“The Fosters” (1.02) recap: You lie, Stef. You lie.


Jude, Callie, and Mariana are walking home from school when Mariana sees that both the moms are home. The jig is up, right? Wrong! They want to talk to Callie. Can we take a moment to appreciate how fierce Lena is with her arms crossed? Malibu Stacey pinned the whole thing on Callie. The moms ask if she’s been stealing Jesus’ meds and when she denies it they ask why the other girl would make it up. She says that she’s just an easy target and the moms ask her to go so they can chat. Stef asks Lena what they should do and Lena suggests calling Mike. Lena, I love you, seriously, and not just because I’m obsessed with your hair. She says that Mike actually called her to talk, and when Stef asks what they said Lena smirks and says that it’s between her and Mike.

Jesus and Brandon are bro-ing out and Jesus tells Brandon that if Talya is jealous that he needs to make some sort of grand gesture. Brandon says “but I’m grounded and I don’t want to lose any house points by sneaking out.” Jesus laughs at him and Brandon tell Talya that he’ll sneak out later. He tells Talya “I don’t care if I get caught, it’s worth it.”

Mariana wants to know why Callie didn’t tell on her. So do we all. Callie says that the moms wouldn’t believe her and Mariana almost looks like she feels bad. Mariana walks into the kitchen and looks torn. Jesus comes to talk to Mariana in her room and she tell him that she doesn’t want their moms to be mad at her. She tells him that Ana just took the money from her and she realized at least she has two moms who love her but that they will hate her for dealing drugs. They’ll probably cancel my Quinceneara. Ugh Mariana. You suck.

Brandon gives Callie guitar lessons. He tells her where to put her fingers and how to move her hands on his guitar. Ick.

Mariana is about to confess but Jesus jumps in to save her and confesses instead. He says that he got sick of everyone telling him to take his pills all the time and that he has been putting them in his pockets. Some one asked to have one so she could work on a paper and then it got out of control. Stef glares at the twins in a way that makes me think that she knows Jesus is lying his ass off.

Stef and Lena find Callie and apologize for not believing her. Trust, they tell her, in something that has to be earned that they would like to start earning hers. The night ends with Callie putting Jude’s clothes in a drawer, Lexi texting Jesus to tell him he’s a dumbass for taking the blame for his sister, and Callie and Bradon making beautiful music together. He lies to Talya to say he can’t come.

The moms lie in bed, Stef reaches her hand back toward Lena and Lena reaches out to grab it. Lena may have reached for Stef’s hand but her face doesn’t look like she’s forgiven anyone just yet. But the moment of reaching out, hoping that Lena will reach back felt right to me. Stef has apologized to Lena but she knows that Lena isn’t over it and hopes that maybe they can bridge that chasm of sheets and blankets and hurt feelings between them in the bed by interlacing their fingers and holding on. They come back to each other, even when they are mad, even when they fuck up, even when they disagree, and even when they can’t find the right words to undo the hurt they have caused.

The actors who play the moms have talked a lot about how great their on-set chemistry is and I think it’s started to come across in this episode. They feel like real moms who have some serious challenges when it comes to parenting their kids (*cough* Mike *cough*). Stef punctuates her conversations with “love” as a term of endearment for all of the members of the family. It comes across as almost unconscious, as though she can’t help but soften her words for them, whether it’s to apologize to Lena or to read Brandon the riot act. These are the moments that make this show feel authentic to me. It’s not the big sweeping declarations about love and family and how we’re all the same. It’s these quiet moments that we might not notice at first that fill the background of the picture with richness and depth and the feeling of being a family. To drive a television show like this you need big drama, you need chaos, but for this show to have the heart we’re all hoping for, it will have to keep finding the quiet within the chaos.

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