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'The Fosters' fan recap: Here comes the truth

Season 3 | Episode 20 | “Kingdom Come” | Aired Mar 28, 2016

And just like that, another season of The Fosters comes to a close. This show always leaves us with big question marks at the end of a season, but this year the cliffhangers feel more dire than most. Let’s take a look at “Kingdom Come.”

We’ve known since Justina arrived that she was bad news, but now we know exactly what her deal is. Justina works for a for-profit company, Arbiter, which basically buys and sells foster kids to make money. The welfare of the children they place is not a priority (the money is), and because they are not part of the government system, they are not subject to the same regulations. It’s bad news all around, and ultimately means that Justina is responsible for Jack’s death because Arbiter is the company that placed him with Pearson, an abusive man who never would have been given another foster child if he’d gone through the proper government-regulated channels.

Callie is so horrified by Justina that she takes to the microphone at her Fost and Found launch party and outs Justina for being a liar. She encourages everyone to vote against the bill that Justina has been championing. It’s a helluva scene and, not surprisingly, leads to follow-up questions from local reporters. Callie does her best to avoid the press, but when they corner her at school, they drop this whopper: Is it true you made up allegations against Ms. Marks because she learned you were sleeping with your foster brother, Brandon Foster? (Out of curiosity, how could Justina know about that?)

Stef and Lena lose their minds about their daughter being libeled in this way. Stef is ready to sue. Calle, however, has had enough. So many lies over so many years—she is incapable of telling any more. So she tells her moms that it’s true: She did sleep with Brandon. The fallout from this revelation is bound to affect much of the storytelling in season four. Most notably, “Brallie” fans are still alive and kicking. If only the Titanic had actually been as unsinkable as this ‘ship.

I’d had high hopes for Jude’s sexual exploration when the previews hinted at him being attracted to a girl. I thought it could mean looking at bisexuality through the eyes of a young person discovering that maybe he’s not exactly what he initially thought. It made sense to me that a boy would assume he was gay upon realizing he was attracted to other boys. We don’t talk about bisexuality enough for that identity to occur to a 13-year-old.

This never even came up as a possibility, though. Instead, the show seemed to suggest that Jude was either gay or he wasn’t. The possible attraction to his female friend wasn’t about being attracted to both sexes, it was about believing that God was sending him a message by taking away the two boys he’d ever kissed (Connor and Jack). Jude was trying to force himself to make a different choice, as if being gay was a choice in the first place.

Callie explains to Jude that she doesn’t believe that this is how God works, and also tells him about her conversation with Jack in which he confessed that he kissed Jude to make him feel better, not because he was gay. Jude doesn’t like this information and accuses Callie of lying, something she’s gotten pretty good at. This accusation is a large part of what makes Callie snap later and confess the truth about Brandon to her parents. Jude decides he needs to know what he feels and kisses his friend Taylor. His reaction wasn’t shown, so it’s still possible that he’ll discover he does, in fact, like both boys and girls … but more likely we’ll learn in season four that kissing Taylor convinced Jude that he is gay.

The other major cliffhanger is Nick. We got even more insight into his worthless father, who uses words to cut his son down into teeny tiny pieces until there’s basically nothing left. Nick finds the strength to stand up to his dad, and the confidence to ignore his hurtful words, in his relationship with Mariana. Mariana cares about him and thinks he’s something special, so it doesn’t matter what his father says. That pressure he puts on Mariana to provide all of his self-worth is why, when he arrives at the Adams Fosters house and sees Mariana kissing Mat, he completely breaks. He goes to the warehouse and burns it down.

The last shot we see of Nick is him sitting in his car with a gun in the glove compartment, contemplating ending his—or someone else’s—life. The Fosters tackled suicide with Romeo and Juliet and Rita’s daughter, so I’m not sure they’d go there again so soon … but it’s honestly preferable to the alternative. I sincerely hope something pulls Nick in from the brink, because watching the aftermath of what could possibly come next is too painful to contemplate.

Fost and Found

  • Mat and Mariana kissed! They’re in love. They’ve decided, however, not to go for it, because they both care too much about the people they’re seeing now to risk hurting them. This is a terrible plan all around (not to mention that it breaks my heart). First of all, you can’t force yourself to invest in a relationship you’re not invested in, no matter how badly you may want to. Second, it is already too late (see above). I’ll keep holding out hope that these two find their way back to each other.
  • Brandon challenged Mike to stand up to Stef by suggesting that he allows her to push him around. This prompted Mike to show up to Brandon’s birthday party with Ana and confirm to Stef that they are seeing each other. Stef predictably starts listing the reasons this was a bad idea, to which Mike replies that it’s none of her business.
  • Gabe is under investigation for the incident at the warehouse with Mariana. Jesus tries to help and messes things up like only Jesus can. Gabe wasn’t allowed to help build a high school set due to his place on the sex offender registry, so he hadn’t told his probation officer. Jesus let the cat out of the bag, and now Gabe is facing jail time. This reunion with his biological children is not working out great for Gabe.
  • The school board hears Sally’s case against Monte, in which Sally does take responsibility for the kiss, but says it’s because Monte suggested that she’d help her out in exchange for sexual favors. Monte denies this, though Lena points out to her that her behavior was shady (AGREE!). The board finds in Monte’s favor, but then raises another issue to Lena: Whose idea was it to have a registered sex offender helping with the school play?
  • I found Jack’s memorial to be oddly devoid of emotion. Anyone else?
  • Both of Brandon’s parents try warning him that maybe dating a woman with a kid isn’t a great idea. They don’t want him to feel the need to take care of Cortney and Mason. So naturally …
  • … when Cortney’s ex discovers her in bed with Brandon, he kicks her out of the house and takes all her money from their still-joint account. So Brandon takes the money his moms just gave him for Julliard and spends it on first and last months’ rent on an apartment for Cortney. That’ll go over well with the folks.
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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