Before we proceed, can we please have one moment of silence in honor of one of the most wonderful (and singable!) opening credits sequences on television? Who knows what Good Trouble has cooking up, but it has some big shoes to fill. Oh, Pancakes Being Drizzled with Syrup, I shall miss you most of all.
Now let’s get to it. The SERIES FINALE of our beloved The Fosters. Are you still crying over it? I’m still crying. A part of me will always be crying. The good news in this very bad-news situation is that just a few months ago we were treated to a stellar season finale episode, and here, once again, the team delivers a finale that strikes just the right mixture of closure, nostalgia, celebration, and hope for the future. It even manages to teach us one last story about the realities of being a foster parent. It’s just so, so lovely. We are not worthy.
“Where the Heart Is” gets right into all the who’s-knocking-on-whose-door shenanigans it left us with in “Turks and Caicos” and it’s a little more complicated than one might guess. At Brandon’s door: It’s Emma! She’s come to make things right with Jesus … who is unfortunately finishing up his quick tryst with Bridesmaid Jayden. Eventually, they have a frank talk about maybe needing to figure out who they are without each other. It’s your typical “let it go and if it comes back to you, it’s truly yours” scenario. It’s a bittersweet ending for these two lovebirds.
So with Brandon’s door covered, that means Callie is knocking on Jamie’s door, looking to make good on his “drink” offer. But what’s this? Mariana is already in Jamie’s room, sipping on some bubbles. Et tu, sistrah? Don’t worry guys, Mariana is not moving on Callie’s guy. As our girl explains to her suspicious sister later, Mariana did not want to take Mat up on his offer of reconciliation and she bumped into Jamie, who kindly offered to keep her from doing something she’d regret. If only Callie would trust her sister a little bit more. Ah! Something to explore in the spinoff!
Has anyone ever been to a wedding where so much drama went down the night before? Did Meghan and Harry experience such hijinks? Not only is there all this door knocking going on, but there’s also Jim seeing Jude leaving Carter’s room late at night (Carter does not get a happy ending, and Jude learns how lucky he is to have moms like Lena and Stef), there’s a nice nod to one of the best Mama moments in the series when Lena and Stef go skinny-dipping in the ocean, and of course, there is Brandon having serious Doubts.
Hot Dad Mike arrives just in time to find his son brooding on the beach the morning of his wedding. Brandon is worried that if he marries Eliza, he’ll feel so much pressure from her and her parents, that he won’t be able to pursue his dreams. Hot Dad Mike is basically like, um, stand up to them now or forever hold your peace. And just like that, Hot Dad Mike is gone from our lives, off to whatever glorious DILF Wonderland he came from.
Brandon takes his dad’s advice and finally stands up to Eliza’s parents. Oh, he’ll sign that prenup, if that’s what it takes to prove to them he’s worthy, but he will not take a free condo. He and Eliza will work to buy their own place, and also he’s going to succeed in his chosen job field. Eliza’s very into this determined, won’t-back-down version of Brandon and so she tears up the prenup and demands that Stef and Lena be the ones to marry them. Jim and Diane, you’re taking a back seat at this wedding.
And so, Brandon and Eliza get married on the beach, surrounded by bridesmaids in much better dresses than the ones Diane selected and two officiants who love the happy couple, very, very much. Weddings always make people feel wistful and nostalgic, so it is the perfect place to pop in some montages looking back at our time with the Adams Fosters. There’s one dedicated to #Brallie, which implies real closure, one that reminds us of the ups and downs of Lena and Stef’s relationship, and the best one: a montage dedicated to the family unit. The good, the bad, the dance parties of the Adams Foster family. Warning: It is a weepy one.
Everyone makes it back from Turks and Caicos alive and well and just in time to have a little wrap-up and one final family dinner around the kitchen table (I gasped when I realized this was it) before saying goodbye.
Corey’s was a short story, but a moving one. His mom wants him back and Corey is torn, but ultimately decides he needs to be with her. The Mamas understand — this is part of fostering — but they promise to always be in his life, if he wants them to. I mean, duh. With hugs like that? Of course he does.
Mariana, realizing that her relationship with Mat has become a toxic one, and seeing her brother in so much pain post-Emma, decides that her trip to Europe should be one that the twins do together. Jesus is her best friend, after all. Can I have a minute? I’m bawling.
Callie and Brandon finally close the #Brallie door forever by admitting that they made the right choice in ending their relationship in order to make sure Callie remained a part of the family. They’re best friends, too. Aw, you guys!
But the most compelling arc of this whole series finale event belongs to Judicorn. He’s been moody and standoffish, and although Callie could have made a softer landing when she accuses him of using sex to compensate for something, she is ultimately right. After seeing that Carter doesn’t have the luxury of a family who accepts him for who he is and watching the Mamas being so wonderful while having a tough conversation with Corey, Jude knows that he needs to come clean. He visits his Mamas as they are getting ready for bed, and Callie joins the conversation, too. He tells them that he’s on academic probation and has been struggling at school. He feels lost. He misses his family — how it used to be before everyone moved away. He felt like he needed to handle things on his own, but he just can’t do that anymore. Everyone is in tears. This final Stef and Lena’s Bedtime Heart-to-Heart is a tearful, authentic, wonderful doozy.
It also inspires Callie to take the clerkship with the conservative judge in Los Angeles, to be closer to Jude. (It doesn’t hurt that Jamie, who she did, in fact, kiss at the wedding, is also in L.A. — Good Trouble, I am ready for this.) Which means that Callie, Jude, Brandon, and now Mariana, who has a job offer in L.A., will all be in the same city. Maybe Los Angeles will begin to feel like home — especially since, in the end, Stef rallies the Adams Foster kids to convince Lena to run for State Assembly, which means moving. The world needs more people like Lena in politics, and everyone supports her, even if it means selling the house so that they can live in the district in which she’ll be running. It’s a nice little moment, worthy of the Last Supper at the Kitchen Table. I couldn’t have parted with that fabulous house for anything less.
The Adams Fosters pack up — they have to leave behind Frankie’s tree (sob) — take one final family photo in front of their house, and then they move on. It’s time for the next chapter. For them. For us. Though old friends will most assuredly pop up on the spinoff from time to time, it’s incredibly sad to say goodbye to this iteration of the Adams Foster family. How lucky we were to have such an earnest family drama that wasn’t afraid to tackle tough subject matter these past five years. It will be missed.
Is it weird to print out their family photo and frame it for my bookshelf? Okay, you’re right, I just read that back and it’s weird.