In The Fosters 4×08, Callie continued playing detective, Brandon got even more out of his depth, and Mariana let her competitive streak run wild. Read on for our recap of The Fosters 4×08, “Girl Code.”
Quiet & serene
At the beginning of The Fosters 4×08, the reality of Stef and Lena deciding to sell their house is setting in. Their real estate agent tells them they need to clean and de-clutter the house, and take down family photographs. “We want people to experience this as a quiet and serene home,” she says pointedly amid teen makeout sessions, yelling, piano-playing, and the cops showing up. Yeah, good luck with that.
The thing is, it’s the day before the robotics competition, and Brandon’s Juilliard audition in New York is coming up soon as well. Mariana is freaking out, and Brandon’s ceaseless practicing isn’t exactly helping. “I’m trying to think in C++ but all I can hear is C minor!” she exclaims. “Major!” corrects Brandon’s disembodied voice from the living room. This is the most highbrow sibling squabble I’ve ever heard in my life.
The frame game
Incidentally, the cops are there in connection with Callie’s recent visit to the workplace of her incarcerated former foster brother’s reluctant alibi witness. Apparently the esteemed Mr. Molloy is accusing her of harassment. Callie reluctantly agrees to let Stef handle things, given that Stef’s, you know, the cop. However, as she boxes up the case files, she finds a clue pointing to a curb painter. With help from Aaron and a resident of the neighborhood where the murder took place, she finds out the guy’s name and address – and ignores a call from AJ in the process. “Trouble in paradise?” Aaron queries. “There’s always trouble when I’m involved,” Callie responds, and while it’s kind of true, I hate that she thinks about herself that way.
As Aaron and Callie stake out the house, Aaron pries a little deeper into Callie’s history, asking why she was in juvie. She admits she made some bad choices, he tells her that doesn’t make her a bad person, and they’re just building up some chemistry when the guy they’ve been waiting for arrives home. Mercifully, Callie decides to “leave the detecting to the detectives.” Better later than never, right?
Meanwhile, true to her word, Stef follows up on the complaint against Molloy. She talks to his victim, Benjamin, and discovers that the detective in charge of Kyle’s case threatened to deport Benjamin’s parents if he didn’t drop the charges. It really seems like Kyle may be innocent after all, and the person who framed him is none other than one of San Diego’s finest.
Baby Got Bots
After weeks of preparation, it’s finally time for the FIRST Robotics Southern California Regional Competition! Side note: FIRST is a real – and really cool – organization, which you can check out here.
Honestly, I feel like the Anchor Bytes should’ve spent a little more time thinking of a team name that actually makes sense. (Anchor Screech? Just an idea.) The Bytes quickly encounter some intimidating competitors, not to mention their ex-STEAM club teammates who “came to watch [them] lose.” Their faculty advisor urges them to stay focused on the spirit of “gracious professionalism and cooperatition,” but Mariana vows to kill someone if the Bytes don’t get to the final.
Lena, who’s in attendance to cheer on the Bytes, can’t help but see Mariana’s through-the-roof stress level. She asks if piling on pressure and barking out orders is really the leadership style Mariana wants to espouse, and Mariana erupts. “Either leave or leave me alone,” she snaps. As has often been the case this season, Lena’s infinite wisdom falls on deaf ears in The Fosters 4×08.
So although there are some male members of the Bytes (Jesus included), the drive team is one of just two all-female trios in the competition. When the captain of the Baby Got Bots team (Sasha, played by Emma Dumont) approaches the Bytes, Mariana’s prepared for hostility. Instead, she gets a warm welcome and a seemingly sincere “Good luck.” Pop City Life recently interviewed Emma Dumont about her role in The Fosters 4×08, as well as her real-life robotics experience!
Bitches get things done
In the stands, a worried Lena is on the phone with Stef. Mariana jumped into the robotics project right after what happened with Nick, and Lena’s concerned she’s pushing herself too hard. She promises to keep Stef updated, and does so via texts with adorable little heart emojis.
After a rough start, the Bytes’ bot bounces back… at least until Sasha’s team sabotages them. The Bytes take eighth place – higher than Anchor Beach’s personal best, but not high enough to get into the final. Mariana hasn’t given up, though. She approaches Sasha, whose team made the final, and asks her to invite the Bytes into her alliance. “We’ve got a hanging arm, which you need to beat [reigning champions] Palomar,” Mariana points out. Sasha agrees, but there’s one slight problem: The arm doesn’t work. However, the Baby Got Bots/Anchor Bytes alliance has a whole hour to change that…
Their motto is “Bitches get things done,” which is a nice throwback to episode 4×06. Hilariously, Lena’s in the stands cheering “GO, BOT BITCHES,” which is adorable and embarrassing all at once. (Of course, once they win, Mariana doesn’t care about her mom embarrassing her anymore.)
The Bytes’ victory means they’re heading on to the worlds competition! Needless to say, Lena’s suggestion that Mariana sit this one out isn’t exactly received positively. Jesus urges Mariana to let the other team members help out rather than trying to do everything herself, which sounds a lot easier said than done…
Hitting all the wrong notes
In case you had any doubts that Brandon’s out of his depth in his relationship with Cort, he responds to her son Mason giving him a drawing by saying, “I’ll put it in… my locker.” He really has no business even part-time raising this child. To make matters more awkward, Callie shows up in the middle of Cort asking if her and Brandon’s relationship is OK. After Cort makes a prompt exit, Brandon reveals to Callie that Cort told Mike they slept together. Well, now Callie knows why Mike put the kibosh on her and AJ hooking up at his apartment in last week’s episode.
Later, Brandon admits to Stef that he isn’t as ready for his audition as he should be, in large part due to the distraction of Cort and Mason. Stef shoulders some of the blame herself, and tells him she knows what happened with Callie wasn’t solely his fault. She asks him not to hold back in the audition because he feels he has an obligation to Cort, and he promises he won’t.
The writing on the wall
As the family gathers for dinner, Stef takes a phone call. They received an offer on the house 10% above the asking price – but they’ll have to move out by the end of the month. In the aftermath of the announcement, Brandon plays a mournful song on the family piano until he’s interrupted by Callie.
Callie: “Your dad – I don’t think he wants me dating AJ.”
Brandon: “Because of us?”
Callie: “No, because of me.”
Brandon: “Don’t -”
Callie: “Oh, I’m not. I’m just tired of people making me feel wrong.”
Callie wishes him luck at his audition, and he admits he’s scared. There’s a palpable Brallie moment, but then Callie’s interrupted by a call from AJ, who she already ignored earlier while on the stakeout with Aaron. Brandon reluctantly gets up to head back to the house he shares with Cort, and The Fosters 4×08 ends with the front door closing behind him.