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Monday, January 25, 2016

My Review of The Fosters 3.11- First Impressions and Why I am starting reviews now

Well, I've added a new show to my review list.  The Fosters is my favorite show currently on television.  The reason that I haven't written about it before now is that the show has always been intensely personal for me for a wide variety of reasons and I never quite felt comfortable writing about it.  But recently, I decided that I really wanted to talk about the show that I love so much.  It is one of the few shows that, even when I wasn't writing reviews, I absolutely had to watch the night it was on because I just couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next.

A part of the reason I have always loved this show is the unflinching way the show has taken on all sorts of social issues.  From same sex marriage and relationships to teen substance use to the foster system and more, this show just never lets up.  Throughout it all, we have a family created not out of biology, but out of love and because they chose to be together.  While some of the characters have frustrated the hell out of me (and some I actively hate), I just have to come back each week it is on and see it.

The other thing I have loved about this show is that it has been a tremendous inspiration to me personally.  I am 37 years old and I came out as gay almost 15 years ago, but I still learn so much from this show about being myself and not being ashamed of who I am.  A lot of that has come from Jude and Connor.  I know they are a massive inspiration to LGBTQIA teens, but their inspiration has really reached me too,  The way that Gavin and Hayden have really taken these characters and given them such depth and taken us on this wonderful journey of discovery that they went through has been beyond awesome and inspirational.  That is why I will set aside my normal disdain for shipping and I will *ALWAYS* ship Jonnor.  I know they may have other boyfriends as time goes on, but Jonnor will always be the endgame I hope they go to.

Anyway, let's get to tonight's episode.  Callie and Brandon deal with the fallout of their night at Idyllwild, AJ gets a revelation from his brother, Stef gets some bad news on two fronts, Jesus reveals why he came back, Mariana runs for class president with a surprise opponent, and Jude deals with the reality that Connor is leaving.

I have to say that I am glad Callie is adopted now.  While I was fond of Brallie in the first half of the first season, after that it just got really old because it was obvious that they were driving towards having Callie get adopted by the Adams-Fosters and their feelings were constantly cropping up at the most inconvenient times.  I get why they finally slept together, but now there is just a massive mess, which (given that message at the end) apparently someone else knows about.  At this point, I don't think there's anything that can be done to nullify the adoption, so I really think they need to tell Stef and Lena.  Will they be mad?  Sure, but I think they'll understand once they hear why it happened.

Then again, this may not be the best time to drop that particular truth bomb on their moms.  Stef has breast cancer.  The good news is that it is stage 0, which is actually precancerous rather than actual cancer.  That means that it should be relatively easy to take care of.  I remember when my mom went through breast cancer.  She ended up having a mastectomy (the breast being completely removed) and had several lymph nodes removed in order to get rid of it.  Unfortunately hers reached stage 4 (metastasized), but she still lived with it for several years.  Stef's prognosis is much better.  Expensive, but better.

Having Jesus back is going to be fun.  It will take a bit to get used to Noah instead of Jake, but Noah seems to have a lot of the mannerisms and quirks that Jake established down.  Cierra and Noah seem to have a great sibling chemistry and the bickering is perfect.  I have 3 brothers and a sister, trust me, I've seen it all.  I do have to wonder if he really came back for the reasons he told his moms.  Since the school said that his grades were fine, I will go on the assumption he was honest with them, but only time will tell.  Unfortunately for him, he now has to deal with his first ex-girlfriend running for class president against his sister whose campaign manager is his second ex.  Talk about a seriously awkward situation.

I just can't believe that Lexi running against Mariana is any sort of coincidence.  I will grant that Mariana could have been a bit more tactful in turning Lexi's help down, but she was stuck between two friends, both of whom had dated Jesus at one point.  I can't help but fear that this whole situation is going to turn seriously ugly and fast.

I was surprised when Monte told Stef and Lena that she would leave Anchor Point if they asked her to.  It was a nice gesture, but it also felt vaguely manipulative.  Did she really think that they would ask her to resign?  That would come across as seriously petty, even if she totally deserved it.  First for kissing Lena and then for leading Jenna on when she knew how she felt about Lena.  And letting Jesus jump the line to get him back into the school is seriously going to bite them on the ass.  There is more than a whiff of favoritism and if anyone finds out about the whole mess with Monte kissing Lena, it will make it so much worse.

Is AJ gone for good?  I get that he wants to be with his brother, but he is seriously screwing up his relationship with Mike who has gone out on a limb time and time again for him.  Mike is far from a perfect dad, but his heart is in the right place.  Unfortunately, AJ and his brother put together all the clues and realized that the police are closing in on Ty and that it is just a matter of time before he got put away for his role in the accident.

That woman who wants to invest in Callie's app gave me the wiggins from the time she started talking with Lena, Stef, and Callie.  What she was saying and the way she was talking was too smooth and too practiced.  And when she lied to Callie about talking to someone about that boy in the bad foster home, it just cemented my feelings.  I am seriously worried that she is from one of the companies or something and is looking to use the information from Callie's app for some nefarious purpose.  Now that she's an admin, I am even more worried.

I am going to miss Connor.  And, surprisingly, I fell bad for Mr. Stevens.  I have never liked him because he has always come across as homophobic, but I am now wondering if the problem wasn't so much homophobia as it was the reactions of a parent truly unprepared for a major revelation like that.  I know that when I came out, I felt like my world was completely upended and all my previous dreams were completely trashed.  I also know that some parents have had a similar feelings.  It can feel like the dreams they had of their kids growing up and giving them grandkids are completely shattered and they are trying to pick up the pieces.  Don't get me wrong, Mr. Stevens handled Connor's coming out horribly.  He was never supportive and never gave Connor a reason to stay until it was too late to change Connor's mind.

This has to seriously suck for Jude.  From the first day we met him, it was fairly obvious that he was (at least) gender non-conforming, if not actually gay.  Then when he and Connor finally got together, they had to deal with all the crap from Connor's dad and Jude's issues with labeling.  It seems like they finally got to a good place and then Connor decided to move in with his mom.  Losing your first significant other is never easy, and I can't imagine how hard it has to be when you are that young and been jerked around as much as Jude has.  He and Connor have really developed their identities around each other, so to have that ripped away has to be horrible.  I was just glad that Mr. Stevens had the decency to go apologize to Jude and that Jude accepted it and tried to comfort Mr. Stevens even as he was going through this.

Just a quick note.  Starting this week, I will be reviewing DC's Legends of Tomorrow here (there will be a First Impression of the first half of the pilot on pop-topia.com) and this week The Vampire Diaries and The Originals return on Friday.  Of course, I will be back tomorrow with the latest Teen Wolf.  Until then!