The Fosters 4×15 – Sex Ed – Recap
In The Fosters 4×15, Jude looked for answers in all the wrong places, Callie bared her soul at school, and Jesus made some false assumptions about Emma and Brandon’s relationship. Read on for our recap of The Fosters 4×15, “Sex Ed.”
All’s well that ends well
Callie’s been working on her senior project(s) for about two years in the real world, but time moves differently in The Fosters universe. After all, Mariana is 16 in season 4 despite celebrating her 15th birthday in The Fosters 1×04, which aired back in 2013. Regardless, the senior project submission deadline is finally here! Callie sure was cutting it close when she started version 4.0 of her project in last week’s episode, but she (and Aaron, and AJ) managed to pull it off. The finished installation both impresses and unsettles her classmates, who ask some reeeeally personal questions about her time in foster care and juvie. Remember Talya, Brandon’s ex-girlfriend? She reappears in The Fosters 4×15 and seems particularly affected by the piece, telling Callie:
“I always thought, like most people, that if someone got arrested or went to jail then they probably did it, or did something bad. But innocent people get locked up and I don’t really think there’s any justice if we just put blind faith in the system, so thank you for opening my eyes. This is really amazing art. You’re very brave for sharing everything that’s happened to you.”
The whole family is proud of Callie, and she admits, “I’m even kind of proud of myself for once.” Oh, but this is The Fosters, so of course the story line doesn’t end here. Rather, Lena receives a call from Monte, who wants the installation removed before Anchor Beach’s open house for prospective parents. Callie puts on a brave face when Lena breaks the news, but not everyone is as willing to accept Monte’s directive. After seeing Callie and Lena dismantling the cell, Talya organizes a boycott, for which Monte promptly blames Callie. When Callie apologizes to Lena for the controversy, Lena says she’s the one who’s sorry: “I should’ve fought for you, and I’m really proud that your classmates are.”
Buoyed by all the support, Callie comes up with a workaround: If she displays her work off-campus, the seniors will back down. “All’s well that ends well, right?” Lena asks Monte brightly. Unsurprisingly, Monte and the stand-in assistant principal aren’t exactly happy, but the backlash they anticipated from prospective parents doesn’t seem to be coming to fruition. In fact, one parent – a professor at the San Diego School of Art and Design – compliments Callie on her “powerful piece” and encourages her to go to art school.
Elsewhere at Anchor Beach, Jude’s taking sex ed in health class, but the curriculum only covers heterosexual sex. Jude has questions and nobody to answer them – and the fact that Noah’s more experienced than he is doesn’t help. The ever-enterprising Taylor (his former girlfriend and the person who introduced him to Noah) suggests he have a practice hookup, to which Jude responds, “Is that a thing?” Could The Fosters 4×15 mark a resurgence of the wide-eyed Judicorn of yester-season? Now that he’s no longer smoking pot or being unnecessarily sassy, I’m finding him impossibly endearing again. Send help.
Although Lena’s currently on administrative leave caring for Jesus, she still seems like the best port in a storm for Jude, who asks why gay sex isn’t included in the curriculum. Lena doesn’t have a good answer, but surmises that the topic is too controversial, which Jude doesn’t accept.
“We have gay rights and we have marriage equality, so why don’t we have gay sex ed?”
Lena brings the issue to Monte, noting LGBT students are left out and suggesting a more inclusive lesson plan. Monte’s concerned about how parents and the school board would react (Anchor Beach’s accreditation status is up for renewal, in case you were wondering why she’s being so intense about everything), and things go from bad to worse when the stand-in assistant principal weighs in. Apparently a bunch of parents at his last school threatened to pull their kids from health class altogether if LGBT-inclusive sex ed was provided – a move he says would’ve put those kids at risk by being uninformed. …But it’s cool if LGBT kids are uninformed, because they’re not as important, right? Sit down, sir. Needless to say, Lena will hear none of it.
Lena: “Our LGBT kids are at risk because no one is giving them the information that they need.”
Monte: “Jude’s welcome to ask his teacher questions after class.”
Lena: “He won’t, and neither will other kids who are confused or embarrassed or afraid to out themselves.”
Monte knows Lena’s making good points, so she falls back on that tried-and-true chestnut of pulling rank. While Lena’s on administrative leave, she’s entitled to offer her point of view as a concerned parent and nothing more. In other words, Monte’s big, Lena’s small. Monte’s right, Lena’s wrong. And there’s nothing Lena can do about it.
Jude pumps it up…
Thanks to Monte’s (Trunch)bullheadedness, Jude is still without answers. As The Fosters 4×15 progresses, he turns to that bastion of knowledge known as Google. Convinced he doesn’t want his first time to be with Noah, Jude decides to embrace Taylor’s idea of a practice hookup and downloads a Grindr-esque app named Pump. Things go downhill from there in a flurry of shirtless photos, cringe-worthy conversations – oh, and adding four years to his age. He agrees to go to a guy’s apartment, and covers his tracks by telling Stef and Lena he has plans with Taylor. What could go wrong?
Luckily, this isn’t Stef’s first rodeo. She notices that someone on the family phone plan downloaded Pump, and when Jude returns from his encounter, she and Lena are waiting. At first, Jude feigns innocence, but he’s no match for Detective Adams Foster, who quickly gets the whole story out of him. Thankfully, there’s not much to tell – the guy didn’t believe Jude was 18 and told him to leave. “I know that you have better judgment than this,” Stef admonishes. Like, seriously, Jude’s not Brandon. The next day, Lena hangs posters at Anchor Beach advertising off-campus LGBT sex ed.
Speaking of sex ed, did you know St. John’s Wort can interfere with birth control effectiveness? Emma takes the herb to manage her anxiety, which explains how she got pregnant despite being on the pill. Remember my knowledge bomb from a couple of weeks ago about how condoms have a typical-use efficacy rate of 82%? Well, the typical-use efficacy of oral contraceptives like Mircette, Loestrin, Yaz and Seasonique is 91%, with failure typically due to missing doses. The takeaway here? Use multiple methods of contraception, people. Damn, I could teach Jude’s sex ed class.
…while Jesus blows up
Because Brandon’s the only one who knows about the pregnancy, he accompanies Emma to get an abortion. He wouldn’t be my first choice, but desperate times call for desperate measures, I guess. Emma feels conflicted about not involving Jesus, who’s already dealing with a lot after his traumatic brain injury, but Brandon thinks Jesus would support her in making her own decision.
Spurred by his guilty conscience, Brandon offers his bedroom to Jesus, who’s excited for some alone time with Emma. When he makes a move, Emma says she’s not sure he’s well enough to have sex and promptly flees to the kitchen, where she bumps into Brandon. All this bolsters Jesus’ suspicion that Emma and Brandon are more than friends, which in turn stokes the paranoia than can result from a TBI. Ultimately, he blows up at Emma and Brandon, and accuses Stef and Lena of knowing about their relationship. “You want Brandon to have her because you always want Brandon to have everything,” he yells, then collapses into Stef’s arms in tears.
Mariana, who witnesses the incident, asks Brandon what’s going on. He tells her to stay out of it, but she makes an educated guess and Brandon spills the beans. Hurt, she fires up @NoSecretsAnymor and furiously tweets about how her BFF was pregnant and never told her. This is bound to turn out well…
Relatedly, Mike apparently didn’t get the “No secrets anymore” memo – he hasn’t told AJ about Ana and Isabella moving in, and AJ finds out from Mariana. AJ’s fine with the idea, but Mike’s in a pickle: Ana has a felony on her record, which means she isn’t allowed to live with a foster kid. Adopting AJ would solve the problem, and although AJ’s on board, he’s unsure what his brother Ty would think. “If it’s what you want, then he should be [supportive],” Callie tells him, and recommends he visit Ty in jail to discuss the issue face to face. Turns out Ty has other plans, though: He’ll be getting out in a few months and wants AJ to move in with him, which prompts AJ to reconsider his situation. “I don’t want to hurt Mike, but then I feel like it’s worse if I hurt my brother,” he tells Callie. It seems his mind’s made up – but then he finds out from Ana’s mother that Ana can’t move in unless he’s adopted.
In the wake of the decision to agree to a $300,000 settlement rather than risk Callie’s case going to trial, Mariana’s concerned that Nick’s father – like Robert – may broker a deal to secure his child’s release. Stef offers some self-defense tips to help her feel more confident, but hits a roadblock when Mariana refuses to practice screaming for help. “I know that it’s uncomfortable – as women, we are conditioned to be passive and polite and not to raise our voices, but sometimes we’ve just gotta push on through,” Stef tells her. That’s some straight-up wisdom right there. But it turns out her wisdom is selective, as she decides a good way to begin their second training session is to jump out from behind a tree to scare Mariana into screaming. Stefanie, please. Lena tells her to apologize, and although she’s initially defensive, she acknowledges Lena’s suggestion of approaching Mariana differently to the cops she trained in her self-defense classes at work.
Lena: “She’s no you, OK? She didn’t play with GI Joes. She grew up wearing princess dresses and wanting to live in a castle.”
Stef: “OK, I find that a little sexist, Lena – gotta be honest, you know? Even princesses can learn to fight.”
Lena: “Agreed, but you don’t teach them the same way you would teach a Marine.”
Stef apologizes to Mariana and attempts a Disney analogy to get through to her. Mariana screams into her ear, which I suspect killed two birds with one stone: showing Stef she can scream for her life, and stopping the train wreck of Stef’s Snow White metaphor.
At the end of The Fosters 4×15, Lena and Callie burst into the house, excited to share the news that Callie’s being scouted by an art school. However, their exuberance quickly wanes when they find Stef at the kitchen table with Robert, who comes bearing bad news. Troy Johnson has refused the settlement deal, which means Callie has to go to trial. If she’s convicted, her aspirations of attending art school may remain just that…
The Fosters is off the air next week but will return to Freeform on Tuesday, March 14, at 9/8c.