Remember that time Callie kissed her foster brother? As of last week, “Which foster brother?” is an acceptable answer to that question – and with that, the stage is set for The Fosters 3×07 to be a very interesting episode indeed. Read on for our full recap.
The Fosters 3×07 begins with Callie and AJ sitting in the park, waiting to meet up with AJ’s long-lost brother and chatting about the drawing AJ gave Callie for her birthday. “It was my favorite birthday gift,” Callie tells him. “Your favorite?” AJ echoes suggestively, which is a less specific but more succinct way of saying “Aside from our semi-incestuous bounce house make-out, am I right?” After Ty shows up and Callie heads off for the final stage of her car-buying adventure with Mariana, Ty asks AJ if she knows they’re leaving town. Well… that’d be a no.
Post-car purchase, Callie arrives home to a welcoming committee composed of Stef, Lena and Rita. Stef saw her kiss AJ after the party, so in order to avoid jeopardizing her adoption, she and AJ can no longer live under the same roof. With Mike’s foster license still pending, AJ will be staying with Rita, and Rita makes Callie promise not to keep repeating the same mistakes. Stef and Lena tell the whole family about AJ’s impending departure at dinner, and Mariana follows up their announcement with one of her own: Ana asked her to be the godmother of her biological half-sister, Isabella. Great news, right? But that’s not all: Mariana says she’s going to get baptized in the Catholic church, a notion Stef and Lena aren’t exactly thrilled about.
During work at her grandparents’ bakery the next day, Mariana tells her cousin Adriana that she hopes her moms just need some time to come around, but their conversation is interrupted by an argument between their grandmother and Ana. Could Ana be abusing painkillers following the car crash? After Ana storms out, Stef and Lena show up at the bakery to discuss the baptism with the Gutierrezes. In a nutshell, the latter party (mostly Victor) expresses concern about the final destination of Mariana’s unbaptized soul while the former (mostly Stef) does a lot of eye-rolling. Eventually, the Gutierrezes concede that they overstepped by making the baptism plans without consulting Stef and Lena, but they leave Stef wondering whether she and Lena should have exposed their children to religion growing up. Back home, Stef poses a question to Lena: “We’ve always said that we would allow our children to choose their own spiritual paths – when does that start?” In The Fosters 3×07, apparently.
‘This is forever’
Meanwhile, over at Mike’s apartment, Mike meets Ty for the first time, and things don’t exactly go smoothly.
Ty: So, a lonely white cop wants to foster a black teen. I’ve seen this movie before. Let me guess, you want to save my brother from being dangerous, violent and criminally inclined, right?
Mike: I’m not interesting in saving anybody. I’m fostering AJ so I can provide him with a home.
Ty: Until he ages out. He’s almost 18 – you need a few months of government checks that bad?
Mike: I’m not just in this till he turns 18. I’m not going to just throw him out – I want him to go to college, get an education… I’m gonna support him any way I can. Look, I’m not in this for just a few months – this is forever.
Ty remains unconvinced and tries to persuade AJ that Stef and Lena’s efforts to get rid of him are grounded in racism.
After Ty leaves, Rita shows up to go over some rules with AJ before he moves in with her – and in the process, she inadvertently reveals to Mike that AJ was responsible for Callie getting fired from the drop-in center. Oops.
Mike takes the news calmly and says he understands AJ was trying to protect Callie, but advises him against getting romantically involved with her. Later, with Ty’s words ringing in his ears, AJ tells Callie about the exchange and Callie reassures him that Mike is looking out for him, not her – especially in light of what happened with Brandon.
Welcome, all sinners
On the topic of Brandon, remember that long, complicated metaphor of taking risks and jumping off cliffs from a couple of episodes ago? Well, The Fosters 3×07 sees Brandon back at Idyllwild, thanks in large part to fellow composer Tony. Jin, the pianist Tony’s working with, volunteered to partner with Brandon in addition to Tony, and Brandon’s apparently taken this whole risk thing to heart, because his composition is… we’ll say “less than orthodox.” (Basically he attached a bunch of stuff to the insides of the piano to produce some unusual sounds – a technique called “prepared piano” – but he’s not sure if the idea is too out there.) Tony tells him to follow his gut, so he plays it safe. After he’s critiqued by the program director for holding back, he regrets the decision – even more so after Tony steals his idea. Tony’s defense? It’s not his fault Brandon doesn’t believe in himself. An irate Brandon swears to dial up the competition and pose a real threat.
Speaking of bad decisions, when Callie heads outside to move her secret car in order to avoid a ticket, AJ persuades her to drive it around the block. This is bound to end well, right? Sure enough, they’re stopped by the cops.
Over at the church, Mariana tells Ana that her moms won’t be involved in the baptism process and asks Ana about the painkillers. Ana reassures her that she doesn’t have a problem. Just then, Stef and Lena show up after all – and they coming bearing gifts in the form of matching necklaces for Mariana and her soon-to-be goddaughter. When Mariana sits down with the priest, she reveals that she’s worried the church won’t accept her moms. The priest reassures her that the church will “welcome all sinners,” but his words don’t seem to comfort her. Ultimately, she decides against getting baptized.
Mariana: I’m not gonna stand up there and say that I believe in a church that thinks my moms are sinners just for being gay.
Stef: So you’re not gonna be Isabella’s godmother?
Mariana: It’s OK. I’ll just keep looking out for her like I do. I don’t need a title for that.
It seems that baby Isabella isn’t the only member of the Gutierrez family who needs to be looked out for – the baptism is about to start, but Ana is nowhere to be found. Victor decides to continue with the service, and when Mariana protests, he responds, “This is a family matter, Mariana, and you’ve made it quite clear you don’t want to be a part of ours.” …Ouch. Mariana blames herself for Ana’s absence, but before her moms can comfort her, Stef gets a call about Callie and AJ being arrested. Turns out the car Callie and Mariana bought was stolen. (Of course it was.)
Later that day, Ana appears at Stef and Lena’s house. She asks them to take Isabella and explains that she disappeared because she wasn’t confident about her ability to take care of her child.
She admits that she doesn’t feel a connection with Isabella, just as she didn’t with Mariana and Jesus when they were babies, something she’d blamed on the drugs she was taking at the time. Lena suggests that she may have post-partum depression, and when Victor shoots down the idea, Mariana retaliates.
Why do you do that? Why do you always assume the worst of her? I may not have been raised in a church, but my moms have always taught me to believe in family, and to believe in people, and to believe in the best possible version of people, and that’s what Ana needs right now – for you to have faith in her. She needs your love and support. She stole money from me, she lied to me, but I still believe in her. You can’t just assume she’s using again every time she has a bad day. No excuses: You either believe in her or you don’t.
With that, Ana’s parents finally express their support and agree to find their daughter some help. The situation also encourages Lena to confront her own feelings, and she admits to Stef that she thinks she’s been depressed since losing baby Frankie.
Stef comforts her, and we’re sooo close to a tear-jerking yet heart-warming ending, but The Fosters 3×07 isn’t going to let us off that easily.
It turns out that the social worker conducting Callie’s final home study before making an adoption recommendation to the court has some concerns about Callie’s “foster brother.” Stef and Lena assume she’s talking about AJ, but this time, Brandon’s the problem – or, more specifically, the restraining order that his moms took out against him while Callie was at Girls United. Until the situation is fully investigated, the social worker can’t make her recommendation, nor can she allow Callie to remain in Stef and Lena’s care…