“The Fosters” Episode 113 Recap: A Group Home Of Our Own

The episode opens with Ed the Probation Officer meeting with Stef and Lena in the back yard while Mariana  watches through the kitchen window. Ed is not pleased that Stef and Lena kept the Brandon/Callie kiss to themselves and they look contrite and he says Brandon cannot show up at the group home again or they’ll kick Callie out. As Stef and Lena assure Ed they understand, Jude comes into the kitchen and Mariana says, “Morning Judicorn!” He is unimpressed I am not going to unicornify the names of everyone I meet. Meanwhile, outside in the secret garden, Ed hands Stef and Lena a piece of paper while serious music plays.

At the group home, Rita sits behind a desk and does not look as busy as her sweater. She tells Callie that she can’t leave the premises and can’t have any contact with her “boyfriend” and can’t have any more “accidents” with Cole or anyone else and Callie says she’s sorry but we know she’s not.

Stef, Lena and Mike are chatting in the living room when Brandon comes downstairs. Stef tells him they met with Callie’s probation officer and he can’t have contact with Callie. Brandon’s defense is that he wanted to make sure she was okay. Lena hands Brandon the piece of paper from Ed and it is a prophecy! It says this show will spiral downward if they continue to pursue this Brandon/Callie love story! Actually, no. It’s a restraining order.

Now it is finally illegal for this frustratingly melodramatic love story to continue.

Now it is finally illegal for this frustratingly melodramatic love story to continue.

Digression 1: Laws vary from state to state but I find it difficult to believe that the court would issue a restraining order against Brandon for simply showing up at the group home. I worked in Adult Protection for years and failed to get restraining orders in situations where there were serious threats of violence. That said, some facilities can “trespass” a person from the premises. Did this bug anyone else?

After Brandon storms out, Lena says, “It’s hard.” and Stef says, “That’s why it’s called tough love.” Then Lena says, “I forgot how tough you look in uniform.” Stef tilts here head and makes sexy eyes at Lena and they smooch a couple of times and then Stef takes her hair down and Lena takes her hand and says, “Let’s put those cuffs to use.” No, that didn’t happen. It’s Stef’s first day back on the job and Lena asks her to call over lunch and Stef says she will and gives a wink as she saunters out the door. Stef is a good winker.

Callie is outside washing out trash cans with Daphne. Daphne tells her she’s lucky the consequences for her kiss and spin with Brandon weren’t worse. After Daphne goes inside, Callie goes to a rusty metal box attached to the house and finds a phone hidden inside and that phone has a text from Brandon that says, “Text me – 911.” Brandon clearly doesn’t understand what “no contact” means.

Jesus runs on the beach and passes Emma from the wrestling team. She is very perky and touches him a lot and she annoys me but probably because I’m tired.

Digression 2: I couldn’t sleep last night because my cat slept right against my legs and I couldn’t turn over and I would have thrown her off the bed but cats weight about 623 pounds when they are asleep. So, I am mad at my cat and projecting those feelings onto Emma the Perky Wrestler.

Jesus tells Emma he stopped taking his ADHD meds and is trying to be more active and eliminate dyes and processed foods from his diet. Wide-eyed, perky Emma thinks that’s so fantastic that she has to touch him some more!

At the police station, a grumpy old man tells Stef he has never had a female partner before and I can only assume he means at work. Stef talks to Captain Roberts and asks when Mike will be cleared for work and the Captain says soon. Stef then asks if she has to work with that “sexist dinosaur” and I don’t think she’s talking about Barney.

Kelsey is late to work on costumes because she got into a “twitter war.” Can someone sew Kelsey’s mouth shut? Chase asks Mariana if his pants are too short. Considering he looks like a Ken doll in capri pants, I’d say they are. Mariana says she will do fancy sewing things to them and he drops his pants to give them to her and she drools while he asks her to run lines with him after school and she says she will and Kelsey is mad.

These pants are too short? How about I just don't wear any pants at all?

These pants are too short? How about I just don’t wear any pants at all?

Digression 3: My thought bubble during this scene would have been: “Wow. His thighs are really thick and those briefs are unflattering. He needs better briefs.” That’s right — I was redressing him in my mind. I’m definitely gay.

Jude has lunch with his friend who invites him to see some movie. A sci-fi movie? Something with stars? I zoned out for a moment. Jude says he may not be around and  asks for the kid’s leftover cheese. What does he want with a tiny packet of cheese? Does he have a pet rat named Ben? Is he going to run away? Don’t run, Judicorn! Lena’s having lunch in her office and Stef hasn’t called and she is staring into the ether. The English Teacher enters with a box of Kindle Paperwhites and they proceed to discuss the Kindle Paperwhite and all the ways the kids can use the Kindle Paperwhite to do their homework and Lena wants a Kindle Paperwhite and The English Teacher says she can’t have a Kindle Paperwhite. Subtle product placement, this is not.

Digression 4: I bought one earlier this year and then, right before Christmas, I lost it. I looked through the house and car and called the last place I remembered having it and nothing. I was very sad and Luisa didn’t want me to be sad, so, she bought me a new one and had is overnighted and it arrived Christmas Eve night. I opened it on Christmas and nearly cried. On New Year’s Day, Luisa dropped the lost Kindle in my lap. I said, “I looked everywhere!” and she said, “Obviously not in the glove compartment.” I now have two Kindle Paperwhites but not because of The Fosters’ Kindle Paperwhite Commercial.

Lena tells him that she’s worried about Stef returning to work but it didn’t take an e-reader to notice that.

Mariana is working with the dorky theater guy but the sewing machine is broken. They bond over that and Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead. Kelsey interrupts and tells Mariana that “running lines” is code for hooking up and then lays a guilt trip on her about selling her the drugs.

Rita and the group home kids are at a botanical garden and some woman is talking about a fly orchid and pheromones and plant sex and someone cracks a joke and Rita is not impressed with the sexual jokes. Wassup with that? She will tell them she smoked dope but she can’t handle a sex joke? Callie darts into a pagoda and looks around and then Brandon shows up and says, “Excuse me, miss, would you like to see my bonsai tree?” I practice deep breathing so that I can get through the rest of this episode because Brandon is trying my patience. Brandon and Callie kiss again.

There's no crying in baseball! Or on field trips...

There’s no crying in baseball! Or on field trips…

Meanwhile, Rita and the gang are listening to a detailed summary of the types of koi in the koi pond. Rita notices Callie is gone and calls her name and sounds just like Doris Murphy from A League of Their Own. I half expected Madonna to show up with her cane. Brandon suggests Callie become emancipated and I shout, “From you? Yes, I approve!” but he means legally. She asks about Jude and Brandon says he’s okay and then they kiss again and they get caught! By Daphne who thinks they are as stupid as I do and yells at Brandon to go. He barely escapes before Rita shows up.

Mariana apologizes to Kelsey about agreeing to run lines with Chase and Kelsey says she is sorry too. They agree that they don’t want to a boy to come between them. So, when Mariana sees Chase, she tells him she can’t run lines with him but Kelsey says she’s available. I wish Perky Emma the Wrestler would have shown up and thrown Kelsey on the ground and stomped on her.

Back at the Land of Koi, Cole waits in line for the men’s restroom and some woman says he should use the women’s because it’s too confusing for the younger children. Cole tells her she is confused and to mind her own business. Security arrives and asks if there’s a problem and Cole says he has a right to use the bathroom. The security guy grabs Cole and Cole pushes him and then there is a scuffle and a bystander gets pushed and calls Cole a freak and then Kiara pushes him against the wall and then Rita breaks it up.

Digression 5: There is no way they all walk away from that fight without someone being detained or arrested. No way.

Stef and the dinosaur turn a street kid over to his probation officer and the dinosaur says that it’s harder to straighten the kids out as they get older. He says it’s also hard to drive a car with tiny dinosaur arms. Stef says, “Not if someone fights for them.” The kids, not the dinosaur arms.

At the Anchor Beach School for Backstabbers, Mariana and Kelsey bicker in English class. As they are leaving, The English Teacher (whose name is Timothy – I looked it up) tells Kelsey she has detention.

This may not be a math class, but Mariana still knows how to get even.

This may not be a math class, but Mariana still knows how to get even.

At wrestling practice, Perky Emma gives Jesus tips before his match. Ankle pick? Toe pick? Triple lutz? He still gets his ass handed to him.

Timothy the Troublemaker runs up to Lena in the hallway and tells her there was a police chase that ended in shots fired. Timothy! Why would you do that! You should be telling her to watch videos of penguins slipping on ice! Lena tries to call Stef and there’s still no answer.

Back at the Charming Craftsman, Mike is in the driveway working on the car when Brandon comes home to sulk. He asks Brandon to help but Brandon is too busy maintaining his generally disagreeable attitude. Brandon then confronts Mike about his drinking at the quiceañera and Mike says he’s sorry. Brandon yells at him about drinking before the audition and Mike says he’s sorry. Brandon yells about all the drinking during his childhood and after the divorce and Mike says he doesn’t remember it. Brandon calls him a drunk and storms off.

The dorky theater guy gets the sewing machine working and proudly shows Mariana who complains about Kelsey and is blind to the dorky guy’s crush on her. Mariana sees Chase and tells him she can run lines with him after all.

Back at wrestling practice, Perky Emma of the Ankle Picks offers Jesus a cookie — an organic cookie with no dyes. Maybe she has lesbian moms too. She invites him to run with her and he says he has a girlfriend. Please Jesus. We all know where this is going. Then, it’s time for the Tunnel of Love which is a wrestling rite of passage. Everyone lines up and claps and Jesus runs through and gets punched in the face at the end. I’m glad I never rode that ride at the fair.

Tunnel of love? More like tunnel of hazing.

Tunnel of love? More like tunnel of hazing.

Meanwhile, Lena sits in her office fretting in the shadows and Stef finally calls. She left her phone at the precinct and is clueless about Lena’s anxiety. The conversation is awkward and Stef says, “I love you, babe” but Lena doesn’t say it back! Add this to the things I don’t like about this episode. As Lena sits there pensively, Jesus shows up with his black eye and Lena adds that to the things she doesn’t like about her life. She drags Jesus along as she berates the wrestling coach in front of everyone.

As Lena embarrasses Jesus, Mariana runs lines with Chase and they kiss while the dorky guy and Kelsey look on. Hell hath no fury like a Kelsey scorned.

Back at A Group Home of Our Own, Doris Murphy leads the kids in a rousing rendition of Take Me Out To The Ball Game as they process the altercation on the field trip. Cole says he has rights and Kiara says he is always having “Trantrums” and Gabby calls him a girl and demeans him and then says he’s angry. Callie takes up for Cole and tells them they want Cole to make it easier for them but that, sometimes, what’s right isn’t easy which is funny coming from Callie. Everyone must look so tiny from atop her high horse.

Digression 6: I know that everyone at the group home has issues but Cole does seem really angry and I wish there was more depth to his character.

Lena and Jesus arrive home and he’s upset about her embarrassing him in front of the team. He goes upstairs and yells “Ants!” Lena comes up to inspect and there is a trail of ants leading under Jude’s bed where they are having an ant party, feasting on cheese and all the other food that Jude’s been hoarding and hiding.

Digression 7: I hate bugs when they are in gangs. Once, I went into a client’s home and roaches were streaming out of the smoke alarm and, when she sat on her bed, they came out of the mattress. I will never be the same. Oh, and now you won’t be either. Sorry.

Stef shows up at the group home. Where’s the tough love now, Stef? Rita answers and tells her she can’t see Callie and assures her she’s in good hands. Callie sees Stef as she’s getting into the car so at least Callie knows that Stef cares.

Lena tells Jude he can’t hoard food and he can have all the food he wants. Basically, he’s afraid that he’ll be taken out of their home. Lena says she can relate because she felt a loss of control when she got the call about Stef being shot. She says, “You can’t live your life in fear of what might happen.” She tells Jude he’s safe with them.

Hey Jude, don't make it bad. Take the snack food out of your bedroom...

Hey Jude, don’t make it bad. Take the snack food out of your bedroom…

Back at school, Kelsey meets with the principal and tells her that Mariana is a thieving drug pusher.

At the group home, Cole thanks Callie for her words in group. In line for the bathroom, Daphne tells Callie she’s moving into her own apartment in two weeks and hopes to graduate from high school and get her daughter back. You can see the gears moving in Callie’s head. Someone tell me that they are not going to have Callie move out on her own and continue this Brandon/Callie romance.

Mariana is ironing and Lena and Stef confront her about the stolen hat and tell her she’s been suspended.

Callie sneaks out of the house to peek at the phone in the electric box and Cole catches her. He asks her to turn it over to him and says he’ll ditch it.

Brandon is sulking. Again. Mike sits on his bed and Brandon apologizes to him. Mike tells him the restraining order is for the best and he knows what it’s like to not be able to be with the person you love. Brandon says he knows Stef broke his heart and Mike says, “You’re the love of my life, dummy!” But it’s sweet and I’m liking Mike these days which makes sense because it’s upside down days on this show. Everyone you loved, you now hate! Everyone you hated, you now love! Mike gives him a big wad of money to pay his piano teacher and I know that money’s not going to the old piano geezer and, sure enough, Brandon calls and quits piano right after Mike leaves the room.

It’s bedtime for Stef and Lena who are remarkably calm given that 1 daughter is in a group home and lost her privileges, 1 son is a stalker, 1 son is hoarding food, 1 daughter is suspended from school and 1 son got punched in the face. They’re all “La di da…let’s moisturize and read and get into our craftmatic adjustable beds.” Stef is up and Lena is down. Then, Stef is down and Lena is up. This is what they mean by Lesbian Bed Death.

It's like the Lesbian Brady Bunch, minus the constant cheerfulness.

It’s like the Lesbian Brady Bunch, minus the constant cheerfulness.

Brandon texts Callie, “When can I see you again?” We see Cole with Callie’s phone and he answers, “This is over. We’re done.”

Digression 8: I like the idea of Cole’s character but the actor was weak in this episode. It’s unclear to me from the scene whether Cole is trying to protect Callie or has some other motives. His facial expression confused me. If he is trying to protect her, I don’t like that, once again, a guy is stepping in to do what he thinks is best for her.

Overall Impression: I wish they didn’t cram so many issues into a single episode and took their time exploring some of these themes in more depth.

Best Line: Mike wins with “You are the love of my life, dummy!”

Best Text From Deborah: “I would have liked to hear more about insects humping plants.”

Bonus: It looks like many of you are getting your wish for a spin-off. Kind of. There will be a web series titled “Girls United” about the group home kids and their backstories. In the articles I read, however, it doesn’t seem that Cole will appear in the series.

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+!

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. yeah what a lost opportunity for emotional, angry sex. (am I the only one to find angry,protective lena sexy?) cause for sure i agree that you can’t live in fear but it seems that lena’s default is to repress her emotions, wonder when she’ll blow up(does that bed have a vibration button?) Has Timothy always had a thing for Lena or am i reading too much into his need to “support” Lena? Finally yup, i’m not the same after reading about roach infested mattresses, but don’t stop your digressions cause your recaps are perfect as is.

    • Yeah – I don’t like Timothy’s vibe right now. That combined with Lena’s feelings and that stupid bed are making me nervous.

      I am sorry about the roaches. Have I talked about bedbugs yet? We need to talk about bedbugs.

  2. That part where she says mentions Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead and then says “I love old movies.”

    OLD MOVIES?! Whaaa…

    Also, I really do not like how they’ve handled Cole’s character. He’s just one-dimensionally angry and irritable all the time, with no moments of redeeming qualities. They show him flying off the handle but they never give him the respect to set up why it’s understandable that he would be upset. Ugh.

    • I couldn’t even touch that the idea of that movie being old.

      As for Cole, I am struggling as Cole has more screen time and I don’t know if that’s the acting or the writing.

  3. MY PETITION FOR A SPIN-OFF CLEARLY STATED THAT I WISHED FOR COLE TO BE IN IT. That being said … I don’t know if he was an asshole in this episode or not? Like you said, I don’t know about his motives for taking Callie’s phone. Maybe he’s the one that ran away and the girls are looking for him.

    This was a weird episode. I’m not sure how to feel about it. (Brandon is still a jerk. Callie is being very irrational.)

  4. I was also a little baffled by the restraining order, because it is really hard to get them. I’m a victim’s advocate and I see so many people who need protection go without.

    I’m not sure how I felt about this episode. I wish they would take a little more time for each issue, rather than cramming it all into one episode.

    • I’m choosing to believe this happened so easily because Stef and Mike are both cops and pulled some strings, because otherwise, yeah, you’re right, showing up at the group home once would never be enough to get one, normally.

  5. There was an ambulance at the group home in the preview for next weeks’ episode, so Cole not being in the spin-off makes me very worried for him.

  6. This episode was definitely a weird one. I feel like this show is about to get even more unnecessarily dramatic than it already is, and that’s so disappointing. There are some really pertinent things they could be addressing but instead it feels like The Fosters is just trying to cram in as many issues as it can. At the very least, here’s hoping for more accuracy, and more character development for Cole.

    • There are too many MAJOR story lines. The show has completely veered away from the tone of the first few episodes and doesn’t even give viewers a chance to breathe between crises.

  7. My favorite line was, Lena “this isn’t Fight Club, it’s school!” But Lena, the First Rule of Tunnel of Love is, WE DON’T TALK ABOUT TUNNEL OF LOVE!

    I’m certainly not an expert on restraining orders or legal issues, and clearly Vikki and others here have some experience with this, but I thought maybe because minors are involved and not just Callie, but also the other girls too, that Rita and the PO may have had success getting the restraining order?

    Are the producers trying to make some kind of statement by partnering Stef with Rush Limbaugh?

  8. This is the most piddly thing to find irritating, but why did Brandon text “Text me – 911” to Callie? If it were “Call me” it’d make sense, since clearly she’d have to find a secret time/place to do so. But text? If he has something to tell her by text, he can do so. He’s texting her RIGHT NOW! What else would she say other than, “Here I am. What’s up.”

    This is really bothering me. Maybe I need exercise?

    Also Brandon continues to be the very worst.

  9. My wife pointed out that she thought it odd that Mariana was suspended, just like that, on the word of a girl who they knew had a history with drugs. It seems like they’d do some investigation before taking Kelsey’s word for it.

  10. Did anyone else notice when Stef and Lena went to bed that Stef’s shirt said Sunday Funday? I thought it was awesome, but also why can’t they show a little more of that between them, you know.

  11. I couldn’t enjoy this episode purely because of the shameless Kindle product placement. The first time, i laughed. Then every scene thereafter that showed a kindle I just sighed.

Comments are closed.