The Fosters Episode 416 Recap: The Notebook

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.

Who would like to make a case for being our best child today?

Okay, at this point do you really need more evidence that it’s me?

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.

I think, for the sake of your family, you should try reading this Supercorp fic.

No I love Mon-El that’s all.

You’re a monster.

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.

I got some pretty good spying and staying out of jail tips from this new documentary I’ve been watching.

Pretty Little Liars, I think it’s called?

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.

I like this drawing you did of a vagina.

It’s a grapefruit.

Eh, everything’s a sapphic Rorschach in its way.

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.

Hello and welcome to gay sex ed.

What are the watermelons for? We should have gone to A-Camp.

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.

Singing in the raaaaaaain.

Not to take away from Debbie Reynolds but Gene Kelly got the flu filming that scene and no one ever talks about how brave he was for continuing to make the movie.

What a glorious feeeeeling just knowing you’re the worst.

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.

These are the myriad ways I thought of murdering your father.

Such misandry! Go on…

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).

Can we kiss just ONCE this season? Can ONE THING not be our kids acting like they’re on a Canadian teen soap?

If we’re gonna do it

We’re gonna DO it.

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.

It’s not where you come from, it’s where you belong!

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.

You’re surrounded by love

and you’re wanted!

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.

Nicholas Sparks but without the cheap, exploitative death, okay?

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.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!

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. Ok, I have to confess something: I come here basically for the Bore-El and Supercorp captions. There, I said it.

  2. ” Brandon opens the door wearing a Bob Dylan shirt just in case you didn’t already know he’s insufferable”


    • AND THEN, (if I’m remembering correctly) there’s a damn Bob Dylan poster over his bed! guhhhhh

  3. – Stef and Lena getting married again!
    – Callie, you know I love you but Troy is right on this one. You’re harassing him. At this point I just wanna shake Callie while screaming “what’s the matter with you?”
    – Stef and Lena and the rain!
    – Lena should have just made a Gay Sex Ed video, put it on YouTube and called it a day.
    – Stef and Lena actually kissing!
    – This is why I hate public wedding proposals. Creates awkward situations and takes the intimacy away.
    – Stef and Lena’s vows!
    – When this show is good it’s really good
    – “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” is perfection.
    – Congrats Lucy! Both on your anniversary and on your consistently wonderful recaps. It’s always a pleasure to read your work.

  4. Took so many screenshots of this episode because I was very into both stef and Jude’s hair

  5. Happy anniversary!
    Sent this to my girlfriend.
    “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.”

  6. Hmmm, where to start.
    Jude and Noah are less annoying when they are not high but I have this sense that they were seeing us not liking Noah because of the bad influence he was becoming on Jude and have changed his character up a bit. Jude has gone this whole time thinking Noah has had sex with 3 people (he would’ve been the #4 on the boat if the owner hadn’t come back) but no it was just the other kind of sex. Like seriously Jude if you don’t know there’s other kind of sex, you’re not ready to have it.
    And yeah what was with the watermelon?

    Maybe they should’ve left Callie in jail, at least she couldn’t do any spying from there who am I kidding she would’ve found a way and probably gotten caught. Honestly what switch needs to be turned off in her that says “STAY OUT OF IT”. Oh and great plan having Mariana friend Troys girlfriend, it’s not like you 2 have the same last name or anything. Unless Mariana uses a cute nickname as her FB profile which let’s face it this girl would tweet her location and social security number in the future social media stalker story line they will no doubt do. I am so glad that AJ finally stood up to her and if he does hook up with Yvonne from PLL than that’s her own damn fault too.

    I was very disappointed when Sharon didn’t read the letter to Jesus, presumably he gets his wits back and he will read the letter (if Emma doesn’t tell him straight up first) and then what, he’ll know his grandmother lied. Oh who am I kidding by the time this comes up again they would’ve forgotten that Sharon read him the letter. And it’s about time someone figures Jesus can’t read anymore.

    And finally, is this 2nd wedding for Stef and Lena even legal? I’ve never been married but don’t you get a marriage license and then need to be married within like a certain amount of time? They didn’t have a marriage license so is it legal?

    • I got married in New York and you need to wait a day between the time you get the marriage license and the time that you actually get married. Our officiant made us sit there for one hour until the 24 hour period was completed.

    • So, they’re not legally married then. They went through all that for nothing. I say that because Lena didn’t want to get married again because nothing could top the wedding they had, and then they have this epic ceremony topped off by kissing in the rain and it’s not legal so whatever legal ceremony they wind up having at the courthouse or whatever will be a let down.

      Unless, was it all ceremonial anyway? Like are they still in the legal battle that made them divorce in the 1st place? This is too confusing, see what happens when you focus on Callie stalking Troy Johnson for the umpteenth time and not enough time explaining what exact the moms were doing.

  7. After being together for 14 years, I recently lost my wife to cancer. And it is so fricking hard not being able to touch her, talk to her, having her by my side. So your last sentence really hit me hard. It is so important to enjoy every minute you have with someone you love because you never really know how long this person will be in your life! Too often we just take everything for granted. Btw, love your recaps, love Stef and Lena, the only reason I watch this show.

  8. Picture it: a couch in New York City, 2017

    On the TV, Lena unromantically blathers on about how silly marriage is, how it’s just a piece of paper, and just another thing on their to-do list

    Me: Oh, Lena, stop it.

    Girlfriend of 3 years: Well, she’s absolutely right, you know.


    (I should add that she also left and went home with about five minutes left to go in the episode, so she actually MISSED the part where they proved Lena wrong and had a nice romantic moment! Come on, universe, you’re killing me here.)

  9. I always enjoy your recaps more than actually watching this wonderful train wreck of a show, so, thanks for all you do. Also, happy anniversary!

  10. I gave up this show around their “midseason”, but i love keeping up via these recaps. The pictures and captions are pure gold. Thank you!

  11. I’m aware that this is a drama on a network that targets teens mainly, so I shouldn’t really complain when there’s drama and when the teens get the vast majority of the focus. But it was so nice to see Stef and Lena have a moment of happiness and not deal with their childrens drama all time.

  12. OMG LUCY! I used to read you over at the site which will not be named and since then I’ve just been watching The Fosters in a little vacuum, (because I’m also married with two kids and don’t know anyone my age who I could possibly discuss this with) and then I fumbled upon your recap here today.
    And it was the best part of my day! I will never stop loving Stef and Lena for being relatable as a long-term couple (and also for Teri Polo really pulling off actually looking queer) and apparently I will never stop putting up with the teenage shenanigans I must endure to hopefully get my Teri/Sherri moment. WHICH BRINGS ME TO THE BEST LINE OF THE DAY: “Brandon opens the door wearing a Bob Dylan shirt just in case you didn’t already know he’s insufferable…”
    Thank you for making me laugh and getting my perspective on this show!

  13. I love your recaps. I totally agree that I’m not in this show for the kids. Happy anniversary!

  14. You are so tremendous- your writing is what I live for
    I love everything about The fosters the good the bad and the teenager. I just can’t seem to understand what Brandon gets so much hate. I think he’s rather wonderful. A solid actor, smart. Funny, bumbling.

  15. Lucy, mate this recap was something else. I felt a lot of glorious, fuzzy giddiness reading that last paragraph

  16. oh damn, but for real, what IS the watermelon for?! Equally baffled by the giant spaghetti squash…

  17. Soooo I need that dress that grandma Sharon was wearing for her almost wedding. Who knows where I can find it?

Comments are closed.