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'The Fosters' fan recap: It's not what you think

Season 3 | Episode 17 | “Sixteen” | Aired Mar 7, 2016

There are some episodes of The Fosters that feel like giant steps forward as far as dealing with topical social issues and telling important stories. This week felt like a bit of a step backward in several ways.

After setting the groundwork for an exploration of the abuse of power by a school administrator, The Fosters instead gave us a young girl making up a story in order to avoid dealing with her overbearing parents. There’s an important story in there too, and had the pressures of Sally’s life and the consequences of them been presented differently, it could have been a compelling story in which Lena served as the role model Sally so desperately needs.

Monte’s behavior the last few weeks has been questionable at best, and now, rather than dealing with that, she is going to come out as the wronged party. If Sally made the story up, what excuse is there for the special treatment Monte has been showing her? Why did Monte entertain the crusade against Shakespeare? It feels like The Fosters brought us to the brink of something big, only to tiptoe quietly away from it.

Along those same lines, I’m wondering where this story is going with Gabe. Originally, it seemed as though there was going to be a real conversation about the sex-offender registry and the way that it ruins the lives of people who arguably don’t deserve to be on it. They’ve mostly danced around the topic so far, though. This week, we see just how much power was imbued to Ana’s family as far as Gabe’s placement on this list. Their ability to wield that power in light of blaming Gabe for Ana’s relapse is exceptionally unfair. Gabe may be a really bad guy, and he may be a terrible influence on Ana, but that doesn’t make him a sex offender. The fact that Ana’s parents can choose to have him labeled as one just because they don’t like him highlights a major flaw in the system—a flaw I’d like to see The Fosters tackle head-on.

One question remains: What happened after Mariana left Ana with Gabe? If things did devolve in the way we were led to believe—Gabe offered Ana a drink and then drugs—then he’s got some serious nerve showing up at the house to bring Mariana and Jesus presents. But if that isn’t how Ana’s relapse went down, then what happened?

Meanwhile, one of the strongest stories from the first half of this season is now unraveling, and it is absolutely heartbreaking to watch. Connor and Jude’s friendship evolved in a natural way when Jude needed it badly. Watching it develop into something more was beautiful and inspiring. The decision to move Connor away made their chances of success slim, and now that reality is unfolding. Connor sends Jude (what I presume was) a dick pic, unleashing a ton of fear and insecurity in Jude. Jesus’ suggestion to watch porn only heightens his discomfort, leading him to cancel his plans to go visit Connor. A video chat later between the two boys reveals that the whole incident has Jude wondering if maybe they aren’t that compatible after all. Maybe they only found each other because they were the only two gay kids at school. Connor asks Jude if he wants to break up, which Jude turns back on him. We don’t see the resolution, but it seems likely that they decided to end their relationship. Total bummer.

Fost and Found

  • The Callie and Brandon saga continues, and it’s officially giving me a headache. They try unsuccessfully to avoid being with their new significant others in front of the other, prompting Brandon to come clean with Cortney. She’s bizarrely understanding of the whole situation, and things seems to be moving forward with them. AJ is less understanding.
  • Stef didn’t seem happy to learn that Mariana was helping Gabe get off the list, and it was really nice to see her do something useful with that information. Stef has been dealing with a lot lately, which has led to some flying off the handle. Cool, calm, and collected Stef is a fantastic parent, and her conversation with Jesus was exactly what he needed.
  • How long will this Nick and Mariana thing be happening? #TeamMat
  • What was the deal with everyone completely ignoring Brandon when he was worried about them using the warehouse?
  • Lexi kissed Jesus. So I guess that’s a thing again?

The Fosters airs Mondays at 8/7C on Freeform.

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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