The Fosters – New York
By: Taylor Gates
Stef (Teri Polo) and Lena (Sherri Saum) call a family meeting to talk about a few things. The first item on the agenda: finding out who the marijuana pipe they found in the garage belongs to. They start by pointedly asking Callie (Maia Mitchell), but she swears it’s not hers, even offering herself up for a drug test. All the kids begin bickering about who did and didn’t pull their weight at the yard sale, but are cut off by Stef announcing that she and Lena are getting a divorce.
Flashback to 36 hours earlier: Brandon (David Lambert) says goodbye to Cortney (Denyse Tontz) before heading off to the airport for his Juilliard audition in New York.
The realtor (Beth Littleford) busts into the moms’ room, the house buyers in tow. Stef is caught off guard because Lena forgot to tell her about their plans to visit. Stef drags Lena into the hallway, telling her she shouldn’t have agreed to be out of the house in a week. Stef asks Mariana (Cierra Ramirez) to take their giveaway box downstairs and she goes on a rant about how she has money to raise for Worlds and a twenty page paper to write by Monday.
Stef is also stressed because they still don’t have a place to live, but Lena defensively says she hasn’t found the right place yet. Stef doesn’t think there ever will be a right place—at this point they just need a roof over their heads. The realtor angrily takes a call from her soon-to-be ex-husband and Lena has a flashback of when she and Stef agreed to buy the house years ago. They planned to grow old together in it, but it looks like those dreams will be shattered.
Mariana pouts while taking out the box. On her way inside, she checks the mail and finds a new shipment of Jesus’ pills.
Jude (Hayden Byerly) goes through his room and finds the old PSP Connor (Gavin MacIntosh) gave him. When Callie comes in and asks if he has any trash, he hands her the game. Callie suggests they sell it at the garage sale, but Jude continues to be short with her. Callie says she doesn’t deserve to have him treat her like this, but Jude shoots back that the only secrets she can keep are her own. Noah (Kalama Epstein) texts Jude saying he wants to sneak out and see him.
Stef complains to Mike (Danny Nucci) about how it shouldn’t be taking this long for Lena to find them somewhere to stay. He informs her that there’s a three bedroom apartment open in his building. Brandon calls Stef and the three of them chat for a moment. Brandon promises to call them again once he’s checked into his dorm.
Callie takes the trash out and flashes back to the moment Jude caught her and Brandon kissing at the wedding. Her memories are interrupted by AJ (Tom Williamson) telling her that Aaron (Elliot Fletcher) is at the house. Callie and Aaron tell Stef, Lena, Mike and AJ that reports show there was more than just Kyle’s DNA on the murder weapon. Aaron says Detective Gray used a private lab that has since been shut down due to allegations that they doctored reports for the police. Aaron says the lab’s database was subpoenaed in another investigation, which is how he found this out. If they can find another suspect with another motive, the JJC might reopen Kyle’s case.
Callie suggests the curb painter, Doug Harvey, could be suspicious, admitting that she and Kyle knocked on some doors to figure this out. Stef and Lena tell Callie for the millionth time she needs to stop playing detective, but Callie defensively says she’s almost done with her senior project and they didn’t harass anyone. She begs Stef to question Harvey.
Brandon knocks on the door to what he thinks is his dorm room. His host, however, is a girl – Ariel (Angeline Appel). She actually goes by Ari, which explains the mixup. They both apologize for the confusion and Brandon goes to tell someone about the situation.
Mariana and Jesus (Noah Centineo) clean out the garage. Mariana is freaked out that Nick had hidden up there and refuses to go in the attic. Mariana says she’ll break up with him when he’s better, but Jesus reminds her he might not get better. Jesus also finds Stef’s diary and begins to read it. Mariana tells him its invasion of privacy, but gets curious and checks it out herself once he leaves. She’s upset by what she finds out—that one of the moms didn’t want to adopt them. Between this news and the ordeal with Nick, she wants to leave the house. She tells Jesus to burn the journal before popping another one of his pills.
Stef and Mike go talk to Doug, who is antsy and uncooperative. He says he has a business permit to paint curbs, but Stef says they’re just there to ask if he knew Martha Johnson. He says he doesn’t remember if he painted her curb and didn’t know she was murdered despite it happening in close proximity to him. He says he keeps to himself and doesn’t read the papers. Stef hands him her business card and she and Mike leave. Doug puts the business card on his wall of newspaper clippings about the murder.
Ari finds Brandon hanging out by a fountain. She guesses right away that he’s a music major and informs him that she’s a dancer. Brandon says he plans to go to Times Square, as it’s his first time in the city. He second guesses himself when Ari warns him about taking pictures with people in costumes, but she pushes him to explore. They decide to go together, as she’s heading to a party in that direction anyway.
AJ brings Callie to an open apartment in Mike’s complex. They make love on a fancy rug before AJ totally kills the mood by asking about Aaron. The two are interrupted by Mike bringing Stef in to tour the place and they are forced to hide in a closet. The overhear Stef and Mike’s conversation. Stef doesn’t think Brandon will ever move home if he knows he has to share a room with Jesus and Jude. Mike doesn’t think he’ll move home as long as Callie is there—she’s caused a lot of trouble for him since day one. Stef doesn’t feel it’s fair to put all the blame on Callie, but Mike is just afraid she’s toying with AJ and Aaron and is going to hurt them just like she did Brandon. Stef puts an end to the conversation, reminding him that this is her daughter he’s talking about. Once the two leave, AJ and Callie have a conversation. She tells him the truth about how she met Aaron, including the fact that he kissed her. She promises AJ she’s not stringing him along.
Lena asks Stef if they can take Frankie’s tree with them where they go and Stef promises to make some calls and make it happen. Lena is upset that Stef looked at the place in Mike’s complex without her and frustrated she put down a deposit without talking to her first. She says their relationship is always taking one step forward and two steps back.
Ari shows Brandon Times Square, telling him she wants to be on Broadway someday. He is overwhelmed by sensory overload and she offers to skip her party and show him the real New York.
Noah and Jude hang out and smoke in the garage. They begin making out, Noah accidentally dropping his pipe as he goes to unzip Jude’s pants. Jude admits that he’s never done anything below the waist and doesn’t think he’s ready to. Noah quickly leaves, saddening Jude.
Ari and Brandon watch the sunrise. Brandon says he feels good about his audition and Ari kisses him. He tells her that he has a girlfriend who he lives with back in San Diego. Ari is shocked that she has a kid, asking Brandon what he’s going to do if he gets into Juilliard. Brandon says he wants to study at Juilliard more than anything, but Ari tells him that if he’s serious about that, he has to understand that after working insanely long days, you have nothing left to give to anyone. He doesn’t have to be mean about breaking up with her, but he has every right to be selfish for the next four years. Ari suggests mailing a letter to her if he doesn’t think he can call her and do it. He can then beat the letter home and break up with her in person in San Diego. One thing is certain: if a piece of him feels obligated to fail the audition, he will. He needs to be free in order to do well.
Callie sees Jude selling a toy she gave him for his birthday and he snobbishly says it’s just a kid’s toy. Callie says she did keep his secret by not telling moms about the pot. Plus, she’s not just going to stand around if she sees someone is a bad influence on him. Jude says that Noah isn’t a bad influence and that he’s also not his foster brother. Ouch.
Stef sells The Art of War to somebody for 50 cents. The customer is none other than Detective Joe Gray (Alex Skuby), who threateningly tells her that he heard she’s been digging around in one of his old cases and that she’s trying to make detective. The first thing you learn when and if you make detective is that you don’t meddle around in other people’s cases.
Lena tells Stef that Dana called—she negotiated a payment plan with the IRS and took a loan against her pension to pay off the lien. They don’t have to sell their house anymore! Too bad they already did…
Brandon mails his letter to Cortney before absolutely slaying his audition.
Callie calls Aaron to let him know that they’re sending Kyle (Adam Irigoyen) to prison the next day. She asks if they really need Doug to admit to knowing Martha, wondering if the JJC would take Kyle’s case if they somehow got some of Doug’s DNA and it matched. Aaron tells her that’s a possibility, but asks Callie not to do anything stupid. Callie promises she won’t before doing the ultimate stupid thing: sneaking into Doug’s house and stealing his toothbrush right as he’s coming home. She sprints outside to her car, but he sees her as she’s driving away.
Stef and Lena explain that they’re filing for divorce in order to freeze their assets. Hopefully with the stalling, the couple who wants to buy the house will eventually walk away. They’re not trying to be devious, they just want to save their house. Everyone is happy except for Mariana and Jesus informs them it’s because of what Stef said about Lena in her journal. Lena goes to talk to Mariana, explaining that she bonded with her the moment Stef brought her home. It made her uncomfortable because her own mother was never very affectionate or nurturing in that way and she saw herself in Mariana, yearning for a mother to comfort her. One night after holding Mariana after a nightmare, her heart broke open and she realized she had come into her life in order to help heal the own little girl still inside her. Lena says they were meant to be mother and daughter and being her mom is the proudest, most joyous thing in her life. Mariana cries throughout her speech, also twitching her leg. Lena notices this, asking her if there’s a reason she doesn’t want to stay in the house. Mariana assures her she just said that without meaning it, not mentioning her fears about Nick.
Noah meets Jude in the Adams Foster garage, apologizing for being an ass the previous night. Jude informs him that his moms found the pipe, but he played dumb and they now assume it belongs to the guy working on the garage. Jude apologizes for being nervous about his first time, but Noah says he only wants to do what makes Jude comfortable.
Stef stares out the kitchen window, flashing back to her wedding day. Lena joins her and they both say “I love you” and apologize for taking steps back in their relationship. The two reassure each other they will never divorce for real. Lena promises she’s not going anywhere and Stef says she isn’t either—she’s not crazy, after all.
Brandon comes home, telling his extremely enthusiastic moms that he killed his audition. He sees movement in the garage, asking if someone is in there. They go to investigate and find Jude and Noah smoking a joint.
Callie hides the toothbrush in a plastic baggie next to her bed while Mariana furiously types a paper.
Doug Harvey sits outside the Adams Foster house, Stef’s business card in hand.