What is the first thing that pops into your head when you think of ABC Family? Is it their every-other-weekend Harry Potter Marathons or the 25 Days of Christmas? If, after Monday The Foster’s isn’t the first thing that you think of, we are here to change that.
All shows are a roller coaster ride and the same can be said for The Fosters, a ground-breaking drama focused around (ironically enough) a foster family, with one slight alteration: the first nine episodes were you waiting in line, the half-season finale, entitled “I Do,” was you screaming with excitement as you are flipped upside down on the ride.
The finale opens with Stef coming to terms about going through with the wedding; she gets very flustered and expresses just how uncomfortable she is with the situation, constantly referring to it as “a stupid wedding.” This negative association comes down to the fact that her father has never approved of same-sex marriage, utilizing the age-old “marriage is between a man and a woman” excuse.
The relationship between Stef and her father has to be one of the most realistically portrayed out there. I’m sure there are countless examples of Catholic parents sending their children to see a minister because it would “help push their kids in the right direction.” Her confrontation with him in this episode was a major character building moment; the realization that the voice in her head telling her that two woman getting married is wrong is her father’s voice allowed her to realize just how toxic her relationship with him was. This is a powerful message that’s applicable to everyday life — if someone is poisonous to your life you have to let the relationship go, even if it is your father. Just as Lena said, “DNA doesn’t make a family, love does.”
This very definition of family comes along with the notion of complete acceptance of those who you love for who they are. Lena is trying to come to terms with the amount of danger Stef place herself in on a daily basis; she wants Stef to stay away from work as long as possible, however this isn’t going to be the case. They share a touching moment minutes before the ceremony, where Lena touches the bullet wound, finally coming to terms with the fact that marrying Stef comes with all of her — the scar, the bullet, and even the cop
Throughout the show, we’ve gotten to know the character of Liam more closely than we’d like to. After coming to terms with what happened, Callie has an opportunity to speak at his pre-trial to get him sentenced, but this is no fairytale. Not only does Callie have to confront the person who single-handedly ruined her life (she said that the Olmstead’s were the best foster family her and Jude were in before the Fosters), but also she is being asked to lie about it for some justice to be served.
The fact that she was being coached to lie about it being consensual just so that Liam could get sentenced was one of the best commentaries about our justice system that I’ve ever seen in a primetime show. They aren’t simply making a commentary about how messed up our judicial system is, they are sitting us down on a very uncomfortable chair, tying our hands behind our back and repeatedly firing a pie made out of criticism in our faces.
So Callie, our headstrong heroine confronts the issue. She hesitates for a second, but a quick glance towards her new Moms alleviates the clouded thoughts she has; I’m more than sure she was close to lying, but the Family has influenced her to such a degree that she no longer needs to lie to get ahead in life because she’s reached a place where she’s loved unconditionally, and that’s enough for her.
Lets talk about Jude for a moment. Imagine yourself as a 13 year old boy — a boy who’s never felt like he truly belonged– being told that you are going to be adopted by a family you’ve grown to love. Imagine the excitement that courses through your body when you realize that you and your sister are finally going to be happy after years and years of trying to find a place to truly call home.
But then, as you are taking out the garbage on one of the happiest days of your life, you see the one person in this whole universe who you could trust, the one who you’ve been through everything with, doing something that could erase all that. And this has happened before, back when you were with the Olmstead’s, and you know how that turned out, so of course you are hurt but most of all disappointed because how could the sister that’s always done everything for you go and do the one thing that could hurt you.
And what hurts the most is how Callie reacts in those last moments after their talk– how deeply she takes his words. No matter how hard she tries, deep down she knows she could never truly be happy, because staying would mean she have to deal with not being with Brandon in order to make Jude happy. The love that she has for her brother is worth more to her than the love she has for herself, and that is why she left. But even though she took herself away from the situation, she still won’t achieve happiness because she isn’t with the people who have become her support system and the one person who believed in her when no one else would.
Not only are we excited about the fact that this show has been picked up for a full season, but also that a show like this has been made! Aside from Modern Family, I can’t think of another show that has a same-sex couple raising a family in today’s society that addresses so many vital issues as this one.
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