Did you know The Fosters 5×13 was called “Third Wheels” before eventually being named “Line in the Sand”? Cumulatively, those two title options encapsulate the main themes of the episode. Awkward trios (notably Lena, Jenna, and Tess; and Jesus, Emma, and Poppy) and metaphorical lines in the sand (including those drawn by Stef for Tess and Mariana for Mat) both abound, but the fact that Brandon’s senior prank involved literal sand clinched the final title choice. With that said, here are 3 things to know about The Fosters 5×13, “Line in the Sand.”
1. Lena’s badassery continues.
Much like last week’s episode, The Fosters 5×13 is a busy one for Lena. This week, she grapples with multiple workplace roles (principal, vice principal, and paraprofessional) and a wife who’s sick in bed. Between navigating her first day as principal, watching Tess and Jenna flirt while receiving text-messaged directives from a concerned Stef, and handling the sandy manifestation of Brandon’s 11th-hour senior prank, she’s exhausted. Although a somewhat terse late-night conversation with Stef could easily have devolved into conflict, both emerge with helpful guidance from the other to use the next day. After being told that she’s getting too involved in Tess and Dean’s drama, Stef lays down the law by telling Tess that her neighbors’ relationship issues are none of her business. Similarly, Lena elects to respond to the senior prank lightheartedly by showing up to school in a bathing suit.
2. Everyone communicates like grown-ups.
Speaking of honest, non-confrontational communication, the younger Adams Fosters have an array of surprisingly mature conversations with their loved ones in The Fosters 5×13. Here’s a closer look:
Mariana and Mat
In response to pressure from Mat, Mariana initially decides to break things off with Wyatt and Logan. As The Fosters 5×13 continues, however, she reconsiders thanks to a sweet exchange with Wyatt and an overheard conversation between Brandon and Mat. When she tells Mat about her final decision, he’s understandably upset but also respects her choice and the thinking that led to it. She comforts him in response to his fears about the future, and their conversation ends with a hug.
Brandon and Grace
These two have always been extremely different people (remember Grace’s “Do one thing every day that scares you” effort?), which can be taxing enough on a relationship without a serious illness added to the mix. Indeed, there are points during The Fosters 5×13 that Grace’s wild streak and Brandon’s cautious nature seem incompatible to the point of threatening their relationship’s sustainability. Who else was pleasantly surprised to see them talk things out post-senior prank? Ultimately, Grace agrees not to feel guilty about Brandon’s choice to miss out on certain experiences in favor of spending time with her, while Brandon agrees not to fall into an old pattern of doing everything for his girlfriend and nothing for himself. Toward the end of the episode, Brandon’s gift to Grace shows her positive impact on his life – the goofy senior picture is a far cry from the stiffly posed, passport-esque photo he previously wanted to use. That said, there are a couple of clouds on the horizon, namely the question of whether Grace’s experimental treatment will prove effective, and the fact that Grace doesn’t know about Brallie…
Jesus and Emma
It was easy to imagine Emma stewing quietly over her lack of time alone with Jesus, but because she voices her feelings, Jesus acknowledges the situation and asks her on a movie date. The couple even manage to keep the lines of communication open after Emma learns that Jesus agreed to be the roller derby team’s new stats manager, and their movie night expands to include Poppy following the revelation that Poppy and Ximena’s parents have been transferred to a detention center out of state. Remember when Jesus wanted to get married and Emma balked at that type of commitment? The situation is somewhat reversed in The Fosters 5×13, with Jesus explaining to Emma that she “can’t be the only thing in [his] life that makes [him] happy.” Emma ultimately supports his deepening involvement in roller derby and even volunteers to get involved herself. His deepening closeness with Poppy, however, seems like it’ll be another story…
3. Ximena’s moving forward.
Poor Ximena has been cooped up inside Noah’s mom’s church for the entirety of season 5B, but she’ll be able to venture out if a judge grants her a temporary stay of deportation. In The Fosters 5×13, Ximena, Callie, and student activist Sean try their best to make that happen. As Ximena is unable to attend her hearing in person, Callie films her statement for the judge, and then – despite a supremely unhelpful interaction with a member of UCSD’s Conservative Student Union – Callie and Sean collaborate to track down the footage of Ximena’s speech in The Fosters 5×06. Satisfied that nothing Ximena said constituted a threat to national security, the judge grants the stay. Now Ximena can live at Stef and Lena’s house until her DACA status is (hopefully) approved and she can become Poppy’s legal guardian!
Ximena’s long-awaited departure from the church is joyful. Supporters and journalists are outside to greet her – and an ICE agent is watching in the distance. Eager to resume as much of her routine as possible, Ximena jumps right back into coaching roller derby. The agent watches Ximena and Callie walk out of the practice space and head to separate cars, at which point he follows… Callie. Did he mean to tail Ximena? Is he going after Callie because Ximena is now protected by the stay? And how does the new camera given to Callie by Robert as an early graduation gift fit in? Tune in next Tuesday at 8/9c for answers.