“The Fosters” Episode 412 Recap: Everything Is Awful

Previously on The Fosters, Jesús might actually die. Everyone else is in the middle of their own non-life-threatening drama. For now.

Jesús is having a nightmare with Radley Sanitarium lighting. He doesn’t get to dance with a ghost in the basement but he does ride a skateboard, run from A, and then comes home to find his family has sold the house and left him behind. In real life, he’s still in a coma with Stef and Lena telling him how much he’s loved and he’s wanted.

You look like every Fox News pundit rolled into one.

I know. Welcome to hell.

Brandon, Jude, and Mariana get home, think about cleaning up the house for their moms for half a second but settle for trading barbs about who’s a pothead and who’s popping pills. Brandon’s left with a pile of garbage and a reminder that he’s not going to Juilliard. Seems fair, tbh.

Callie isn’t home, not because she’s off having sex with AJ (as her siblings believe), but because she is being questioned by the cops while they also question Troy Johnson. He’s lying his stupid butt off while his lawyer chimes in to help. Callie is alone, unrepresented, and without her moms. Hmmm who are they going to believe? The officer asks if it was her fault for getting in his car. She says sure, it was my fault. Oh, Callie. It’s been years of this. When are you going to learn?

Who’s gonna cook our pancakes in the morning?

Gays are required to cook brunch; it’s the law.

So you and Emma then?

At home, Mariana returns Jesús’ medicine to the kitchen basket where all the pills are kept. Mat texts her from the garage which is moderately creepy in light of the fact that Nick hid out there not that long ago. It’s not the choice I would’ve gone with. They talk through why on earth she would let Nick think they were still together and then get down to the business of having sex on that mangey couch. Ick. Everyone but Stef and Lena have done it there, I think.

Post-coital Mariana has some screwed-up flashbacks to the day’s events. She can’t escape seeing Nick everywhere and then flashes back to when he had a gun on her in the house. Can they get a family rate on therapy? I think all of them would benefit.

Mike is at the precinct and hears Callie is being questioned. He has a few words with Detective Grey (who remains a jerk) and the detective doing the questioning. They won’t let him talk to Callie so he calls Stef. When Grey tries to tell the detective how to proceed he tells Grey to go home and leave him alone. And then he goes back in he gives Callie a snack and her statement to sign. He promises they will be done once she does. Oh, Callie. Don’t sign shit without your moms there. Call Aaron or Daphne or anyone who has seen this show over the past four seasons. Anyone.

Don’t worry: Brandon’s finally moving out soon.

You can have his bedroom and an entire basket of kittens.

Jesús’ machines start beeping right as Mike calls so Stef and Lena miss it. The beeping also interrupts them talking about Brandon and Juilliard. Stef thinks he is going to need student loans. Oh, Stef, he’s going to need his old room back, not a ticket to NYC.

Back in Radley-vision, Jesús is skateboarding through his school where Lena can’t hear him calling and where he finds Brandon making out with Emma in the principal’s office. She tells Jesús that he’s too dumb for her. Your subconscious is mean, Jesús. He hears Mariana shouting and tries to help her but she turns into little Mariana. Teeny Mariana warns Jesús “not to let him get you.” This is creepy af. Apparently, getting Pretty Little Liars‘ time slot has a downside. The “him” she’s talking about is Nick dressed as Santa and looking like a deranged Salvation Army bell ringer. Nick suddenly has a gun and shoots Mariana. Jesús screams and screams.

The way this shot is framed with the negative space on the spooky side makes me think you’re a ghost.

The Ghost of Presidents Yet to Come and I have one simple warning: Destroy Twitter!

Stef comes back with coffee to find Lena playing Christmas music for Jesús and her own phone jammed with messages from Mike.

Jude’s tidying up Jesús’ bed and desk when Brandon comes in to ask what the hell he was up to at the marina. Jude tries to lie but Brandon is smart enough to know bullshit when he hears it. Brandon even confronts Jude’s dumb argument about pot being legal and medicinal and whatever else. You’re 14, dude. It can screw up your immature brain. Brandon tells him to look it up if he doesn’t believe him and maybe cut the attitude. We all miss the sweet kid from season one. Also the same could be said for you, Brando.

Stef runs into the precinct in time to see Callie getting dragged off in cuffs. Oh man, Mama Bear Stef is in full effect and she is going to fucking kill someone. She tells Callie to keep her mouth shut and do what she’s told until Stef can come get her. You fucked with the wrong mama, Detective Dumbass.

I just want to let you know that Kristen Stewart has now done the gayest thing in TV history.


How long have we been in this hospital?

Stef calls a tearful Lena who is still at the hospital and shocked how much is going wrong at once. I’m calling BS on that. At what point do you stop being shocked? Season five? Lena crying is like ten of those Sarah McLachlan ASPCA commercials rolled into one. I need to go lie down to deal with how sad it is. An older lady comes over to sit with Lena, you know, as is the norm is hospitals.

Callie is getting processed by a guard with an alternative lifestyle haircut who asks her a bunch of invasive questions while taking all of her belongings (clothes included). Callie knows the drill but it doesn’t make it less dehumanizing. She gets the bottom bunk and once the guard leaves everyone else decides it’s time to meet the new girl. Later that night, a male guard takes one of the other girls away. When he looks at Callie she pretends to be asleep.

Lena is telling her new buddy (the badass grandma from Everwood; yeah, that’s right: I said Everwood) that her kids are great except they keep making terrible decisions. They trade medical journal data about brain growth and impulse control. The lady tells Lena that her drama-bomb kids just have too much love for everyone else and being good gets them into trouble. Just waiting for Brandon to try that excuse. I’m 99% sure that this lady is a figment of Lena’s imagination, but let’s see how it plays out. The nurse tells Lena that the swelling has gone down in Jesús’ noggin.

The next morning, Jude has done the dishes (Judicorn is back?), Mike comes over to make breakfast, and Mariana wants to know where Callie is. Oh, boy.

It’s freezing in this nightmare; I wish I’d borrowed Mariana’s Gal Pal hoodie.

Jesús, of course, has a fever. So the doctors have to try a bunch of stuff to fix it and Stef is not pleased. Settle down, action Jackson. Freaking out isn’t doing any good. Stef heads out to tell the rest of the family what’s up. Jude wants to know about Callie. She’s going to have a hearing and Stef hopes she will be able to come home. Mariana doesn’t understand why Callie was in Troy’s car. Looking for you, Mariana. Looking for you. Emma is not happy with her math buddy who seems to be the hub of all of this chaos.

Jesús’ fever dream is in the chapel this time where his moms are looking forlorn. It’s Mariana’s funeral. This really is some of the most PLL shit I’ve seen since I quit PLL. The moms tell him that they wish he was in the casket instead and that it’s his fault Mariana is dead. This is messed up.

Speaking of messed up, Mariana tells Emma that she told Jesús that Nick was after her but she was just hallucinating. All of that triggered Nick cutting off his bracelet and getting into a fist fight with Jesús. Mariana feels responsible for everything and admits she’s still all screwed up (for good reason, girl. That kid came to your house with a gun!).

The girl from the next bunk invites Callie to party with her. Callie doesn’t need to get high; she’s high on life. Can’t you tell? She also thinks she’s going home. Oh Callie, when did you ever get to go home on the first try?

Brandon calls Juilliard to see if there is anything he can do about the academic fraud thing. Nope, it seems they don’t take payment from the bank of white boy privilege. Mid mope, he spots Emma in the gift shop buying a pregnancy test. Hoo-boy. That’s exactly what everyone needs: more kids. Surprise! The test isn’t for Emma, it’s for Mariana. Does no one in this family use a damn condom?

You’re okay!

Finally we can leave and go get some Totino’s pizza rolls!

Jesús decides not to follow teeny Mariana into the light and wakes up. He talks a whole bunch of gibberish before Stef tells him to hush. Lena meets the next-door neighbor’s husband and finds out that her mother (Everwood grandma) is dead. Called it! Give yourself a high five if you spotted “visiting angel lady” from a mile away. Well done, everyone. Lena is freaked out (who wouldn’t be?) but can’t linger because Stef has to go try to spring Callie from juvvie.

The most horrible thing happened to me today: I had to erase the word “Juilliard” off this chalkboard.

Yeah, not only is Callie not coming home but she’s getting a bonus evaluation to see if they should try her as an adult. So, everything is awful! Everything sucks when you’re part of this team.

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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. Okay remember how last week I said I should get back into watching this show? Yeah, no. I’ve had enough “everything is awful” to last a lifetime. I will keep reading of course, because Lucy you are hilarious, but yup, officially done watching this and any other show where terrible things keep happening to good people.

    • Thanks for reading! Hopefully, you can at least see when they have happier episodes (or episodes with Stef and Lena being adorable).

      • Well, I just bingedwatched all of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which was exactly what I’ve been looking for. And One Day At a Time, obviously. And Supergirl. And Grace and Frankie comes back so soon. And I have a list about a mile long of new shows to try, but mostly I’ve been rewatching old stuff or silly romcoms on Netflix.

  2. I gotta say, I usually adore this show but this episode felt way too much like a bad Beverly Hills 90210 to me with Jesus’s silly coma-dreams, and then they went ahead and drove that sensation home by casting Scott Scanlon’s nutty mom as a guardian angel! (And look, I don’t mean to impugn the Bev-Niner, but TV is just different now, for good reason.)

    So I get the feeling Callie is going to get herself another cause in juvie because it seems like there might be some sort of inappropriate sexual something-or-other going on after hours there.

    I need this family to go on another camping trip for a whole episode.

  3. Callie in trouble and I’m just like: Nope nope nope nope.

    I really wish Brandon had gotten into Julliard and then he could have gone away forever.

  4. I loved it I’m a big fan of the fosters I really am because Callie is my sis! I go to the house when they shoot. I don’t like to be on TV because I freeze up and look at the camera and freeze up! I love my Sis!

  5. Watching the show live has become less of a priority for me because it is just SO frustrating right now. Is anyone else feeling this way? I mean I get family drama but come on this is family drama on Jesus’ pills and steroids.

    “Oh, Callie. It’s been years of this. When are you going to learn?” to us it’s been years but on the show they only foolishly have the time line at like a year (if that).

    I miss the old Judicorn too but just because he washed a couple of dishes I doubt he’s back. As long as that bad influence kid is in the picture (I can’t remember his name) Jude is headed for trouble. Also why did they flip the script on that kid from being such a church kid?
    And listen show, I want Jude to come to his senses but I don’t need Brandon of all people to be the voice of reason for him.

    Other than that the show was still annoying. I do have 2 predictions though…
    1-Yes we saw Emma buy a pregnancy test and pass what looked like the same bag to Mariana but I don’t think that’s what happened. Brandon obviously saw this and is going to go all high and mighty about it but he misjudged the situation (as per usual) but what’s going to turn out is and I mentioned this last week Cortney is going to come back and say she’s knocked up by him, knocking him off his high horse.
    2-With Callie (side note, did anyone think the cop bringing her snacks was a little shady, like he wanted to get her DNA or something?) I think the cop was doing her a favor with locking her in juvie so that Troy lets his guard down and they can follow up on the accusations. After all that’s clear or to get all that clear they’ll make a deal with Callie to bring down the guard who is either supplying girls with drugs or I think having sex with them in juvie.

  6. My favorite/least favorite part of this season so far is the fact that everybody is either dying or in juvie or maybe pregnant and all Brandon has done is have sweaty sex and mope about not getting to go to Juilliard. If you’ve never seen the show, this is his entire character in a nutshell.

  7. it sucks that 2/10 episodes have gone by with Stef and Lena completely wrapped up in the ridiculousness of their kids. I feel like the show could have been so much better without freeform forcing the melodrama.

    I do think the writers were sensitive at the end of 4a to the accusations that they were so dark, and right now there is nowhere to go but lighter.

    I do really miss when the moms got to do stuff that didn’t include their kids, season 1a had so much good stuff where they got to be people and not just moms, it feels like the writers really struggle to give them their own plots.

    • I don’t think it’s gonna get any better since Freeform caters to teens even more than ABC Family did, and teens are likely to tune out if the show focuses too much on the adults.

  8. Okay so I’m pretty sure that’s not the badass grandma from Everwood (Debra Mooney). I’d know her loving-yet-slightly-disappointed face anywhere. Unless there were two badass grandmas and I’m blocking one out?

  9. This episode was so overly dramatic that I was anger-growling through the whole thing, tsk.

  10. #thatssoBrandon #thatssoCallie
    I love mama bear Steph!

    I wonder if they’re going anywhere with the Lena praying/Lena angel experiences, or if they were merely convenient plot devices.

    As always, the screen cap captions are the best. “How long have we been in this hospital?” Gold! But also oddly literally on point given the kind of wonky timelines on this show. ;) And the Jude/Mariana back and forth. “So you and Emma then?”

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