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The Fosters Recap 'Padre' Brings on the Tears!

The Fosters Recap 'Padre' Brings on the Tears!

The Fosters Recap 'Padre' Brings on the Tears!

Grab the tissues. You're going to need them!


Now, I’m the first to admit I often get rather emotional about TV. There’s a lot of aggressive yelling, bitchery, cursing my inability to follow the plot of Pretty Little Liars, etc. But that’s all surface-level involvement, and rarely do I genuinely find myself truly touched by an episode of television. However “Padre,” for whatever reason (let’s be real- for every reason), warmed my cynical, removed heart this week, and I ended my Monday night as a weepy mess in deep need of a cup of tea. Thanks Fosters, sometimes you just need to cry over your favorite fictional family.

When we last left Stef, she had found her father dead in his home with the TV still on. As “Padre” opens, Stef is instead bringing her apparently very alive father a cup of tea. He reminisces about the first time Stef ever saw snow and didn’t know what it was. It’s a touching, calm moment between Stef and her father that we’ve never really seen before and is definitely proven to be imaginary when snow starts falling inside the house, and Stef turns around to find her father’s chair empty. She wakes up in her bed on the day of his funeral, and this time the credits’ comforting images of cereal aren’t so comforting. Side note: prepare for every moment of Teri/Sherri screen time this week to hurt (in a perfect kind of way).

Jude and Mariana have a very serious conversation about death and the afterlife, in which Jude seems oddly composed and mature.

He tells Mariana he’s not sure there’s a heaven, but he hopes their lost loved ones are up there looking out for them. As Lena and Stef prepare for the funeral, we see Stef has taken on a very passive “It is what it is” attitude and insists she has no regrets. The two end up discussing Callie’s independent living sitch and how it relates to Brandon. Brandon said their relationship was over, and Callie’s not allowed to date while at Girls United, so clearly they’re not together! Definitely (not). After Lena steps out of the room, Stef finds her prenatal vitamins. Damn Lena, even I know you don’t keep your secret prenatal vitamins where you wife could find them, and I have not been remotely close to this situation.

Callie has decided to attend the funeral to support Jude, and is dropped off by the web series counselor at the funeral. Guess Rosie O’Donnell wasn’t feeling like showing up for that one scene. The police captain also shows up and tells Lena not to not let Stef look at the paper since there’s an article in it that could upset her. Ominous, but also not our biggest concern as the family heads off to the funeral.

We get to experience .5 seconds of the actual funeral before jumping to the gathering at the house, where the family has decided to all wear San Diego “Padres” gear in honor of Stef’s dad’s favorite baseball team. As they prepare to set up, Jude asks if Connor can come over, only he asks “Mom,” instead of “Lena.”

This is definitely one of the Sherri moments where you can’t help but feel something. Callie, clearly also moved by Jude’s declaration, fondly studies a family photo. Brandon enters to ruin everything, happily pointing out that the day the family photo was taken was the first time they kissed. Callie’s dismissive and quickly exits to go share a “Clearly you need to choose the family over Brandon” moment of sisterly bonding with Mariana. Lena tries to ask Mike about the article, but he’s dismissive as well. No one wants to talk today! Can’t wait until they all break down into confessing puddles of emotion.

Bonus surprise: this is a flashback episode! While bonding, Mariana expresses how strong Jude is about this whole funeral thing. Not so, Callie claims. After their mom died he trashed her room in grief. Brandon steals Callie away again while also managing to exhibit a moment PDA that everyone notices. He wants to come out to the family about their relationship, but Callie feels Stef’s dad’s funeral is not the time. Hopefully ‘never’ will be the time. Another flashback -- this time, of Callie’s mom leaving for a night out after she and Lil’ Callie had a fight. Lil’ Callie sulkily won’t give her mom a kiss goodbye. Oof. We already know this night didn’t end well.

Guests start arriving at the house, including Emma, who it turns out is Jewish and brought kugel. Come on, Jesus, just date Emma already! She’s adorable and she brought kugel (oops, it turns out Emma is my dream girl). Also, the Line of the Night Award goes to Mariana’s review of black licorice, “It’s like evil in my mouth.” She may not get much screen time lately, but it’s pretty much priceless when she does.

Stef sees Lena playing with a baby and pulls her aside for a chat. Lena thinks she’s asking about the article ratting on Mike and outs that secret as well.

Whoops. Not Lena’s day for sneakiness, though she did manage to postpone the baby talk. Turns out the article is about police brutality and makes Mike out to be a murderer. Now he can’t go back to work, and it seems like they might even press charges. Bummer, but there’s still a lot more going on.

Flashback to Callie receiving her mom’s possessions post-death. Even today Callie wears her mom’s necklace all the time. Every flashback here is just one step closer to the (fingers crossed) realization Callie will have that she 100% needs to choose adoption over Brandon. Away from the guests, Jude, Connor, and Mariana play with a Ouija board. Mariana asks it who her first boyfriend will be. The Ouija board starts to spell Zach instead of Teen Beach Movie, and Mariana gives up. Jude then asks the board if his mom is there, and it apparently answers “yes.” He asks his mom if it’s okay for Stef and Lena to adopt him, and after several moments (and a little help from Connor), the answer is “yes” as well.

In a less touching room, Emma and Jesus are playing a computer game when Lexi calls to video chat. Jesus attempts to dodge it, but Emma answers and she and Lexi share an awkward moment before finally bonding. Emma’s clearly not thrilled Jesus has a girlfriend, but she’s being a good sport (and I feel like odds will end up in her favor soon).

Stef continues to be offended that Lena’s not talking to her about her pregnancy. Lena has a conversation of her own with her mom, who tries to tell her that a baby is not the best idea. Lena’s not feeling that advice, but after an emotional spat about wanting her mom to stop trying to control her life, the two make up. It’s just not the day for family fights.

Callie’s fifteen episodes worth of walls finally start to come tumbling down when she loses her mom’s necklace. Lena offers to replace it, but there’s obviously more going on than a piece of jewelry.

Jude approaches the frantic Callie and tells her he’s worried this will be like last time, when she trashed her room. Callie’s confused - it was Jude who trashed the room, right? - but then we get the real flashback and see that it was actually Callie who destroyed her room while Jude stood by nervously. Stef comes to comfort Callie and asks her to tell her about her mom. Callie breaks down into heartbreaking tears, and she and Stef bond over the regrets they have about the way they treated their parents before they died. Stef also tells Callie that she can’t let her fear of losing the people she loves stop her from connecting to anyone. “Do you know that most of the time I have five separate hearts running around outside of me?” Stef tells her before giving her a hug, thus leveling Callie up from “breakdown” to “breakthrough.” Teri, Sherri, Maia, and Hayden are truly destroying me this week. Kudos and tissues all around.

Stef rejoins the crowd, and the priest her father once sent her to “fix” her tells her that her father often came to him struggling with reconciling Stef’s sexuality and his beliefs. He says she should see these struggles as a good thing, since they meant her father’s love for her forced him to rethink his fundamental beliefs. “You have a beautiful family,” he says before taking his leave. “Times, they are a’changing.”

Brandon (who caught an affecting glimpse of Callie and Stef hugging) joins Callie for one last intimate moment in which he returns Callie’s mom’s necklace that he found. Callie and Brandon exchange “I love you”’s, but Callie starts to say something else. Brandon cuts her off; he’s finally on the same page and has realized how selfish it is to ask her to give everything up to be with him. So long, Brallie. There’s not a single way in which the sinking of this ship wasn’t for the best.

Jude finds Callie and we get the moment we’ve been waiting for (that is if you were pulling for Callie + a family more than Callie + Brandon, in which case, sorry?).  “I’m coming home, Jude. I want to come home,” Callie tells him, right before a flashback of Jude and Callie being introduced into the foster system for the first time. Her dad had been driving drunk, and it was his accident that killed their mom. Lil’ Callie insists that she won’t let the system split up her and Jude up. Back in real time, Callie and Jude share happy, giggly snuggles while the uplifting sounds of Brandon playing piano again fill the house.

For the tearful end cap of the night  Stef sits alone in the Toyota her father tried to give the family.

She’s decided to accept the car, but more importantly than product placement she tearfully tells her dad that she forgives him, she’ll miss that hell out of him, and that she loves him. Outside, it starts to snow. Lena joins her in the car, and the two sit in silence for a moment before Stef asks Lena, “Do you want to have a baby?” Blackout.

It’s been a rocky journey on The Fosters for basically ever, and “Padre” finally (I’ve know used that word a lot in this recap, and it’s about damn time) offers this family closure in nearly every way. Ah, but realistically, this is a serial drama on ABC Family (and we’ve still got Mike and Mariana’s issues to work through), so I’m sure everything’s about to get crazily shaken up again as soon as possible, but it was so lovely to see characters I’ve truly come to care about make peace with demons that have haunted them all their lives. It’s rare for a show to tie things up like that, and it’s definitely appreciated. We’ve paved the way for so much new drama! All in all“Padre” is not to be missed, and everyone’s performances this week truly raise the bar. 

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Preston Max Allen