Were we supposed to view this episode as personal growth for many of the Fosters' clan?
It was a solid episode, and we finally got some of the things that we had been waiting on. Mariana finally went to see a therapist. Old Brandon showed up. We were given confirmation on the pregnancy situation with Emma.
Despite all of that, The Fosters Season 4 Episode 14 just fell flat.
There is a lot happening on the show, as is the nature of the show. There's never a dull moment for this family, and the level of angst is enough to give the calmest, coolest, most collected person, severe anxiety.
I've said it before, caring for this family is stressful, especially when they tend to make the same mistakes over and over again and repeat the same sort of patterns.
Take Callie, for example. There was no way on Earth she was going to get out of going to prison other than taking that deal.
Callie: I didn't cause the accident. Why are we trying to settle?
Attorney: Because of this.
Stef: What's that?
Attorney: Callie's file.
It broke my heart when the attorneys plopped her case file down on the table and essentially told her that everything in it worked against her. Can you imagine if every mistake and misstep you made was written down and presented to you like a book of shame?
I couldn't. I don't know if I could deal with that.
The thing that made me chuckle, bitterly, mind you, was that there were still a heck of a lot of things left out of it. There is a lot missing because Callie keeps so many secrets.
For some reason, I hadn't thought about the fact that the moms didn't know about her breaking and entering into Harvey's house or the fact that Harvey went after Sophia.
After all that they had been going through, all of this mess that Callie has found herself in, yet again, they still got blindsided. Again.
I am at the end of my rope with you Callie, if the D.A finds out you broke into Doug Harvey's house, that's it! You're going away for years.Stef
Callie doesn't intend to do it, but she monopolizes a lot of her mothers' time and energy with her antics. And the problem is, she tends to think that because she doesn't mean for things to happen, that it somehow changes the results and fallout.
That's not how it works. It's irksome that she continues to do the same things and repeat the same patterns over and over again. For example, her idealism is great, and I love the fact that she wants the world to be a better place than it is.
But not wanting her father to pay her way out of the mess she ended up in was just silly. Wanting to fight her case in court, after it was proven multiple times that the justice system is not always fair, nor is it always just, was ridiculous.
And the thing is, I couldn't comprehend how she thought, in this instance, with her own situation, that she was somehow going to will things to work out in her favor. Super Callie, striking again.
Everything leading up to her arrest was completely unfair. Everything that happened while she was in juvie was unfair. And yet, she still wanted to somehow prove her point or expect fairness and justice in the same system she's constantly rallying against.
Callie getting into this entire situation was a result of the system and life not being fair. She clung to this cause of helping her foster brother Kyle, get released from prison to her own detriment.
So it sounded absolutely absurd that she would be so prideful and so...willing to fall on a sword. Callie is always prime to fight. She wants to fight everything all the time, and it's just not healthy or okay.
And when AJ pointed out that at least Callie was in a better position than his brother because she had a father who could pay this obscenely expensive settlement so she could have a clean slate, she got pissed.
Callie: Are you saying that I'm taking advantage of my rich, white privilege?
AJ: I didn't say that. You keep putting words in my mouth.
She got upset because Callie relishes being the underdog, the downtrodden, the little guy, so much that the mere idea that she could be perceived as having an ounce of privilege disgusted her. But that's the thing with privilege, you don't have to like that you have it, or abuse it, or taunt people with it, but it doesn't change the fact that you have it.
It's also ridiculous, and at times offensive, that you don't use it for good if you do have it, which is all AJ was getting it.
Callie gets so caught up in her crusades that she doesn't think about all the people who she drags down with her while she's too busy playing hero. As if moms didn't have enough on their plate as it is, why not just quietly accept the money from Robert, take the deal, and let them have one less thing to make them worry?
I'm going to keep looking, but I don't really know what to do.Callie
I thought maybe, this time, it would get through to her, but she went to meet Kyle again. She had to break the news that she was no closer to being able to help him, after all, because there was no evidence against Troy.
So she was free, but he wouldn't be. Then she promised that she would still help him, even though she doesn't know where else to begin.
Things in life are not always fair or right. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do, and that's just the way it is.Stef
I'm not saying that she shouldn't help Kyle, but she's just not in the position to help him to the degree that she is helping. This entire situation with her almost going to jail was proof of that.
But something tells me that she'll keep going at it because Callie doesn't learn from her mistakes. She is a repeat offender.
That means the sexual tension between her and Aaron is going to be a bigger thing. It's like waiting for the powder keg to explode.
She knows that AJ is jealous of Aaron, and to be honest, he has a reason to be concerned. Aaron keeps making moves on Callie; he's always around; he's the one she tells secrets to and in whom she confides. But the second AJ calls her out on it, she puts it back on him.
For AJ's sake, I hope they break up. And I'll reiterate the fact that Callie needs to be single. In fact, maybe she's due for a therapist of her own, too.
Callie: I'm going to take the deal.
Callie: It doesn't seem unfair to you?
Aaron: This girl deserves a break. Don't you think?
Although, God only knows what a therapist will have to say about Callie or Lena and Stef. Was I the only one frustrated with how moms were made to feel like they're somehow responsible for Mariana having so many issues?
It is true that Mariana has been suffering from PTSD, and that deserved attention. I don't argue with that at all, but I just couldn't wrap my head around Stef and Lena having a role in Mariana feeling powerless.
It's not particularly nice that Mariana is called melodramatic, but it's not entirely untrue, either. She is; that's part of who she is. When did saying that become a negative thing?
Mariana does come across like someone that requires and wants a lot of attention, and it's difficult to give her as much as she craves when there are four other kids around. But the thing with the door frustrated me because, in a way, it came across like moms weren't supposed to discipline her.
I just felt like the last thing Stef and Lena needed to hear was what they were doing was somehow not sufficient; that their parenting was inadequate. They are running on empty, and they're left feeling like it's not enough.
We can never assume our perspective is the only perspective.Therapist
But to Mariana's credit, time for each of the kids is something that anyone would struggle with in normal situations, and it's damn near impossible to juggle when you have kids like Callie, who monopolizes a lot of moms' time, and Jesus who is literally incapacitated at the moment.
I'm not even sure if Mariana could be considered the most "neglected" of the bunch. That honor could easily go to Jude, who was missing from the episode again.
I'm so glad that the Brandon I love was back.
I love him best when he's being the best older brother. I was so happy that he gave Lena a much-needed break from Jesus.
Jesus' physical therapy was challenging, but he seemed really into the music therapy. So was Brandon. Did anyone suspect that Brandon might not only work with the musical therapist but potentially pursue her? I sincerely hope the latter doesn't become a thing.
I also liked that Brandon was able to be a confidante for Emma. It's just unfortunate that it led to some jealousy on Jesus' part.
It was sort of a call back to Jesus dream, and I wonder where that insecurity stems from where he thinks his brother will somehow steal his girlfriend? Were there ever signs before that Jesus felt threatened by Brandon?
Emma being pregnant was a shock to no one. It is an unfortunate situation in which she finds herself.
Something tells me that this will lead to an abortion storyline, something the show hasn't tackled yet, but definitely would.
I predict Brandon will be the one to see her through it, since she's too afraid to tell anyone else, and this will do nothing to quell Jesus' jealousy. I'm undecided on this (potential) storyline. There is already so much going on.
Before you say anything, I want you to know that you made detective.Captain Rogers
Then there is this situation with Stef. I'm so glad that's sort of wrapped up for now because I couldn't bear the thought of her losing her job. The family couldn't handle that blow.
It's so easy to assume that Captain Rogers was covering for Detective Douche, but I honestly think she was looking out for Stef. They're in a boys club, and unfortunately, that means they can't always afford to whistle-blow.
Callie and Stef have a lot with common in regards to them going on crusades and wanting to do the right thing. But at least Stef is realistic about it.
I'm so happy that Stef made detective, and I hope this is the last of Detective Douche, but I doubt it is.
The Fosters loves to give us the drama. In fact, sometimes they give us too much drama. I think that's where we are at the moment.
A lot is going on, and there is a lot to process in every episode. Fleshing everything out can be a bit difficult for them.
But there is an undertone of redundancy in addition to the flair for the dramatic that can make things frustrating. Callie, specifically, at the moment.
This is exactly what's wrong with the justice system. All it says is the what and not the why.Aaron
I loved her project, putting all of her stuff out there in the open because it's not fair that she's reduced to black and white on a rap-sheet.
But it doesn't feel nearly as impactful and poignant as it was meant to because we all know Callie is going to go right back to doing impossibly reckless and impulsive things that will lead to more trouble.
So what did you guys think of the episode? What do you think will happen with Emma and her pregnancy? Are you happy that Mariana finally went to a therapist? Do you think Callie and Aaron are going to hook up?
Share your thoughts below! And don't forget you can watch The Fosters online right here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.