The Fosters 3×14 had a little of everything: shady secrets coming to light, families uniting against adversity, waning romances, and the potential for new love. Read on for our recap.
“You’re my home”
The Fosters 3×14 opens with Callie at juvie – but this time, she’s outside the bars trying to visit AJ (whose full name is apparently Anthony Joseph… who knew?). There’s just one problem: She’s not on his list of approved visitors, which means he doesn’t want to see her.
Speaking of avoidance, Stef and Lena still haven’t told their kids about Stef’s medical situation, and Mariana’s curious about “all these private conversations behind closed doors, and whispering, and why Grandma won’t leave.” She thinks Lena’s having an affair with Monte – and she’s not the only one to have come to this conclusion, as much of Anchor Beach is keeping her company. There’s even an animated video of a cartoon Lena and Monte “bumping booties,” which Grandma Sharon thinks is “kind of funny” but Lena and Stef definitely do not.
Later, Lena asks Monte if she created the video, then quickly apologizes for the accusation and admits she’s been stressed out of late. This quickly devolves into Monte asking what’s going on and Lena once again confiding in her colleague instead of her wife. Really?! It seems like the law of the worst people walking in on the worst things at the worst time is still in full force in The Fosters 3×14, because Stef sees Lena confiding in Monte through the window of her office. Fantastic.
Why was Stef at Anchor Beach, anyway? Turns out she’s giving Sharon power of attorney in case something goes wrong with her surgery. Why not Lena, you ask? That’s Sharon’s question, too – and in typical Sharon style, she urges Stef not to pull away from Lena before going on to recommend Stef and Lena have sex before Stef’s surgery. I have to admit I laughed out loud at that part. Thus far, actress Annie Potts has done a great job of lightening some of the darker, more serious scenes in The Fosters 3B. Sharon unwittingly breaks the news to Lena before Stef has a chance to, but in her defense, Stef apparently said she would be dropping by Anchor Beach earlier that day to tell Lena about the decision. Well, at least now we know why she was there – and needless to say, Lena’s not happy.
Lena: “When are we ever gonna get past this?”
Stef: “I’m trying to, Lena.”
Lena: “By giving Sharon your power of attorney?”
Stef: “I did that because I don’t want you to have to make the decision to pull the plug, if it comes to that.”
Lena: “Or maybe you’re afraid I’ll pull it because you’re convinced I’m in love with Monte.”
Zing. At least the tone of the conversation softens from there, with Stef admitting that she’s afraid Lena won’t be attracted to her after the mastectomy. Happily, Lena says she isn’t going anywhere.
“What’s beautiful about you is so much more than your body, it’s your heart and soul, your mind, your laugh, your courage and your compassion. Honey, I love this life that we’ve built together, our kids, our family. You’re my home, and I’m so sorry that I said anything that ever made you feel like I wouldn’t always find you attractive and sexy and beautiful because I will. I always will.”
The Brandon Foster Broken Heart Collection
Elsewhere, Jesus is persisting in his clumsy efforts to get to know construction worker Gabriel – a.k.a. the man he thinks is his birth father – and there’s a touching scene in which Gabriel gives Jesus his old tool belt. The only thing that’s kind of a bummer is that Gabriel doesn’t even know Jesus’ real name or age, because Jesus goes by “Nick” at his construction job and lied about his age to get said job. Eventually, the charade proves too much for Jesus, who breaks down and confesses who he is. Gabriel’s reaction isn’t exactly what Jesus hoped for – he tells Jesus to leave and never come back, then reveals he isn’t legally allowed to be around Jesus. Sounds like Ana has some splainin’ to do…
Meanwhile, Brandon is growing closer to surfer/bartender Cortney through his new job playing piano at a local restaurant – or, more specifically, he’s busting out classics from the Brandon Foster Broken Heart Collection while Cortney prepares a post-performance Shirley Temple for him, even though he has no idea who Shirley Temple is. The next day, Brandon impresses Cortney by playing Shirley Temple’s famous “Animal Crackers in My Soup” on the piano. Brandon, when did you get game? He and Cortney share an almost-kiss but Cortney pulls back, pointing out their age difference and the fact that they’re both on the rebound as just two of the obstacles in their way.
Brandon: “I thought you were over your ex.”
Cortney: “I am, but it’s pretty clear that you aren’t over yours.”
…I mean, she’s not wrong. As Callie points out later, he’s supposed to be moving on, but he’s not doing a very good job considering his senior project is a tale of forbidden love. Galvanized by Callie’s words, Brandon tells Cortney that he doesn’t see her as a rebound. He makes a semi-cliche, semi-charming comparison to Romeo & Juliet because he’s Brandon, and they’re just about to kiss for the first time when he catches sight of a car seat in Cortney’s car. Looks like things between them are about to get even more complicated. Cortney recommends that he take some time to think about whether he can handle being with the mother of a 2-year-old.
Safe – this time…
So remember how super-shady “foster care advocate” and investor Justine got involved with Fost & Found? That storyline lay dormant for the past couple of episodes, but The Fosters 3×14 brought it back in a big way by featuring a conversation in which Justine reveals the site’s forum has moderators and Callie protests, “The whole point of Fost & Found is so kids have a place to tell their stories, uncensored.” Justine argues that the moderation is a way to keep the site’s users safe and refers to the post accusing Callie of sleeping with her foster brother as an example of inappropriate and untrue content. Callie, needless to say, squirms uncomfortably at the whole “untrue” part.
Next, Justine reveals that she tracked the IP address of the Fost & Found user pretending to be AJ. At the end of last week’s episode, viewers found out it was Jack, but there’s just one small issue: Jack had been messaging Callie from one of Jude’s devices while visiting the Fosters’ house, so the IP address came back to Jude. Of course, Callie doesn’t doubt Jude for one second and quickly figures out the real culprit. When she confronts Jack, he says it was a misunderstanding that spiraled out of control and begs her not to tell Jude. It seems like Jack has bigger problems, though, i.e. getting beaten up at the group home where he’s been staying. Callie and Jude urge him to tell someone, but he’d rather keep quiet for fear that he’ll be sent to juvie if there’s nowhere else for him to be placed.
After Jack leaves, Callie and Jude have a short conversation that’s heartbreaking for multiple reasons.
Callie: “Jude, he’s right. He could end up in juvie.”
Jude: “Mom wouldn’t let that happen.”
Callie: “AJ is in juvie right now because of her, so we don’t know what she’ll do.”
Unsure where else to turn, Callie speaks with Justina, who promises Jack that she’ll get him in contact with Social Services and will make sure he’s safe – “this time.” Did anyone else pick up on that? Callie sure did, and she questions Justina about it once the two of them are alone. Looks like she’s caught Justina in a lie, as the foster care advocate previously asserted she had nothing to do with Jack being taken away from his foster home, but Justina manages to cover herself by claiming she was speaking in general terms. From the expression on Callie’s face, though, it doesn’t seem like Callie believes her. The next day, Jack tells Callie, Jude, and Justina that he’s changed his mind about speaking to Social Services. The boys at his group home broke his arm, and in an effort to avoid punishment, they promised to leave him alone and give him all the privileges he wants.
Dumb & Dumber
Over at Anchor Beach, Mariana’s ill-fated bid for the junior class presidency opens up an unexpected opportunity when she’s asked to become chair of the honor board. Jesus and Nick point out that she’d be in charge of punishing other students, but she accepts the offer anyway, firing back with “OK, Dumb and Dumber, don’t you have remedial something to get to?” Well, ouch. Between chairing the honor board and participating in Brandon and Mat’s play, it sounds like Mariana’s going to have a busy semester. Speaking of the play, after one of the other cast members displays an interest in Mat by asking if he wants to meet with her later to “work on [her] iambic pentameter” (now there’s a euphemism I haven’t heard before), Mariana requests that Brandon institute a no-dating policy between cast and crew, but Brandon says no.
Back to Nick (a.k.a. Dumb… or is it Dumber?). When he admits his crush on Mariana, she’s flattered by his patter about her being “smart, confident, and just about the most beautiful girl [he’s] ever seen.” Huge eye roll. If she’s so smart, why does she agree when he asks her out? Ugh, this guy is such bad news. As if to prove my point, an Anchor Beach security guard busts Nick for doing doughnuts in his car while on school property, and now he’s being sent in front of the school honor board – yup, the same one Mariana chairs. The board lets him off with a warning, but Mariana tasks him with cleaning up the tread marks he made.
In the final few minutes of The Fosters 3×14, Callie learns that she made it onto the approved visitors list, but in true Fosters fashion, there’s a twist. The person who accepted her request to be added isn’t AJ, it’s his brother Ty, and she’s not visiting juvie, she’s visiting jail. Callie appeals to Ty by restating something she told Justina earlier in the episode: “Everyone wants to be saved, they just sometimes need permission.” She asks Ty to give AJ permission “to have a foster family that loves him and will take care of him until you’re out of here.”
Back at the house, Jesus tells Mariana about Gabriel, and Stef and Lena finally break the news about Stef’s diagnosis to the kids. The family shares a group hug, then Stef and Lena reconnect by going skinny-dipping in a neighbor’s pool.
Then, because this show rarely has a heartwarming ending without introducing a new bombshell into the mix at the 11th hour, Mariana discovers her birth father’s name on the Sex Offender Registry in connection with lewd or lascivious acts with a minor. I’ll hazard a guess that this may have something to do with why he’s not legally allowed to be around Mariana or Jesus, but I bet we’ll find out for sure next week.