The episode was less chaotic than last week.
The directing was phenomenal.
Fantastic story lines that were believable and entertaining.
It felt like classic 'Fosters.'
Last week's story lines need better resolution this episode.
Not much else!
Lena’s parents are in town, Callie and Aaron take things up a notch, and Jude is torn between his two favorite people.
The Fosters 5×07 was a great addition to the show’s fifth season. Stef (Teri Polo) and Lena (Sherri Saum) are more prominent this week, with Lena’s parents coming to town. Stef is busy, she’s trying to get Stewart off of the house title, while also dealing with her past with Tess. Callie (Maia Mitchell) struggles with her vision of herself, but Aaron helps her find it. Jude (Hayden Byerly) deals with his best friend and boyfriend, who are fighting over him on a daily basis. Brandon (David Lambert) reacts to Cort and Gabe with anger, and Mariana (Cierra Ramirez) helps her hot neighbor with his girlfriend troubles.
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Lena’s father is clearly having memory issues, but it’s not clear how bad they are until the story line’s heartbreaking conclusion. Callie and Aaron’s relationship shines this week, and we are finally totally on board with these two. Dana flawlessly handles Jude’s dilemma with ease, and Brandon handles his situation a little less gracefully. Mariana has a bit of a stumble in her romantic pursuits, and ends up asking both Logan and his girlfriend to prom. Let’s see if we can unravel the tangled lives of our favorite family.
It’s all about money and memories for our favorite moms.
Stef and Lena step back into the spotlight this week, with the arrival of Lena’s parents into town. Stef wants to take Lena’s father off of the title of the house. Lena is unsure, and wants to discuss it with her parents. Stewart’s memory is clearly failing, and it’s causing some problems. For one, Stef and Lena were sure the money for the home was a gift but Dana tells Lena it was a loan which they are now expected to pay interest on.
This is a huge problem, because Stef and Lena cannot afford to pay Lena’s parents back. The storyline comes to a close when Stewart buys the kids a car, and is insistent he can afford it – he has a bonus coming soon. In a heartbreaking moment, Dana tells Stewart that he’s not getting a bonus, in fact, he’s retired.
It’s now clear that Stewart is having some very serious memory troubles, and Dana believes Stef and Lena about the money being a gift. However, Stef and Lena insist on paying Dana the interest anyway, because she will need the money for Stewart’s care.
“You’re retired, Love.” -Dana
Let’s take a moment to talk about how utterly heartbreaking this story line was. Everyone was frustrated, and there was no way to prove that Stef and Lena were being truthful. The worst part of it all is how Stewart’s memory loss is revealed. He was genuinely trying to help his grandkids, and thought he had the means to do so. The moment when he finds out he was mistaken is a total tearjerker.
While working out the financial issues with Lena’s parents, Stef is also dealing with her past with Tess. She finally explains to Tess (and us) what happened all those years ago. When her dad caught them cuddling on the couch, he sent her to church, and she was too ashamed to continue her friendship with Tess. We think there’s something more going on here, right? Tess was way too upset about Stef’s rejection for someone with merely platonic feelings.
Jude is torn between two -friends, one boy and one best.
At the beginning of the episode, Noah expresses concern with Jude’s gaming obsession (again). Faced with the possibility of losing Noah, Jude decides to forgo his planned gaming stream to spend time with him. This is bad news for Taylor, who was already at the Foster’s waiting for Jude to start the stream. Throughout the episode, Noah and Taylor literally fight over Jude, each arguing that they deserve his time.
Dana is a pro at this kind of thing, and quickly resolves the issue with a custody arrangement. With that worked out, Jude goes back to gaming. He receives a sponsorship offer via email. He excitedly tells Taylor before he is informed that they only want Jude, the gaymer, not Taylor.
“You know what? You can both leave and never come back as far as I’m concerned.” -Jude
Dana totally owned this storyline. Half an episode spent fighting and Dana gets it all resolved in less than five minutes.
Speaking of the fighting, are we wrong to think there may be a little more going on here than just a best friend versus boyfriend battle? It seems Taylor is really invested in Jude and doesn’t want him around Noah. It certainly comes off as jealousy if you look at it the right way.
How do we feel about Jude’s sponsorship offer? It’s a little sketchy, right? The gaymer thing is odd in itself, but the rep sounded entirely unprofessional on that phone call, and even checked whether Jude had already told Taylor. We don’t want to read too much into things, but we hope this isn’t some kind of trap or scam Jude is falling into.
Callie and Aaron cool off.. And then heat up.
Callie has a great storyline this week. What starts with a humiliating art class experience turns into her really understanding herself.
When Callie’s art class critiques her self portrait, saying she doesn’t know who she is, she is rightfully upset. She spends the next day at a secluded waterfall with Aaron, talking about the moment. Aaron gives her some really solid advice and they go skinny dipping.
Maybe it was the wisdom, maybe it was the nakedness, maybe it was the gorgeous scenery, but the moment gets this couple in the mood. They head back to Aaron’s place and quickly strip down on the bed, and we all know what that means in TV-speak.
The next day in class, Callie is more certain of herself than ever. She has a clear vision of who she is – she’s a foster kid, who’s lived many different lives. This earns her a nod of approval from the art teacher, and all is well in Callie’s world.
“You know what Carl Young says, ‘Everyone in your dreams is you,’ right?” – Aaron
Let’s discuss Callie and Aaron for a moment. Although we weren’t entirely on board with this relationship from the get-go, this episode really sold us.
The problem with Callie and Aaron was the same problem Callie faces in many of her relationships – it just happened too fast. However, this episode makes up for it. Their relationship is supportive, caring, and you can see that there is a friendship underneath their attraction. Plus, their intimacy moved at just the right pace, this truly felt like the perfect moment for them to have sex. It was natural and believable.
Also, if Aaron has a hand in Callie gaining confidence and understanding herself better, we are all for it. It seems that Aaron’s wisdom was just the thing to get Callie back on track and able to understand the meaning behind her own art. We’re officially rooting for you, Callie and Aaron.
If The Fosters 5×07 was a self portrait, we’d say it knows exactly who it is.
This was a great episode. It was well organized, not too crowded, and developed everyone’s storyline in a subtle way. It was easy to follow, but not simple, and the writing, acting, and production were top notch.
Last week, we mentioned that The Fosters struggles with overcrowded episodes. Not this week. In fact, every critique we may have had for last week’s episode was handled much better this week, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.
We have to give props yet again to the cinematography team behind The Fosters. They do a fantastic job conveying emotion through camera movement. When Stef and Lena are stressed, the camera subtly shakes, when things are good with Callie, we get smooth pans. It’s such a nice addition that really adds to the value of this show.
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With everything going on, we haven’t gotten a chance to discuss Jesus’s absence. He was certainly missed, but is it possible that his absence contributed to the less chaotic feel of this episode? We hate to say that The Fosters should avoid having all of the kids in every episode, but that may be the solution.
The only issue this episode has is really left over from last week’s. We would’ve liked to see more resolution to Callie’s free speech storyline, it felt disjointed and unresolved. Also, Brandon’s reaction to Cort and Gabe was totally justified, but everyone acted like it had to be jealousy. It’s perfectly possible (and likely) that Brandon found fault with the relationship outside of his possible remaining feelings for Cortney.
Still, the resolution of the storyline was handled well. Cortney and Brandon realize that it’s perfectly natural to be jealous of exes, even if you don’t still want them. Cortney tells Brandon that she just wants him to be happy, and he realizes he wants the same. She also realizes that she shouldn’t be kissing anyone right now, and she packs up and makes her exit. Her storyline was done, and The Fosters recognized that and handled her exit phenomenally.
This week’s scene stealer was undoubtedly Dana, who kicked butt as a grandma, a mom, and a wife. She was even (basically) a divorce attorney!
After this week’s episode, we can’t wait for next week. Season five finally seems to be headed in the right direction, back toward the show we know and love.
QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS:
- We had some really nice scenes with Stewart this week, despite the money and memory fiascoes. He has really nice moments with both Lena and Stef.
- Seriously, Jude’s offer was so sketchy, right??
- Did Grace’s phone call sound a little too heated to anyone else?
- Umm… Logan’s girlfriend is not very nice. Don’t be coming for my girl Mariana.
- If you catch someone singing “Waterfalls” by TLC this weekend, they’re a Fosters fan.
‘The Fosters’ Review: [5×07] – “Chasing Waterfalls”