In The Fosters 4×06, Lena, Callie, and Mariana all snap, while Brandon can’t stop justifying his actions. Read on for our recap of The Fosters 4×06, “Justify.”
In one ear & out the other
In the final moments of last week’s episode, Lena’s mom Dana got her father Stewart to admit the extent of his financial troubles – including the lien on Stef and Lena’s house. The Fosters 4×06 picks up the thread the following day, with Stewart, Stef, and Lena in crisis talks. Stewart’s planning to meet with a tax lawyer and is confident he has options, and while Lena wants to believe him, Stef isn’t so sure. Stef ends up calling Dana behind Lena’s back and learns that Stewart owes almost $300,000. Needless to say, when Stef admits her actions to Lena, this causes a rift between the couple, as Lena’s standing firmly by her father.
Speaking of money issues, Lena confronts Brandon about giving money to Cort. When Brandon protests that he’s only lending Cort the cash, Lena wisely tells him that sometimes, people mistake loans as gifts. As usual with Brandon, this sage advice goes in one ear and out the other, but, hey, Lena gave it a shot.
Right & wrong
So remember how in the last episode, Brandon took the SAT using fellow Anchor Beach student Tristan’s name in exchange for $1,000? Family friend Jenna saw him coming out of taking the test and told Lena, who mentions it to Brandon’s music teacher in The Fosters 4×06. Brandon thought he covered his ass by explaining he was trying to improve his score for college, but there’s just one problem. As his teacher tells Lena, Juilliard doesn’t even look at SAT scores, a fact of which Brandon’s aware. Lena’s not stupid, and she quickly puts the pieces together, figuring out that he fraudulently took the test for money.
When she confronts Brandon back at the house where he no longer lives but drops by from time to time to practice piano, she is fearsomely angry. Her son has committed academic fraud, and as assistant principal at Anchor Beach, she is ethically and professionally required to report it. Not only does that mean no Juilliard, it means no college, period. Brandon’s still too focused on helping Cort to see how he’s jeopardizing his own future, protesting that she needs money for a divorce lawyer. Lena drops another knowledge bomb in response:
“Brandon, when you continue to justify your actions, it’s pretty clear you’ve lost your sense of right and wrong.”
Talk is cheap
Speaking of right and wrong, Nick took a pretty epic wrong turn when he brought a gun to school in the season 4 premiere, then made things worse for himself by hiding out at the Fosters’ house for 24 hours before finally confronting Mariana in her room. Who else thought the scene with Nick being led away by police at the end of The Fosters 4×02 was the last we’d see of him? Well, surprise: Despite Nick’s numerous death threats, this Degrassi-esque storyline just won’t die.
On the contrary, Mariana received a phone call from him at the end of the third episode, then visited him in episode 4×04. This week, he gets his doctor to call Stef to ask when Mariana will be coming back to see him. Awk… ward. Of course, Mariana kind of gave him false hope during their visit, but you can’t really blame her for not wanting to break up with him after he told her she was his reason for living.
Oh, also? Despite Nick only being held at the psychiatric facility for a grand total of two weeks, there’s already going to be a hearing to determine whether he’s mentally fit to leave. When Stef shows up at the hearing to argue against Nick being released, Nick’s father victim-shames Mariana and throws some shade about Stef being a lesbian. Meanwhile, a contrite-acting Nick says he understands Mariana isn’t his girlfriend anymore – but, unlike the diamond necklace he gave her and now wants back, talk is cheap.
Of train wrecks & backpedaling
Despite Stef’s protestations, Nick is released and moved to a group home. Stef tells Jesus and Mariana to let her know if he contacts either of them – but little does she know that Mariana’s actually visiting him in person. When Jesus confronts her, Mariana explains that Nick keeps saying he can’t go on without her, and she doesn’t want him to kill himself because of her. “He just needs some time to get better,” she asserts. “And what does it matter if he thinks I’m his girlfriend as long as he’s locked up?”
On the topic of impending train wrecks, Brandon’s relationship with Cort is further bolstered when she sells her surf gear for $900 and tells him he can’t be the only one making sacrifices. He takes the money, scrounges up another Benjamin, then gives back the $1,000 Tristan paid him and tells the kid to take the SAT himself and use whatever score he gets. He relays all this to Lena, exclaiming, “That way you don’t have to compromise your integrity or anything!”
Brandon honestly thinks he’s fixed his mistake as opposed to simply scrambling to minimize the fallout, just like he did when he bought back those fake IDs he sold in season 1. In short, history’s repeating itself, and even though Brandon can’t see it, Lena sure can. “It’s the fact that you do these things at all that concerns me,” she tells him. “Character is much easier kept than recovered.” Oh my God, Lena, how can you be so wise when your son can be so dumb?
“Bitches get stuff done”
In light of all this Brandon-related tomfoolery, it’s ironic that Jesus thinks he’s the dumb one in the family. In fact, he broke off his friends-with-benefits arrangement with Emma after taking her offer to tutor him for the SAT completely the wrong way. He does, however, take Mariana up on her offer to join Anchor Beach’s STEM club – now called “STEAM,” because somehow art got added. Personally, I think it’s been renamed STEAM as an acknowledgment to the boiling tension between Mariana, Emma, and one of the boys working on the club’s robotics project.
Long story short, the guy pushes Mariana to invest in a type of wheel that’s kind of cool but doesn’t make sense for the project, then writes code using a programming language the rest of the team doesn’t understand. In an attempt to reassert herself as team leader and atone for Omniwheelgate, Mariana orders him to rewrite the code or else she’ll kick him off the team. “Why are you being a bitch?” he asks her. “Because bitches get stuff done,” she shoots back. It’s a badass scene, but there’s just one problem – half the club ends up leaving in protest.
Friends in high places
After STEAM Club, Jesus asks Emma for a ride home, and the two of them once again get their wires crossed. Emma thinks his request means more than it does, but he says he simply needs a ride. Eventually, it comes out that he’s offended she thinks he’s dumb, and for once, they actually have an honest conversation rather than relying on assumptions.
Jesus: “We both know that I’m not smart enough for you and that’s the reason you won’t date me.”
Emma: “The reason I won’t date you is because you broke my heart.”
In a cute yet cheesy moment, Jesus briefly morphs into Toni Braxton and asks to unbreak her heart.
Back at the Fosters’ house, things are heating up between Jude and new beau Noah as well – with the help of some pot Noah procured with the medical marijuana license he has for his anxiety. As Taylor tells Jude earlier in The Fosters 4×06, “It’s always the preachers’ kids you gotta watch out for.” After consulting Brandon about his (bad) pot-smoking experience, Jude decides he isn’t ready to smoke, but that’s OK, because they’re not smoking it, they’re eating it. Yup, Noah has pot cookies and candies and all kinds of goodies. Pretty soon, they’re giggling helplessly on the floor of Jude’s room ( “Dude.” “Did you just call me Jude?” “No, that’s my name.” “Yeah, that’s why I thought it was weird.”), and it’s there that they eventually share their first kiss.
The most depressing scrapbook ever
Meanwhile, Callie is knee-deep in her very own Innocence Project. She’s determined to overturn the murder charge against her former foster brother, Kyle, with the help of her new friend, Aaron, a.k.a. that guy she kissed that one time. Stef theorizes that the detective assigned to the investigation made a deal for the alibi witness to go free on an unrelated charge in exchange for dropping his statement about Kyle, thereby allowing the case to be closed. While Stef doesn’t mind Callie playing detective, Lena lays down the law. She tells Callie to commit to her senior project and to the family, and damn, this Brandon situation has really lit a fire under her.
A morose Callie looks at the work she’s done on her photo essay so far and breaks down under the weight of her sad history. Aaron walks in on her slashing the board she used to hang the photos, and the ensuing conversation allows both of them to open up to each other.
Callie: “It’s like the most depressing scrapbook ever. This was a horrible idea. No one’s gonna want to see this. I don’t want to see this. I hate that this is my story; I just want to pretend it never happened.”
Aaron: “It’s hard to look back on the rough stuff. I mean, I’m transgender; I get it. When I see pictures before my transition, I see how sad I was. I just wanted to erase the first 16 years of my life, but you can’t let go of all that pain and sadness when you lock it in. This little girl you keep pushing away, she’s still here. She needs to know that you love her. You’ve got her back. You can’t save yourself without saving her. And you can’t do that without facing the fact that you got a really raw deal.”
Callie mentions that she has a transgender friend, and although Aaron jokes that not all trans people know each other, it turns out he actually does know Cole!
Fun fact: The actor who plays Aaron (Elliot Fletcher) actually does know Tom Phelan, who portrayed Cole in the first three seasons of The Fosters. It’s a small world after all, you guys.
After Aaron leaves and Callie does her best to fix up the slashed board, she can’t help but take another look at the case report for the murder Kyle allegedly committed. At school the next day, an inconsistency hits her: The murderer was right-handed, but one of Callie’s old photos of Kyle clearly shows he’s left-handed…
Right back where we started from
Some episodes of this show take you on a roller coaster ride that leaves you in a very different place to where you started, but The Fosters 4×06 returns to the issue with which it opened: Stewart’s money problems. After Stewart approaches Stef and Lena with a hail-Mary solution (“If we can just scrape together $20,000, we can buy shares in a company…”), Lena finally realizes that this time, he can’t save her. “We can’t afford for you to be wrong again,” she tells him. “You’ve lost everything and you’re in denial about it.”
In the final scene of The Fosters 4×06, Stef and Lena are walking around the house with a realtor, who says she doesn’t think she’ll have any trouble selling it. Could this really be the end for the house where we’ve seen so many memories made over the past 68 episodes?