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'The Fosters' recap: Self-portrait at a street fair

Season 2 | Episode 9 | “Leaky Faucets” | Aired Aug 11, 2014

After our little side excursion to Girls United last week (fingers crossed that we get some type of conclusion to that storyline), we’re back in full swing with The Fosters clan. “Leaky Faucets” finds the majority of the Foster siblings at a Mexican street fair, which was seemingly the only thing going on in town that day. The two Foster gals and their men took center stage tonight, chowing down on churros and confronting some major demons.

You know what that means: Time for a couples check-in!

Callie and Wyatt: Callie has an eye-opening therapy session in which it’s suggested to her that maybe her panic attacks aren’t tied to her rape per se, but to her lack of trust in her instincts; she trusted Liam before and he hurt her, who’s to say Wyatt won’t do the same? But Callie does trust Wyatt. (I mean, who wouldn’t? That kid’s basically a golden retriever, in that he’s loyal and protective and has flowing golden locks.) And so she invites him to the street fair, and the two commence to have a flirty little food-eating contest.

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Honest sidebar: Callie is having my dream date. It is equal parts gluttonous and cute, which is pretty much the only kind of ratio I want to be dealing with when I go out. Wyatt is bringing her meatballs on a stick! Why she didn’t just hump him then and there, I’ll never know. Well, I mean, I do know, because panic attacks and all, but still. Callie, you grab that gorgeous head of hair and you hold on. You hold on for dear life!

Whilst scarfing down meatballs and tamales and the like, it seems as though dear #Wyllie is getting back to some sort of normalcy. Callie even fills in Wyatt on her trust issues, and Wyatt promises he’s there for her. He also calls her “Baby” at one point, and my brain explodes. Anyway, all of this is too good to be true because, come on, this is Callie we’re talking about.

Guess who is also a fan of street meat and Frida Kahlo rip-offs? Why, Liam, of course! Wyatt spots him and grabs Brandon for backup. B would rather just get Callie out of there, but Wyatt feels the need to defend his lady’s honor. In the end, the three boys have to be pulled apart by the cops and Liam takes off. Grab a tamale for the road, kid!

Callie watches the whole thing go down and is furious at Wyatt for fighting Liam (again). Though Wyatt has good intentions, Callie doesn’t need or want that kind of protection; what she needs is Wyatt by her side to help her with her anxiety, but he can’t do that if he’s too busy teaching lessons with his fists. Things are not looking good for our wavy-haired lovers.

Mariana and Mat: Mat surprises Mariana for their second date by taking her to, you guessed it, the street fair. When they arrive, Mariana seems less than enthused. Mat attempts to keep things lively, but Mariana is immediately on the defense regarding his intentions of bringing her, specifically, to a Mexican street fair. Mat swears he has no ulterior motives, but Mariana can’t help feeling ambushed.

All this time, we’ve been dealing with Mariana’s identity issue as merely a superficial problem—she wants to fit in with the popular girls and that means dying her hair blond, etc. To have Mariana’s issues with her race be so one-note would be a disservice to the character and the discussion of race on the show. Thankfully, there’s always been a hint of deeper layers, some real reason why Mariana is uncomfortable with being Latina. Tonight we got to see that finally play out when Mariana runs into that real reason: her birth mother.

Ana and Mike, taking a break from their one-on-one AA meeting, also show up at the fair and bump into Mariana. Ana wants to make amends, but Mariana wants no parts of it. Ana has lied over and over again; how can Mariana ever trust anything she says?

Mat wants to know what’s going on, and Mariana finally reveals that the reason she separates herself from her Mexican background is because her only connection to being Mexican is through Ana, a woman she hates, a woman who makes Mariana hate part of herself. Super-cute Mat goes on to give Mariana some super-cute advice about letting her mom tell her she’s sorry, because if he had the chance to hear his dad apologize for leaving, he’d take it. He also buys her a flower and they dance, and I don’t even know what my heart wants anymore.

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Another honest sidebar: Is Mat the new and improved Wyatt? He has both long hair and wears scarves. Maybe I need to call Callie’s therapist and set up an appointment; she seemed calming and wise.

Mariana gets home and tells Stef she’s had a change of heart: She wants to see Ana.

In other family news:

  • Lou lays on the flirting pretty thick. B tries to ignore it with some pretty half-baked tactics, like shoving a burrito in his mouth. Little does he know that to some girls (e.g., me), this is a turn-on. In the end he gives Lou the old “It’s not you, it’s me” line, but she takes it in stride. I’m still holding out hope.
  • Jesus tries to prove to Hayley that she is more than just a good lay, and ends up secretly getting her name tattooed on his side. Jesus, you are infuriating.
  • Stef is home alone and hilariously tries to fix a leaky pipe in the bathroom (seriously, can we see that home video she made for Lena?), which leads to her finally confronting her grief over the baby they lost.
  • Strong, tough Callie gets some adorable cuddle time with Stef, who just learned that there’s value in allowing yourself to break down sometimes, and imparts that wisdom to Callie. Can we all have a group cuddle soon? I’ll send out the Evite.

Well, my dear Foster fans, we’ve got one more episode left this summer and lots of ground to cover. Will B let his siblings in on what really went down with Dani? How will the twins react to a clean and sober Ana? Will Callie finally get adopted or will the Quinns stand in her way? Do we think Mat could lend Wyatt some scarves?

The Fosters, rated TV-14, airs Mondays at 9/8C on ABC Family.

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