What an amazing hour.
On The Fosters Season 5 Episode 9, the invasion of the exes was a nice surprise, but the heavier topics stole the hour.
The Fosters' rebel prom was just that, rebellious. It also turned into high stakes, interesting turn of events that will have fans eagerly awaiting the second half of the season.
We need to talk about Grace.
Grace came onto the scene a pint-sized ball of charm, sunshine, and grace. She's the best girlfriend Brandon has had so far, and despite a few bumps, she has been a breath of fresh air.
Now we find out that she may very well be taking her last breath soon. Seriously, why can't these precious human beings ever be happy?
Of all the kids, Brandon can probably handle a dying significant other best, but dammit, he shouldn't have to. He deserves a break. Rarely does he get to simply be a teenager without carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders.
Grace's Mom: You know, I'm not some overprotective mother. I'm taking Grace home because she needs me. She can't take care of herself.
Brandon: She's been taking care of herself.
Grace's Mom: Grace isn't well.
Brandon: What do you mean? She's fine.
Grace's Mom: Grace has leukemia. It's a very aggressive form of leukemia. She first got sick when she was nine, and then again when she was 13. It's been in remission, but it's back now, and the prognosis is not good. So, I'm going to take my daughter back, and she's going to undergo a few rounds of chemo, and we're going to hope for the best. Please don't tell her I told you.
It makes a person long for the days when Brandon and Grace's biggest obstacle was Cortney. I take it back, can we have a love triangle instead?
Now the obstacle that will come between this pair is something that neither of them can truly fight. It's time, fate, and freaking Leukemia.
It was only a matter of time before something to this effect would be covered on this show. Now we have a scenario reminiscent of A Walk To Remember (because Mandy Moore has been making people weep long before This Is Us).
Grace's mom wasn't an overprotective shrew who didn't want her daughter to live her life. She is protective and scared because her daughter has been battling Leukemia since childhood.
All the pieces have fallen into place. It explains why Grace was homeschooled, and why she comes across a bit immature for her age. It also explains her infamous, or rather ominous, "Do One Thing That Scares You A Day" motto.
Grace is unaware of Brandon knowing the truth, but he made darn sure that prom was the best experience for her. He allowed himself a moment of anguish with his brief scene with Callie, and then went right back to being strong for Grace.
The saddest moment wasn't a teary eyed Brandon telling Callie the truth, but an exhausted Grace lying on her bed talking about plans that she and Brandon may not be able to keep.
Grace: You know, we could still go to Coachella.
Brandon: For sure.
Grace: If for some reason I can't go, promise me you'll go.
Brandon: We'll go together. I love you.
Grace: I love you too.
Such devastating news for such a sweet character. Everything hurts right now, you guys.
Grace isn't the only great addition to the cast recently; Ximena has been a fantastic addition as well. Ximena began as a mentor to Callie, but she quickly became a fully developed character with her own storyline.
Once again the DACA storyline could not be more timely. With DACA officially being ordered to end today, and no replacement in sight, Ximena's experience was all too real. In fact, it made her scenes all the more powerful.
There aren't the words. People are spilling into the streets protesting this very moment. It's almost terrifying how ahead of the game, and on point, The Fosters has been this season regarding current events.
You want to know what I'm really mad about? My dad's got two jobs and my mom works six days a week, so me and Poppy have opportunities like going to college. Now, these people say that we're taking away their jobs. My parents do the jobs that they don't want to do. All we want is to be citizens, but with all these hateful people coming out of the woodwork...if this is what America stands for, maybe this country was never great.Ximena
It was brave of her to out herself as an undocumented immigrant in front of camera crews and the crowd, but it was obviously going to backfire on her in no time. The only thing that probably kept her from being hauled in right then and there was the riot instigator with the fire bomb.
Just as Ximena and Callie pointed out, ICE came to prom with all intentions of hunting her down and taking her in under a bullshit claim. Those who mind their P's and Q's are still at the mercy of being taken in at any time.
Stef's quick thinking was on point. She wanted to take Ximena into custody before ICE could get their hands on her, but Callie (and Ximena) were right to be concerned.
Stef is still bound by the law, and the second the paperwork was underway ICE would have taken Ximena themselves. It would have delayed the inevitable.
Callie's recklessness and risky decisions have thankfully taken a backseat, but that rebellious streak of hers isn't completely gone. When she and AJ drove away from the Derby, you knew they had Ximena stowed away in the backseat.
They make a fantastic team. It was also clever of Callie to contact Jude. He could get Noah's mom, the pastor, to open her church up for sanctuary, and Ximena would be untouchable if only for a short period of time.
Let's hope it'll be enough time to sort through her paperwork. Everything, from the second it was revealed that Ximena was in the backseat, to the very last line of the hour, was incredibly well done.
Ximena: I'm sorry I got you into this.
Callie: It's OK.
AJ: So what now?
Callie: We don't leave here until Ximena can walk out without being detained.
The suspense and tension were high as AJ drove with Callie frantically talking to Stef in the passenger seat. It was the makings of a really poor joke, but it was a sad reflection of America and/or the world we live in that everyone in that vehicle had something to be concerned about.
AJ was advised to drive the speed limit (and not do anything that would cause him to be pulled over), but he had to be afraid. He was a young black man driving an SUV with a white girl in the passenger seat, an illegal immigrant in the back, and law enforcement tailing him.
Callie, of course, has had her fair share of legal troubles so the situation wasn't ideal for her either, and of course, Ximena was in fear of being snatched up with each passing second.
The mad dash to get into the church was intense. Kudos to AJ for pulling up the rear and putting himself between the girls and ICE.
I loved the scene of the three of them walking down the aisle of the beautiful church, with red and blue lights flashing and illuminating their figures, as they lament this America they live in.
The visual alone was powerful, and the dialogue was poignant.
Those heartfelt, moving scenes and story arcs hit the mark during the hour. The Stef and Tess bit, however, felt a bit off. Stef at least feels validated when it comes to her Tess suspicions, but at what cost?
Stef needed to get her feelings out there once and for all. Tess is due to sort through her feelings. She owes that to herself and to her husband, but Stef pushed her into it. That isn't right either.
We're not going to be headed into a repeat of the Monte/Lena situation, are we? I certainly hope not.
Tess has been repressing her feelings for women, specifically Stef, for years. I wonder if she's going to stick around long enough to sort through them. That would be extremely awkward.
I've been unhappy in my marriage, and I've been trying to figure out why, and maybe it's because all this time, I've been living a lie. I did have those feelings for you back in high school, and I've been denying them ever since. Maybe that's the problem this whole time. You know, maybe I'm gay.Tess
Obviously, Tess doesn't pose a threat to Lena and Stef's marriage, but it will be a messy situation if/when Tess tells her husband. They're next door neighbors. I'm cringing at the thought.
No doubt, Tess will eventually be a happier woman now that she is acknowledging her truth.
Speaking of truth, Mariana should have given up on the charade and enjoyed her prom. Olivia is not going to like her or trust her ever. Nothing is going to change that.
It was funny watching her scramble to come up with ways to convince Olivia that she isn't going after Logan. I mean, Wyatt, really?
Wyatt dropping back in was fun for all of ten seconds. Did they forget how to write his character, or was he always this off-putting?
It's as if old Wyatt disappeared when his lustrous locks got chopped off. I'm used to Wyatt being the well meaning sensitive soul with a troubled past.
The drinking and being high didn't throw me, but his behavior did. Has he really been at Anchor Beach this entire time?! How weird. It was also odd that he didn't so much as exchanged a look with Callie.
Then there's Mat. It was great seeing him as well, and it was nice that he and Mariana ended the night on a high note. They were adorable together.
No ex-lover popping back up was quite as shocking as Nick being the person texting Mariana. I did not see that coming at all!
It makes sense, he knows better than anyone what his father is like, and his father was probably the person behind destroying that model. Can you imagine what it'll be like if Nick ends up being the person who saves Anchor Beach?
He'll have to move quickly, though. Monte is already planning on jumping ship, and Lena may join her.
No one can blame Monte for chasing a better opportunity elsewhere. She and Lena deserve better than to be at risk of being fired at every turn because of the board's vendetta. Also, they could run the school as they deem fit.
It might be a nice change for them, including the twins and Jude. Jude will need some convincing.
Jesus and Emma made up, which was sweet, I guess. Emma has her moments, but she's a great girl. She upped her friend game with that make-out session with Mariana (Stef's face was priceless), and she has really evolved as a character.
She and Jesus just aren't cut out to be together. Not every relationship is meant to be. That's a lesson Jesus needs to learn.
His pushing and prodding Gabe led to the man fleeing to Tahoe with a broken heart. It's too bad. There weren't enough bonding moments between him and the twins.
Maybe once he sorts himself out and takes care of his own mental health after that Ana blow, he'll return. I hate that the twins took his letter as him being unreliable somehow. Honestly, why does that poor guy get such a bad rap all the time? His decision to leave was both mature and perfectly reasonable.
Emma, hold on. I love you. I love you and I'm an idiot. I don't care if you don't me forever, all I care about is right now. Iknow I haven't been myself lately, but I want to be me again, for me, and also for you. I want to be the man that you deserve. Just, please give me another chance.Jesus
Jesus needs a friend, and he doesn't have that much. He had Gabe, but that didn't last long. He needs someone other than throwing himself completely into Emma. Can he and Poppy be new besties? They have a great chemistry.
Callie and AJ have great chemistry too, and it's getting to Aaron. Allow me a moment of petty, but it serves him right. Aaron is a cool guy, and his relationship with Callie is great, but there is no getting around the fact that he pursued her relentlessly while she was dating someone else.
Karma is a hell of a thing, and while Callie won't cheat on him, karma will come in the form of him being paranoid and jealous every time she's around AJ. He brought that upon himself.
Callie: Is that why you aren't taking the internship? Because you don't trust me?
Aaron: Well, it was pretty easy for me to steal you away from him, so how hard could it be for him to steal you back?
Callie: I am not a piece of property. You didn't steal me from anyone. If that's how highly you think of me, then this is done.
Callie has always had a way of being great friends with her significant others, so it's not surprising that the friendships never go away. Add into the mix the fact that things were left unresolved between AJ and Callie, and it's not ideal for Aaron.
He's such a self-assured, confident guy that it's a pleasant change seeing him rattled a bit. His comment about stealing Callie was so far out of line and uncalled for though. He finally acknowledged his wrongdoing and showed his hand, but he said a lot about his opinion of Callie in those words.
No doubt those two crazy kids will work things out, but that was rough. On the plus, Aaron is more multi-faceted now that we've witnessed his flaws this season.
Over to you Foster fanatics! How did you like this midseason finale? Did you call the Grace reveal? What will happen to Ximena? Is AJ really trying to "steal Callie back?" Sound off below!
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Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.