overnights

The Fosters Recap: Do You See Me Now?

The Fosters

Invisible
Season 5 Episode 11
Editor’s Rating *****

The Fosters

Invisible
Season 5 Episode 11
Editor’s Rating *****

Everything’s coming up Mariana! After the prom shenanigans highlighted how disastrous Mariana’s love life has been, things are turning around. She has not one but three suitors vying for her heart. Finally! It’s about time the teenage boys of San Diego realized that a queen has been walking in their midst. The “Invisible” in this week’s episode title is more directly referring to Jesus, but it can easily be applied to his twin sister. It’s like Wyatt, Logan, and Mat have rubbed their eyes clear and can finally see Mariana for the catch that she is.

Not that Emma didn’t do a great job with her Chris Harrison–esque speech, but let’s size up the guys. There’s Wyatt, who brings an Edible Arrangement as an apology for getting so “strunk” (that’s stoned and drunk) at prom … and also for telling everyone that Mariana lost her V-card to him. I know Wyatt is supposed to be a goof, but man if he doesn’t seem like the smartest high-school student on the planet. He got her an Edible Arrangement, you guys — even Mariana can admit to being swayed by tropical fruit in the shape of a flower. That pineapple certainly makes Logan seem like a non-starter: He is very charming and flirty and cute, but thanks to his now-ex-girlfriend Olivia, he’s been a lot of work with very little payoff.

Anyway, it’s not like either of these guys could hold a candle to Mat, who has always known how special Mariana is, but needed some time to sort through his jealousy and insecurities. He calls her “a force to be reckoned with,” which, like, I don’t know if any high-school guy would use that phrase in normal conversation, but I don’t care. Mariana is going to make him stew for a little while after he asks if she’ll consider taking him back, as is her right, but I think we all know the correct choice here.

It’s not like Mariana doesn’t have some more important issues to deal with at the moment: Who can forget the never-ending “Anchor Beach might go private!” story line? The vote is nigh, so Mariana and Lena are doing what they can to drum up enough support to stop Mr. Stratos and Drew, the shadiest Interim Principal around, from turning the charter school into something it was not meant to be.

Mariana is working hard to make sure the student body votes “no,” even though some students, like that punk-ass kid from STEAM, are trying to win votes with promises of swimming pools and the like. Mariana shuts him down pretty quickly with a rousing speech on top of a lunch table. The students ultimately do the right thing … but then Mariana learns that her victory may not make a difference.

Lena’s done her job and swayed the final board member to vote against privatization, and with the student “no” vote, it looks like Lena and Monte have this thing in the bag. Unfortunately, the head of the board has discovered that Monte is only staying on as principal in order to vote, and then taking a new job elsewhere. “Elsewhere” happens to be at a school where this woman knows some people, so if Monte doesn’t resign now, her new employers will be hearing all about the drama she’s caused at Anchor Beach. Monte can’t risk losing her new job, so Drew now has the deciding vote. All of this is a lot of explanation for a story line that, frankly, I can’t wait to see end — whatever the outcome.

However, all of this “Monte is resigning and school boards are threatening teachers” business does mean that Mariana is desperate to make one last-ditch effort to save her school. She’s going to Nick for his super-secret, game-changing information. Only, surprise! Mariana is crazy smart and won’t allow Nick to manipulate her again. She wisely sends Lena in her stead. Oh, it’s on, school board! Also, proud of you, Mariana!

The Mariana Love Chronicles are fun, and the privatization vote is … well, there, but it’s time to talk about the best story line of the episode. It belongs to Jesus.

Jesus is back at school and it is not going well. His in-class aide, David, is terrible. Admittedly, I don’t know how exactly this aide-student relationship is supposed to go down, but the David and Jesus matchup seems like a horrible one. Does David even like his job? He seems frustrated with Jesus from the moment they meet. Someone did tell him that the kid has a TBI, right? Lena tells Jesus to be patient with David, and Jesus responds that he thought David was supposed to be patient with him. You know, the student who needs help.

On top of that dud, other students are making comments about how easy Jesus has it now, and his teachers don’t expect much from him anymore. No wonder the kid hangs his head all the time. At one point, Jesus has a mini-meltdown in the hallway when he can’t remember which locker is his. David comes by to chastise him for being late to class, and Jesus would rather David think he’s lazy than tell him what’s really going on. It’s tough to watch.

Because Lena is Lena, she finds a TBI support group in the area, so she, Stef, and Jesus (begrudgingly) head to a meeting. Jesus is obviously uncomfortable there, but as one of the other people in the circle begins speaking about her experience, his expression changes. It’s the first time since his TBI that he’s realized he isn’t the only one who feels the way he feels.

She talks about how hard it is to have a disability that is invisible. She looks the same, so whenever she has problems, people assume she isn’t trying hard enough or she’s faking. She hates that people won’t share things with her because they think she can’t handle it. She feels isolated all the time. She’s ashamed of herself when she can’t remember simple things, like where she parked her car, and she doesn’t want to tell anyone. She sometimes thinks it would be easier to be alone than to “be constantly misunderstood by the people [she loves] the most.” By this point, Jesus is crying silently in his seat. This stranger is able to articulate exactly how he is feeling.

It’s simple moments like this one, that are not really so simple, that I’ll miss the most when The Fosters is gone.

And obviously, I’ll also miss scenes like the one that follows, in which the Mamas hold Jesus as all three of them cry and he tells them he feels broken. What can I say? I’m a sucker for the emotion.

In Other Family News

• Callie is very busy trying to figure out who she wants to be in this gosh darn crazy mixed-up world — an artist or a social worker — while also teaching Aaron that friends don’t plan surprise romantic picnics for other friends. The Aaron stuff is a little trickier to navigate than the life stuff, and Callie, inspired by Ximena, applies to UCSD as an art major, even though it’s harder to get in that way. I’m just proud that little misfit from the pilot is actually applying to college!

• Speaking of Ximena, she gets some bad news: Her DACA status hasn’t been renewed and it won’t be without a special hearing. The usually very positive girl is losing hope, fast.

• Jude finally tells Taylor he’s taking the video-game gig without her. She is not pleased. When Jude hits things off with his new gaming partner, superstar Declan Rivers, Declan suggests he can get the company to bring Taylor onboard and the three can work together. He also suggests something else, if you know what I mean.

• Uh … are Jesus and Poppy going to be a thing?

• I’ve been craving a Brandon and Stef scene and “Invisible” gives us a nice one. Sure, it’s about a person’s sex drive while battling cancer, but what can ya do? Stef is wrong, by the way — Grace’s sex drive is fully functional at the moment. Grace is peeved that B would treat her like she’s fragile, but Brandon is just trying not to be a dope. Grace doesn’t know how big of a deal this is for our guy!

• Brandon’s “oh God” of embarrassment echoes all of us watching as Grace tells her mom that B is a “considerate lover,” during her attempt to prove she’s totally fine having sex while undergoing gene-therapy treatment. I like you Grace, but I will never forgive you for that turn of phrase.

• Stef’s anxiety attacks are getting worse. Is she headed for some type of major breakdown at the least convenient time? I mean, probably, yes. This is a television drama, you guys.

The Fosters Recap: Do You See Me Now?