Previously on The Fosters, Stef and Lena went skinny-dipping in their neighbors pool (the stakes of which were: Last one in has to be on top tonight!) to celebrate the life they’ve built together and the love they share together and to take Stef’s mind off her cancer. The Foster Adams kids did their various hijinks, as Callie moved into the “Order of the Phoenix phase” of being adopted. And Jude kind of disappeared.
Ms. Polonius, the foster care “advocate,” has big plans for Callie. Big plans! There’s this commercial, see, advocating for new foster care legislation in the California state House and Callie is the spokesperson for it. Oh, and you know what else? A trip to the White House! Callie psyched to be doing some good in the world, stoked Ms. Polonius is taking her places. Stef and Lena are happy that she’s happy, but also they would like her to slow her roll. She hasn’t read the legislation, for one thing. Stef and Lena don’t know shit about Ms. Polonius, for another. And plus, Callie hasn’t even started her senior thesis yet. Brandon’s been working on his Romeo and Juliet rock opera for ten entire days now; catch up, Callie!
Callie is, of course, furious that they won’t just let her dive into this thing with her eyes closed.
It’s nice, actually. Callie is acting like a real teenager for a change. Next she goes to visit Rita to see if she can profile her for this senior thesis business, and Rita’s all for it. Callie whines a little bit about Stef and Lena not letting her do whatever she wants, and always having her best interest at heart, and helping her make decisions with their fully formed adult brains and decades of lived experience. Rita agrees that it’s funny and also wonderful to hear Callie talk like this. Until Callie explains about the commercial and the bill Ms. Polonius wants her to be the face of. Turns out one of its main tenants is giving 50 percent of the entire state foster care budget to companies that will privatize the system. Rita’s been alive long enough to know how the world works, and also she’s seen the most recent season of Orange Is the New Black. She cautions Callie against supporting it.
And so then Callie goes back to Ms. Polonius and hollers at her about the lies.
Ms. Polonius: Think about it like this. When a kid gets messed up in foster care and the state is in charge, what happens?
Callie: Nothing, most of the time.
Ms. Polonius: Okay, but when an enormous company fucks up—wait, have you ever read the news?
Ms. Polonius: Okay, awesome. When an enormous company fucks up, the CEO is held accountable for it.
Callie: Oh, wow.
Ms. Polonius: And that is the truth. It’s exactly like Jesus said: “Whosoever believeth in unregulated capitalism shall have eternal life.”
Callie goes back to Rita and explains to her about Jesus dying for the one percent, and Rita sighs and yells a little, because this is a lesson Callie’s going to have to learn the very hard way.
AJ pops by the Adams Foster house to apologize for running away with Ty. He says he didn’t realize Ty was the one who caused the season two finale accident, and he’s very ashamed of himself for dipping out on people who were so kind to him and also missing his grandmother’s funeral. After he apologizes, Mike asks Stef if maybe she can find it in her heart to testify on Ty’s behalf at his trial, because he’s facing five years for grand theft auto and hit and run and driving without insurance and a whole host of other things. Stef thinks no, not so much, not really, sorry, but no. This guy smashed into her kids and almost killed them, and the scales of justice aren’t exactly accurate when a mama bear is doing the weighing.
Callie’s mad about that too, so Stef gets her hands on AJ’s police record and it keeps her up all night. He’s a black foster kid who threw a rock in a window when he was 11 years old and has been stuck in the system ever since. Minor stuff. Stuff that would never in one hundred billion years land a middle class white dude in jail. And Stef knows it and she’s a mama bear, yes, but she’s Chaotic Good, not Lawful Good, despite the badge and the gun. She testifies for Ty and asks for leniency. He gets 18 months, which is still a lot, but not as much as the five years the DA was after.
Mariana has quite a day! She’s still feuding with Lexi because of the lie everyone tells girls about how one woman’s success is another woman’s failure, and so Mariana’s feeling doubly dejected that Lexi won student body president. Despite that, she ends up on a double date with Lexi and Jesus and Nick because Jesus worked some weird dark magic to convince Nick that the only way he could get Mariana to like him would be to bring Jesus and Mariana’s best friend to a restaurant for carnivores only (despite the fact that Mariana has been a vegetarian since she was about seven years old). It’s not a great date, but it’s charming in its way — until they get in the car to go home and Jesus ends up goading Nick into drag racing.
The whole time Nick is driving like a maniac down the strip and running red lights and Jesus is screaming like a banshee about whatever dudebro thing, Mariana is countering it by telling Nick to stop and pull over and also she is going to murder him. When he finally does slam on the breaks and zoom over to the sidewalk, she hops right the fuck out of that car and Lexi follows her and slams the door. Mariana yells over her shoulder about how if they want to kill some people, it’s not going to be them! And then she and Lexi go home and sit on the porch and talk about how actually they are each other’s soul mates and maybe they should dial back the competition and just treasure each other. And they kiss.
Just kidding. But Lexi looks at Mariana like she wants to kiss her.
The day’s not a total bust for Jesus. Mariana dimes him out for tracking down their birth dad, and also tells their moms about how that guy is a registered sex offender. So Ana drops by to explain that she was 15 when she got pregnant with them and their dad was an adult and was dealing weed, and so when the cops came to arrest him, they also charged him with statutory rape. She always told them he was a one-night stand because she wanted them to believe in a better story than one where their mom was an addict and their dad was a dealer. Oh, Ana! You beautiful, talented, brilliant, powerful musk ox!
Brandon goes to work and plays the piano and meets his new girlfriend’s kid and babysits him for a minute and kisses his new girlfriend on the mouth. He also sings a song called “Surf Girl” like he’s the first person to ever put music to such a concept. In addition to Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein, I guess Brandon has also never heard of The Beach Boys.
Oh hey, by the way, Stef had her double mastectomy. It’s been a couple of weeks. She grimaces once or twice to let us know she’s still in a little bit of pain, but her main struggle right now is that Lena keeps getting dressed and undressed behind the wardrobe doors. Stef asks her a couple of different times what the heck is going on, and Lena says nothing, everything’s good, just the usual stresses of working with teenagers all day at school and living with teenagers all night at home. And Monty undermining her authority. Stef finally, and possibly for the first time ever, tells Lena to stop what she’s doing and to sit down and talk about her feelings.
Lena says she’s feeling guilty that Stef had to have that double mastectomy and that Lena never had to have anything like that, and so she doesn’t want to make Stef feel weird by walking around naked and everything. Stef says it’s actually weird if Lena doesn’t walk around naked in front of her. And then the most beautiful thing: Stef pats the bed beside her and Lena scoots up close. Stef said earlier that she couldn’t really feel anything on her chest, but she takes Lena’s hand and she gently pushes it into her shirt says she can feel Lena right there. It’s not all numb anymore and this one spot, the one right here next to her heart, Lena’s touch is registering. Lena closes her eyes and swallows hard and Stef says, “For the record, you don’t make me feel worse. You’re what makes me feel better.”
She kisses Lena’s head and Lena nuzzles her back and they are perfect and I love them.
Next week: I don’t know! My DVR didn’t record the promo! I hope it’s more snuggling and smooching from the mamas!