There’s a point in “Doors and Windows” when Mariana begins to list the many Adams Foster tragedies and comes to the conclusion that her issues just don’t compare: “Jesus’s brain injury, Brandon’s drama, Callie maybe going to prison …” But Lena doesn’t want Mariana to completely downplay her own trauma. She did, after all, have a gun pulled on her. That is how dire things are at the Adams Foster house, people! Having a psycho ex-boyfriend sneak into your room and hold you hostage passes for a manageable traumatic experience these days.
The worst off is probably Jesus 2. Sure, I feel bad that Callie is always getting the short end of the stick or whatever, but also she is infuriating. Listen to your moms once in a while, would you? That’s why Jesus 2 gets top billing at the moment.
This. Poor. Kid. His physical therapy is slow going. His physical therapist is very handsome, though, so I guess we’re winning even if Jesus is not. Jesus seems to be pushing through some of the hard physical activities, but once the therapist introduces some flash cards to add a cognitive workout to the mix, Jesus shuts down. And by that, I mean he lashes out at Lena — hard. It’s tough to watch Lena take the brunt of her son’s abuse.
Brandon notices this trend as well. With Lena’s harsh yet glorious admonishment from the morning — “Figure out a way to be part of the solution instead of the problem FOR ONCE!” (standing ovation for Lena) — still ringing in B’s ears, he decides to do something nice for his mama. Brandon offers to take Jesus to his next rehab session.
Brandon doesn’t fare much better than Lena at the rehab center. Jesus immediately tells B to get lost. While wandering around aimlessly, as Brandon is wont to do, he stumbles upon at music-therapy class. OF COURSE it is being run by a cute, semi-age-appropriate girl. She says she has a boyfriend, but we all know where this is headed. More important, Brandon realizes there is another way he can be helpful to his ailing brother: He can offer him his own private music therapy. Look at B doing something selfless! Don’t worry, he’ll do something dumb sooner or later. This is Brandon Foster we’re talking about.
Back at the homestead, Lena happens upon Brandon giving Jesus and Emma some piano lessons. It is very sweet. Or it was very sweet until Jesus watches Brandon give Emma some hands-on advice. It’s all on the up and up, mind you, but recall that one of the more horrifying moments from our trip into Jesus’s subconscious was him happening upon Emma and Brandon hooking up. I know, I know. I’m sorry I had to bring it up again, but you watch The Fosters. You know as good as anyone that life isn’t fair. All of this is to say, even though Brandon’s teaching methods are harmless, Jesus, not quite feeling himself, is suspicious.
His suspicion grows tenfold after he makes a slow climb to the top of the stairs (he just wants to be included!), and watches as Brandon and Emma come out of Mariana’s bedroom together and Emma says something about needing to clean herself up. In Jesus’s mind, this is a sign that his girlfriend is definitely cheating on him with his own brother. But we know this isn’t the case. Brandon finds Emma crying in Mariana’s room, thinking it is his sister. Before too long, Emma confesses that she’s pregnant, but refuses to be a 16-year-old with a baby. She’s struggling whether or not to tell Jesus at all. B agrees that it might be too much for him. He kind of tries to get her to tell someone else — anyone else, please — but Emma swears him to secrecy. Sure, Brandon is being put in a tough spot, but you would think at least some tiny part of Stef and Lena screaming about secrets would sink in at some point. It does not.
Brandon keeps Emma’s secret, even from Mariana. Little does he know how much Jesus is suffering at the thought of his brother’s betrayal. When Emma comes to Jesus’s bedside to show him some Get Well Cards, he pushes her away. Left alone, Jesus picks up one of the cards, but he can’t read them at all. Stuck in his bed in the dining room, he weeps. I feel like this is going to get worse before it gets better, so … hold on to those tissues, you guys.
At least Callie’s situation is looking up. No thanks to her, of course. It’s thanks to Stef and Lena’s clear headedness and Hot Dad Robert Quinn’s infinite pile of sweet, sweet dough stacks. When Stef and Callie meet with Robert and his lawyers, they tell the ladies that there is no way to win this case. Callie’s file, as biased as it may be, is just too much to fight. A he-said-she-said case like this one comes down to character, and Callie will lose that fight every time. Instead, they suggest the only course of action is pay off everyone involved in the accident — including Troy Johnson — and get the charges dropped. Robert “Moneybags” Quinn will be footing the $300,000 bill.
The always-righteous Callie is livid. She didn’t do anything wrong and Troy did, so why should he get paid off? She thinks she can prove that Troy had motive to kill his grandmother, especially since Kyle said she was always complaining about her grandson wanting money. Stef has to summon all the patience in the entire universe to explain to her daughter that what she just said describes, like, 94 percent of grandchildren, and also LEAVE THE POLICE WORK TO THE POLICE.
While Callie is off making yet another senior project — this time, it’s a solitary cell like the one from juvie, wallpapered with documents from her file — and hurting her perfect boyfriend A.J. just like we asked her NOT TO DO, Stef sits down and does some real police work. Okay, so she just checks Troy’s credit score, but she does it professionally.
The investigation doesn’t yield much, and even less so when she runs into Shade Detective Gray, who is so tired of Stef’s grief that he gives her access to all of the Martha Johnson case files. I know, right? I have no read on what Gray is really up to. As Stef looks further into Troy, she discovers that he has an airtight alibi: There’s security footage of him at work during the time of the murder. With Callie’s last hope of clearing herself from the hit-and-run and freeing Kyle finally dashed, she can do nothing but accept what her moms are telling her. She has to take the deal. They are not fighting this any longer. It might not be fair, but life isn’t fair. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do in order to survive.
The most heartbreaking part of this whole thing is the conversation Callie has with Kyle Snow. After getting his hopes up, Callie has to tell him that Troy Johnson is a dead end, and she is all out of leads. On top of that bad news, he asks about her legal problems, and she has to admit that after paying everyone off, she’ll be completely free. Kyle tries not to seem too angry, but if anyone needs a good lashing out at Callie, it’s this kid.
In Other Family News …
• Mariana is back in therapy, which seems very helpful. It also raises the question: Why aren’t all the Adams Foster kids in therapy? Maybe there’s a frequent customer punch card Stef and Lena could get their hands on.
• The doors are back on the bedrooms! Honestly, why someone would ever want to see directly into a teenager’s bedroom is beyond me.
• Stef takes her own advice to Callie and “does what she has to do.” Instead of turning Gray over to Internal Affairs, she takes her promotion to detective (congrats, I think?) and stays quiet on all the other stuff. She’ll fight them from within. Well, this should be fun.
• OF COURSE A.J. KNOWS ABOUT CONSTRUCTION, CALLIE.
• Aaron seems like a great dude, and his “this girl deserves a break” moment was very moving, but I would very much like him not to be trying to kiss A.J.’s girlfriend. Callie pulls away this time, but I am not hopeful for the future.
• “Is it too early for vodka?”