The Fosters Episode 411 Recap: A Bunch of Bananas

Hello! For those of you who do not know me, I’ve been recapping The Fosters since the pilot episode for AfterEllen. But now I am here to recap it for you, lovely Autostraddle readers. I am the mother to two charmingly delinquent daughters. I birthed the first one and my heavenly wife carried the second. Other things you need to know: I over-identify with Stef, think Lena is sheer perfection (and blame stupid decisions she has made on bad writing — Lena is a goddess), think Mariana is the best kid, and that Brandon is the absolute worst. Also, Mariana and Emma should date.

Previously, Brandon can’t go to Juilliard because he took the SATs for some kid. He also broke up with his girlfriend, Cortney, via letter like some kind off five-year-old. Verdict: Still the worst. Jude and Noah have been smoking a lot of pot, doing gay stuff together, and Jude has grown seven feet and become a cranky teen. Verdict: I miss the old Judicorn. Jesús shot himself in the head with a nail gun (file under sentences you never think you will have to write) and is currently knocked out because Nick (Mariana’s unstable, ex-boyfriend) punched him in the face. Verdict: possibly on his way to a head transplant for the second season in a row. Mariana is out of her mind on Jesús’ ADHD meds and is about a day away from a Paily noir fever dream. Verdict: Jesse Spano would have seen this coming. Callie is literally in the car with a murderer. Verdict: that’s so Callie. Stef and Lena are trying to keep their house, have an actual sex life, and keep their children from dying or committing felonies. Score: DOOMED.

I’m in the car with a murderer, it’s FINE.

Oh, also I voted for Donald Trump.

Callie is getting a ride from Martha Johnson’s grandson/murderer. Once she finds this out over the phone from Aaron she is like, “Oh good, you found Mariana, cool! I’ll be right back.” When the killer starts ranting and won’t let Callie out of the car she grabs the wheel (just think of the “Jesus take the wheel” jokes missed by having Callie in this scene instead of her brother!) and they crash. Callie runs out of the car and keeps going, Forrest Gump-style, when murder boy starts shouting at her. Murder boy sees that there are people hurt and flees the scene of the accident.

Jesús is on a backboard and joking his way to the hospital with Stef when he smells gasoline and starts having a seizure. My little brother once had a seizure while I was home and it was scary as fuck to watch all six-foot four-inches of him crumple to the floor and convulse. Stef freaks out, which is normal, and refuses to leave Jesús’ side when they get to the ER. Finally, after Jesús seizes again the doctor is like, “Remove the lesbian so I can work.”

I don’t want another new head, mom!

Aaron calls Callie, who is hiding out from the murderer, to ask her what kind of gibberish she was talking on the phone. Aaron shows up on his motorcycle and tells Callie that she should go to the police to tell them about the accident. He gives her a list of things not to mention, which obviously ensures they will be the first things she says to the cops. Good lord, son. You do not know how this girl works. Callie makes the smart decision to call her moms before going to the police, and finds out about Jesús.

Brandon gets a walking through town/soulful music flashback to when he broke up with Cortney because he was moving across the country. Think he mentioned making out with that girl before his audition? I’m going with no. As he is reminiscing in the driveway of Cortney’s house like a creep, she drives up, and when he mentions that he got busted illegally taking a test for someone else she decides he is irresistible and they fuck on the floor covered with her kid’s toys. It is literally the unsexiest thing in the history of television. [Editor’s note: Is it unsexier than the time Brandon made a “little engine that could” joke about his own erection, Lucy? Is it??]

Not much a musical future for not much of a donkey.

Back at the hospital Lena charges in with Emma and Mariana in tow. Mariana is super out of it and Emma tells Lena why. Good for you, Emma Earp! Stef comes out before Lena can yell at Mariana. Inevitably, things get worse! Not only is Jesús unconscious but he is also potentially in trouble for assaulting Nick. Stef tells the officer that she’s a cop and if he wants to talk to her kid she’s going to be there. This family last caught a break in 1987.

When they head back to talk Jesús gets mad that the cops are questioning why he hauled off and slugged Nick. He smells gas again and Stef realizes he’s about to seize so she starts shouting for doctors, nurses, anyone!

Let’s be gayer than Alex and Maggie.

Oh well, nice try. Here have some more chips.

Jude and Noah, the fourteen-year-old brain trust, are skulking around the docks looking for a place to smoke some weed. They use their whiteboy privilege to lie their way onto a boat and proceed to be stupid teenagers. They smoke up, eat a bunch of chips they find onboard, start to get naked, and then have to run off the boat because the owner comes back. Brandon and Cortney are searching for Jude and find him and Noah when they sprint off the dock and fly into the back of the car. Bonnie and Clyde picking up Beavis and Butthead. Cortney drops the brothers at the hospital and agrees to take high af Noah home. Next time just leave her a flaming bag of poop, okay Brandon?

Lena hauls Mariana in to see a doctor after her little adderall binge. Lena is piiiiiissed. I love pissed off Lena. She has QUESTIONS for Mariana. How long has she been stealing meds? Why would she do this? And dear lord what the fuck is wrong with you delinquent teens? Mariana lies her butt off but it’s cool because Mama is drug testing your stupid butt.

I don’t want to hurt your feelings but this is some basic Degrassi shit, Mariana.

Well I still make better decisions than Rory Gilmore.

Callie tries to get info about the other crash victims but, you know, HIPAA. Hey, Callie: maybe stop trying to break the law for ten seconds and see how that goes? Aaron, the voice of reason, thinks Callie should talk to her moms about the accident and any judgment call from now through her 37th birthday (just to be safe).

Jesús’ brain is swelling so they have to drill a hole and monitor the pressure in his head. You know from Grey’s Anatomy this is no big deal but also that the person has a 75% chance of having a near-death experience from it. So get ready for some soft lighting.

While they put in one of those things that tells you when a turkey is done cooking, Lena decides she’s gotta go pray. Correct me if I am wrong but I am pretty sure Lena has been pretty disinterested in religion for four and a half seasons. This feels a bit weird in terms of choices. But if my kid was having brain surgery I might say a prayer, you know, just in cases.

God of Christianity, I’m sorry to have to tell you this but your PR team down here on earth has been hijacked.

Cortney comes back to the hospital to give Brandon his phone and a piece of her mind. She’s not his backup plan so fuck off, dude. Good work, Cort; that guy is a disaster. Speaking of messy, AJ and Mike are having a heart-to-heart over the stupid crap Callie and AJ said to each other (you know, before she got into the car with a murderer). Mike tells AJ that if Ana broke up with him every time he said something dumb he would have been single ages ago. Mike may be dopey, but this is actually decent advice. People screw up and sometimes we forgive them.

Brandon comes clean to Callie about the SAT fiasco but the poor guy doesn’t know how he can tell Stef with everything else going on. Way to make Jesús’ brain injury about you, Brandon. #ThatsSoBrandon.

Callie and AJ apologize to each other and then Aaron appears. AJ looks jealous but he offers to apologize for being stupid. He and Aaron have a nice moment apologizing for saying dumb shit until AJ mentions not knowing that Aaron is trans. When Callie told AJ he felt like a bigger jerk for making fun of Aaron being small. Aaron forgives AJ, but he doesn’t looked thrilled with Callie. Callie, you fucked up big time.

Good guy Mike has everyone’s stuff from the festival and a special gift for Brandon. He bought a NYC guidebook a year ago because he was sure Brandon would get into Juilliard. Whoops. Brandon doesn’t mention that he also got himself unaccepted by virtue of committing academic fraud.

I just wanted to go home and enjoy a nice night of Great British Bake Off for once in our lives.

Lena is in the chapel talking to a crucifix, as one does, I guess. This plot feels out of character for Lena but we’ll roll with it, I suppose. I cannot roll with Sherri Saum crying. It’s too damn sad! Stef brings Lena a sweater and holds her hand for a while. They are very sweet in the little time we see them together in this episode.

Emma Earp has some words for Mariana. It’s her fault that Jesús got his head bashed in. If she hadn’t been running around with Nick none of this would have happened. Mat overhears the whole thing and is like, “Wait, you’ve been seeing that guy? After he came to your house with a gun?”

Aaron wants a word with Callie. I got really pissed about Callie outing him in the last episode. I think it was the wrong choice especially for the show to leave it for six months between episodes. I think they are trying to make up for it here by having Aaron tell Callie that outing a trans person is wrong, dangerous, and could cost him his life. She apologizes and he accepts it but man I wish they hadn’t left this unsaid for half a year (or, you know, done it at all).

Go home. Emma’s in charge.

The moms send everyone home, now that Jesús is out of surgery, and tell them not to cause any more trouble. Frankly, it would be easier to tell Trump to get off of Twitter.

Callie sees on the news that there’s a tip line for info about the accident she was in and of course this girl cannot leave anything alone. So instead of calling, and keeping herself out of the mix, she bops over to the precinct to give a statement. The only problem? Detective Grey is working and that dude is shady as hell. How long before Callie is behind bars again? I give it 15 minutes.

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Lucy Hallowell

Lucy Hallowell lives near Boston with her family. She is a writer whenever she can find five minutes of peace. She is proud to say she managed to ignore her children long enough to write a short story called Dragon Slayer. She has been called a mule on more than one occasion but insists that she simply likes the high ones. Twitter, Tumblr

Lucy has written 12 articles for us.


  1. Yay! So happy to have you back. I wish we could get even more Lena/Steph cuteness and less #that’ssobrandon, but other than that this show is a comfortable blanket: I don’t obsess over it (or maybe I do? I have a LOT of blankets), but I’m soothed by it.

    Funny side story: I was at a fan convention (not one with celebrities and media, but one with about 100 people of different WLW fandoms coming together to talk about the things we do obsess over in organized fan-facilitated panels = glorious!), and while talking about representation in one panel, but also what inspires fandom (and the making of art in various forms, but also writing) THIS show came up. So many people in the room admitting to watching it because it was like a “safe” space. Sure, the kids are going to be disasters. But Lena and Steph!

    Anyway, thank you for re-capping. I may have to side with the editor, but overall it’s not an argument I can spend much time contemplating the merits of for either side and remain sane. I love this little disaster of a family anyway!

  2. I haven’t watched the show since Jesus visited the Freeform head transplant facility BUT it’s nice to see that everything is business as usual for the Fosters.

    Hilarious recap, hilarious screenshots + captions. 10/10 would read again when the Abhorrent Orange becomes to unbearable.

  3. Oh man, I gave up on this show when the school shooting episode happened, but I forgot how much I loved your recaps! I think now I may have to catch up just for that!

  4. “Callie is literally in the car with a murderer. Verdict: that’s so Callie.”

    Haaaa! I haven’t watched this show in a bit but this could have happened in any episode and I would not be at all surprised.

    • Peter Paige tweeted something along the lines of “NO CALLIE DON’T” and that could have been a pre-programmed tweet for every episode.

  5. I love your recaps, but I hope you will make half of it about Brandon. I don’t like him either, but it’s annoying to read a lot of ways he screwed up. And I also don’t like that you keep mentioning how awful Brandon is, but don’t say the same about Callie. I love the girl, but at the same time, I would say she’s almost as awful as Brandon when doing something. Same with Jude and Mariana.

    • Except Callie’s poor (so terrible) decisions are usually prompted by her trying to help someone else, or wrong a perceived injustice, while Brandon’s seem to always be about himself and what he wants to do, or some perceived slight to his personhood.

      • But Brandon’s decisions are also to help others. He’s still a dick, but when he cheated, it was to get money for Cortney. It was a stupid, reckless thing to do, even for Brandon, but he was still trying to do this someone.

    • “I don’t like him either, but please devote half of your recaps of this ENSEMBLE SHOW to the straight cis white guy!”

      • I meant “don’t”. I wasn’t reading what I was writing. There was way too many mentions of Brandon in this and I hate reading about him.

    • Jessie, with respect, if you want recaps that center on the straight white dudes on TV, you’ve come to the wrong website. That’s literally every other entertainment website on the earth.

    • Right? Finally someone mentions it. They keep mentioning how Brandon is the worst here but forget that Callie is even worse. But of course, they hate straight white dudes here so Brandon always takes the beating.

      I just wish they trash talked Callie the same way here.

  6. Brandon’s head being replaced by Eeyore is the greatest thing. That group shot cracked me up so hard. Also I love how they have so many kids that half of them can be missing for half the episode and the waiting room still felt plenty full. Also between that and Emma wearing the same shirt as half the family for the whole episode, my poor brain kept having to pause to recheck how many kids there are here right now and how many of them are actually Stef and Lena’s. The answers: A) A LOT and B) Surprisingly Few.

  7. Hey Lucy, great to see you bring your talents over here, I don’t know what I would do without you recapping The Fosters, you say everything I am thinking.

    As I asked Valerie with her Supergirl recap, any change you’ll be posting any of the #GaydyBunch tweets here?

    Now onto the show.
    I hate what they have done to Jude (I can’t even call him Judicorn anymore). I don’t like Noah mostly because he has caused Jude to go on this downward spiral. If I had to choose between Noah or Jude going for Taylor I’d want him with Taylor. The smoking pot can be dealt with but once Jude took his shirt off, I was done. If the show insists that only a year and a half has passed in 4/5 years then I cannot see Jude doing that, stop making him so grown up.

    “Callie, you fucked up big time.” and the sky is blue Lucy, what else is new. I get that Stef was going through it with Jesus but Callie could’ve gone to Mike about the hit and run, oh right that would have been the easy, smart, way of doing it.

    Raise your hand if you think Cortney is going to wind up pregnant?

    This show is getting way too dramatic with all those kids making stupid choices, can we please handle 1 crises at a time.

    • I thought Callie was gonna end up pregnant when she slept with Brandon, but I’m glad she didn’t. Hopefully he won’t have gotten Cortney pregnant either but you never know. I’m sure that somehow that hookup will cause trouble for them.

      • My guess is that she is gonna get pregnant but decide to have an abortion because she can’t afford another kid and Brandon is a kid himself. And that is the perfect story for him sulk around with.

  8. I really thought Jude was also going to be The Worst and steal that boat Rory Gilmore style. Glad he didn’t.

  9. “I still make better decisions than Rory Gilmore” is by far the best caption I’ve ever read. Glad to see you writing here! I haven’t actually watched the Fosters since season 2, but glad to see it’s ever as dramatic.

  10. Lucy, I love your bio. “Mule” “Nag” but it also says “‘Kate’ has written 3 articles for us.”?


    “Callie is literally in the car with a murderer. Verdict: that’s so Callie.” – Oh my God, the accuracy.

  12. Just have to say this review was amazing and the pictures of Brandon as Eeyore made me laugh so much and are basically my favorite thing. Also the caption about Rory Gilmore was perfection and also hilarious.

  13. Had to stifle laughter so hard at Eeyore/Brandon so as not to wake up my sleeping wife ? The group photo LOL LOL LOL LOLLLLLLLLLL

  14. thanks for doing the people’s work here! i completely share your feelings about Eeyore; he IS a disaster. #ThatsSoBrandon feels like a hashtag that ABC Family would put in the top-left corner of the screen during the live broadcast. also yes Lena is pure gold and Mariana & Emma would be the teen lesbian power couple that we need now more than ever. looking forward to reading more of your recaps!

  15. Basically Brandon as Eeyore wins the Internet this week. I got so much joy from those screenshots. I wondered over to autostraddle in hopes your recap would be here and it didn’t disappoint! So glad these will be continued because otherwise the Foster kids’ shenanigans would be too much to bare.

  16. The eyore dig is deserved. I’m surprised other commenters dislike Callie! I think she’s a good character. The events are just rather ridiculous. The show is to me only worth watching because the Stef and Lena actors are so good.

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