Although The Fosters is ending, the celebrated Freeform show made it to 100 episodes, which is no small feat! In many ways, watching The Fosters 5×18 was reminiscent of watching the series as a whole. You likely laughed, you almost certainly cried, and something inside you probably felt changed by the time the closing credits rolled. Here are 4 things to know about The Fosters 5×18, “Just Say Yes.”
1. Callie’s chasing her dreams – and her man.
At the end of last week’s episode, Callie requested to change her major from art to law, and although she missed the deadline to apply for UCSD’s law program this year, all is not lost. On the contrary, the professor she met through the social-media-in-politics panel urges her to pursue this new field of study next year if she still feels the same. In the meantime, she stays busy working with the existing law students to appeal Ximena and Poppy’s parents’ deportation. Remember ICE Agent Allen from The Fosters 5×14? He returns in The Fosters 5×18, albeit unwillingly. After Callie unsuccessfully tries to persuade him to testify about ICE’s illegal tactics, she and Aaron serve him with a subpoena! Not gonna lie, it’s pretty badass.
On a more personal note, collaborating with Aaron makes Callie realize she’s ready to commit to a relationship with him. There’s just one problem: He’s with Amanda now. Buoyed by Mariana’s advice (“You don’t have to keep creating these tragic love stories – just say yes”), she decides to tell him how she feels. Although he doesn’t exactly reject her, he asks for time to think about it, which she grants.
2. Mariana does the right thing.
On the topic of Mariana, she and Emma discover that they’re both building the same type of robot for their internship application. You know what that means – Jesus is once again caught in the middle! When Jesus asks Mariana to help Emma, she’s too wrapped up in their competition to budge, but Callie unintentionally breaks through to her later in the episode. While mulling over the Aaron situation, Callie notes, “This world pits women against each other too much as it is,” and Mariana’s guilty conscience does the rest. Emma decides to stick with her original fire-fighting robot idea after all, and by the friends’ final scene in The Fosters 5×18, they’re cheering and high-fiving. Impressively, this isn’t even the episode’s biggest relationship turnaround.
3. Stef and Lena are back from the brink.
In fact, the Biggest Turnaround Award goes to Stef and Lena, whose relationship seems rockier than ever for much of The Fosters 5×18. After a disastrous first day at the couples’ retreat gifted to them by Sharon, you might say the tension between them is at an all-time high. Can you believe that not even goat yoga could bring them together?! It’s not until Stef takes a late-night walk and communes with her deceased father that she realizes the full effect of Tess moving to the neighborhood. Specifically, Stef associates Tess with the high-school period during which they met, which is causing her to re-experience the vulnerability, fear, and distrust associated with having a father who was not only unsupportive but outright condemned her sexuality later in life. When she returns to the room where she and Lena are staying, her explanation of how she’s feeling is as gut-wrenching as Lena’s response is heartwarming.
“After all these years, I see you. I know you. You don’t think I know you? I know your struggles and your fears, and I love you for them, not in spite of them. I want you to share your dark places with me so I can help you heal, so we can help each other heal. My love can show you that you’re enough, because for me, you’re everything.”
4. Grace’s sun is going down.
Unbelievably, Stef’s struggle to be proud of herself and her life despite the feelings of shame ingrained by her father and society at large isn’t her only emotionally harrowing story line in The Fosters 5×18. The second begins when she has a conversation with Brandon in which she attempts to acknowledge and address the fact that he spent much of his childhood caring for her while she grappled with her identity.
“You remember those messages that you get as a child about your worth. Those stick with you. I just… I want you to know your worth in a relationship is not as caretaker. You don’t have to rescue someone to be worthy of their love.”
It turns out that Grace shares the same mindset – and in fact, she loves him enough to let him go. She and Brandon spend a seemingly idyllic day together in Los Angeles, during which Brandon aces his interview at the Musicians Institute, they take silly selfies with the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, they watch the sun set over the ocean, and Grandon Canyon performs a final concert on the Hollywood Boulevard sidewalk. After they arrive at Susan’s house in Marin County, however, Grace reveals that the experimental cancer treatment didn’t work after all. She asks Brandon to go back to San Diego without her, finish senior year, graduate, go to college, and essentially put himself first. It’s both heartbreaking and the right thing to do, which is never an easy combination.