The Fosters Recap: Speaking Up

Photo: Ron Tom/Freeform
The Fosters

The Fosters

Welcome to the Jungler Season 5 Episode 6
Editor's Rating 3 stars

No. No. This is a hard pass, The Fosters. If an audience member could veto a story line, Cortney and Gabe hooking up is what I’m using my veto on. Just kidding, I’d use that veto on Callie’s foray into prostitution. Or Callie and Brandon having cabin sex. Or really anything with Callie. However, I’m still not thrilled about this new couple.

I knew something was up last week when Gabe had that extended interaction with Cortney, and even more so when he brought out a doughnut for little Mason. Do I like to see Hot Dads holding delicious pastries? OF COURSE. I’m only human. But I do not like this pairing of two people with a whole lot of baggage and a whole lot of years between them smashing faces in Lena and Stef’s backyard. Something tells me the mamas won’t either.

Let’s talk about something that I did very much enjoy: Mariana and Callie working through their issues and taking care of each other. Sisters, amirite? Those girls need one another, and both know it’s futile to pretend otherwise. So, Callie apologizes for being the definition of hypocritical after calling Mariana out for hurting people with her lies. Mariana forgives her … and then Callie immediately digs into her sister for lying to Ximena and forging Lena’s signature on the roller derby permission slip. I don’t think Callie knows how apologies work? Mariana begs her sister not to say anything. Mariana is so sad! She needs friends, she needs to feel like she belongs somewhere, and derby is the only place doing that at the moment. Too bad Lena and Stef have decided not to let Mariana play. After everything that happened to Jesus, they’re scared she could really hurt herself. Can Mariana get a win?

It’s not long before Mariana walks in on Callie and Ximena. Ximena wants to talk to Mariana’s moms, like, NOW. So, Callie turned her sister in, right? Surprise, you guys! It’s not what you think. Ximena wants a face-to-face with Mariana’s parents because she wants to explain the benefits of roller derby for a young girl. Callie explained the whole situation to her friend — she’s trying to help Mariana out. The girls tells Lena that derby is all about building confidence, and Ximena can already see a difference in Mariana. Mariana also explains that she’s never had a group of friends who looked like her, a group of badass Latinas who have her back. Derby is a family. Do these gals know their audience, or what? Lena says she’ll discuss it again with Stef, but that woman has been swayed. Here’s hoping we meet Scariana soon.

It’s a good thing Callie gets Mariana back on her good side (the sisters end their mini-feud with a precious little hug), because, per usual, she may need some backup in the near future. Our little Callie is at a crossroads this week: She’s continuing with her foray into campus protests, but that causes some tension with Aaron. He tags along to a meeting about the impending anti-immigration event and isn’t as enthused about the whole thing as Callie would like. In fact, he’s wary of Callie getting involved with the protest group. When Sean and Ximena question why he’s pro–hate speech, he explains that he’s not — he’s for free speech. Aaron believes the best way to resolve issues is to let both sides say their piece and have a discussion about disagreements. Both Ximena and Sean let Aaron know that his white male privilege is showing. It takes every ounce of willpower in Callie not to out her boyfriend.

The argument between these two lovebirds escalates. Callie puts her foot in her mouth when she implies that Aaron is able to hide some of the hardships he’s been through — and Aaron takes offense. He doesn’t have to disclose any personal medical information if he doesn’t want to. That doesn’t mean he’s hiding. And people making assumptions about other people without knowing anything about them is exactly the reason why he favors unbiased discussion over civil disobedience and a group that wants to physically prohibit someone from speaking at a college campus. He warns Callie to be careful, especially after everything that happened with Kyle and Diamond. Now it’s Callie’s turn to be offended: She’s standing up for what’s right and exercising her rights as a citizen, thank you very much. She doesn’t need Aaron to patronize her. It’s a tough moment to watch.

The Fosters is very smart for giving this type of stance — one of full and complete freedom of speech, with no caveats — to Aaron. Coming out of any other character’s mouth, it would have been unbearable. It’s still extremely frustrating, but it’s not as easy to dismiss when a transgender character, who most definitely has faced hate speech throughout his life, is vocalizing it.

Callie might be angry with Aaron, but she quickly realizes that his warnings should be taken seriously. While in civil-disobedience training, it finally dawns on Callie that getting arrested isn’t just a probability, but a necessity. Will Callie continue to fight for what she believes is right, no matter the cost, or will she consider her own future and everything her moms have told her? I mean, we can probably guess, but who knows? Maybe Callie will surprise us.

Speaking of hate speech, Jude gets a little taste of it this week. Much to Noah’s chagrin, Jude and Taylor are gaming their little hearts out. They show Noah one gamer who streams his sessions for people to watch (yes, it’s a thing, we’re old). Sure the guy is good, but he’s also blatantly homophobic and misogynistic. Jude and Taylor tell Noah to just ignore it, but Noah thinks they can do better. He has Jude and Taylor record their own session where they throw shade all over the other gamer — and then feel the blowback. They are both inundated with harassing messages, ranging from slurs to death threats. It’s not pretty.

When Noah came out, he faced a similar kind of harassment, which is why he’s so against the internet and Jude’s addiction. (Aren’t you glad they gave Noah a meaningful reason for taking Jude to task for his screen time?) He winds up taking the video down, but Jude thinks that’s simply giving in to the trolls. Jude and Taylor decide to make a new video: Now they are GirlandGayGuy and the comment section turns out to be a much friendlier place a second time around.

Jude is pretty proud of himself, but there’s still tension in his relationship with Noah. Jude doesn’t understand why it bugs Noah that he plays video games. Noah shouldn’t care so much. But in reality, the only thing Noah cares about is Jude lying about it. This relationship is sinking fast, and that’s a real shame … for Jude.

In Other Family News

• Has Hot Dad Mike ever been so happy? His engagement tour is so sweet. Stef congratulates him on not proposing to a lesbian this time around! Mike asks Brandon to be his best man! PLEASE DO NOT RUIN THIS.

• How could it be ruined, you ask? Well, after Jesus hears that Gabe will always have feelings for Ana (okay, this moment is swoony, BUT STILL), Jesus tells her. TBI or not, this is a dumb idea. Thankfully, it seems like Ana isn’t into it.

• Kyle Snow is finally released from prison. He’s scared of Detective Gray finding another way to get him arrested, so naturally Stef takes it upon herself to convince the frightened kid to put on a wire and attempt to get Patrick Malloy on tape admitting to taking a bribe from Gray. It backfires, of course. Anyone else counting down until the day we can put all this Detective Gray stuff behind us?

• Grace might be my favorite of Brandon’s girlfriends. She has a new name for their duo this week: Grandon Ole Opry. I hope The Fosters never gives up on this joke.

• Lena’s face as Jesus casually mentions he won’t be dropping out of school because then Emma wouldn’t marry him is all of our faces. Sure, his handmade wooden promise ring is nice and all, but good on Emma for reminding him that they’re only 16 and that she won’t marry someone who doesn’t take education seriously. No wonder Jesus loves her so much!

• “I want to have lots of loves before I get married.” I am very much here for the fact that all the teenage girls are very much against getting married young. Get yours, ladies!

The Fosters Recap: Speaking Up