The Fosters – Now For Then
By: Taylor Gates
Stef (Teri Polo) and Lena (Sherri Saum) lay in bed and discuss plans for their first wedding anniversary. Mariana (Cierra Ramirez) pops up from the right side of the bed, saying they deserve to do something nice. Once Mariana leaves, Lena suggests taking out a restraining order against Nick (Louis Hunter). Stef reassures her that the situation is under control, as he is in a secure treatment center. They just need to be patient with Mariana and keep up with her counseling; eventually she will safe again.
Brandon (David Lambert) and Cortney (Denyse Tontz) also have a bed crasher and Brandon wakes up to Mason (Benjamin Freitas) kicking him in the face. Cortney says she’ll make it up to Brandon this weekend when Eddie (Tip Scarry) watches Mason. The two also decide to throw a party because they definitely need something else on their plates.
It’s AJ’s (Tom Williamson) first day at Anchor Beach and Callie (Maia Mitchell) flirtatiously welcomes him. The two make a date to work on her Senior project together after school.
Mike (Danny Nucci) tells Ana (Alexandra Barreto) that, after the lockdown, some parents pulled their kids out of school. That is how AJ got his spot at Anchor Beach. Mike admits he’s worried about Gabe (Brandon Quinn) being back in Ana’s life considering she relapsed as soon as she saw him. Ana promises not to see him again because she doesn’t want it to affect her relationship with Mike.
Callie snaps pictures of one of her old foster homes, explaining that the photo essay will help her graduate. AJ pushes her to dig deeper and find out why she really wants to do the “Seven Homes in Seven Years” project and Callie admits it’s to help herself figure out why she can’t seem to trust that anything is permanent. This first home was nice and made her feel safe and she’s still confused why the people didn’t adopt her. AJ suggests she go ask the people themselves, but Callie explains that’s not the point—this project is about her.
Lena tells Stef she’s getting fired for letting someone on the sex offender registry help build sets for a school play. The only way she has a chance of keeping her job is if they hire an attorney to get Gabe’s record expunged. The only problem? The lawyer costs $20,000. They have a line of credit on the house for emergencies and considering Lena’s job and income is in jeopardy, this qualifies as one. The real problem, though, might be convincing Gabe to let them help.
The second stop on Callie’s list is the Olmstead home. She does a little petty trespassing by jumping their white picket fence to take pictures. She admits to AJ that this is the home Liam raped her in. Liam’s mother pulls up, forcefully inviting Callie and AJ inside. Liam’s mom says she’s had a lot of time to think now that Liam is in prison and she and her husband are divorcing. She starts off making us think that she might be somewhat redeemable, saying the mistakes that haunted her most were the ones she made with Callie. However, she quickly turns into the problematic garbage we’ve come to expect from the Olmsteads, saying she’s unbelievably sorry she ever let Callie come into her home and destroy their lives. She tells her to take pictures of the house that’s no longer a home because of her. Callie uses ridiculous amounts of composure and sass, answering that she’s sorry she was brought into this house, too. In a chilling sequence, Callie goes upstairs to take pictures of her old bedroom—the very bedroom Liam violated her in. “It hasn’t changed,” she notes.
Brandon sneaks into the Adams Foster bathroom to grab some toilet paper and toothpaste like a very resourceful robber. Mariana confronts him in the hallway, as she heard he’s having a party and he didn’t invite her. Jesus (Noah Centineo) walks in at the very moment Brandon is telling her it’s not really a party and Brandon sighs. He’s going to have to invite the siblings. Brandon runs into Stef in the entryway. She inquires as to what’s in the bag and he replies he was running low on a few essentials like soap and toothpaste. Stef says, “Bummer, but this isn’t a Target. So, either fork over the cash or give it back.” Brandon hands over the bag and leaves; his pride is more important than his hygiene, apparently.
Ana stops by, wanting to talk to Stef and Lena about Gabe.
Callie shows Mariana the pictures she took of the Olmstead house and Mariana is concerned that it’s not safe for Callie to be going inside these homes. Callie explains that she feels like she has to and face the people that made her feel powerless.
The moms get ready for bed, Lena questioning if depriving Brandon of toothpaste is the best way to handle the situation. Mariana comes in, saying that she feels like seeing Nick is the only thing that will make her feel safe again.
Cortney tells Brandon that Eddie was on time and sweet when she dropped Mason off while the two carry insane amounts of alcohol into the house. Lena stops by to say hey, eyeing the cases of beer suspiciously. Brandon tells Lena they’re not throwing a party, just having a small gathering with a few friends. Lena hands Brandon a bag with a few essentials with them both agreeing Stef doesn’t need to know. Brandon invites Lena inside, but she takes a raincheck on the invitation. She tells him she misses him before pleading with him to be responsible.
Callie visits Sheila—an older previous foster mother. Sheila invites her inside and says she hopes Callie remembers the home as a safe and loving one. Callie replies that she does have fond memories with Sheila and Tom and sadly learns Tom died the previous year. His death has been difficult on both herself and their adopted son, Kyle. Sheila tells Callie that she and Tom wanted to adopt her and Jude (Hayden Byerly), but because of their age and Kyle’s special needs they wouldn’t let them. Callie just remembers Kyle being sweet and similar in nature to Jude, but apparently he had dyslexia and impulse control issues. Sheila felt horrible when they took her and Jude away, but at least they had each other—Kyle was all on his own. Callie asks where Kyle is now, and Sheila admits he is in juvenile detention and will be incarcerated for the rest of his life.
Stef, Lena, Gabe and Ana sit down with a lawyer who explains that there is a way for Gabe to retry his case with the original judge and ADA to possibly get him off the list. The laws have changed since then and he might not have ever been put on the list had the case been tried today. Stef and Lena offer to loan Gabe the money, saying he could help pay it back by possibly doing some work on the house. Gabe apologizes for working on the sets and feels bad that Lena could potentially lose her job, but he would rather just plead guilty, agree to relocate and definitely not do any time. The lawyer advises him to reconsider, as this would blow his chances of ever getting off the list. The attorney says the odds are in Gabe’s favor, but Gabe is unwilling to take the risk of going back to trial.
Sheila tells Callie that Kyle was convicted of their neighbor’s murder—a sweet woman he used to do a lot of odd jobs for. She says the police never even looked at any other suspects, just automatically assuming the former foster kid with disabilities was guilty. They couldn’t afford a lawyer so he was stuck with a crappy public defender who never actually believed Kyle was innocent. They never even talked to the alibi witness. Sheila knows deep down Kyle didn’t commit this crime.
Gabe goes to Jesus’ room, apologizing for not liking to owe people. He says he likes to keep his head down, but Jesus asks if he ever gets lonely. Gabe starts to cry, Jesus gives him a hug and I am a mess.
Ana updates Mike on the Gabe situation. Mike is salty that Ana is continuing to see Gabe, but Ana says she feels guilty about Gabe being on the list all those years because of her. Mike says Gabe is the person who got her into drugs in the first place, but Ana defends him by asking why Mike isn’t being compassionate. Mike says he is just concerned about Ana, but she accuses him of being jealous and worrying she still has feelings for Gabe.
Mariana, Jesus and Mat (Jordan Rodrigues) show up to Cortney and Brandon’s party. Cortney invites them to help themselves to beer and skinny margaritas and Jesus gives Brandon the lovely housewarming gift of toilet paper.
Mike calls up Ellen, the ADA on Gabe’s case.
Callie shows up, unimpressed with Cortney’s skinny margarita that’s actually just 90% tequila. Cortney pulls a Steve Harvey and calls Mariana by the wrong name before going to fetch AJ and Callie some drinks. Her friend finally shows up fashionably late and she screams like a stereotypical sorority girl.
Lena wants to follow up their anniversary dinner with some anniversary alone time, but Stef is more interested in spying on their kids. She’s shocked that the kids are at Brandon’s party, but Lena observes that judging from the sad attendance, it’s more like a gathering.
Jesus has clogged the toilet, but Brandon refuses to call a plumber since they cost money. Jesus asks Brandon if he and Cortney are constantly banging.
Cortney’s obnoxious friend shades the Adams Foster kids for still being in high school before asking Cortney if Brandon is any good at sex. Brandon goes to the living room to join his friends/siblings, saying this is the first time Cortney has had off from being a mom in a while. They ask him what it’s like being a dad, but Brandon says it’s not his kid. Cortney overhears this comment, which is awkward AF.
Stef is flipping out about the kids being at a party with alcohol, but Lena tells her to chill—this probably isn’t the first time they’ve been exposed to this. Plus, this isn’t some random house. Stef hops out to go spy while Lena eats leftovers out of a tin foil swan.
Brandon and Mariana talk in the kitchen and he observes that it’s good to see her and Mat back together. He apologizes for being so hard on her about Nick. Cortney barges in, having no cares about how much alcohol she’s consuming.
Callie turns into detective Olivia Benson, telling AJ she doesn’t think Kyle got a fair trial. Kyle was so sweet and gentle; Callie can’t imagine him killing anyone.
Mariana tells Mat about Nick calling her, saying she’s going to see him tomorrow. Mat is freaked out, especially since Mariana says Nick thinks the two of them are going to be together. Mariana explains she said all of those things to get him to put the gun down. She has to go see him to admit she never meant any of it. Their conversation comes to a halt when Mariana spies Stef lurking outside the window.
Brandon opens the door to a random hipster-looking dude. He casually serves Cortney with some papers, as Eddie is suing her for custody on the grounds that she is an unfit mother.
Jesus and Mariana ask Stef and Lena how their night was and are told it was wonderful, as they went to Island Prime. Mariana asks what they did after dinner and Stef and Lena are caught off guard. Jesus and Mariana give the moms some flowers and a card for their anniversary. As they walk upstairs, Jesus makes fun of Mariana for thinking she saw Stef, but Mariana stands strong and still believes Stef was there.
Cortney grabs her fourth drink because YOLO and also the court papers. Brandon wonders if she should really be having another, but Cortney says that he is neither her nor Mason’s dad. Brandon says he loves Cortney and Mason, but Cortney doesn’t understand why he would. Brandon says he loves her because she’s a wonderful mom and a beautiful woman—he wants to help her get through this. He assures her a judge wouldn’t even give Eddie full custody of a hamster let alone a child.
On the porch, Callie apologizes to AJ for a boring night, but he says her company wasn’t boring. They make out before sitting on the porch swing together. AJ asks Callie if he should be careful around her considering everything that has happened to her. Callie thanks him for asking, but she says she doesn’t want to be treated differently. AJ wants to know if Callie needs anything from him and Callie promises if she does, she will ask him. AJ is also worried about Callie taking on the situation with Kyle, but Callie promises she will take care of herself first.
Jesus, Mike, and Lena wait around in the living room for Ana and Gabe to call about the judge’s verdict. However, they both show up at their door instead, delivering the great news that Gabe is off the list. Gabe thanks Mike for putting in a good word with the ADA.
Callie goes back to the coffee shop to meet Aaron (Elliot Fletcher). She tells the truth about everything—she’s not Cameron and she doesn’t go to NYU, but she does have a boyfriend. Aaron says he understands wanting a vacation from your life. She admits she wanted to come clean to Aaron and ask about Kyle’s case, as Aaron works at a juvenile justice center.
Stef brings Mariana to talk to Nick. He thanks her for coming to see her before apologizing for everything he did. He promises he’s trying to get better, confiding in her that he thinks he would have killed himself had it not been for her telling him she loved him. Mariana is glad he is still alive, as she wants him to get better for his sake. He says he can get well as long as he has her, questioning if he still does. She hesitantly agrees that he’s got her.