It's a good thing we don't have to wait very long to find out what's going to happen to The Fosters' title family because we really need an explanation. After last week's tough episode, "Metropolis," the knocks kept coming to Brandon and Callie during the show's spring finale, "Adoption Day," on Monday night. In Brandon's case, literally. It seemed like ABC Family was trying to justify how ultimately cruel the episode was by giving the two former lovebirds at least one silver lining. Which was nice, but we're still hurting over the episode's final moments.
As the episode's title alluded, Callie and Jude's adoption day finally arrived — but of course, it didn't go off without a hitch. Actually, nothing that happened during the spring finale went off without a hitch. Stef and Lena got bad news from Timothy, Mike fell off the wagon, Mariana lost Zac, and Jude had to make a big decision for himself that left Callie behind. So, like any ABC Family series, Monday night's finale event was an emotional doozy that ended in a shocking and disturbing way. Because, again, happy endings are never easy on The Fosters.
We've come to expect this from ABC Family series — a dramatic cliffhanger closes out the season, leaving us begging for more episodes. (Thankfully, their break between seasons is remarkably short.) But what The Fosters did on Monday night that we didn't see coming, was try to barter with our emotions. We went from disgusted to proud to depressed to excited to disappointed to warm and fuzzy before finally knocking the wind out of us with fear. The constant back and forth was exhausting — especially for an ABC Family series and I really didn't know what to feel when the episode ended. And unfortunately, Callie and Brandon — the two characters that have taken the most hard knocks throughout The Fosters first season — were the characters that got the most bruises on Sunday night, while the show tried to make it seem okay.
So here's basically how things went down with Brandon on Monday night:
He and Dani hooked up BUT he rocked his symphony audition.
His dad fell off the wagon BUT he's not going to jail.
He got beat up by his former friends BUT he didn't get expelled.
First, let me say that NONE of these good things outweigh the bad. Well, except for Brandon's symphony audition — but now that his hand is broken, that doesn't matter anymore either. It might be just me, but I think it's time for something good to happen to Brandon. He screwed up a lot this season, but how he was treated in the finale was just cruel.
It was uncomfortable and borderline disgusting that he and Dani hooked up — she just got dumped by his dad for Christ's sake. But, immediately after, he killed his symphony audition and it was magical. That glory was short-lived though, because Mike got wasted and disappeared, leaving Brandon worried. (He was fine, so to speak.) But then he found out that he wouldn't get expelled so that was great — but then his "friends" beat him brutally in the street outside of the Foster house. And, I'll be honest, I cried for him. Because that was just so impossibly unfair.
After all of that back-and-forth between pain and happiness that Brandon's gone through all season and particularly during Monday night's episode — to end with him getting the crap kicked out of him by a bunch of jerks was the worst thing of all time. It hurt more that we had hope for him than if he'd just been his characteristically terrible self during the episode. Because even with those dichotomies, we weren't prepared to watch him get beat up — there's no silver lining to having someone crush your dreams. Literally.
And now for Callie, here's how she fared:
She's not getting adopted BUT Wyatt loves her.
Not really the biggest problem in the world and definitely not the worst silver lining to get in return, but still, it was her turn. Apparently, Callie's "dad" isn't actually her dad — which threw a wrench into the whole adoption thing. And she was really disappointed — honestly, we were too. Callie really wanted to be an official part of this family and she worked so hard to get there that it was heartbreaking to watch her tell Jude that it was okay to get adopted without her.
But she's got Wyatt and apparently decent guitar skills so I guess that balances out? She celebrated and put on her brave face for Jude and then got rewarded by having Wyatt profess his love for her and give her a smooch. Which was really romantic and cute — but definitely didn't make up for breaking our hearts when she couldn't get adopted. The whole season was leading up to that moment and it just didn't happen — a kiss and the promise of romance doesn't just make that go away. We were rooting for her and the system failed her again.
We get it, like Rosie O'Donnell told Callie — life is a mixed bag and there are good and bad things in it for everyone. But trying to justify terrible and heartbreaking things by having kind-of good things happen to the characters right before or right after is a little much. For us, selfishly, it's exhausting but for the characters, it's cruel to give them false senses of hope before the sky falls on their heads. In the end, everyone hurts even more than they would have without slight reprieves of good fortune.
The Fosters returns on Monday, June 16 — here's hoping that the show makes it up to Callie and Brandon in Season 2. Those kids could really use an actual break and not just a calm before the storm.
Image: ABC Family