Callie Learns To "Play The Game" On 'The Fosters' & It's Sad and Disappointing
Sigh. Just when we thought Callie's transition couldn't get any more difficult. On Monday night's episode of ABC Family's The Fosters, Lena and Stef told her that she couldn't spend time with her group home friends anymore, which is not only a shame because they were doing so much to keep her on the right track, but really disappointing on Stef and Lena's part and the school principal. After they broke the news, Callie dejectedly told them that she understood because she's learned how to "play the game" — and that just broke our hearts.
It's not really a secret that Callie has no friends at the Anchor Beach Charter School except for Jude, Mariana, Jesus, and sometimes Brandon. Her reputation precedes her and now that it's out in the open that she technically stole Brandon from his now ex-girlfriend, everyone's really steering clear of her. (Brandon's ex is obviously a stereotypical mean girl — see: her bitching Callie out at a party a few weeks ago.) High school is various degrees of difficult on a day-to-day basis for anyone, but it's obvious that it's much more uncomfortable for Callie — even if she has a support system.
Cue Principal Sánchez, who also happens to be Lena's boss, who's been tasked with reporting to Callie parole officer about her "progress." I have no problem with Sánchez and she obviously has Callie's best interests at heart in terms of trying to make sure she has productive things to say in her evaluations. But making it a requirement for Callie to engage in the school's community — and potentially set herself up for bullying — though reasonable, seemed a little pushy. Considering the fact that Callie JUST got back in with the Fosters and she's trying to adjust to having a family again, breaking up with Brandon, and trying to find a place in school where NO ONE is giving her a chance.
Back to Daphne and Chiara, Callie's group home friends — they just so happened to inspire her idea (her photo of Chiara got her adopted) to start a photo club where she can help the community by taking photos of kids looking for foster families. So, OBVIOUSLY, they're decently good influences if they're inspiring her to get involved and give back to her community and the system that helped her to reunite with the Fosters. Right?
Because of Brandon's friend stealing the Kindles, Callie had to admit that she'd given Daphne a key ring to use one of the school bathrooms which also happened to have the keys to the office where the Kindles were stored. Daphne was hurt and naturally told Callie that she didn't want to be her friend anymore if she couldn't trust her — so Callie spent all of Monday night's episode (after confronting Brandon about being in the school that night) trying to get in touch with her to apologize. When the Kindles returned and Daphne was vindicated, even then, Lena and Stef suggested that Callie steer clear of her new and only friends.
Stef was skeptical about Callie continuing to spend time with them after leaving the group home. Which we just chalked up to maternal concern for Callie's wellbeing and her surrounding herself with positive influences. But the way she and Lena chose to explain their reason why Callie should keep her distance from them is what was as disappointing as Callie's response was heartbreaking. They chose to start with "it's not that we think there's anything wrong with them," when obviously they do — they think they're bad influences, whether or not Daphne stole the Kindles. To which Callie responded with something like, "I get it, I have to do what's expected of me by the rich kids. I have to play the game." And if Stef and Lena don't actually believe that they're bad influences (which we doubt, considering how openminded they are about adopting children and giving Callie a second chance) they're "playing the game," too.
It's all extremely disappointing and stunting to Callie's character and growth as a person that Stef and Lena would have her outlook on life and her choices of friends be dictated by others. Others who are obviously ignorant and care less about uncovering the truth than placing the blame on the "most likely perpetrator". Callie can't grow into her community and feel comfortable in herself and in her new family if no one's practicing what they preach. Stef and Lena of all people should be listening to her, rather than encouraging her to conform.
Images: ABC Family