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


Previously on The Fosters every member of the family went around tempting the fates, calling on the gods to smite them, and asking for more trouble than they ever imagined. Brandon whined that he doesn’t have enough pain to play the piano. Stef told Lena’s meddling ex that she’d never had to shoot someone and then left the house without kissing Lena good-bye or saying “I love you.”

This week we pick up where we ended last week. Stef and Mike sweep Ana’s house, room by room, the tension reaching near excruciating levels because we know what’s coming. We know someone will fire shots and we can only imagine who will be on the receiving end. Stef sweeps a room and then they split, each taking a room by themselves. Pop! It starts but we don’t know who is shooting for a split second. Mike rushes into the room and fires at Mr. Weed Wacker hair who slumps to the floor. Stef is lying on the ground, bleeding and trying to talk to Mike. He calls for help and 663 Coronado Street is burned into my mind like P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney.


Jesus is standing outside a broken phonebooth with money in his hand. Fine, he’s just waiting for Ana to come trotting up to him outside the women’s shelter he found online. Ana says she had to climb out a window to get away from her boyfriend otherwise she totally would have been more punctual. She’s twitchy and weepy, per usual.  Jesus tells her she’ll be safe in the shelter She asks him for money and he hands her whatever he has in his wallet.

Back in the world of before, before you know that the love our your life is lying on the floor of a dingy house with a bullet in her gut. Back in the world where anything seems important, even two teenagers’ shenanigans, Lena is lecturing Mariana. She wants to know why would she go behind Lena’s back to contact Ana when she knew Lena was trying to work out a way for them to meet?  Jesus interrupts the lecture with a phone call.  He lies about being with Lexi at the movies and Lena asks if he’s at Ana’s. He sighs and says he’s downtown and Lena and Mariana head for the car to pick him up.  On the way to the door Lena calls and leaves a message for Stef that Jesus isn’t at Ana’s and to call back.

Lena’s phone rings in the car as they are picking Jesus up. Mike’s tone is all wrong for an “everything is okay” call and Lena takes the phone off of speaker. He starts to talk and her face tells us we’re no longer in the world of before. This week the normally heartwarming beginning feels different, like it’s taunting us with its comfort.  Because somehow “remember your chores” and “homework!” don’t seem that important.


Brandon comes home from the concert and finds Callie alone in the house. They fill time exchanging awkward chit chat about their dates. A knock at the door reveals two cops in uniform. One of whom knows Brandon and says that Mike has been trying to call Brandon all night. Why wasn’t he answering his phone? Dude, piano boy knows better than to leave his phone on ring for a concert. Brandon asks if his dad is all right and the cops just look at each other. Guys, deliver the telegram of Jimmy Duggan will throw you out of this locker room.

In the hospital Stef is on a backboard being lifted onto a gurney in the ER. The doctors talk to her and talk doctor around her. She’s got a possible collapsed lung, they pass a tray across the screen covered in syringes. Her chest is covered in blood. The machine’s beeps pick up as the scene progresses. Someone says “come on Stef” before we cut to a shot of Lena striding into the ER.

Mike is hunched over the reception desk, his hands clasped like maybe he thinks praying could help.  Lena wants to know what happened.  Mike says there was a guy with a gun and Lena says “and where were you?” They’re interrupted by a doctor who comes out, thinks Mike is married to Stef. He corrects her and Lena says she’s Stef’s domestic partner. Once that’s sorted out the doctor begins telling them what is happening. She tosses around phrases like “trauma team,” “lost a lot of blood,” and “we’re doing our best.” None of which comforts us or Lena.


Mariana asks if Ana was there and Jesus says no, she was with him. Mariana tells the adults not to be mad at Jesus, it wasn’t his fault. Nice of her to think about taking some blame for once. Neither MIke nor Lena say anything before Captain Roberts steers the twins to the chairs. Lena watches them walk away with a look that is a swirl of anger and fear and confusion.

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