When we interviewed The Fosters‘ Cierra Ramirez last week, she described the show’s two-part season 4 premiere as “terrifying” and “intense” – and she wasn’t kidding. The school lockdown may be over when The Fosters 4×02 kicks off, but the threat is still very real… and even closer to home. Read on for our recap of The Fosters 4×02, “Safe.”
A drought going on
The Fosters 4×02 opens with Jesus firmly in denial about his best friend’s actions. OK, Nick’s father’s gun is missing, and, sure, the warehouse burned down, but that doesn’t mean Nick’s responsible. He gets even more scornful when Mariana reveals Nick saw her kissing Mat goodbye after turning down Mat’s suggestion of getting back together. Meanwhile, Mariana’s (rightfully) concerned that Nick’s still MIA, and Stef reassures her that as long as everyone sits tight and keeps the doors locked, everything will be fine. Oh, and they should also stay off social media and their phones to avoid “gossip and misinformation” (translation: to prevent Nick from reaching out to Mariana or Jesus, and Callie from reading the Brallie-related firestorm on Fost & Found). Jesus is arguably more upset about his phone being confiscated than he was about the school-wide lockdown in last week’s episode, and it’s pretty hilarious.
Jesus: “What are we gonna do without our phones?”
Lena: “Read a book.”
Jesus: “We read books on our phones!”
Lena and Stef are sure to mention that everyone will probably be grappling with some tough emotions in the wake of what’s happened, but it’s important not to shut down. They’re such great moms. Their kids may not think so, though, between the cellphone confiscation and the “no closed doors” rule (except for the bathroom). Once they’re out of earshot, Stef tells Lena she requested a patrol car be stationed outside their house that night, just in case Nick targets the family after all. Little do they know he’s already hunkered down in their garage…
Upstairs, someone quietly enters Callie’s bedroom while she’s facing away from the door, but it’s not Nick, just AJ. Tom Williamson has been busy lately – he was also on this week’s episode of Rizzoli & Isles (which I also recap, if you’re so inclined). He wants to know if she’s seen what people have been saying on Fost & Found lately. Mariana appears out of nowhere to ask what’s going on, and before you know, all three are hiding out in the bathroom, using AJ’s contraband computer as the empty shower runs. “Y’all do know there’s a drought going on, right?” AJ asks. I like him more after that question. Needless to say, Mariana’s Fost & Found account has been locked, and she’s none too pleased that Justina has taken control of her and Callie’s creation.
Callie with a chance
That night, the Fosters attempt to decompress by watching a G-rated movie, but the tech-deprived kids quickly devolve into bickering. They’re having phone withdrawals and they went through a school lockdown – you can hardly blame them. As Stef heads to the kitchen to make more popcorn, she sees the garage door blowing in the wind and heads outside to investigate. One thump in the eaves is enough for her to draw her gun and grab a flashlight, but Nick isn’t there anymore. Nor does he appear to be in Brandon’s room, where a separate thump seems to have been related to the open window and the strong breeze. There’s a reason for her to be jumpy, though – the cord hanging from the trapdoor to the attic is swinging, and that’s not from the wind.
Cut to someone sneaking into Callie and Mariana’s room – but, again, it’s not Nick. This time it’s Brandon, and he wants to talk to Callie in private. Their moms have been a little busy, what with Lena being employed by Anchor Beach and Stef being one of the cops involved in the lockdown, but the lack of communication following the big Brallie reveal is driving Brandon crazy. Oh, honey, not everything in The Fosters 4×02 is about you. They proceed to have the following heartbreaking conversation that reminds me of the insecure, unloved Callie we met way back in the pilot episode.
Brandon: “We didn’t do anything wrong.”
Callie: “Yes, we did. We didn’t tell them – we didn’t give them a chance.”
Brandon: “A chance to what?”
Callie: “Not adopt me.”
Brandon: “Callie, they wouldn’t.”
Callie: “We don’t know that. They still can. They can reverse my adoption; I looked into it. They can do it.”
Of course, Stef walks in right as Brandon gives Callie’s knee a reassuring squeeze, confirming that Foster’s Law is still operating in full force.
Stuck in the system
Elsewhere in the house, Jude’s having a sleepless night following a nightmare about Jack. He tells Stef that Dream!Jack told him he was still unwanted and stuck in the system, and asks Stef if she thinks Jack’s trying to communicate with him from beyond the grave. “I’m sorry you’ve had so much loss in your young life,” Stef tells him gently. Leave it to Judicorn to make me tear up.
As Stef heads back to her and Lena’s room, she hears a noise in the attic, but writes it off as rats. She and Lena proceed to second-guess themselves about the whole Brallie situation, and Stef wonders if they’ll ever be able to trust Callie and Brandon alone together again.
Stef: “We can’t pretend like it didn’t happen.”
Lena: “It’s not happening now.”
Stef: “Are you sure about that?”
Lena: “I am. Yes, I am.”
Stef: “Well, things are never gonna be the same.”
Lena: “So, what’s different? We’ll figure it out like we do everything else.”
I love Lena’s attitude. However, their subsequent agreement that the other kids don’t need to know means only one thing in Fosters Land: They’ll inevitably find out. In fact, the very next scene of The Fosters 4×02 depicts exactly that, when Mariana asks Callie outright and Callie nods in response. Well, that’s one Foster kid down, two to go.
In the light of day
After a long night, everything seems a little safer in the morning light. Stef locks her gun in her safe and tells Lena that she doubts Nick will come to the house now if he hasn’t already – ummm, but he has already, she just doesn’t know it yet. In the meantime, she’s got rats in the attic to investigate – or at least that’s the plan until Jesus tells her Brandon broke the family’s self-imposed lockdown to help girlfriend Cortney move. She announces her intention of texting Brandon to get back home, but, as Jesus points out a little smugly, “You took our phones – just saying.”
Upstairs, Mariana’s enjoying a warm shower when a shadow passes outside the shower curtain. Can we get the Psycho theme up in here, please? I wish Freeform had the rights to that. Could it actually be Nick this time, after two fake-outs? Nope, just Callie grabbing her toothbrush. Callie points out that Mariana’s barely spoken to her since the great Brallie revelation, and Mariana admits that imagining Callie and Brandon together makes her feel a little sick, but she has no room to judge. “At least you didn’t cheat on anyone,” she points out, “except maybe the family, in a way.” Yo, that’s deep.
Now that the two sisters are on speaking terms, Mariana brings up Justina again. She’s determined not to let the so-called foster care advocate get away with using Callie to promote her own political agenda, not to mention placing Jack with the foster father who murdered him. Callie says she has a picture of a check made out to Justina’s “nonprofit” from for-profit placement agency Arbiter, and Mariana thinks proof of the connection could be enough to take Justina down. She hacks into Justina’s Fost & Found account (with a little help from Callie’s quick-thinking responses to a tech support representative), and reroutes the site to a domain called JusticeForJack that features the photo of the check.
Jack is a topic of conversation downstairs as well. After Jude asks Lena how to find out where Jack was buried, Lena gets in touch with Jack’s aunt and learns that the woman never picked up his ashes on account of the $300 charge and the fact that she “hardly knew the kid.” Sounds like Jude’s dream might have some truth to it after all. Lena heads upstairs to ask Stef if she knows what the coroner does with unclaimed remains, and finds Stef clambering down from the attic unharmed. At long last, we catch sight of Nick hiding behind a door, but nobody else knows he’s there…
“Now you have a home”
Meanwhile, Stef tracks down Brandon at Cortney’s new house with a little help from the address he left on his desk (really, B?). The ensuing conversation underscores the fact that although Brandon’s the oldest Foster kid, he’s also the most immature. After he points out that he’s not a kid anymore because he’s 18 and can vote, Stef counters, “Any idiot can vote.” (Or run for president.) The topic of discussion quickly turns to that night at Idyllwild, and Brandon handles the situation predictably – i.e. by exploding.
Brandon: “You never listen! It’s like when I tried to tell you I was in love with Callie, you took out a restraining order.”
Stef: “Yes, which you apparently violated several times, did you not?”
Brandon: “This is why we don’t tell you anything! Because we know you would never understand.”
Stef: “What’s to understand, Brandon? That you had sex with your foster sister? It doesn’t matter that she wasn’t adopted yet – it was wrong. That’s why you didn’t come to us – because it was wrong, you knew it, and you were scared. … You deceived us, Brandon. There is no excuse for that. And I hold you mostly responsible because Callie was vulnerable and you of all people should have known better.”
Well… damn. Anyway, the upshot of this confrontation is that Brandon refuses to come home and instead plans to live with Cortney, which is bound to go suuuper well. Stef wishes him luck, and he’s going to need it.
So Brandon and Stef are at Cortney’s, Lena and Jude are driving Jesus to a volleyball game and picking up Jack’s ashes, AJ and Callie are making out in the kitchen, and Mariana’s taking a nap upstairs – which, of course, is when Nick decides to make his move. He creeps into her room like the creepiest of creepers, looking like actual hell and brandishing a gun as he asks her not to scream. He explains that there are too many voices talking in his head, and he hates them and he hates himself and he hates her and he would do anything to make everything go away. …Wow, Mariana’s in real trouble here.
Downstairs, Lena and Jude return, AJ leaves, and Stef shows up shortly thereafter. Lena agrees to let Jude bury Jack’s ashes under the tree that the family planted in memory of baby Frankie, then Stef pulls Lena aside to inform her that their oldest chick has left the nest. Oblivious to what’s going on with Mariana, Callie and Jude talk about how Jude misses Jack and Connor (Jonnor fans, did that pull at your heartstrings like it did mine?) and Jude asks why bad things keep happening. Well, let’s ask Mat, who just showed up at the front door at the actual worst time ever, given that Mariana’s currently upstairs trying to talk Nick out of shooting himself by saying she loves him and not Mat. It’s not often I say this, but thank God for Callie, who comes out of Jude’s room, sees Nick’s reflection in Mariana’s mirror, and tells Mat to run downstairs and get help. Stef transforms from mom to cop in two seconds, and by the time she gets upstairs, Nick’s sobbing in Mariana’s lap. Stef calmly takes his weapon, separates him from Mariana, and tells Mariana to go find her mom in a strong, soothing voice. Seriously, Teri Polo is acting her ass off in The Fosters 4×02, as are Cierra Ramirez and a frighteningly unhinged Louis Hunter.
As The Fosters 4×02 winds down, the two members of the family who were closest to Nick – the twins – come together to talk about the experience, and Mariana tells Jesus about her ordeal. In the yard, Callie and Jude are doing some somber sibling bonding of their own as Jude commingles Jack’s ashes with the earth at the root of the memorial tree while Lena watches through the kitchen window. When Stef comes over to join her, Lena asks what they’re going to do about Callie. Outside, Jude smiles up at the sky and tells Jack, “Now you have a home” – but how much longer does Callie?
Guess we’ll have to wait two weeks for the answer, as The Fosters is taking a one-week break next Monday on account of Independence Day, but it’ll be back on our screens July 11 at 9/8c.