The Fosters Recap: Disco Lives!

The Fosters

Season 4 Episode 5
Editor’s Rating *****
Tom Williamson as A.J., Elliot Fletcher as Aaron, Maia Mitchell as Callie. Photo: Eric McCandless/Freeform

What it is, what it is, Fosters fam! It’s Lena Adams Foster’s 40th birthday, and Stef, God bless her, decides to celebrate with a ’70s-themed party. Any excuse for a theme party on The Fosters is a good excuse, since it puts everyone in the same place at the same time, which practically guarantees drama. In this case, we’re also blessed with Brandon acting self-righteous while dressed like Greg Brady, and that is truly a gift that keeps on giving. Never mind wondering how Callie has time to find such an on-theme and delicious purple outfit while also exonerating a teen from prison — this is supposed to be fun!

It’s definitely fun for Jude, who lines up a date with that cute boy from youth group who understands editing software and has a distaste for social media. (Noah is a catch, you guys.) But it’s not so fun for Cortney, who gets called out by Lorraine Toussaint while standing next to a disco dance floor. Not everyone can win all the time, you know?

Since all those ’70s grooves are still pulsating through my body (and I’m desperate to figure out how I can get my hands on Lena’s fabulously empowering jumpsuit), let’s keep the theme going with a little recap game called “How Far Out Is This?” You see, kids, “far out” is slang for “cool, or excellent,” made popular way back in the ’60s and ’70s. For example: Lena’s aforementioned jumpsuit is definitely far out. Lena and Stef slow dancing in their backyard? Always far out. Stef’s mom hiring lady-cop strippers who look exactly like Lena and Stef for a family party? Not far out. (Okay, maybe a tiny bit far out.) You get the idea.

Extremely Far Out
Mike and Ana love each other and they don’t care who knows it! Hot Dad Mike spends most of the evening looking very cute in his Saturday Night Fever getup, but also very sad because he doesn’t think he measures up to Gabe and his tight pants. Not to be rude or anything, but no one can. Have you seen the kicks he does in those things? Luckily for Mike, though, Ana doesn’t care much for high kicks. During a little chat with Mariana, Ana admits that she and Mike are very much a thing and that she’s in love. It’s all very sweet. Mariana certainly thinks so, so she let’s it slip to Mike, and that confirmation is all he needs to ditch his Gabe-induced funk. He takes his lady out on the dance floor and admits that he may not have Gabe’s abs or moves (again, no one does!), but he loves her. All I want to do is take these two love-muffins and put them in a safe bubble so nothing can ruin their relationship. Alas, I’m sure something will come along and threaten things. It’ll probably be Brandon-related.

Pretty Far Out, Man
I’m so happy The Fosters hasn’t forgotten that Mariana and Emma are in a S.T.E.M. program. It’s such an important character choice for Mariana, an extreme girly-girl, to be into math, science, and engineering. If only I had such a TV role model growing up, I probably wouldn’t be here recapping The Fosters for you, and we’d all be better off. You’re so lucky, teens. Just kidding! I would never wish being a teenager on anyone. Anyway, Mariana and Emma have repeatedly proven themselves to be super-smart and awesome, but they still get zero respect from the clowns (see: boys) in their S.T.E.M. program. When the girls one-up the boys by building a vastly superior robot for an upcoming robotics competition, the boys don’t take to it very kindly. You’d think those nerds would just be happy that an actual human girl talks to them. Nerds!

Mariana also does some pretty commendable work on the home front — and I don’t just mean mending fences between Mike and Ana. Jesus is feeling a bit down, after he’s dismissed as “the dumb one” by, well, almost everyone, including Emma. The guy deserves to be treated better than that, so he ends his “friends with benefits” situation. Later, Mariana is quick to remind her brother that he really helped them out with their robot design and encourages him to join the S.T.E.M. gang. Aww, look at Mariana: helping sad men feel better about themselves across disco parties everywhere.

Not Far Out, But Hopefully It’ll Turn Around
Callie begins her mission to #FreeKyleSnow. She and Aaron visit Kyle in juvie, and believe that if they can find Kyle’s missing alibi witness, Patrick, who would be able to place Kyle at the local rec center the day his neighbor was murdered, they’ll be able to get the case reopened. When Callie and Aaron find Patrick, he claims that he has no recollection of Kyle being with him the day of the murder. Aaron continues to dig — mostly because he wants to win over Callie, but also, he says, for justice — and finds proof that Patrick’s testimony corroborated Kyle’s alibi.

It’s great that Kyle has newfound hope, but did Aaron really have to show up in the middle of the party to deliver the news? Also, after meeting Callie’s very cute and tall and strong boyfriend, did he have to send her a flirty email? I’m with Stef on this one: Aaron is on my shit list. Same goes for the leather jacket that’s apparently glued to his body.

Not Far Out (and Very Anxiety-Inducing)
Lena’s parents have arrived! On the one hand, that’s great news because Lorraine Toussaint and Bruce Davison are always a delight. On the other hand, it’s terrible news because as lovely as Dana and Stuart seem to be, they always bring drama into the Adams Foster house. And this time, the drama is about the actual Adams Foster house.

After dispelling Dana’s suspicions that Stuart is having an affair (that’s just ridiculous, we all heard that man’s anniversary speech!), he admits to his wife and daughter that he has a real problem: He’s in trouble with the IRS for a small, minor issue like, you know, not paying some of his taxes. Even more troubling, Stuart explains to Dana that because he helped out with the loan on Lena and Stef’s house, it’s considered one of his assets — and now there’s a lien on it. If things go south, they could lose the Adams Foster house. I doubt it will ever really come to that, since the house is gorgeous and the show would never give up such a beautiful set. The backyard alone is pure magic, as evidenced by the disco dance party that takes place all over it. If one good thing will come out of this whole thing — aside from me learning what a “lien” is — we’re sure to get some more face time with Dana and Stuart.

The Exact Opposite of Far Out
Just when you think Brandon can’t make a choice any worse than he already has, the guy decides to make some extra money by taking the SATs for some delinquent student. Why does he need extra money, you ask? To pay for Cortney’s divorce attorney. I wish I were joking, people.

I have to believe that all of Brandon’s missteps will come to a head soon, since: (1) Stef spots his checkbook and knows he’s spending all of his money on Cortney; (2) After his moms’ friend outs him for taking the SATs in front of Lena, his excuse is less than believable; and (3) Lorraine Toussaint just put the fear of God into Cortney. Yeah, I’d say that’s a recipe for an impending meltdown. Ugh, Brandon. You may have Greg Brady’s perm, but you’re totally a Jan.

The Fosters Recap: Disco Lives!