The Fosters Episode 415 Recap: The Lusty Unicorn

Previously on The Fosters, pestilence, plague, and teen pregnancy.

Callie’s classmates are taking in her senior project. The cell is plastered with images and snippets of reports written about Callie. A recording of a guard ordering someone around plays while the students walk through the cell. A student starts to ask a question but the teacher (one of the two women who went topless in the Adams Foster dream kitchen and got fondled by the moms) tells him to save it for the discussion. Talya (remember her? She was evil in season one) emerges and has a hard time looking Callie in the face.

Brandon and Emma are at Planned Parenthood where she is working through her feelings about ending her pregnancy and Brandon is doing his best to support her. He thinks he would feel sad and scared if it were his but he knows he’s not ready to be a father. Emma hasn’t told Jesús but she can’t exactly wait until he’s all better (if he ever will be). Emma heads back to the office leaving Brandon with his feelings in the waiting room.

Would you like to hear about the heroic night when I bravely fought the—


I just want to note that this show has given us two abortion storylines where other shows would have headfaked and copped out with a conveniently timed miscarriage or change of heart. The fact that we saw two very different women make two very different choices about ending their pregnancies on one show should be noted and applauded. When Lena ended her pregnancy with Frankie, it was a terrible choice to make for her and the show gave us every ounce of that anguish (the fact that Sherri Saum was filming all that while pregnant with twins is mind-boggling).

Here we get Emma making a hard decision but without a lot of shitty moralizing. She’s not ready to be a mother. Yes she is torn about it. Maybe it’s because her parents would very much not be okay with her choice. Maybe it’s partly due to not being able to talk to Jesús about it because he’s in the midst of trying to get his brain to rewire itself. But it’s not framed as her being worried about being a “baby killer” or any of the utter fucking wankshite spewed by the anti-choice side of the world. She’s torn because it’s not an easy choice. Really, at sixteen what are the easy choices? Anyway, I don’t always love the issue-heavy nature of the show but it merits acknowledging what they have done with the issues of women being in control of their own decision-making over four seasons.

Raise your hand if you think we should add EVEN MORE drama to this show.

Jude is in his sex ed class and finding that it’s really heterocentric. You think that’s bad? Try watching television; it’s a veritable smorgasbord of heteros and white dudes who resemble starchy foods.

Callie’s classmates have a bunch of questions for her; how long was she in solitary? Was she abused in her foster homes? You know, regular stuff. Talya speaks up and thanks Callie for opening her eyes to the fact that not everyone who goes to jail has done something wrong. Slow clap for Talya’s belated awareness. Welcome to the present; we’re running a real resistance. They clap for Callie’s amazing art project. Callie Adams Foster graduates!

Mariana asks AJ if he’s excited for his new roomies. Whoopsie! Maybe Mike should have mentioned Ana and Isabella moving in. Every season on this show the theme is basically “everyone stop having secrets!” Every season the dum dums keep more secrets.

Taylor is chatting with Jude about his sex life. He and Noah are ony not having sex because he’s grounded. But now that he’s not high off his ass all the time he’s nervous about having sex. So helpful Taylor is like “Hey, Justin Taylor, why don’t you hook up with some randoms as practice.”

Helllo. Helllloooo. Can anyone see me?

At dinner, there are thirty-five conversations going on at once. Callie wants an update on her case, Jude wants to know why there’s no gay sex ed, Jesús wants to know if Brandon has seen Emma and if she’s feeling okay (she didn’t come see him). I would like to know if the moms are ever going to share more than lingering hugs and cheek kisses this season? Brandon offers Jesús his room since it will fit the hospital bed. Wait, Brandon being a good kid two weeks in a row? Inconceivable! Monte calls to ask Lena to remove Callie’s senior project from campus.

At dinner across town, AJ asks when Mike was planning to tell him Ana and Isabella were moving in. It’s awkward for a second but AJ says he is happy to have them. AJ sees Brandon’s room offer and raises with an offer to sleep on the couch to give the baby his room. This good son round goes to AJ. Ana laughs him off because they plan to take the apartment next door because it’s three bedrooms. Hmmm, I guess Mike didn’t mention that Ana can’t move in as long as he’s fostering AJ.

Based on Mariana’s worries that if Callie can buy herself out of jail maybe Nick can too, Stef is ready to teach Mariana some self-defense moves in the backyard. Mariana is appropriately dressed in heels. What? You can’t call timeout to change when you get attacked. Stef rolls her eyes but admits Cher Horowitz has a point. Stef starts running through ways to stay safe but Mariana is more interested in tweeting and responding to texts than to the lesson. Stef heads inside.

Maybe this explains why I’m invisible half the time.

The Judicorn has googled “gay sex 1st time” and is reading all about how awkward it is when he finds an ad for Pump (the Fosters version of Grindr) and downloads it. Jude uses a shirtless pic of his torso for Pump and gets a message right away. He lies and says he’s 18. Oh dude, this is all such a bad idea. Watch Queer as Folk or something.

Callie is strumming a tune on her guitar. Reindeer are better than people… Lena walks in to tell Callie that Monte loved her project so much that she wants it off school property ASAP. You see the school hasn’t had a great enrollment ever since Nick brought a gun to campus and it would be great if the prospective parents didn’t see Callie’s odes to SHU at the open house. Callie says she gets it and frankly didn’t want it up for every parent to ogle anyway.

MIke gives Ana a song and dance about what if she just moved in next door instead of in with him. It would be great and they would have another bathroom and… Ana calls bullshit. He tells her the real reason, which makes her cry. Way to go, Mike. I think your DNA might be the whole problem with Brandon.

Lena pops by the school to talk with Jesús’ teachers and spy on the guy holding her job while she’s on leave. She also brings up the fact that sex ed doesn’t cover gay sex or issues related to LGBT sexuality. Monte is less than interested in changing the curriculum and reminds Lena that her concerns as a parent are fine but she’s on leave so back off. Also the new guy is a tool. P.S. Monte you weren’t so disinterested in Lena teaching you about lesbian sex a season ago so… maybe stop being an ass.

You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to but do you know if Brandon still ships Kara and Mon-El?

Mom, let him live!

Brandon visits music therapy and can’t even be trusted to pick up the instruments without upsetting one of the kids with autism in the class. Way to go, Brandon. He runs away because his three parents have left him entirely unequipped to handle consequences.

Callie and AJ pack up her project and chat about how Ana is moving in and how Mike wants to adopt him. AJ would like Mike to adopt him but he doesn’t want to upset his brother. Callie says that if Ty cares about AJ he’ll be fine with it. Talya walks over and calls Monte’s decision to have Callie take the project down bullshit. Remember when Talya just skulked around and was a bitch to Callie?

Jesús is using his new room to try to put the moves on Emma. He even says he’ll wear his helmet during sex just to be sure it’s safe. She opts to make him a sandwich instead.

Jude is working on some homework when he decides to check his messages on Pump. He has one and when the guys asks if he’d like to meet up, Jude asks where. Babylon. Seriously. Go watch the show. I bet your boss could lend you his copy.

AJ is trying to talk about Mike but Ty is all excited that he could be getting out in a few months. He has been taking classes to be a firefighter and he is ready to get a place for him and for AJ so they can live together, just like they planned.

Emma is making a white bread and mayo sandwich when Brandon walks in. Coincidence? He asks how she’s feeling and she tells him that Jesús wants to get busy and she is definitely not up for that. Brandon stammers out some awkward words and then tells Emma he is there if she needs to talk. I like this Brandon better than old Brandon. This kid can stay. Jesús texts her and looks all sad when she says she was talking to Brandon. Ugh. This part of the storyline I am not thrilled about.

Well, Mariana wouldn’t tell me if Brandon ships SuperCorp yet so I tried to scare it out of her!

He could be reading Kara/Mon-El fan fiction right under our noses!

Stef, come on. I’m sure he’s moved on to some other white guy thing by now.

Stef jumps out from the bushes and scares the ever-living crap out of Mariana. Lena can’t believe this is the shit she comes home to. Five kids and Stef is the one causing a ruckus. Go day-drink somewhere Lena. Call me, I’ll be happy to join you. Stef is all “but she gave me attitude and isn’t taking self-defense seriously.” Lena gives her a look and tells Stef that not everyone grew up playing with G.I. Joe and teaching their PTSD afflicted daughter to fight by scaring her is maaaaybe not the best idea. Stef pouts but stomps off to apologize to Mariana.

Jude walks up to a sketchy looking apartment building, knocks, and goes inside where some dude is in a towel. Run, Judicorn! Run!

Stef sits down next to Mariana and tries to explain the do’s and don’ts of self-defense using Snow White as a tool. It’s awful. Come on, Stef. You know you watched that movie 50 times if your kid loved it. She tells Mariana that she did a good job when Nick was there because she got him to give up on hurting her and himself. Mariana screams and scares the wits out of Stef and then they laugh and have a nice moment over giving each other heart attacks.

I’m sorry I…

I’m sorry I sprang from the bushes and scared you.

I’m trying to accept that Brandon is just going to be awful and I can’t control it.

Alert! Alert! We have Lena in a tank top! Sleeveless Lena moving Callie’s project. Pardon me while I take a moment to appreciate Lena (respectfully. As a feminist). Monte comes over and wants to know if Callie is behind the senior boycott of the open house. Nope. And Callie won’t give up who is. Monte is a bitch to Lena and to Callie and then storms off. Lena apologizes for not sticking up for Callie. I am here for Lena and Monte going head-to-head, honestly. My money is forever on Lena. Anyway, Callie has an idea Monte isn’t going to like and Lena is all ears.

Stef wants to talk about Lena about the fact that one of the kids downloaded Pump. Jude walks in and they grill him about where he was, what he was doing, and what on earth he was thinking? The poor kid looks like he’s been crying for an hour or so. Once the moms get done lecturing him about how many terrible things could have happened to him, they tell him that they want him to be careful and (when he’s older) to have positive sexual experiences. It all ends in a mom sandwich. Ugh this show. When it’s good, it’s pretty darn good.

Well, Jude thinks he’s a ghost.

That would explain a lot, actually.

Lena puts up a flyer in the school hallway offering to teach LGBT kids sex ed off campus. Monte tells her that’s a good idea and that the seniors backed down and will participate in the open house. Fill-in Assistant Principal guy runs in from CPAC to talk to Monte. Turns out Callie got the seniors to back down by displaying her project “off campus.” It’s across the parking lot from the school. Monte is pissed and Lena is out of fucks to give.

Brandon returns to music therapy, promises to observe and be practically invisible, and then pratfalls over a bunch of music stands. Classic. But it turns out that the kid he disturbed in the last class thinks physical humor is funny and his mom was so happy to hear that he laughed, she hugs Brandon. Tripping and still ending up getting kudos? #ThatsSoBrandon

Callie and AJ are discussing the shitty spot he’s in between not wanting to hurt Mike or his brother. But, a lady who is there for the open house comes by the tell Callie that she should consider applying to her college. It’s in San Diego! It’s close by! The show can continue with all the kids still at home. California University Condors! Woo hoo!

How about if Emma and I perform a few numbers from La La Land for you?


Brandon comes home to Jesús and Emma playing piano. Jesús starts yelling that he knows they are having sex and that’s why she won’t have sex with him. Stef steps in and clears the room. Jesús breaks down. Mariana runs after Brandon and yells at him until he objects to the idea that Emma is pregnant. He says she isn’t anymore. Good lord, dude. You are a terrible secret keeper!

AJ and Ana’s mom are playing with Isabella when abuela lets it slip that Ana can move in now that Mike is going to adopt AJ. All the secrets, you guys. Can everyone just try not to lie so damn much?

Mariana tweets about Emma not trusting her with the news she was pregnant. It’s not about you, Mariana!

Lena and Callie walk in, high off the news that Callie is getting recruited by art school so of course, OF COURSE! Robert is in the kitchen to break the news that he couldn’t buy everyone off so Callie has to go to trial.

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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. Congrats Callie on finally graduating. Yay!
    Jude is supposed to be 13-14, right? I feel dirty just watching him browse on Pump…

    • RIGHT! It’s is creepy and wrong. In my book that is too young and maybe that makes me naive but I have cousins that age (who I babysat for) and they are no where near the maturity level to be thinking about sex even if it was being taught in school, they would probably be like (tee hee the teacher said penis). i think TPTB keep forgetting that their timeline doesn’t match the way the kids especially Jude/Hayden are aging in real life.

      • Where I live we have sex ed in school when we’re like 10 years old, so even if people that age aren’t ready to actually have sex, most people are aware of the concept, so it’s never too soon to learn about sex and how to do it safely.

        • I remember being in health class in 8th grade (13), a note had to be signed by your parents to take the class and all but I took it.
          My problem is that this show has not done right by Jude the character (aside from him appearing in half the episodes). Episode 1 we knew the moms bought condoms for Brandon, during season 1 Jesus had sex with Lexi, Callie talks about being abused by Liam, and Mariana never found the right guy until Mat (well Wyatt but we won’t go there).
          I say this to point out that everyone is having sex on this show (well except the moms) they could have little Judicorn innocent for just a little longer, Jude’s story could have been for the kids out there that don’t start having sex or thinking about sex in the 8th grade because TPTB are already using every other kid on this show to show the effects of sex.

          • I had my first gay experiences when I was twelve/thirteen. The internet was MUCH less heavily moderated ten years ago and it ended up really messing with the arc of my childhood. I think having a gay sex Ed class would have really normalised a lot of what I was grappling with at the time, and maybe I wouldn’t have turned to the seedy underbelly of the internet to feel some semblance of community.

          • As much as I wouldn’t mind if they had a character that is “innocent” and isn’t even thinking about sex, Jude is the only main character they have if they wanna do a storyline about how gay sex isn’t taught in school. I think it’s nice that they aren’t shying away from the gay kid being interested in sex.

    • Jude just turned 14 based on the timeline (which is so damn jacked up)and if Anchor Beach is a 6-12 school he’s in 8th grade now. Callie will turn 18 in the summer between HS and College. I still don’t know why Brandon and Callie are in the same grade when his birthday is August 28, 1996 unless he had to repeat a grade before the show started. The twins and Emma are all Juniors.

  2. I hadn’t really thought about the parallels between Lena and Emma’s respective abortion plots until now. Thank you for pointing them out!

    Man, I was so impressed with how the show handled that scene at Planned Parenthood.

    • I was really impressed the show didn’t duck the issue either time. It was refreshing.

      • And remember that Lexi was given the morning after pill so essentially they’ve depicted three different abortion experiences.

        • I love that they included that too, but it’s def not abortion –

          From Planned Parenthood: “The morning-after pill will not induce an abortion in a woman who is already pregnant, nor will it affect the developing pre-embryo or embryo (Van Look & Stewart, 1998). Emergency contraception prevents pregnancy and helps a woman prevent the need for abortion.”

          • Huh. Do doctors know this? I had to take one sometime in the late 90s – early 00s and the doctor was condescending as fuck about how we should have used protection (we did) and basically treated me like I was a shameless reprobate for even asking for one.

  3. This episode wasn’t terrible or should as say as much of a clusterfuck as the first few episodes have been. Callie didn’t do anything that she thought would “help” her case but really hurt it. I’m glad she finally got her senior project done but how funny would it have been if Monte was like we can’t accept this and it would’ve been back to the old drawing board for Callie with project 47.
    During her speech though I had to chuckle at Callie’s answer when the kid asked how long she was in solitary for and she blew out and breathe and was like “you know time has no meaning, no doors or windows to determine the days passing into night” etc and then she was like “a day and a half”. I’ve stayed up for a day and a half writing a college paper.

    Am I the only one that can’t figure out what the “payoff” would be to Jesus’ injury? The story line will come to a head sooner or later but is it to push Emma and Brandon closer? I want it end soon but the way this show uses a time line it wouldn’t be feasible for him to recover that fast. Then again Stef recovered from a gun shot and cancer in the span of 3 months so.

    I think the moms need to do random cell phone checks because that’s where the trouble is for these kids. I mean we all know that Mariana’s gonna get a stalker from her tweeting right? Thankfully the moms got the alert that someone bought the pump app or else when would they have found out about it?

    I really wish the writers could edit themselves, they’ve put 10 seasons worth of issues into 1 season and there is just too much going on.

    • Sick and tired of Jesus’ TBI… Wish we had more Stef and Lena. They pack so much into each season why not give them a storyline together.

    • Agreed, the writers should edit themselves, way to much happening one episode & too much drama. Actually, that is driving & has driven many lesbians that I know away from watching the show. Some of them just keep up with the recap and clips of Stef & Lena.

  4. I love these recaps. Laughed out loud at the guy running in from CPAC. Also nice Hamilton nod with Talya.

  5. So, this episode made me shout at my television at least three times. All of these times were related to one character; that character was Brandon.

    So I know Lucy had some good things to say about the abortion story-line, and whilst yes, I mostly agree, the first shouting incident occurred during this scene. Because, despite the fact Emma is the one who is pregnant, Emma is the one who is going to have an abortion, and Emma will be the person having to deal with the physical and emotion after-effects of this, I couldn’t help but feel more than a little pissed that Brandon was made to be a focus. “Brandon, what do you think?”, and “Brandon, what do you feel?” are not questions worthy answering because they are not questions that should have been asked. Brandon has nothing to do with this, he isn’t even the “father”. That his thoughts and opinions were expressed more deeply and articulately than those of the woman* in this situation undermines all that this story line hoped to achieve. By placing the thoughts and feelings of a straight white cis-man above the pregnant woman* only serves to reinforce how most discussions about abortion are always prioritising the thoughts and feelings of man above every, and anything else.

    Brandon fuck-up number two comes in the form of his “help” at the music place (I have a super crappy memory when it comes to names and places, so bear with me). Firstly, without any kind of background check he should be no where near vulnerable people and/or children. This is a fact. Seeing him in this place after he just waltzed in like “Hey, did you you know, I’m Brandon! Oh did you know I also play piano? Well I do, well mostly when other people are around to hear me play piano, because if I am playing the piano and no one is around to hear me play, am I really playing the piano?” (sorry, not sorry), and then think that this is another place he has a right to be? Nah bruv. You do not. The needs of children and vulnerable adults are way above the passing interest of a boy incapable of putting anyone but himself first. He should be no where near those kids. Furthermore, his inability to follow basic instructions “Brandon, collect up the musical instruments” *Brandon then violates personal space of highly autistic kid* further proves this. His response to this (to run away) highlights how incapable of understanding and prioritising the needs of others.

    The final Brandon fuck-up links in to the first. Because as if wasn’t bad enough that Emma’s abortion hadn’t already been made to centre around his feels, now we get to endure Brandon once again failing to comprehend anything other than his skewered world-view of “I am Brandon, I play the piano, I fuck-up all the time, but I play the piano so I am still pretty great!11!!!!1!”. Emma made it pretty damn clear throughout this entire episode that HER abortion was a secret. There are many reasons for this, notably, her parents would probably not be okay with it, and it could actually further harm Jesus. Despite knowing this, despite being reminded of this, Brandon makes absolutely no fucking effort to hide or deny knowledge of it. Instead once Marianna (who, for the record, I also cannot stand) worked out Emma might be “pregnant” it only takes Brandon a second to correct her and say “she was pregnant”. Knowing full well that Marianna is completely incapable of keeping anything to herself, knowing full well that she also insists on centring herself within the issues and problems of other people, he fucked up. Big time. He broke the trust of Emma, and in doing so, shared her secret with someone who will feel no shame or sadness in further betraying her, or letting her know how awful she is. Furthermore, by sharing this secret he could possibly create a dangerous situation for Emma (whose parents may very well now find out about her abortion), and may also endanger Jesus should he be made aware.

    Apologies for the essay, but by God, has this boy annoyed me. I am forever fed-up of the show trying to force this image of him trying to be a good little white boy who just happens to get into trouble. He actively chases it, creates it, and infects the world with it. He his no better than the flu. A virus, one that will catch you in your worst moment, and bring you down for a good few weeks, during which time you will contract even more infections and illnesses. Let’s not pretend he is anything but insidious.


    (Apologies again for the length)

  6. The timeline of this show is so jacked up and it’s making me batty. It’s supposed to be Nov 2014 on the show which means all of this madness has happened in 18 months. Remember the show started when the twins were just shy of their 15th birthday in late April 2013 so that tracks with the Prop 8 decision at SCOTUS so the moms could get legally married at the end of the 1st season. I just can’t with all the unnecessary drama. Also, the lack of sexy times with Stef and Lena is so maddening.

    • ETA
      As I said in my other comment we’ve determined that it’s late Nov 2014 in the show (but no mention of Turkey Day so WTF?) because Jude is 14 now which means all of this chaos has happened in 18 months.

      Here are the kids birthdays

      August 28, 1996- Brandon

      July 11, 1997- Callie

      May 17, 1998- Mariana and Jesus

      November 17, 2000- Jude

      Now why are both Brandon and Callie seniors when CA rules would’ve allowed Brandon to start kindergarten a year earlier than he did. The way they’ve written his character doesn’t scream him having to repeat a grade during elementary school so what gives? Why make his birthday so far away from Callie’s. They could’ve saved themselves from this issue if Brandon’s birthday was after September of that year.

      Also, let’s concentrate on Brandon and Callie’s stories in season 4. Both of them have been through a decade’s worth issues in only about 4 months time. This is getting ridiculous.

      • Holy moly, you’ve really done your research!

        And yes, the entire family must live in a freaking time warp.

  7. “Every season the dum dums keep more secrets” is the single best sentence that has ever been written about The Fosters

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