The show’s theme song may tell us “it’s not where you come from, it’s where you belong,” but this episode is nonetheless pretty preoccupied with where you come from.
Callie gets to know her biological father and half-sister, while Jude is quietly devastated by a sense that he means less to Callie for only being half a brother. Timothy’s insistence that he should be a part of his biological child’s life continues to wreak havoc on Stef and Lena’s happy pregnancy bubble. Even Brandon is caught up by the biological vs. chosen family dilemma, revealing an obvious and continuing internal battle over whether an adopted sister is a “real” sister.
Love may be what makes a family, but in this episode, everyone’s preoccupied with DNA.
Adams Foster chore time, which involves cleaning out the garage, is brightened up when Lena lets slip that she’s having a girl. Mariana and Callie do a happy dance and call upon some dubious math skills to declare the boys outnumbered. Um? How does having three boy children and three girl children add up to anyone being “outnumbered”?
Anyway, the Adams Fosters enter some kind of tear in the space-time continuum, with some speed cleaning, because I’m pretty sure no one in the history of ever has been able to clean out their garage in a single day (as they manage to do). I guess this is what happens when you adopt a small army of children? Good to know.
Everyone seems to be having fun spending time as a family, but there’s a definite undercurrent. When they unearth an old bike, Mariana blithely comments that they “all” learned to ride on Mikey the Bikey – despite the fact that Jude and Callie were living a very different life back then. While Brandon, Mariana and Jesus have plenty of childhood mementoes – so many, in fact, that they can toss a few in the trash – a subdued Jude realizes he has only Callie as a reminder of his childhood.
Later, Callie finally breaks to Jude the news that she has a half-sister – and asks his permission to meet Sophia. Jude – sweet, sweet, affable chameleon Jude – appears to take it all in his stride, telling Callie exactly what she wants to hear: yes, he’s fine with Callie discovering a whole new family that’s separate from him.
The Quinns, as it turns out, are Rich As Fuck, with all the neuroses you’d expect. Callie and Stef visit their McMansion, drink tea beside the infinity pool, and indulge in some good old-fashioned awkwardness, complete with the inevitable “oh, bee-tee-dubs? I just got out of juvie” convo.
Robert’s wife is a little tightly wound (perhaps suspecting Callie’s mom was the love of Robert’s life), while Sophia also some crazy-intense energy going on. When she first meets Callie, Sophia kinda looks at her like she’s contemplating killing her and assuming her identity. (Which I think would be almost feasible, based on how freakishly alike Maia and Bailee look.)
When Callie and Sophia get a chance for some alonetime, Little Sis thankfully does not murder Big Sis after all. Sophia, who talks a mile a minute and is painfully sweet, shows Callie her horse-riding rosettes, compliments Callie’s clothes (bwahahahaha… more on that later) and suggests they go shopping together.
For all Sophia’s material trappings, there’s a definite homelife Situation going on, as she reveals the all-school-no-fun regime put in place by her over-anxious parents. The obvious speculation would be that Robert will ask to adopt Callie and she’ll move into his McMansion with Sophia. But, to be honest, if I were Sophia, I’d like angling to move in with the Adams Fosters…
Callie later reflects that Sophia seems “kinda young, maturity-wise”, and it becomes obvious that, however much she likes her, Callie can’t quite relate to this girl – her naïve, privileged doppelganger. Sophia is Callie without the hard luck, without the scars. And the experience of looking in that particular mirror has gotta be tough for Callie to swallow.
At the Quinns, we also get the abridged story of Callie’s parents’ romance, which turns out to be ripped from the pages of a trashy paperback. Picture the scene. It was the late 90s, the Spice Girls were burning up the charts, and wealthy grad student Robert began romancing the beach club’s kitchen wench, Colleen. They frolicked in the surf, they held hands on the boardwalk, they… did a whole bunch more rom-com clichés that you can fill in here. Robbie+Coll4Eva, they carved into a tree trunk. I really, really, really wanna zig-a-zig-ahhh, Robbie whispered ardently to his lady love.
“Can you not find someone richer to zig-a-zig-ah with?” asked Robbie’s parents. But no! It was fair Colleen that Robbie wanted to marry, so the pair eloped. Under pressure from Robbie’s family, however, the marriage didn’t last and Robbie left her without knowing that Coll was pregnant. Alas! Alack! (I guess he got over it pretty quickly, though, and married the Uppity Pearl-Clutcher who’s Sophia’s mother.)
Speaking of trashy paperback romances, the show’s not afraid to sprinkle a few clichés over Callie and Wyatt. “I’d wait forever for you,” Wyatt tells Callie, which would probably be romantic if the show had given us any prior indication that Wyatt felt so strongly about Callie. But… okay.
Not heeding Emma’s warning from a couple of weeks ago about having sex on the beach, the two of them start getting down and dirty on the beach. Until… PSA alert… Callie breaks it to Wyatt that having sex would violate her probation. Well, damn. Who knew?
It turns out, however, that Wyatt’s not after what’s in her pants – he wants her heart. He tells Callie that he loves her and she spends the episode wrestling with whether to say it back. She does love him, she confides in Sophia, but telling him would feel like a betrayal of a certain cardigan-wearing boy that she loved before…
“Is that a new song?” Callie asks Brandon when she hears him playing the keyboard in the magically-cleared garage.
“No, I’m just finding an ending to an old one,” he replies.
If Brandon and Callie’s romantic relationship is a song, they’re both trying hard to press STOP and skip to the next track. For Brandon, that next track is named Lou, who stops by the house for a jam session and is eager to “dirty up” Outlaws. Brandon is resistant and asks Callie’s permission to begin playing “their” song with the band, clearly hoping she’ll say no and reveal she still cares about him. Callie, however, tells him, “let Lou have the song.”
(OOF! …No, it’s fine. I’m just lying here on the floor, bleeding, but it’s fine. Really.)
For the record, I’d probably care more about Brandon and Lou’s budding romance if (a) we knew literally anything about her, and (b) the two of them had ever had a scene together that wasn’t subtextually about Brandon and Callie.
Basically, the show has given me no more of a reason to ‘ship Brandon and Lou than it has given me a reason to ‘ship Brandon and Mat. So I’m gonna go ahead and ‘ship Brandon and Mat, and be affronted on Mat’s behalf that the rest of his band didn’t bother to invite him to band practice. (Or the drummer, I guess? What’s his name?)
Meanwhile, in Mariana’s Sad Barbie Dreamland, the dance team has to rush to replace one of its members, who has been dropped from the team for being drunk and slutty at the Adams Foster kids’ party (despite the fact that everyone except Mariana was drunk and slutty at that party). The team ends up picking a cute black girl who we’ll clearly never see again (bye, Plot Point Tia – it was nice knowing you!).
Mariana, however, is confused. It turns out there are no diversity quotas and she actually wasn’t picked for the team “just because she’s Latin”. New frienemy Hayley, who might be the worst frienemy of all, reveals that Mariana was actually chosen because her mom’s the principal. The team figured it would be saved from budget cuts if the principal’s daughter was a member.
So… the moral of this storyline is that Mariana learns that the world is terrible in a slightly different way than she thought it was terrible…?
No, but literally this time. We join Mariana and Hayley in the bathroom at the Adams Fosters, where Hayley is primping for a secret date with Jesus.
And then comes… the MOST SHOCKING MOMENT OF THE EPISODE… *horror movie music*… Hayley casually asks to borrow Mariana’s toothbrush.
(I’m sorry, I just threw up in my mouth a little.)
This horrorshow aside, there’s not much worth mentioning about Hayley and Jesus’s new relationship. They’re both kinda dumb and kinda slutty. They’re perfect for each other! May they live happily ever after!
We finally, finally get to revisit what’s going on with Timothy, Stef and Lena. It turns out that Timothy does know that Lena’s pregnant (because god forbid you show a climactic moment on screen, *mumbles*) and he’s decided to sic his lawyers on her to argue for involvement in the child’s life.
Lena, who’s preoccupied with interviewing for the Principal job at Anchor Beach, feels like Timothy is deliberately out to get her. She lectures him on integrity and feels sure he’ll sabotage her chances of getting the job from his position on the school board.
However, as all of us members of the Timothy Appreciation Society know, ol’ Timmy is no douchebag. When Lena fails to get the job, he’s genuinely remorseful, telling her he argued for her, but the board went with “someone corporate” (oh noes, etc.). It seems Lena’s soapbox moment worked, too, because he also hands Lena a mysterious envelope.
It’s immediately obvious that he’s signed the donor contract, but for some reason, this revelation is dragged out for another 5 minutes of screentime. What on earth else could be in the envelope?
A copy of Timothy’s newest novel for Lena to critique? A new zine he’s created for spurned sperm donors called ‘Dude, That’s My Sperm’? …Anthrax?
Any of those would have made for a more interesting conclusion to this subplot, but nope, it’s pretty much just the signed donor contract in the envelope. Timothy tells Lena that he’d like to be involved in the child’s life. And, back at home, Stef reveals she’d also like to “make even more room” to include Timothy in their family.
Yay! Family barbecue and Timothy’s invited!
Sadly, the episode does not end with a family barbecue. It ends with a kicker.
Following his conversation with Callie about Sophia, Jude appears to spend the rest of the episode in his usual low-key style. He brushes off Connor, still unwilling to be friends with someone who won’t stand up for him; he produces only a shrug when Jesus rages to him about Mariana (“sisters! am I right?”); he daydreams in class, apparently unable to come up with the right answer.
Not until the final scene do we realize that Jude has, in fact, sunk into a mute state, unwilling or unable to respond to anyone in his life, not even Callie.
Other notes and sundry:
Casual kayaking: When Lena corners Timothy to talk about ~integrity, he appears to have just come back from doing some casual kayaking. Okay then. Another amazing hobby to add to the list for Timothy!
“This is your room?”: Sophia’s bedroom, it’s worth noting, is freaking huge (did she make her parents trade with her?), and comes complete with upholstered pink furniture, gilt framed paintings, adjoining snug, and whateverthefuck this is that’s constructed over her bed:
In the opening scene, Brandon and Callie are dressed almost identically, in cream-and-red long-sleeve t-shirts:
In general, this is the least crazy Brandon’s wardrobe has been in a long while. A solid 3 on the Brandon styling misery-o-meter.
Now for my absolute favourite moment of the episode: Sophia, dressed in the world’s most hideous blazer, compliments Callie on her outfit – Callie, who is dressed in a hooded burgundy shirt, which is tucked into her jeans. Jesus Effing Christ. I’d love to be a fly on the wall when these two style icons go shopping together.