I spoke too soon, Fosters fam. And for that, I am eternally sorry. Just when we thought we were getting a reprieve from the Drama of Callie, she’s back. Not all is lost, though. Yes, Callie is back to brood once more. (Is Callie the broodiest teenage girl in all of television? Other contenders include Angela Chase and Arya Stark, but seriously, Callie is up there.) But this time, at least she is brooding over things that are more normal for a teenage girl to brood over and, you know, not her stint as a prostitute.
No, the Brood du Jour is over … boys. More specifically, how she lets boys make her feel lesser and isn’t going to do that anymore. It’s also about closure. And questions around having sex with her transgender boyfriend. I know, it’s a lot. All this brooding ends with a very mature conversation between Callie and Aaron that makes my heart leap with joy when I think about all the teenagers who will see it and learn from it. Shall we unpack some of this?
Callie and Aaron are getting hot and heavy these days, so when Aaron invites her over to his loft so that they can smash faces without being interrupted by the likes of Stef, Callie naturally thinks Aaron is angling to have sex. So, when Callie reconnects with her old friend Cole — who seems to be doing very, very well, and that makes me very, very happy — she has some questions. Cole is more than happy to be Callie’s sherpa on her burgeoning sexual-relationship journey with her transgender boyfriend.
Except the advice Cole gives Callie is mainly about what he likes with his girlfriend more than anything else. When Callie puts some of this advice to use over at Aaron’s loft, it does not go over well. Moreover, when Callie tells Aaron that she went to Cole for sex advice — she has no one else to talk to about it — Aaron is confused as to why she wouldn’t just talk to him, her boyfriend. The argument escalates and Aaron admits that he’s not ready to have sex with Callie yet because he doesn’t know if he can trust her. Is this just a rebound for her? Callie storms off yelling something about she’s tired of boys telling her how she feels. It’s not the most mature reaction, but good on her for standing up for herself.
Now Callie is all riled up … and it’s time for closure with A.J. It’s not cool for A.J. to make Callie feel like her drama made it okay for him to cheat on her. His delivery is a little callous, but he’s more than willing to admit that they both played a part in the demise of their relationship. Sure, there’s tension, but that’s closure, folks.
At least, it’s enough closure for Callie to march right back over to Aaron’s (how much mileage is Callie putting on her car to save her new relationship?) and let him know that this isn’t a rebound for her. She’s all in. It also leads them to have a very real and honest conversation about how neither of them are ready to have sex yet, and that’s okay. Callie lets Aaron know that when they are ready, she’s going to have some questions, and she needs to know that she’s allowed to ask them without judgment. As long as Callie is asking Aaron those questions, he wants her to know she has free rein to ask away.
Isn’t it so nice to see Callie learning and growing and becoming a tolerable human being? This is what dreams are made of, people.
Speaking of uncomfortable conversations, the tension in Jesus and Emma’s relationship comes to a head. He calls her out for repeatedly blowing him off while she insists that everything is fine — well, except for the fact that she knows he took a baseball bat to Brandon’s room and is, rightfully, a little bit scared. Jesus goes off on Brandon (it’s weird to feel bad for Brandon, right?) before tracking Emma down at school.
Enter: the second real and honest conversation of the episode. Emma and Jesus finally talk about her decision to have an abortion and keep it from him. He insists he’s not angry, but that makes no sense to Emma. Thanks to Mariana, she knows that Jesus would not have wanted an abortion, that because of his childhood, he would do everything possible to be a father to his child. When Jesus confirms that’s true, Emma wants to know how he could think that and not feel betrayed by her. Let’s be clear, Emma also reiterates that though she regrets keeping this a secret from Jesus, and understands that he’s angry because she didn’t consider his feelings, she does not regret having an abortion. Her. Body. Her. Choice.
They leave things on a somber note. Emma doesn’t see how this can work if he feels the way he does about her decision. She’s also tired of watching Jesus take things out on Brandon, who was there for her and obviously loves Jesus. Before Jesus can refute anything, Emma stops him. She knows he’s just going to tell her what she wants to hear, but that won’t work this time. This time, she wants to know what is true. It’s a very enlightened conversation for 16-year-olds to be having. And, yes, I have always been a fan of the Jesus and Emma pairing, but I don’t know, maybe there are some things that you just can’t get past.
Jesus doesn’t subscribe to that theory. He wants to be with Emma and his first step toward making that work is go see Brandon. Jesus apologizes for basically being an all-around dick. B offers some advice he learned after having his hand smashed in: Just because things won’t be the same, doesn’t mean that they won’t be okay. Again: We are dealing with some very enlightened teens here! Now I am the one learning and growing and becoming a more tolerable human being. Huh.
The two boys hug it out because brothers gotta hug, you know? The mamas happen to catch the touching moment and are relieved. Is this a turning point for Jesus? Not exactly: When Stef and Lea later inform Jesus that he can go back to school, but only with a classroom aid, he flips out. He doesn’t take a baseball bat to anything, but, like, you can tell he’d like to. Stef and Lena just want their sweet boy back, but it is clear that boy is very much gone.
In Other Family News
• Somebody’s getting married! Specifically, Mike and Ana. Stef warns her ex that it might be a little too soon for marriage, but Mike goes ahead with his proposal anyway. The two of them look so happy, so butt out, Stef! Anyone else tear up during that group hug with A.J.?
• Yes, A.J. is sleeping around while he’s in a non-exclusive relationship with the gal he dumped Callie for … BUT the guy also babysits without complaint. That still puts him ahead in my book.
• Please, please, please do not let Mariana get caught in the crosshairs of this Poppy/Ximena roller-derby-jealousy feud. Mariana needs a friend. POPPY, PLEASE BE HER FRIEND. Just as she did not choose to wear that roller-derby beginner’s butt pad, Mariana is not choosing to have Ximena take a shine to her.
• I never in 100 years would’ve imagined Mariana Adams Foster on a roller-derby team, but now that we are here, it is most definitely a better fit than dance team.
• Emma has a right to be angry with Mariana for tweeting about her pregnancy, but she does not have the right to use ’90s lingo to taunt her. Was Emma even born when people were using “… not!” in everyday conversation? As if!
• Oh, Brandon. Grace is good for you. Do not dump Grace for Cortney. Do not be dumb here. You’re going to be dumb, aren’t you?