The Fosters – Welcome to the Jungler
By: Taylor Gates
Stef (Teri Polo) and Lena (Sherri Saum) inform Jesus (Noah Centineo) that California is a compulsory-education state, meaning he has to go to school until he’s 18 or he could be arrested—and that’s exactly what they threaten if he refuses to cooperate. The only way to get around this is if he passes a proficiency exam. Lena tells him he can take the test at school the next day, knowing he won’t pass because of his learning and memory issues.
While they build their treehouse, Jesus is complains to Gabe (Brandon Quinn) about how unfair his moms are being. He wants to get his GED and turn their treehouse making into a business. Gabe, however, defends Stef and Lena and advises Jesus not to follow in his footsteps. Jesus asks Gabe if he’s ever thought about getting back together with Ana (Alexandra Barreto), and Gabe admits that he regrets how things went down between them but feels it’s too late to try and win her back since she’s with Mike (Danny Nucci). Mason (Benjamin Freitas) runs out and almost get into the tools but Gabe stops him just in time. Cortney (Denyse Tontz) apologizes, but Gabe says he doesn’t mind and gives Mason a donut.
Stef goes into work, excited that she was able to identify a perpetrator from the child pornography case she’s been investigating. Stef goes to interrogate her guy, finally persuading him to give her names of the men he shares the videos with in exchange for a lesser sentence. Mike breaks the news that he and Ana are getting married, and Stef congratulates him.
Callie (Maia Mitchell) and Aaron (Elliot Fletcher) attend an activism meeting with Shawn (Nick Fink) and Ximena (Lisseth Chavez). Shawn tells the students that they are going to block a racist speaker from lecturing on the campus. After the meeting, Aaron tells Shawn he won’t be participating in the protest, as he doesn’t agree with their methods. He’s into free speech and thinks the best way to fight hate is to publicly confront the hater and expose their ignorance. They argue that the speech is not a debate and students would not be allowed to respond to her comments. Plus, they don’t feel like their college should be giving a platform or money to arrogant and aggressive people. It starts to get a little heated when Ximena implies that Aaron doesn’t understand and has nothing to lose, but Aaron simply says they have differencing opinions. Shawn tells him he’s welcome to join if he changes his mind.
At school, AJ (Tom Williamson) asks Brandon (David Lambert) if he wants to help him do something for Mike and Ana to celebrate their engagement. Brandon says yes but is taken aback—nobody has told him the news yet.
Jesus asks Ana if she still has feelings for Gabe, saying Gabe told him he still has feelings for her. This freaks Ana out, and when Mariana (Cierra Ramirez) comes home, she chickens out on telling them about her engagement. They’re not in the dark for long, though, as Brandon drops the bomb that evening. Mariana is excited, but Jesus is less thrilled; he’s still holding out hope she and Gabe will get back together. Mariana says people rarely ever marry their first loves, but Jesus wants to be one of the few with Emma (Amanda Leighton).
Jude (Hayden Byerly) and Taylor (Izabela Vidovic) convince Noah (Kalama Epstein) to play video games with them. He’s struggling with some of the basics, so Jude puts on an instructional YouTube video. The guy in the video is a big deal in the gaming world, but he also makes many sexist comments and uses homophobic slurs in his tutorial, which makes Noah angry and uncomfortable. Jude and Taylor make a new tutorial together without being misogynistic or homophobic, and Noah uploads the video for them. However, it’s clear he still feels left out of Jude’s hobby. Later that night, Jude is ecstatic when he gets tons of new friend requests, but his excitement quickly fades when they all start sending him horrible messages. He tells Taylor not to accept any random friends, but it’s too late.
At Grace’s (Meg DeLacy) urging, Brandon goes to invite Cortney to their open mic singing gig, as it’s clear she’s still going to be part of his life because of Mason. When he gets to the garage, he instead sees Ana and Gabe in a somewhat intimate embrace outside the window.
Kyle (Adam Irigoyen) calls Callie to tell her he’s out of jail and she and Aaron head over to visit him. Kyle says the court is going to retry them even though Troy confessed—they never like to admit they’re wrong. Callie encourages him to sue for wrongful conviction, but Kyle is too scared that they’re set him up again and decides to lay low until he can leave the state. Kyle apologizes for lying to Callie about stealing the money and says he’s going to get his neck tattoo removed. He admits he wanted Callie to think he had killed Martha because at that point he had given up on himself and wanted her to give up on him too.
Mike talks to Brandon while he gets ready for his date. He apologizes for not being the one to tell him about his engagement. He also addresses the fact that Ana once took money from Brandon, promising that she is no longer the same person.
Cortney, Grace, and Brandon share a bottle of wine during the awkward open mic night. After Grace and Brandon perform, the emcee pressures Cortney to sing too. She refuses to do it alone, and Grace volunteers Brandon. Brandon and Cortney sing “Animal Crackers in My Soup,” and the crowd goes wild. Feeling insecure, Grace downs a few glasses on wine, which she later throws up in a bush between drunkenly complimenting Cortney. When they get home, Brandon thanks Cortney for helping take care of Grace. Cortney thinks Grace is sweet and acts young—a good thing for Brandon, as he behaves too maturely for his age sometimes.
Stef asks Callie how Kyle is, and Callie reports that he’s too scared to leave the house, afraid Grey will come after him. Stef says she’s trying to make it so Grey doesn’t get away with what he did. She goes to talk to Kyle, persuading him to wear a wire in order to catch Grey and get him the justice he deserves. He agrees and the next day talks to Molloy. Unfortunately, Molloy won’t narc on Grey and threatens to call the cops if Kyle talks to him again. Stef promises Kyle that she will protect him and find a way to get both Molloy and Grey, but Kyle feels trusting her was a mistake.
Callie asks Aaron if he wants to attend civil disobedience and peaceful resistance training with her the next day. Aaron declines, telling Callie to be careful since many protests are getting violent lately. Callie apologizes for Ximena’s comments, explaining her perspective as a DACA holder. She says that Ximena can’t hide the fact that she’s Latina, which makes her the target of ignorant comments. This rubs Aaron the wrong way, saying he’s not hiding the fact he’s transgender—he just doesn’t want to disclose private medical information with everyone. Callie apologizes for misspeaking, explaining she just wants to stand with people less fortunate than her. Aaron cautions her to be careful how she stands up, especially after what happened with Diamond and Kyle. It’s Callie’s turn to be angry, and she explains she doesn’t regret what she did for Diamond or Kyle. Besides, this is a different situation entirely. She’s not breaking the law, just exercising her right to peacefully protest.
Callie apologizes to Mariana for going off on her and being hypocritical, and Mariana hesitantly accepts her apology. Callie asks if Ximena knows she didn’t have permission to be on the roller derby team, and Mariana admits she forged Lena’s signature. She doesn’t have any friends at school and needed to feel wanted and supported on a team. As if on cue, Lena comes in and tells Mariana that she and Stef have decided not to let her do derby.
Jude and Noah argue about how to correctly handle the trolling situation. Noah has taken down the video from his account, but Jude thinks this will just egg them on. Noah confronts Jude about lying and breaking their deal by playing video games, irritated that he would be dishonest.
While he’s at school taking the proficiency test, Jesus talks to Emma. He pulls out a promise ring he carved, saying someday he hopes to give her the real thing. He doesn’t want to have any regrets and knows Emma is the one he’s meant to be with forever. Emma hesitates, reminding him they’re only sixteen. She wants to grow and change. Plus, education is extremely important to her and she’s not sure she can be with someone who’s willfully throwing that away. Later, Jesus tells Lena he won’t be dropping out after all since Emma won’t marry him if he does.
Ximena comes over to talk to Lena about roller derby, saying she understands her worries. But even though there are bruises, she says, there’s also a feeling of empowerment. Mariana even compares it to what Stef was trying to teach her with self defense. Ximena promises that concussions don’t happen often, and if they do, the coaches are trained to recognize the signs of them. Ximena says that she’s seen Mariana’s confidence grow in an short time, and Mariana points out that she loves being surrounded by girls who look like her. Lena promises to talk to Stef, now seeming more receptive to the idea. Ximena tells Mariana she still needs a real signed permission slip and will make her sit out at least the first game because of her lie.
Taylor and Jude do another gaming live stream without Noah. This time, there are a lot of nice comments thanking them for their positivity. Callie goes to Shawn’s civil disobedience training, shaken up when they learn about strategies for being arrested. Shawn tells her being arrested isn’t just a possibility—it’s the goal. Arrests mean more attention to the cause.
Mariana tells Brandon about what Jesus said to Ana about Gabe still being in love with her. Brandon hears giggling coming the garage while taking the trash out and goes to investigate. Thinking that Ana is cheating on Mike, he angrily storms in. Instead he finds Cortney and Gabe making out.