The Fosters Season 4 Episode 13 Review: Cruel and Unusual

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Love might be in the air, but there was a lot of love missing in the Foster world.

If you thought for a second that there would be anything that resembles a moment of peace or rest, well, after watching The Fosters Season 4 Episode 13 you realize just how wrong you were.

What an emotionally devastating episode. Are you exhausted? I'm exhausted.

Callie and Stef Contemplating- Cruel and Unusual - The Fosters Season 4 Episode 13

Is there anything more devastating than watching Callie get railroaded in the system?

I get it. Life isn't fair, and neither is the justice system. It's a flawed system, and The Fosters has never shied away from shedding light on that multiple times and in various ways. 

The majority of the time it relates to Callie. As even the judge mentioned, she's a magnet for trouble. Not only does she attract trouble, she frequently starts it herself. 

But as frustrating as Callie is, we've witnessed her growth, and we know that she's more than just the girl who gets herself in some seriously sticky situations time and time again. We know that even when she finds herself in trouble, nine times out of ten, it's because she means well at the time.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and Callie is going through her fair share of hell right now. 

Robert: Why were you investigating a murder?
Callie: He was my foster brother.
Robert: You should be doing normal things seventeen-year-olds do.
Callie: I'm not normal.

Things got even more complicated when Robert showed up. 

I was excited about seeing Kerr Smith again for about half a second before I remembered he's an entitled rich guy and a total dick. Naturally, he was pissed off that moms didn't have time to call him and tell him about Callie.

It's not like they didn't have a gazillion other things going on at the time. In fact, I would have been willing to cut Robert some slack when he bum-rushed Stef at her door like a madman, if not for his attitude and callousness. 

For one, he used it as another opportunity to berate Stef and Lena and attack their parenting skills again, as if Callie's actions and her issues have anything to do with the moms not disciplining her properly.

Robert: Why didn't you call me?
Stef: We've got a lot going on. We also have a kid in the hospital right now.

He also stood there and listened to Stef mention her kid was in the hospital, and he didn't even care enough to ask what that was about. 

He's an ass. A colossal one, and in less than a minute of screen time I remembered why I didn't care for him. 

But he had some great points he made. He should have been given a heads up, and he should have been able to sit in and consult with everyone regarding his daughter.

Callie's visitor - Cruel and Unusual - The Fosters Season 4 Episode 13

It must be tough dealing with this adopted family with so many other people connected to them. The moms can't just parent their kids alone.

They usually have to consult with Mike when it comes to Brandon, and then there's Ana who is sort of back in the twins' life now, and Gabe, wherever he is. And the worst of them all is Robert, who still feels entitled to Callie and beats that dead horse repeatedly every time something happens.

That's a lot to deal with. So many personalities and people bringing their issues and not always gelling. 

The one thing Robert is good for is his wealth. It sucks saying that, but it's true. He could afford to bail Callie out. He also could afford a good lawyer.

Callie's Attorney- Cruel and Unusual - The Fosters Season 4 Episode 13

I can't help but wonder if Callie could have avoided this particular stint at juvie if she were associated with her father. Callie being Stef's daughter is what led to her being arrested and charged for something she wouldn't have otherwise been charged for, thanks to Detective Douche.

Callie's record is what is being used against her ever time she comes face to face with a judge. It's absurd.

But if the cops knew she was Robert's daughter in the beginning, there is no way in hell that she would have gotten charged for that. She would have gotten a slap on the wrist, because of the privileges that come with having a wealthy father.

Callie and her father - Cruel and Unusual - The Fosters Season 4 Episode 13

And sadly, a public defender is just not taken as seriously as a well-established shark of a lawyer with a retainer that probably costs more than the average Joe's car. Robert's attorney would have gotten that case thrown out, and Callie wouldn't be getting charged as an adult.

If Callie wasn't Callie, the troubled former foster kid with a record, she wouldn't be getting screwed over like this, and it's terrible to watch.

She was the passenger in the car when it happened. She was the only one who called the police. And for the love of God, why has no one contacted Aaron about this? She was on the phone with him when it happened! 

Juvie Callie - Cruel and Unusual - The Fosters Season 4 Episode 13

And then there's the whole juvie thing. The conditions of this juvenile facility are on par with a holding center for adults. Why is it so abysmal? You'd think they were in max security for hardened criminals.

I knew Callie wouldn't be able to stay out of trouble while she was in there. She is utterly incapable of keeping her head down and leaving well enough alone.

In just a couple of days, she figured out that the guards were using certain delinquents for sex in exchange for drugs. And one act of trying to tend to a sick inmate led to her being on C.O. Joey's radar.

Sure enough, he felt threatened by her and got her in trouble. That was the last thing she needed to have reported back to the judge.

90% of Callie's issues could be non-issues if she learned how to stay in her own lane. It is one of the best and worst qualities she has.

Speaking of that, Brandon had his own issues with not being able to keep his mouth shut.

Brandon: Are you and Mariana having sex?
Mat: Dude!
Brandon: I know, it's just. Is there, like a chance that she can be pregnant?

I get that he was trying to be the decent big brother, or maybe take some of the weight off moms' shoulders, but he handled that entire situation all wrong.

If he was concerned about Mariana being pregnant, he could have asked her first. He should not have gone to Mat. What was he thinking?

Sure enough that, along with the fact that Mat hasn't trusted her since the whole Nick thing, was just the final straw in their relationship.

Mariana: You just had sex with me and now you're dumping me?
Mat: I shouldn't have done that.
Mariana: I thought you loved me?
Mat: So did I.

The timing was awful. Breaking up after having sex with her was probably the worst thing he ever could have done. Poor Mariana.

But now the question is, was the pregnancy test Emma was buying for herself?

If so, things have gotten infinitely more complicated. If Emma is pregnant, then we're led to believe that it's Jesus' and his being a teenager aside, he's not in the position to take care of anyone. Including himself.

Praying for Good News - Cruel and Unusual - The Fosters Season 4 Episode 13

My heart is breaking for Jesus.

I love the fact that they didn't have him just bounce back as if everything was all fine, or like this whole thing is only an issue that should last two episodes.

He's severely impaired at the moment. He has tremors, cognitive difficulties, and personality changes. 

There was a brief moment when I thought he didn't even recognize his own sister. Thank God that wasn't an issue, but still.

Lena: I just couldn't bear the thought of leaving our baby in that place all alone.
Stef: He's home. They're all home.

Lena has had me so concerned because the stress has been taking quite a toll on her. I don't know who I'm more concerned about with the news that she took off from her job to stay home and care for Jesus.

Jesus has a long road ahead of him, needing around the clock care the way that he does. But his outbursts are scary. I don't think Jesus would intentionally hurt Lena, but the stress of it all will unintentionally hurt her emotionally.

I just want to give Lena a hug. And Stef. And Jesus. 

Additional Notes:

  • Is it just me or are Mike and Ana moving too fast? He wants to move her and her baby in with him and AJ. Shouldn't he adapt to AJ being there first?
  • I love how close he and AJ have gotten, but does he want to adopt AJ because of what Stef said about Ana being a felon and living with them? Or does he want to adopt AJ because the time is right and he genuinely wants to do it?
  • I want to read the cute but awful poem that Noah left Jude! 
  • I could totally understand Stef's decision to take all of the kids' doors to their bedrooms. Those kids are freaking stressful. 

So what did you guys think of "Cruel and Unusual"? Do you think Emma's pregnant? Can the family stay afloat with just Stef's income? Are you concerned about Lena taking care of Jesus? How long do you think it will be before Jesus is back on his feet? What's going to happen to Callie?

Share your thoughts in the comment section below. Don't forget you can watch The Fosters online right here at TV Fanatic.

Cruel and Unusual Review

Editor Rating: 3.8 / 5.0
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Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (3 Votes)

Jasmine Blu is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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The Fosters Season 4 Episode 13 Quotes

This is like cruel and unusual punishment.

Mariana

Brandon: Mom...will you say something. Please.
Stef: Have you told your father yet?
Brandon: No.