the dungeon of lighted mirrors and costumes, Mariana confronts Kelsey about the fedora in the backpack. That would make a great title for a queer teen romance novel, “The Fedora in the Backpack.” Anyway, as they argue, Chase Jase comes up and is like, “OMG! Totes cute hat!” He tells Mariana she is a genius and suddenly she’s not as righteously angry about Kelsey’s dastardly deed.

Mike and Jesus are at the wrestling arena stadium field and there are many guys in tight shorts and shirts and one lone girl. The coach tells the wrestlers to show Jesus a few moves. Jesus gets on all fours. I‘m surprised. I would have expected the missionary position. Ba dum bum. Then, the coach calls on Emma to wrestle with him and she predictably smashes him into the mat. The best part, however, is she gets up, pats him on the butt and says, “Nice effort.” Good one, Emma.

In the final scene, Callie stares out the window lost in thought. She stares out windows a lot, doesn’t she? Mrs. Garrett gives her a speech about ice cream and consequences and then leaves her to her staring. Callie then sees Brandon standing across the street. She runs downstairs and out of the house and into his arms as appropriately emotional music plays. The episode ends with Mrs. Garrett, Cole and the girls all watching Callie and Brandon spin in each other’s arms.

"All of our angsty teenage stares have finally paid off!"

“All of our angsty teenage stares have finally paid off!”

Overall Impression: Sad and heavy-handed with warm winds coming out of the east courtesy of Kiara and Mariana.

Best Line: Kiara wins with “I broke this girl’s nose. I mean, I like didn’t mean to. She was on the ground and I was kicking her.” I loved it because it was the only bit of humor in the episode.

Really? Did they have to do that?: Brandon and Callie and the usual.

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Vikki Reich

Vikki Reich is a writer and communications consultant. She lives in Minneapolis with her partner and kids, surrounded by a loving queer community.

Vikki has written 25 articles for us.


  1. Mariana was on FIRE this episode, especially in that scene where she confronts Brandon with what an ass he is. Voice of the fandom. “I’m surprised you haven’t tried!” wins Best Line of the Episode for me, I laughed out loud and rewound that scene a few times. I am also surprised about how much I loved her this episode.

    I really hope they get over this Callie/Brandon thing soon. I understand it’s a show about teenagers, and they need teenage romantic drama to fuel interest from that demographic, but good LORD. I have zero sympathy for either of those characters right now – they are both selfish and stupid. It might be okay if they had even an ounce of chemistry together, but nope, nada.

    • Yes. She was amazing and her confrontation with Brandon was perfect and I loved that Jesus was not having any of it either.

      I actually thought Callie had come to her senses about the Brandon thing and then she ran into his arms and I was all, “ARGH NO!”

    • Nothing says “I love you” like putting your teen romance with your foster sister over her HAVING A HOME.

  2. I was really frustrated that they didn’t discipline Brandon in some way. Basically Callie got punished for having “impulse control issues” but Brandon didn’t suffer any consequences for being the other half of the kissing duo.

    I do agree that Callie probably needs the counseling help and time to work on her issues, but Brandon needs some encouragement to re-think his completely conflicting ideas.

    I do like that they have a trans teen, but I really wish that Rita would do more to acknowledge Cole’s appropriate signifiers. Rita kept referring to all of the house residents as “girls” throughout the episode, which made frustrated on Cole’s behalf.

    • I didn’t even think of the fact that they didn’t discipline Brandon. I think they were in crisis mode and dealing with so much but that’s a good point.

      And yes about Cole! It was actually hard to write succinctly about parts of those scenes because of the frequent “girls” references. I initially recapped the intro scene with “7 girls” because that’s what she said and then was like, “WTF?” and then it kept happening. So yes. I agree completely.

      • Hopefully they’ll circle back around and bring the hammer down on Brandon, especially after the stunt of hunting down the group home. But I sure wish they’d done it before he had the chance to find the house, because I’m sure he made things worse for Callie.

    • I was also disappointed that Rita kept referring to Cole as one of the “girls.” It felt like every bit of progress was being washed away every time she said it.

      • Agreed and then she made a point of saying she was looking for a GLBT home for him and I was like, “Um, well, maybe you could do a little better while he’s here.”

        • Yeah, totally. The issue isn’t that it’s non-LGBT home, it’s that he feels that a LGBT home is his only option for being safe in his gender identity, which is crap.

      • I found it disappointing but at the same time very realistic. That said, if the show never addresses it I’ll start to get skeptical and think it was a serious writing oversight…

  3. I also spent a long time contemplating why Jude’s tie is so long. I have always had the opposite problem, where ties are too short for my brothers and girlfriend. This very problem is why we all wear bow ties now.

  4. Mariana was the MVP of the episode. By a mile. Very happy she isn’t The Worst anymore. That title now lies with Brandon. Since he wants to bang his sister He should change his last name to Lannister and move to HBO
    Cole has been on the screen for 5 minutes and is already a better developed character than Glee’s Unique. Good job, Fosters writers.

    • I only watch Rachel and Santana’s scenes on tumblr so I haven’t seen Glee in awhile and part of that was because I had no idea what they were doing with Unique. But that’s Glee – bring in an interesting character and then mess that person up.

  5. skim skim skim I just watched the first four episodes of this show on Netflix and SQUEEEEEE. I expected it to be mushy and that it wouldn’t be my thing because most of my shows involve space or death or space and death, but they had me by the pilot.

  6. I wish Callie had just closed the drapes. It would have been truer to her character. The Brandon relationship isn’t credible to me — he’s such a spoiled brat and she’s so slow to trust. The pairing makes no sense.

    I’m excited that the Cole character is her roommate, and my favourite moment was when Cole lied about the confrontation. They both know the system. I think they are going to be allies. I don’t think Callie gives a shit about Cole’s trans identity (in a good way) and I’m curious about how that will play out.

    Also, Rosie as Home For Teenaged Wolves kind-faced warden? How perfect is that casting.

    All my bets are on the theatre guy they’re all lusting after being a huge homo.

    • I’m hoping that Cole’s journey will help get Callie asking questions about why Jude was dressing in girl’s clothes. That was the thing that triggered the step-dad’s rage. I’ve been wondering and worrying about what that might mean for Jude since the first few episodes.

    • Yes – I’m hoping Mariana and the Zach guy with the obvious crush on Jase will have a plot together where Mariana helps Zach and Jase get together.

  7. I’m so not okay with the Brandon/Callie situation. I thought the fact Lena asked if she left because she didn’t feel safe was totally appropriate but Brandon brushed it off as “no I did nothing wrong, this only happened because Jude saw us.” I really feel like, if the show is going to insist on showing this whole foster siblings affair buzz, they need to highlight that it’s hugely problematic, that Brandon is coming from a position of power, and that it’s not okay, just because you have good intentions, to act in a way that is harmful to people in vulnerable situations.

    Also, the shutting down of any suggestion that he was like Liam every time it came up was totally infuriating to me when his actions have the same outcome as Liam – their need to have a romantic/physical relationship with Callie trumps Callie’s right to have a secure home. In a world where teenage boys seem to be bombarded with confusing messages about what is right and wrong and what consent is, I find it really troubling if Brandon is getting a pass on this.

  8. I get how TV works and the premise Of a drama on TV. However, I am so over Callie and Brandon. The writers have written themselves in hole over this. They both know their actions can affect Jude in a bad way, yet they keep doing it.

    The way Brandon talks to his three parents would never have flown in my house of two parents. “You can’t stop us”??? My mom would have taken that on as a personal challenge to show me just how many things she could have indeed stopped me from.

    • I am over the Callie and Brandon thing and was over it before it began. However, I will say that, as a parent, I let a certain amount of back talk go because a lot of it is kids spouting off and being dramatic. There is no response to “You can’t stop us!” that would not escalate the situation so I’ll give them a pass and say they made a judgement call but we’ll see.

  9. Some thoughts:

    1. Was it REALLY necessary to show Cole with his shirt of, binding with bandages?

    2. I really wish they’d follow up on Jude’s gender variance. Aside from his crush on that classmate (which is not the same thing at all), there hasn’t been anything since the nail polish episode.

    3. The persistent misgendering was extremely frustrating. Given that Rita corrected Becca’s pronoun-use, you’d think they’d address it at all? Like, Cole would make a face, or Rita would at least occasionally correct herself?

    4. omg Rosie

    5. I hate everything about Brandon/Callie and that ending, but I especially hate the way the whole house stood on the porch gazing at them with dopey smiles on their faces, what even was that?

    6. Mariana is the best forever.

  10. Okay, I was just now perusing the IMDB page for this episode, and apparently the actor who plays Cole is named Tom Phelan and he is an actual trans kid, and I am therefore feeling way better about the show and introduction of this character.

  11. As a fellow (soon-to-be) social worker I would like to agree with the icky feelings re: “everyone has an addiction.” Just…no.

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