The spring finale of The Fosters season 5 was far from a typical episode, so it’s only right that this is far from a typical recap. Without further ado, here’s what happened to our favorite family and the people who love them in The Fosters 5×19, “Many Roads.”
At the beginning of The Fosters 5×19, Jesus is so upset about having to repeat junior year because he failed math that he won’t get out of bed. Little does he know that Mariana has rallied the Adams Foster family and friends to help him get his senior project done early. With the treehouse built, he’ll have enough credits to become a senior! The project is a great way to say goodbye to some of the characters, particularly Gabe, who apologizes for leaving town without telling Jesus back in season 4. Jesus’ easy forgiveness is a testament to him as a person and his moms for raising him right – he says he knows Gabe is doing the best he can, and concludes, “We have the most awesome family in the world, so we’re good.”
Jesus not only ends up graduating the same year as Mariana, but also gets into San Diego Community College.
Just as Mariana supported Jesus by getting everyone together to help with the treehouse, Jesus returns the favor by delivering a sorely needed pep talk after Mariana finds out she didn’t get the STEAM internship that she and Emma had been working toward. As Jesus phrases it, “Who cares if you didn’t get some dumb internship? You’re the most single-minded person I know.”
Sure enough, Mariana gets into her dream school – MIT – along with Emma, who did get the internship. And while Wyatt is in the audience cheering for his girl at Mariana and Jesus’ graduation, Mat is the one sitting next to Mariana by the time Jude crosses the stage.
While helping out with the treehouse project toward the beginning of The Fosters 5×19, Noah points out that “between the hair and the clothes and the attitude,” Jude has become virtually unrecognizable. Moreover, Jude seems to have lost sight of why he wanted to become a big-name gamer in the first place – to be a role model. They break up, but Noah’s words weigh on Jude, especially after he sees how Declan treats fans at a meet-and-greet. He unearths his blue nail polish from the Jonnor days and sits down for a heart-to-heart with Lena that’s more than a little reminiscent of their talk at the hospital after Connor got shot back in season 2. He comes clean about continuing to stream even after telling Stef and Lena that he stopped, and instead of being mad, Lena asks how he can make the situation better. He quits Eminent Power and apologizes to Noah, although his days of experimenting with his appearance aren’t totally behind him. The year the twins graduate, he’s rocking a lip piercing and some seriously emo hair – complete with blue streak – but by the time he graduates with plans to head to UCLA, he looks like himself again. In case there were any lingering questions, the family’s chants of “JU-DI-CORN, JU-DI-CORN” erase all doubt.
It should come as no surprise that loyal-to-a-fault Brandon follows through on his promise to visit Grace every weekend for the rest of her life. Heartbreakingly, that’s not very long, as she dies on the eve of graduation. As he drives home to San Diego, Brandon ends up in the Coachella Valley, where he and Grace would have enjoyed the famous music festival both in the audience and on the stage. When Callie tracks him down, the two of them consider not going to graduation. They eventually decide to attend, but not before this sweet exchange:
Brandon: “I hope that she knew how much I loved her.”
Callie: “Of course she did.”
Brandon: “What makes you so sure?”
Callie: “Because I’ve been loved by you, Brandon, and it is a pretty powerful thing. Thank you for that.”
Flashing forward a few years into the future, Brandon introduces the family to his fiancee, a cellist with the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra. Everyone seems thrilled – except Callie…
Although Aaron decides to continue his relationship with Amanda as opposed to rekindling things with Callie, he and Callie part on good terms, which is great given that they’ll be studying law together the following year! That’s right – Callie may have missed the application deadline, but her advocacy for Ximena’s family was enough to get her into UCSD. And did I mention that ICE granted the Sinfuegos a stay of renewal? Before graduation, Stef and Lena take a moment to tell Callie how proud they are. As someone who’s been in the foster system, she’s truly beating the odds by not only graduating high school but also going to college – and her family has a lot to do with that.
Stef: “What you have accomplished is nothing short of incredible, Cal, and we are so so very proud of you.”
Lena: “If someone would’ve told me that day that I picked you up outside of juvie that this is where you would end up…”
Stef: “You’re a fighter. You always have been. And now that you’ve started to fight for yourself, look what’s happened.”
Callie: “When I first got here, you said I wasn’t disposable. That meant so much, but what means even more is how you’ve made me feel that way every day since. I love you, moms.”
Stef and Lena
The Fosters 5×19 brings a resolution to the Det. Gray/Kyle Snow/Patrick Molloy situation that’s been looming over Stef like a dark cloud for far too long. When Stef talks to Gray under the pretense of calling a truce, she’s actually wearing a wire and – with help from Mike – is recording everything he says. As a result, Molloy gets arrested and Gray goes down as well! When Stef tells Lena the good news, she thanks her for understanding that this was something she felt she had to do. Lena’s response really underscores the strides they made in their relationship during the previous episode – she says that Stef doing something she feels good about is the only thing that matters.
Although Lena is a little intimidated by the idea of delivering her first graduation speech as principal, she knocks it out of the park with some beautiful, unscripted words. Not only does she get to announce that Callie got accepted into UCSD’s law program after all, but she eventually has the honor of presenting all five kids with their high school diplomas. If this part of her speech sounded familiar to you, you’ve heard it in the show’s theme song:
“My family is my world, and they have made this ride so joyful and so beautiful and so crazy and messy and perfect. So, thank you all. Thank you all so much for taking this journey with us. And remember, it’s not where you come from, it’s where you belong.”
The series ends the same way it begins – with Lena getting a call from Bill, the social worker who brought Callie into their lives in the pilot. There’s a foster kid who needs a home, and he thought of Stef and Lena.
Although The Fosters 5×19 was the last of the show’s regular season format, it’s not over yet! The three-episode series finale and a Callie-and-Mariana-focused spinoff are both coming to Freeform this summer!