Monday, March 2, 2015

REVIEW: 'The Fosters' - Callie Struggles to Help Her Friends While Jude & Connor Spend the Day Together in 'Now Hear This'

ABC Family's The Fosters - Episode 2.18 "Now Hear This"

Mariana finds it difficult to deal with the changes at home and focuses her attention on organizing a student protect over an incident at school. When she learns Kiara is back in town, Callie is willing to do anything to help her friend. Jude finally confronts Connor over the mixed messages he's been sending, leading to a make-or-break moment in their friendship.

I've appreciated The Fosters willingness to keep the community of Girls United an important part of Callie's life. That environment was introduced during a big turning point in her life. They are as much her family as the Fosters are. Callie cares about the girls and Rita. They are her friends. She will do anything to protect them and look out for them as they continue to struggle with life. When Daphne kidnapped her daughter, Callie made sure to help her return the child to her foster family and protect Daphne once the police started questioning her about it. Callie cares about Kiara. Callie was there for her when her latest foster family created an unsafe living environment. She just wants her friends to be safe and healthy. That's difficult when all of them have been living in the system for years now. Callie hasn't gone as low in life as some of them have. She never had to turn to pimps and prostitution in order to get by in life. But Kiara has and that is devastating to both Callie and Rita.

Callie has always been looking out for other people before herself. Her life has been a mess. She wants to become an official part of the Foster family, but some new complication always comes up that gets in her way. She is willing to leave the Fosters and live with Robert if it meant everyone else in her life would be happy. She feels like that is her only choice. As much love as Stef and Lena have shown her throughout the series, she still gets that feeling in the back of her head that one more mistake will cause them to stop fighting to adopt her. This family is wonderful but Callie is always worried that she could be taken away at any given moment. She doesn't want to give anyone a reason for that to happen. Daphne kidnapping her daughter is a very big thing that is obviously weighing hard on Callie. She wants to do the right thing for her friend but frequently forgets about during the right thing for herself.

Callie tells the judge that she wants to live with Robert. Stef and Lena have to break the news to the rest of the family which tears them apart again. It's only afterwards that Callie learns that Daphne has told the police the truth. She later focuses all of her energy on helping Kiara get off the street corner and into a home that wants and loves her. She had to call Stef and Rita once Kiara showed up at the center. That was the right decision to make. She couldn't just sit back and let Kiara go back into that dangerous world. It still makes her feel bad. She thinks she has betrayed her friend's trust even though its for the best. It's because of that decision that she is able to tell Stef the truth about what is going on in her life. She just needed to reveal that news and deal with the ramifications of it later. Unsurprisingly, Stef is still very willing to fight for Callie. She may have to channel that energy into a better outlet than going to Robert's house to proclaim that she plans on putting up a big fight. And yet, it's an admirable quality nevertheless.

So Callie may be staying with the Foster family but it is definitely building to a big climax at the end of this season. She truly has become a strong part of this family. Everyone is hurt by the news that she wants to leave - especially Mariana. She finally got a sister. To her, this news means that Callie doesn't want to be a part of this family anymore. Of course, it's not that simple. This was a heartbreaking decision for Callie to make. To her, Mariana is her sister. She respects that bond and needs her to understand that this decision isn't easy on her either. It sucks but it is something that they both have to deal with.

Callie's news also leads to the first time I've ever really understood and actually liked a decision that Jesus made. He was given this big opportunity to attend an all-boys boarding school in Colorado on a wrestling scholarship. It's an environment that may be very good for him. He was begging for Stef and Lena to hear the talent scout out just a week ago. And then, Callie's news broke and he saw what it did to Mariana. For all the bickering the two do, Jesus still loves Mariana and vice versa. He doesn't want to hurt her. He sees this opportunity as being destructive to her and she doesn't deserve any more bad news right now. He says he's making the decision for himself but he's obviously making it to protect his sister. Mariana doesn't need his protection though. She thinks this school may be really good for him. He wouldn't have to deal with all the distractions he has at home. She sees it as being helpful to shape him into a better human being. And that's just a quality Jesus really needs right now.

Meanwhile, Jude got his chance to react to Callie's decision last week. He got to make sure that Robert was going to take good care of her and that she would still be in his life as much as she is now. Because of that, he's not as effected by the news this week as the rest of the siblings. But Jude still has feelings with which he is struggling. His friendship with Connor is starting to become more complex. They've grown closer and more intimate. They had that big moment in the movie theater touching each other's hand a few episodes ago. And yet, Connor is still hesitant to fully address what is going on between the two of them. He's still making a point to be with the girl he is dating. Jude finally just needs to blurt out how confusing Connor's messages have been. Afterwards Connor leans in for a kiss. It's a wonderful moment that makes me so happy. It's confirmation that their bond isn't something Connor takes for granted. However, Connor still is struggling with his feelings too. He kisses Jude as a gesture of how he feels. But that doesn't necessarily fix all the problems Jude was having with their dynamic in the first place. It just shows that there is something worth fighting for in their relationship.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Now Hear This" was written by Thomas Higgins and directed by Rob Morrow.
  • Mariana is also organizing a student protest over Timothy being fired. It's a big deal for these characters. The students want to stand up for something while Lena and Monte just want the school to be successful. It's a delicate situation that isn't swiftly dealt with because the administrators don't really know what to do.
  • Brandon struggles with whether or not to sell the signed baseball his late grandfather gave to him in order to pay for his upcoming tour. It's a tricky situation that Mike makes uncomplicated by buying the ball.
  • The girls at Girls United want to do something to help Kiara but Rita tells them there's nothing they can do because of how dangerous that part of town is. That just makes it so much more rewarding when Rita shows up on the street corner to try and get Kiara away from that life. She loves these girls just as much as they respect her.
  • Those poor girls who Connor and Jude are "dating" are only going to get really hurt by this whole situation.