The Fosters Recap: The Breaking Point

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Photo: Eric McCandless/Freeform
The Fosters

The Fosters

Telling Season 5 Episode 5
Editor's Rating 3 stars

It’s about time the Adams Foster kids got into some party shenanigans. It’s been so long since that awkward gathering at Cortney’s. Even longer since the “Pharm” party rave debacle. And it seems like it was eons ago when we attended the house party that ended in shattered dreams, er, glass. Those rascally teens are due for some unsanctioned fun that ends with the cops showing up. Of course, on The Fosters, shenanigans mainly have to do with teenagers dealing with the side effects of their TBIs, deportation, and Brandon bombing onstage. This is why we love this show.

It’s a good thing that the actual party shenanigans turn out to be much lamer than one would expect from a roller-derby party in a warehouse, if only because I don’t think Lena and Stef could really handle another crisis at the moment. The Mamas should be treated like goddesses, but it behooves us to remember they are but mortal. They have breaking points, too! Lena hits hers in “Telling.”

Stef is clearly very absorbed in her detective work. Patrick Malloy — the pedophile whom Detective Gray paid off in the Martha Johnson case — is still out there, living life, and it is eating Stef up inside. Thanks to Cole’s help, she’s also hard at work trying to save a kid named Andy, who is being sexually exploited by an older man. Will these two cases somehow collide? Probably. This is television, after all.

Stef is doing noble work. Well, except for when she pulls a Callie and tries to break into Patrick’s house while he’s at work — he catches her, she plays it cool, but I’m sure this will all come back around. Have you learned nothing from your car chats with Callie, Stef? Does anyone listen during the car chats?!

Anyway, Stef may be doing noble work, but all the time she’s spending trying to clean up the streets of San Diego is taking a toll on her marriage. Lena’s grown frustrated with Stef being distracted, the increase in her red wine consumption (sometimes you need to blow off some steam … on a Tuesday … afternoon … let me live!), and the fact that she seems to have no assistance to offer as Lena continues to struggle with how to handle Jesus.

And Jesus really needs some hard-core handling at the moment. He’s making some alarming choices. First, he’s still walking around town adamant that he’s dropping out of school, getting his GED, and working construction with Gabe. God bless Emma, who flat-out tells him he’s being real dumb. Even worse, Jesus is itching so badly to get out of the house that he invites himself to Mariana’s movie outing — only, he discovers that his sister isn’t going to the movies. She and next door cutie Logan are crashing a roller-derby fundraising party. Mariana attempts to remind her brother that he has a serious injury and he shouldn’t be out partying. Jesus reminds Mariana that sibling blackmail is a real thing. Since Mariana desperately wants to seal the deal with Logan, she agrees to let Jesus tag along against her better judgment.

That’s when things blow up in Mariana’s face, per usual.

Mariana is now juggling Jesus’s well-being, snatching up cute neighbor boy, and keeping the fact that she plays roller derby with half of the girls in the room a secret from not just Jesus, but also Callie and Brandon (who show up thanks to an invite from Ximena). That’s a lot of work for one party! All of these things come tumbling down: Thanks to a roller-derby video being played throughout the party, Callie and Jesus are now hip to Mariana’s lie. Then Logan wanders off and Mariana finds him flirting with another girl … only later to be informed that he has a serious girlfriend back in Baltimore. And Jesus ignores all of Mariana’s pleas to take it easy, ends up overdoing it on the dance floor, and has a small seizure. So yeah, it’s a pretty terrible party.

The cops show up to shut the thing down, but all of the Adams Foster children in attendance make it home without any arrests. The day is theirs! The little excursion is not without repercussions, though. Callie really lays into Mariana for lying to everyone for selfish reasons (Callie’s lies are apparently only done with good intentions, so she’s above reproach), which in turn causes Mariana to think about the choices she’s been making. She does the right thing, because she is a sensible teen (coughCalliecough), and comes clean to Lena about both roller derby and Jesus’s seizure.

Finding out that Jesus went to a party and put his life in danger is the last straw for our cool, calm, and collected mama. She basically reams her son out. She’s been driving herself crazy trying to figure out how to help Jesus, and this is how he repays her? When he tosses some attitude back at her, she threatens to put him in an inpatient facility for behavior therapy. That shuts him up real quick.

Jesus isn’t the only person Lena is looking to dress down, either. Next on her list is her wife. Stef promised she wouldn’t disappear into her job, but now Lena finds out she’s lying about being called in on her day off. Lena reminds Stef that they have their own kids who need saving — and that she’s carrying this burden all by herself. Honestly, the main story line of every episode should be about Lena and Stef because Sherri Saum and Teri Polo always bring it.

Seeing her wife so distressed is a wake-up call for Stef. Things will be different. They start by going to see their son. They remind Jesus that they love him very much, and they hold him close. Tears. So. Many. Tears.

In Other Family News

• It’s just SO Brandon to be dating a perfectly lovely person who wants to make setlists with him, only to mess it up by letting Cortney and her drama back into his life. Grace puts on a good front when she hears Cortney and Mason are staying in the backyard for one more night, but I don’t think that’ll last once she finds out they’re staying another week. I was really looking forward to another Grandon Canyon performance, too!

• How long until there is some real juicy drama with neighbor Tess? Her husband Dean (who is a national treasure, BTW) is asking questions about Tess and Stef’s falling out in high school, and Tess is saying dumb things about how she admires Stef and Lena’s “alternative lifestyle.” Oh boy, I cannot wait for this to blow up.

• “How do I look?” “Like someone who’s not a runner.” Callie with those jokes! Who knew?

• I know Mariana is trying to impress Logan, but the girl’s into roller derby now — I’m sure she owns at least one sports bra. Be practical, Mariana!

• When Ximena needs to bolt before getting arrested by the cops who break up the party, Callie learns that her art-school friend is undocumented. We also all learn about DACA (Delayed Action for Childhood Arrivals). I love when The Fosters can ground a topical issue in such emotion. I’m sure we’ll be learning loads more. Learning is fun!

• Petition Guy is a little much, right? He basically shames Callie into joining a protest against an anti-immigration hatemonger who is coming to speak at campus. The girl is trying to lie low and stay out of trouble. YOU DON’T KNOW HER LIFE, PETITION GUY.

The Fosters Recap: The Breaking Point