“The Fosters” Episode 118 Recap: Nancy Drew and the Mystery of the Lying Foster Brother

The episode begins with our young detective, Callie, staring at the picture of Brandon’s car at school at the time he claimed to be having dinner. Why were Stef and Lena struggling with the one car when their teenage son has a car? Why didn’t they seize it like some sort of lesbian mom eminent domain thing? Lena asks Callie if she made a list of people who were at the school during the photo shoot and Callie tells Lena that Daphne is trying to get her daughter back and could go to prison. Lena says, “If Daphne didn’t take anything, she’s got nothing to worry about.” I hate the smell of privilege in the morning.

"I reject your reality and substitute actual reality."

“I reject your reality and substitute actual reality.”

Jesus writes an email to Lexi about how hard it is to be young and beautiful and in need of wrestling companionship. He tells her they should break up, titles the email “I’m sorry” and hits send. He heads downstairs to breakfast and guess who is there? A plot contrivance! I mean, Lexi! Lexi jetted in from Honduras to spend the week with Jesus. After Lexi heads out with Mariana, Stef calls after her to say she forgot her phone and Jesus says he’ll give it to her but first deletes his email to her.

Digression 1: I once sent an email to a friend at work about another co-worker who was wearing a Hawaiian shirt, shorts and flip flops at the office. His attire was completely inappropriate but I should not have referred to his ensemble as being “very Gay Ken at the Beach.” When she didn’t respond, I went over to her desk and asked if she got my email and she hadn’t. I knew that could mean only one thing – I had sent it to someone else. I rushed back to my computer to see that I had, in fact, sent the email to the Gay Ken in question. Long story short, I distracted him and my friend got onto his computer and deleted the email. I know – I am awful but I learned a very valuable lesson.

Dani is making french toast for Brandon and using her fingers to flip it in the pan and says, “Spatulas are for wusses.” It was a tale of two responses from me and Deborah. I found that endearing. Deborah said Dani should just “fry that toast on your burning loins” because she’s gross. Does Dani want to be a mom or Mrs. Robinson? Only time will tell.

Digression 2: I will now share with you my only french toast related joke. Do you know how to make French toast? When it pops out of the toaster, you say, “Bonjour toast!” It’s a terrible joke but it plays well to 8 year olds. My daughter still cites that as one of my best jokes, along with one that ends with a punchline of “Coldilocks and the three brrrrs.”

Dani tells Brandon she doesn’t want things to be weird and to get rid of the fake ID. Brandon leaves for school. Mike comes into the kitchen and Dani says she worries about Brandon while Mike’s working nights and suggests she move in. It’s becoming clear that Dani: 1) Wants Brandon to eat her metaphorical french toast 2) Wants to play house or 3) Is looking for a pet rabbit to boil.

Emma asks Jesus if he broke up with Lexi and he says he tried but she’s here to visit and Lexi bounds up to them at that very moment like a lovestruck Tigger. Lexi and Emma exchange awkward greetings and Emma slams her hand in her locker. Did she do that on purpose? Did she do it for attention or is this the teenage equivalent of 127 Hours? Jesus takes Emma to the nurse’s office and Lexi asks Mariana if she should be worried but Mariana is all “Nah!” Mariana introduces Lexi to Zach and he says he’s happy to meet another member of Team Mariana and adds, “It’s a team of one so I could use a few more bodies.” It’s harmless adorable teasing and I want Zach to be my friend. As they walk away, Lexi says Mariana can’t be friends with him because “Your body kinda wants to have his babies right now.”

Team Mariana couldn't exist without Team Lexi's self-interest getting in the way.

Team Mariana couldn’t exist without Team Lexi’s self-interest getting in the way.

Count Vico of Doucheville tells Brandon he put the Kindle Paperwhites back and lectures Brandon about money equalling freedom. Callie watches the interaction and approaches Vico and says she wants in on the deal and he says he assumes a “juvie girl” would already have a fake ID. She tries to get him to tell her how and where he makes them but he’s not that stupid. Vico takes a picture of Callie for the fake ID she fake wants.

Stef and Lena tell Callie and Jude they have to ask their father’s permission to adopt them. Jude asks if they’ll visit him in prison and Callie says he got out a year ago. Jude’s upset that Callie didn’t tell him. After Callie and Jude leave, Stef says, “This is why I want to go with an anonymous donor.” Lena says they could draw up a donor contract with Timothy and Stef says they don’t even know if Timothy is interested and Lena is like, “Ummmmm….” Stef says, “I tell ya what. Why don’t you give me a ring when the baby is born and I’ll swing by the hospital and pick you up… unless you already have a ride.” This is harsh and bitchy and a completely reasonable response. Lena’s been driving the Baby Bus from the beginning and Stef’s been running behind drowning in diesel fumes.

Vico gives Brandon his cash and Brandon tells him he wants out. Vico tells him that Callie wants a fake ID. Brandon confronts Callie about the fake ID and says, “Don’t lie to me!” and I yell “Glass houses!”

Digression 3: People who live in glass houses in Minecraft really shouldn’t. Seriously. Don’t build a glass house in Minecraft because it’s frightening when the zombies just stand there and gurgle at you through the glass. This is a modern day proverb – take heed.

Callie tells Brandon she knows he was at the school and why. He comes clean and she says, “I lost a friend because of you.” I want this to be enough to keep them apart romantically forever and ever.

Mariana asks Zach to go Jesus’ wrestling match with her. Now that Emma’s finger is broken, Jesus has to compete. She suggests they could go out with Lexi and Jesus afterwards. She says it would be “Just four people, hanging out in a totally non-weird way.” Mariana is my absolute favorite person on this show right now.

Some random dude is showing off his fake ID to a friend and Brandon says they don’t work and gives his money back and destroys the guy’s ID. Your house is still made out of glass, Brandon! Glass and deception! I hope the zombies get get you!

At the wrestling meet, Jesus tells Emma he was going to break up with Lexi but she came all the way from Honduras and wants to say “Bonjour!” to his toast when it pops up. Emma says, “I’d rather be broken up with in person.” We don’t know Emma that well but I get the feeling she is wrestling out of her romantic weight class.

Callie is sitting in the bleachers texting Daphne when Stef and Lena show up. Callie says Daphne didn’t take the Kindles and Stef says they are all on probation and mentions the “company you keep” and Callie asks if she can’t be friends with Daphne and Kiara and Stef says, “Of course you can…” and I love Stef but she is so patronizing in this moment that I almost forget how hot she looks in that blazer with those jeans and boots. Almost. Callie says they want her to “make nice” with the privileged kids who probably took the stuff in the first place and Stef says, “I know this is confusing…” and I really want Stef to shut up so I can enjoy the view and Callie shuts her up by saying, “I’m not confused. This is exactly how the system works.” Preach.

Everyone's wrestling with so many issues today.

Everyone’s wrestling with so many issues today.

The wrestling coach tells Jesus, “Focus is key.” This is our cue to think about Jesus’ ADHD. Jesus then reaches in his bag and pulls out a prescription bottle and takes two pills. Meanwhile, in the stands, Mariana is reading about wrestling scoring and explaining it to Zach. Lexi texts her and says, “Start flirting.” Mariana texts back, “I thought I was.” How cute is she? Very cute. That is the only acceptable answer. Brandon shows up and Mariana gives him the “J” in Jesus and tells him to sit by Callie who has the “E”.

Digression 4: This makes no sense. You would hand out a letter to each person as they arrive, starting with the first. Brandon arrived last which means he should have been left with the last “S.” YOU CANNOT JUST HAND OUT LETTERS RANDOMLY!

Lena is nervous about Jesus wrestling and Stef says it’s been good for him and Lena says he has been “jumpy” and then wonders if he would come to them if he wanted to go back on his meds. Then, Spermothy shows up and sits a few places away from them. Stef says he is charismatic and Lena says, “He’s really popular with the students.” How is that even relevant? He is not running for Student Body President! Stef says he’s attractive and Lena mentions the Rhodes Scholar thing again and Stef says, “And he’s an animal lover too…” and follows it with this faux weepy fangirl sound that makes me like her again. Lena says, “He also published a novel when he was 29 and plays the sitar.” Stef says, “What is that?” and Lena doesn’t know but it “sounds cool” and then they hold hands. Nothing brings lesbians together like a sitar.

It’s Jesus’ turn in the ring and Lexi blows him kisses and Emma blows poisonous stares. As the match begins, we see everything from Jesus’ perspective and everything is blurry and he is doing badly and seems like he might pass out. The coach calls a timeout and tells Jesus, “It’s win or lose, Foster. What do you want?” The crowd starts chanting his name and he goes back in the ring and wins.

Digression 5: Was Jesus’ blurry vision a result of his meds? Did he take too much? Or was it supposed to indicate that he wasn’t focused? What message does it send that a pep talk from a coach can make him focus and/or overcome medication side effects and then win the match? As the parent of a kid with ADHD, I hate the way they are handling this storyline. Right now, it is generalized hate. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of time to develop specific hate.

A high school wrestling match is definitely more important than physical health. This stellar advice is sure to cure you!

“A high school wrestling match is definitely more important than physical health. This stellar advice is sure to make you feel better!”

Lexi tries to send a pic of victorious Jesus to her parents but her mailbox is full so she has to delete some stuff and she sees Jesus’ deleted email. This makes no sense to me but I don’t care enough to focus on it. If only I had a coach who could give me a pep talk…

Brandon tells Callie he bought back all the fake ID’s and said he did it because he needed the money to pay back Mike for piano lessons. She says, “Why did you do that?” and he says, “For you.” I say, “NO!” and then “STOP!” and then “Why do the writers do this to you/me?” Jesus tells Emma he’s not going to break up with Lexi and she smiles and says, “I may be benched but I’m not blind.” She is sad but sweet and I’m glad they are showing one girl who is not a psycho when it comes to boys.

Zach tells Mariana he has to go and she’s obviously disappointed and he says, “Are we like on a date?” and she’s all “Um. What. Blergh.” He then searches his pants pockets and says he’s looking for panties. This is consistent for this character because he teases and makes a lot of jokes but I hate it anyway. Mariana says, “Very funny. Forget it.” He then grabs her and kisses her because this show is nothing if not consistent in its messages about the stupidity that passes for “romantic.” He asks if she wants to go on a real date and she does and then they kiss again and then a woman in a white station wagon pulls up and says, “Zachary! Get in the car right now!”

The root of her unhappiness could be:

a) She’s Quinn Fabray as an adult and pushing the celibacy agenda

b) She’s mentally ill

c) She’s racist

d) She’s an alcoholic

I’m going with mentally ill or racist because celibacy and alcoholism have already been dealt with in our game of Social Issues Bingo.

And Zach's mom takes the free space. Is our Social Issues Bingo card full yet?

And Zach’s mom takes the free space. Is our Social Issues Bingo card full yet?

Vico throws Brandon against a fence because he’s mad Brandon told people the ID’s were bad. Vico says, “No one screws me over!” and then texts someone that he has a client for them and adds the picture of Callie.

Jesus and Lexi make out and she says they need to talk and then tells him she kissed a guy in Honduras and then basically gives the live-action version of Jesus’ email to her, “Maybe it’s too hard…” They break up. Lexi packs up her things because she is cutting her trip short. I’m sure it’s no big deal/big expense to change an international flight one day after arriving. Mariana asks if there was really a boy in Honduras and Lexi says, “There will be.” Oh Lexi, don’t be such a martyr.

Brandon sulks at Mike’s and Dani comes in saying she has a key and is going to make lasagna which is apparently Brandon’s favorite. She notices he seems upset and asks if she can help.

Zach shows up at Mariana’s and says he doesn’t have time for a girlfriend right now and Mariana asks if it’s because of his mom and he says it’s not but we all know it is. So, the only question is which multiple choice answer is the root of the problem? Shall we start a betting pool? Mariana’s brokenhearted little face kills me.

Jude asks Callie about their dad and she says they are better off without him. Stef and Lena come in and tell them the attorney found their dad and he agreed to give up his parental rights. Callie says they don’t need to see him but Jude says he wants to.

Brandon tells Mike about the money and Mike asks what he did with it. Brandon then hands him a bunch of cash. Dani and Brandon make eye contact and I’m thinking that lasagna might taste like rabbit. After Brandon goes to his room, Mike says he can’t believe Brandon lied and Dani says she is surprised he hasn’t acted out before because the evil lesbians took in all those foster kids. She then adds, “Another reason he needs to be here with us.” Just stop, Creepy Lasagna Lady!

Stef and Lena sit on the couch and Stef drinks tea which is contractually required of lesbians.

Tea makes everything better. And so does Stef's smile.

Tea makes everything better. And so does Stef’s smile.

Digression 6: I resisted drinking tea for a really long time because I didn’t want to be a Tea Lesbian. I wanted to be a Coffee Lesbian or a a Pellegrino Lesbian but damn – the siren song of tea is strong. The Tea Agenda may be stronger than the Homosexual one.

Lena says, “Am I crazy?” Stef says, “Is this a trick question?” This is always a trick question. Lena says they have all these kids and she’s talking about having a baby. Stef says the kids will go to college and the house will feel empty. That is not a reason to have a baby! That’s a reason to buy a smaller house or take in an eccentric but entertaining renter or to travel more! Stef says what we knew she’d say from the moment this donor thing began: “Oh Lena, I love you and your pretty, pretty hair and your ignorance about sitars and your sweet and calming voice and I will do whatever you want to do always and forever.” And then Lena rewards her with some hot kissing which erases my annoyance because – really – this is the hottest kissing these two have done since the show began. This was full on making out that finally made me believe that they are actually real live, lady lovers.

Callie shows up at her dad’s house and he says, “You look just like your mother.” The end.

Overall Impression: It was plain and fine which is what Deborah and I always say when something is “meh.” Stef and Lena making out was something though.

Best Line: Stef says, “I tell ya what. Why don’t you give me a ring when the baby is born and I’ll swing by the hospital and pick you up… unless you already have a ride.” This is the perfect summary for how this baby storyline has been handled.

Really?: Dani scares me.

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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. This perfectly sums up my thoughts about this episode. For real tho Dani freaks me out too!

  2. That makeout really was something. I was expecting them to cut away really quickly but they didn’t. I agree it was the best kissing we’ve seen from them so far.

  3. huge tea drinker here,I think my being a lesbian is a coincidence. i blame it on being kenyan and that means 4 o’clock tea, tea for breakfast, tea when you’re upset,when you’re happy,hot,cold,(oh and this is black tea with milk and sugar not herbal) speaking “british” english,judging people the right way the way my mother taught me……silently and “proper” manners at all times. and i’ve a huge crush on lena but stef in her uniform, when she has her hair in a tight bun and one can see her cut glass jawline….so sexy.

  4. I strongly support all the minecraft digressions that you want to make

    obviously we have very different ideas about quinn fabray as adult, and if she was going to be on this show then I’m pretty sure she’d be married to some other lovely lady and they have dinner parties with Stef and Lena

    Digression 7: I drink tea out of the same mugs everyday which makes me feel closer to this show in a really not important way

  5. Y’all, I could not even focus on half of this episode because I am in dire need of that sweater of Mariana’s with the leopard draped on it. Anyone know where to find a similar one?

  6. But that French toast joke is hilarious…I’m still laughing. Does this make me 8?

    Also I just want this show not to have Brandon, Mike, and Dani anymore. Maybe they can do a spinoff like Ravenswood and disappear forever!!

  7. 1. The comment you made about them taking the sons car: The car Brandon drives is the Station Wagon that Lena used to drive. If you remember Mike was trying to fix it, but it was taking longer than expected. Then Dad popped up with the new car to solve their problems, but Stef didn’t want it – Now that dad has passed, they have it, which leaves the now fixed wagon for Brandon.

    2. Lexi is undocumented, how did she just jet back in for a visit? OK what’s really going on with customs and at border crossings?

    3. Jesus & Emma or Jesus & Lexi – FWIW I would have choose Lexi too because the Emma girl is …….(input description here)

    4. So tired of the lying Brandon. He just went off in a whole other direction and I am really not liking him.

    5. Dani – the decision is still out on her – She is a sober buddy that takes Tequila shots, she makes deals with a kid to keep her secret, she gives same kid money to pay back his dad, then starts ragging on the other parent for not making him her only priority, then tries to push herself into the home by faking concern for Brandon – not sure what her deal is but she is suspect!

    6. Lena asks “Am I crazy” Ah yeah! I have to agree with you that the reasons Stef gave for going forward with this is so not a reason to have a baby. With everything they are dealing with, and I must say they have a lot going on – bringing a poopie, whinny, crying, snotty nosed baby in the mix would be the furthest from my mind. But hey to each “her” own!

    7. As for the hot kissing – MEH I’m over it – but Terri Polo has a nice ass in those jeans!! Love it!!

    T.C. Out!

    • Lexi was undocumented. But she and her parents left on their own, without having attracted the attention of the government, right? So I don’t see a reason why the U.S. would know that she had been undocumented/have any reason to treat her differently than any other unaccompanied Honduran teenager visiting the States for a week. (Or not. I don’t really know, but that was the rationale I came up with while watching.)

      • Yeah I would say as long as she has a passport and whatever else you need to country-hop she should be fine

  8. in response to digression #3: i thought this was a reference to minesweeper, and i went off on my own digression, wondering how i’d somehow missed the part of minesweeper that allows you to build houses and make zombies. and then i realized that no part of the article said anything about minesweeper.

    but wouldn’t that be cool?

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