After an intense, chaotic, and ultimately moving summer finale, the Adams Fosters have left us to ponder their fates through the cold, harsh winter. These cliffhangers aren't messing around! Sure, Jesus 2 will survive that punch to his already nail-damaged brain, since Jesus 2 is the greatest thing to happen to The Fosters in recent memory. But what will his condition be? The past few episodes, I've focused on the #NotTheHouse movement, when in reality, I should've been hawking for #NotMyJesus2.
Seriously, guys: #NotMyJesus2, okay?
"Collateral Damage" gave us several story lines to gasp through, but let's kick off this finale recap where the season started. Ah, yes, The Fosters season 4A: the Circle of Nick Stratos.
Mariana is melting down. She got a D on her English paper, she's falling asleep during make-out sessions with Mat, and she's still waiting for Zack Morris to hug her out of her ADHD pill addiction. To top it off, she gets a call from Nick — he's on house arrest for the weekend and can't wait for her to stop by so he can touch her again. Not great, definitely creepy.
Thankfully, she has an angel twin brother looking out for her. Once Jesus hears that Nick is back and watches Mariana go into full freak-out mode, he marches over to his former friend's house to set things straight: No, Mariana will not be coming by; she's afraid of Nick; and Nick needs to back off. We didn't really need more proof that Jesus 2 is the best, but I certainly won't turn it away.
As the entire family heads to Bayfest for the triumphant return of Someone's Little Sister (you're always welcome here, Lou!) and the chance to harass strangers for signatures on a foster-care-reform bill, Mariana only falls further down her pill-induced spiral.
When she learns that Mat will most likely go to Berklee College of Music after graduation, Mariana downs a beer to chase however many pills she's already taken. She stumbles around the festival, hallucinating a vision of Nick following her. She's so freaked out that she calls Jesus, who in turn calls Nick to make sure he isn't actually hiding in the bushes somewhere nearby. He's not. From what I can gather, Nick is either at home playing some very complex computer game, or he's moonlighting as an air-traffic controller. Kids are into weird things these days, so both are real possibilities.
Proving that he has zero respect for ankle monitors, Nick breaks his parole and goes out looking for Mariana. Of course, when he finds her wandering the streets alone, his presence only sets her off. She screams at him for coming near her, for what he did to her, for making her afraid to be in her own bedroom. It is very powerful and very cathartic. You guys, Cierra Ramirez is such a gift.
Nick means no harm in this moment, and understands the severity of his actions, but Jesus doesn't know that when he and Emma happen upon the exes. Jesus flies out of the car in attack mode. When Nick tries to defend himself, he ends up clocking Jesus in the head — the last place where he should take a hit — and our wonderful, gallant Jesus goes down and doesn't get back up again. BAYFEST? MORE LIKE CRYFEST IF YOU KNOW WHAT I'M SAYING.
If you think that's all the drama one Southern California–based music festival can take, you've forgotten that Callie Adams Foster is in attendance. Ever since Callie and A.J. overheard Mike ragging on her, their relationship has taken a hit. After a long day watching Callie and Aaron flirt at Bayfest, though, enough is enough: A.J. calls Aaron out, the two argue, and Callie ends up chastising A.J. while trying to comfort Aaron. Later, Callie explains that A.J. made fun of Aaron's size, a subject that he's very sensitive about since he's transgender. A.J. tries to apologize, but puts his foot in his mouth when he suggests he doesn't have to be jealous after all. Callie calls him ignorant, admits that she'd be interested in Aaron if she weren't in a relationship, and so A.J. makes that possibility a reality by breaking up with her.
The destruction of anything good in Callie's life is inevitable. But this is Callie Adams Foster, people. The implosion of a love triangle will never be her most stressful crisis on any given day.
After Callie hears that Justina is trying to get her "foster care reform" bill on a ballot, Callie rounds up the troops to get "Jack's Law" on the same ballot. Unfortunately, all of her efforts at Bayfest only seem to put Callie back on Justina's radar. Through a lackey, Justina threatens to press federal charges against Callie for opening her mail. Callie's not afraid of Justina or the U.S. Postal Service, and so she continues to stand up for Jack and foster kids like him.
Wait. If you can believe it, there's even more.
Since Callie already has a booth at Bayfest for Jack's Law, she figures she might as well use it to collect donations for Kyle, too. This public support for Kyle draws out some interesting characters — and I'm not referring to Sophia, although I am glad to see The Fosters hasn't forgotten she exists. (Also: Where's her dad?) Troy Johnson pops by the booth, informs Callie that he's the late Martha Johnson's grandson, and he's not happy about her efforts to free a murderer. Callie tries to explain her side, but Troy gets upset, tells her to drop it, and leaves.
Callie brushes it off and goes about her day, fighting the good fight against foster-care privatization and ruining a pretty decent relationship. When Mariana goes missing, though, she forgets all of her personal drama and joins the search for her sister. While she's trying to track Mariana down, Callie runs into Troy again, who wants to apologize for his outburst. She explains why she's in a rush, asks Troy if he's seen Mariana, and when he says he just saw a girl who looks like Mariana, Callie's more than willing to hop into his car and drive off. Isn't this the girl who has trouble trusting anyone?
Chalk it up to her desire to locate Mariana, but Callie quickly learns just how terrible this choice is. She gets a call from Aaron, who just got the results back from a new DNA test they ran on Doug Harvey's toothbrush: The mystery DNA on the murder weapon doesn't match Doug's, but it belongs to a male relative of Martha's. You know, someone like the guy who just lured her into his car.
Guess we'll just have to wonder about that road trip during the hiatus.
In Other Family News:
- Detective Gray continues to make Stef's life difficult, this time by threatening to expose how she covered for Mike when he shot an unarmed suspect. Looks like Stef won't give in to a bully, no matter how much Lena asks her wife to put their family first. Not even Lena as a sexy uniformed cop can persuade Stef.
- Apparently, Jude and Noah can't stay away from each other or their drug of choice. I'm less and less into this coupling.
- Poor Sophia returns only to be stalked by Doug Harvey, who confuses Callie's little sister for the girl who broke into his home. Sophia should run to the Quinn mansion and never look back!
- Mike refers to A.J. as his family again. Would it be easier to simply remain a puddle from now on?
- We all like to gripe about Brandon, but if you weren't moved by his elation at getting accepted to Juilliard and his heartbreak once Lena informs him that the college board found out about his SAT scam … well, all I can say to you is: Get out of here, ya robot!