Previously on The Fosters, Jude just wants to talk about sex, Lena is out of fucks to give w/r/t Monte, Stef’s a detective but can’t keep Callie from trying to Nancy Drew her ass right back to jail, Jesus has a TBI and is pissed at everyone, Mike wants to adopt AJ and move in with Ana, and Brandon is lightly stalking a music therapy class.
Sharon is back, and so is her boy toy and they are having some din din with the whole family in the dream kitchen. She is back to her old tricks, telling the kids that RV rallies are just a bunch of folks doing drugs (I will never look at my wife’s grandparents the same again), telling them about Burning Man, oh right and how Will proposed to her. Mariana is all set to be a bridesmaid and to go to Vegas with them. Sharon wants them all there with her so they plan a trip to the court house. Nope. Mariana invites them to have it at the house. Stef is less than thrilled at the prospect because her job keeps her busy but Mariana has a plan: Lena is just sitting around eating bon bons so she can help. Oh, Mariana. Jesus says he’s not going to physical therapy anymore and Will promises to take care of everything. So looks like we’re having another wedding in the yard.
Stef washes and Callie dries the dinner dishes while Stef assures Callie that she’s not going to let her go to prison. Sure, the justice system has never done right by you but this time will be different, okay? Callie can’t understand why Troy won’t take the money. Robert’s lawyers are on it; digging into every single thing he’s ever done. They’ll find something. Maybe a connection to Putin, there’s a lot of that going around.
Sharon pops in from the garage when Callie toddles off to bed. Sharon likes the new guest house so much she offers to come visit more, and so Stef deadpans that they are going to turn it back to a garage. I love these two. Annie Potts adds a buzzing energy to the house that I sorely miss when she’s not around and she and Teri Polo feel (and look) like mother and daughter. Will wants to ask Stef for her blessing and she is like yeah sure whatever but Sharon needs an out. She doesn’t want to marry this guy. She only said yes because she didn’t want to embarrass him! #MasculinitySoFragile. Stef is like yeah well you are a grown ass woman and you’re not using me to cover for you so march your butt out there and tell him yourself.
Jude gets harrassed by a couple of guys who would love to watch some girl-on-girl action at his house during gay sex ed. Lena, you knew this was going to be a thing. I’m not saying you don’t help the kids but this is just asking for douche-bros to bug your babies. But also we have all been waiting for more than lingering hugs from Stef and Lena all season.
AJ is trying to impress some girl with his ability to make Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. Dude, you can do better than that and also that girl is not Callie. When Callie walks up he stops flirting about buns and promises to contribute to the girls’ basketball bake sale. Callie thinks they would make a cute couple while she’s in prison. He offers to help and of course Callie has a plan. A Callie Plan! Girl, cut it the fuck out.
Emma Earp arrives at the Adams Foster home for carnage. Brandon opens the door wearing a Bob Dylan shirt just in case you didn’t already know he’s insufferable, and Emma hands him a letter for Jesus that will explain everything she hasn’t told him about being pregnant and now not being pregnant. She asks Brandon to give it to his brother, so Brandon hands it over and offers to stay with Jesus while he reads it but Jesus sends him away. Too bad Brandon doesn’t know that Jesus can’t read since his injury. Nevertheless, the secret persists!
Monte is making Lena get permission forms signed for the sex ed class even though it’s off campus. Monte, you suck. Sure, it’s going to be a snap for LGBT students to ask their parents to go get sex ed specifically about LGBT sex. Jude is fucking pissed because kids are giving him a hard time. No, his moms aren’t going to demo sex for the group but they do think he should invite Noah. Hahahaha. Oh, you thought it was going to be awkward just at school, did you?
Stef is on call all weekend which would conflict with the wedding, except she’s damn sure there won’t be one. Whoopsie! Then why are Mariana and Will decorating a chuppah. Sharon didn’t tell him last night because he seduced her (Stef and Lena’s faces are priceless) and by the time she got up this morning he was already at Chuppahs R Us. Mariana bops in to tell the moms they need a caterer because Will and Sharon invited a bunch of their RV buddies.
Callie’s brilliant plan is to check out Troy Johnson’s alibi for the murder. Jesus H Fucking Christ, Callie! This is why you keep going to jail! AJ tries to talk her out of it but the best he can manage is to go into the store by himself. Where, of course, he runs into Troy. Turns out the alibi witness was Troy’s girlfriend. Troy comes out to the car, pounds on the window and screams in Callie’s face. Nice guy, really.
Will has grilled carrots and cooked some other lovely looking vegetarian food for dinner. Noah can’t come to sex ed but Sharon would love to come. They shut that whole situation down. Grandma at sex ed is not what anyone wants. Will brings out champagne to celebrate the fact they are getting married. Ah, so that’s where Stef gets the Avoiding Stuff gene. Will gives a long toast and asks for Stef’s blessing. She says yes, of course. She’s not helping Sharon dig out of this mess. Sharon is going to marry this guy, I guess.
Sharon brings Jesus his meds and offers to read him Emma’s letter. She starts reading and then when she sees what Emma is trying to tell Jesus, she pauses, makes a joke about her glasses and then makes some shit up rather than tell him what is actually in the letter. Jesus is so relieved that he dictates a text to Emma saying he understands and isn’t mad. This reminds me of the Friends episode where Ross falls asleep during Rachel’s letter and they get back together because she thinks he’s sorry for cheating on her. Yeah, this is going to end super well.
Lena thinks the sex ed class is a total waste of time with only two kids. Just kidding there’s about twenty kids, including Noah, there. A bunch didn’t ask permission because their parents don’t know they’re LGBT so whatcha gonna do, Lena? Lena can’t turn them away. Noah breaks the ice with the sex ed lady by asking, “What if both partners are pitchers or catchers?” Jude looks like maaaaaybe he wishes Noah were somewhere else for this.
Jesus makes it downstairs to open the door for Emma (who is all dressed up for the wedding, I assume). They have some awkward back and forth which only continues the illusion that they are talking about the same note.
Since Mat just broke up with Mariana, Brandon called Grace to help him out with the music. She says it’s fine as long as she can get out of there in time to go to stand up at a local open mic. She’s doing it as her one thing a day that scares her. Hmm, quoting queer icon Eleanor Roosevelt seems like a good way to tell Brandon to back off. Brandon runs over to ask Emma about Jesus and she says he’s totally cool with the note, so… this is clearly Checkov’s gun, right? Sharon bops in looking decidedly not ready to get married. She asks Emma to help her with her dress. Click boom.
Callie is upstairs stalking the alibi witness. She got Mariana to befriend the lady. AJ is not having any of these shenanigans because it’s her own damn fault she’s always in trouble. She needs to leave this shit alone and leave him out of it because the system doesn’t look fondly on young, black men with a record.
Stef is going through the mail and finds that she and Lena are no longer married! Congratulations! You got to keep the house but not the marriage license! Stef says they can go to the courthouse and get hitched — she’ll even wear flannel — but Lena thinks it’s just another dumb thing to put on their list. Another piece of paper. Who needs it, right? (Just like asking Spermothy for his signature before getting inseminated. You guys never learn!)
Sharon tells Emma what she read and that she didn’t read all of the letter to Jesus. She isn’t going to tell, she just needed to make sure that Emma was okay. Emma tears up and Sharon gives her a big grandma hug. It’s very sweet but Sharon can’t keep a secret for her damn life so this should be interesting.
Noah helps Jude get ready and tries to talk to him about Adams Foster sex ed. Jude was freaked out about Noah asking so many questions because he has had sex with three whole people! Isn’t he an expert? Well, Noah hasn’t had sex-sex, just “sex” and maybe he would some day like to have sex sex but not yet. They are kind of sweet when they aren’t high off their stupid asses.
It’s about to pour and Mariana is freaking out about it so she stalks off to find her grandma so they can start this thing. A minute later, Mariana finds grandma and she needs reinforcements of the Stef and Lena variety. Sharon is crying in the bathroom. It’s a TV wedding staple, really. Sharon just can’t get married. Her feet are colder than Paul Ryan’s heart. Lena pops in, too.
Emma tries to bring up the note with Jesus and then pretends she can’t see their seating cards. He can’t read and she figures it out because she’s the smartest and the wittiest and all this lying is insidious.
Mariana asks Brandon and Grace to play a song, any song, just play dammit! And then she runs away from Will. Brandon dares Grace to do her stand-up for this crowd. Sure, that should be awesome.
See the thing is, Sharon loved Stef’s dad until they got married. Then, she just wanted to murder the sonofabitch. There’s a knock on the door; Sharon asks who it is and then hides in the shower. Teri and Sherri are hilarious. Um, I think he knows you’re in here, Sharon. Stef tells her she has to go face him.
While Grace does some truly awkward comedy, Emma tells Brandon that Jesus didn’t read the letter because, well, he can’t read. Grace’s set is cut short by thunder (literal, thank you god). Grace kisses Brandon (banking her one scary thing for the next day).
Stef sits on the toilet. She wants that damn marriage license. She wants the same rights and equality and protection marriage provides. She wants it for her and for Lena and for their four hundred children. So she asks Lena to marry her. Lena cries and smiles and it’s better than any damn rainbow.
Brandon and Grace sing Stevie Wonder while Sharon and Will dance on down the aisle. They take the seats in the front row so Stef and Lena can take their spot (and bouquet) under the chuppah. They make up their vows on the spot and the heavens open up and it pours while they just kiss and kiss and kiss. Any other show I’d worry that one or both would be struck by lightning but not here. Everyone crowds around the kitchen window but Stef and Lena say fuck it and get absolutely soaking wet.
I’ll be first in line to give a big what the fuck to this season so far. It feels like the season they wrote to be sure they got a fifth season so I am trying to take it with a grain of salt. There are a lot of storylines that make no sense to me which is fine, I don’t watch for the kids. I’m here for the moms and a rotating cast of whichever kid is best at the time (generally Mariana). That’s just where my life is. I’m not a teenager. I don’t relate to the kids in this show much of the time. I do relate to bickering with your wife and rolling your eyes at your mother. I get job bullshit and stupid co-workers. That’s just where I am in my life.
In two weeks, my wife and I will celebrate having been together for eighteen years. We met when we were both eighteen. I was nineteen by the time we finally got out of our own way and started dating. But you get the picture. We have almost been with each other longer than we lived on this planet without each other. That’s a long ass time. We’ve lived in four different states, traveled to eight more, gone through college, grad school, med school, law school, residency, fellowship, planned a wedding, had two babies, and bought a house. Like I said, it’s a long ass time.
What we see on TV is so often the grand, romantic gestures. Proposals and flowers and that stuff is easy as can be. We don’t always see the hard stuff unless it ends in on-screen divorce. But what I love about Stef and Lena is that they get to make out in the rain like The Fosters‘ answer to The Notebook. I love that, truly. But more than that I love that Lena tells Stef and goddammit our life is hard sometimes (always, in their case) but I choose you. I chose you a decade ago and I chose you when you got shot and I chose you when I wanted to be pregnant and adopt a dozen kids. I chose you then and I choose you today and tomorrow. Even when it’s hard. Even when I kind of hate your pretty face and your terrible choices and am pissed while we are lying in bed going to sleep because our kids don’t care if we had a fight or are tired. Even then.
Eighteen years isn’t easy but, you know, it’s not hard either. Hard is thinking of waking up tomorrow without my wife’s face or going a day without her laugh. The rest of this? That’s just life. And you’re damn right it’s better with her by your side.