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'The Fosters' fan recap: A-camping we will go

Season 2 | Episode 14 | “Mother Nature” | Aired Feb 2, 2015

A person must have principles, a set of guidelines by which to live one’s life with conviction. One of the major principles I carry around with me is this simple rule: Never EVER sleep on dirt. Reasons for this being “Ew, gross” and also “bugs.”

All of this is to say, I don’t really have much real-life camping experience to draw from, but if the latest episode of The Fosters is to be trusted, it looks like traditional camping activities include swinging from a tree and jumping into bodies of water, revealing multiple family secrets in the span of seconds, rousing debates about heteronormative thinking in today’s society, s’mores, breaking up with clingy girlfriends, and fishing. Camping seems great!

“Mother Nature” was pretty light on plot, but truthfully, it was a nice to see the whole clan smiling for once. We all needed a break from the disaster movie that is Callie’s life (seriously, so sad), so the comedy was a good change of pace (I’ll never not laugh at jokes about bear attacks). But although this episode was full of lighter fare, there were some major plot points we should discuss.

To the campgrounds!

The whole family goes camping on an all new The Fosters.

Jesus’ stage-five clinger: As the Fosters pack up for Stef’s big family-bonding expedition, Jesus and Hayley make a pit stop in Makeout City. Hayley wants Jesus to skip out on the trip to hang out with her, but thankfully Jesus is hip to her brand of crazy and tells her he can’t.

Hayley is resilient, though. Not long after Jesus sets up camp, he gets a super creepy text that basically says, “I’m calling from inside the house.” Yep, Hayley is at the campground as well, just waiting for Jesus to meet her. Brandon, shockingly the new voice of reason on the show, advises Jesus to make it clear that she’s not allowed. But before Jesus can get the text out, Lena confiscates his phone because technology is the devil.

“Let her wander out in the woods at night, it’ll be good for her,” everyone tells Jesus from my living room. Sadly, Jesus has a heart and sneaks out to track her down. B follows suit, but the boys end up lost. Luckily, Jude alerts his moms to the situation, and Lena and Stef are able to bring everyone safely back to camp. If the mamas didn’t approve of Hayley before, they certainly don’t now.

Hayley just can’t seem to help herself though, and she unleashes hell when she lets it slip to Mariana that Ana is pregnant. This news, of course, sends Mariana reeling, and in turn she outs Jesus and his hideous tattoo to Stef and Lena. They not only jump all over Jesus for his terrible decision-making skills, but also begin to take shots at each other over parenting responsibilities (more on this later). Jesus is smart enough to realize Hayley has brought with her a hurricane of drama, and it’s the last straw: He cuts that crazy loose.

She does not take it well. (Run, Mariana, run!!)

Good cop, bad mama: This week, Stef and Lena decide to bicker about their individual roles as parents. Stef thinks the kids all run to Lena with their problems because she’s a softy who leaves the disciplining to Stef. Lena is offended, but when Jesus confesses that he snuck into an AA meeting and found out that Ana is pregnant, Lena is quick to tell Jesus that he should let Stef know—without mentioning that he told Lena first.

When Stef comes to Lena with the news of Ana’s pregnancy and fears that Mike is the father (don’t worry, he’s not), Lena plays dumb. Lying right to her partner’s face seems very un-Lena-like, but then again, they’re camping, and there are no rules when you’re camping—except to use the buddy system when walking to the restroom, I think. I don’t know; I’m still figuring out camping.

Regardless, this little charade holds up until the aforementioned Hurricane Hayley swoops in, and in the midst of Jesus and Mariana fighting about tattoos and Ana, Stef figures out Lena’s little deception. Lena finally lets Stef have it (you know when Lena throws around terms like “heteronormative thinking,” she’s serious), telling her that instead of parenting their kids, Stef polices them; all of them, Lena included, are intimidated by Stef. It is … tense.

Both women could learn a little from each other. In the spirit of compromise, Stef, not Lena, deals with their obviously distraught daughter—who, oh yeah, just learned from her brother’s psycho girlfriend that her addict birth mother is pregnant. Maybe we should be tending to that, um, complicated situation first, ladies? Save the bickering for your tent! Hey, maybe I am getting the hang of this camping thing, after all!

In other family news:

  • Ana’s having a girl, and Mike is not the father. Mike does, however, offer to have Ana and the baby move in with him, no strings attached. Yeah right, Mike! I see your strings! I see your strings and they are in the shape of a big ol’ heart!
  • Callie and Brandon share a nice moment of closure when Callie confesses she doesn’t want to hold him back in his relationship with Lou, whom he really likes. They’re friends now!
  • Nobody puts Jude in a corner! Jude is not a baby, you guys, so stop treating him like one. That’s what he tells Callie, anyway, once he gets fed up with her hovering. He’ll need that big-kid attitude next week when it looks like we’ll get some Jude-Connor sneaky hand-holding at the movie theater.
  • I’m pitching this to Lifetime immediately: To Twerk or Not to Twerk: The Lena Adams-Foster Story. BTW, the answer is the latter.

Well, campers, did you enjoy the somewhat lighthearted hijinks this week, or do you prefer your Fosters dripping in drama and tears? Anyone else counting down to another Mariana-Ana confrontation? Ready for Jonnor to be a full-fledged thing?

The Fosters airs Mondays at 8/7C on ABC Family.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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