“The Fosters” recap (1.9): “You had me at lesbian”


It’s flashback time and Mike is sitting in a courtyard having a cup of coffee and waiting for someone. Stef shows up and he tells her that their separation has been a wake up call. He says he hasn’t been present in their marriage for a while and he’s ready to step up. She tells him that counseling won’t work because she can’t love him the way he loves her. She tells him that he’s a good man and a good dad but that she’s gay. “I’m a lesbian,” she says and Mike looks completely lost. She apologizes to him and to herself for not being able to say that before, that it took her so long to be able to accept that she is gay. He asks why now, and she says it’s because she’s met someone.


Sometimes we know. We know in a place that we wish didn’t exist. We know who we are but we pretend we aren’t sure. We pretend we don’t know because this, whatever this is, this thing is good enough. For Stef, for a while “good enough” looked like Mike and Brandon. For a while that was enough but then a thing happens and you look up and you see a person, a woman, you see a woman and your heart cracks open. The world is no longer about good enough, it’s about love songs and movies. Now a story of a face that launched a thousand ships means something to you because, by god, now you’ve seen her face and you would find a way to build your own dinghy to track her down if necessary. You know the girl. You remember her face. You probably remember her name. You remember who she was that made the tumblers fall into place, and allowed your locked up little heart to open. You remember where you were when good enough became a thing you were settling for and she, the promise of a life with her, became the only thing you wanted.

Back at the hospital Mike is sitting in his car with a cup in his lap. He pulls out a bottle and pours booze into his cup of coffee and takes a sip.

Wyatt and Callie are sitting outside, she says she hates hospitals and he says she’s using him. He says he doesn’t mind but it’s obvious she cares about Brandon and that she should just got for it. Yeah there are rules but from what he can see she’s a girl who is more scared of putting her heart out there than of getting caught breaking rules. If everything going on doesn’t tell her to seize the day than he doesn’t know what will. She rushes into the hospital, bathed in fluorescent light and is about to talk to Brandon when Talya appears to give him a hug. Callie veers into the waiting room.

Ted comes out at tells Lena that Stef did great and should make a full recovery. Brandon hugs Lena and they linger for a moment. She has shorter, tenser hugs for Mariana and Jesus. Brandon hugs Mike but pulls back, searches Mike’s face and then sniffs Mike’s coffee. Brandon shakes his head and throws the cup in the trash before walking out of the room.

Lena goes into Stef’s room, takes her hand, kisses her forehead, and then drifts back into memory. Flashback Stef is leaning against a car when Lena comes striding over. She tells Stef she’s not going to do this with a married woman. “Women like you are just passing through, this is where I live,” Lena says. Stef says she told Mike and her dad, and most of her friends. She even used the word “lesbian.” She told them all that she met a woman she can’t live without.  “I belong with you, Lena.” Lena doesn’t say anything for a minute and Stef hunts for clues in her face and offers “If you’ll have me.” Lena says “You had me at lesbian.” They hold each other nervously, and kiss.


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