The Fosters: Padre
Not going to lie. I'm dreading this episode. I know we're going to be dealing with the death of Stef's father and I'm a bit of a walking exposed nerve right now (for reasons utterly unrelated to prime time soap operas), so I am predisposed to an inevitable cryfest. Good chance I'll miss some major moments in the midst of it. Just in the interest of full disclosure. I'm nothing if not honest. I'm fragile, people! This is gonna hurt!
Of course it opens with her dad very much alive, but this has got to be a fantasy sequence. (Incidentally, I know Sam McMurray has had an extensive career, but I'll always remember him most as Neil Schweiber's dad on Freaks and Geeks.) They are happy and laughing and reminiscing. They're talking about baseball, because San Diego Padres. Father. Title. Then it basically starts snowing inside. She wakes up in bed next to her wife. It was just a dream. He's really gone.
Mariana is sad and afraid. It's her first funeral.
Jude gives her advice because poor sweet Jude is unfairly wise in this arena at his young age. Cripes, y'all, my heart is just aching already. I'm sure to anyone ducking in for their first episode it's all far too schmaltzy and heavy-handed but boy is it hitting me right where it's meant to.
Lena and Stef are getting ready for the funeral and discussing the details of the reception -- refreshments, basically. The minutiae kind of stuff that keeps your brain intact in moments like these. They're also thinking Brandon was on the level about not dating Callie anymore, and somehow seem foolishly gullible about the rule that Callie's not allowed to date anyone while she's living at Girls United anyway.
Callie and Jude walk into the funeral holding hands. After one of the social workers tells Callie she's a "good sister." Well, I guess in some circles her version of sister would be "good." The kind that makes my tummy hurt and rhymes with shmincest. There's a quick flashback of young Callie and Jude going to their mother's funeral.
After the funeral, Jude calls Lena "Mom" and she gets all weepy because of course she does and also I do, okay? OKAY?
Then Brandon comes and ruins everything when Callie is looking at a photo of Stef and Lena's wedding by reminding her that the reason that day was just great wasn't because his mothers got married but because he first made out with his foster sister at that wedding.
Everyone is wearing Padres gear in tribute to Frank. Did they have to up the emotional ante for me by bringing baseball into this?
Yes. Yes, they did. Now of course my preferred baseball team is basically the most loathed team in all of professional sports, so I doubt too many people are going to be wearing gear on my behalf after my funeral. Is this getting dark?
Callie and Mariana bond, and Callie's worried about Jude since he took their mother's death so hard. Then Brandon, who continues to be the absolute worst, suggests to Callie that this would be a great time to announce to the family that they're together. Callie shows a bit of wisdom and suggests that it's in fact a RIDICULOUS time to do that. Callie, who thought moments after their wedding was a good time to run away from her foster parents, thinks the timing is inappropriate, Brandon. If she thinks it's tasteless, it's tasteless. Trust me.
Callie has a flashback to the last time she saw her mother. I hope she's realizing what a useless boyfriend Brandon would be considering he literally does not give half a crap that his grandfather just died, nor has it occurred to him that she might be having some traumatic memories nice-n-fresh right now. Lord I hate Brandon. (Wait, wait, we want more readers here, right? OH EM GEE HE'S SO DREAMY.) (Nah, my heart's not in it.)
Stef is serving black licorice because it was Frank's favorite. She claims to like it now and Mariana tries it and says it's not bad. Thankfully moments later we learn that she was just being nice. Because GROSS. She really nails it, too.
Mariana: Oh my god, it's like evil in my mouth.
Mariana, queen of my heart. She continues thus when she looks annoyed at Emma showing up to be supportive for Jesus and also too cool to hang out with girls or whatever her deal is. She insists that her showing up with this dish is because she's Jewish, because I guess the writers were looking at their diversity checklist and were worried? I THINK YOU'RE ALL RIGHT, YOU GUYS.
Oh, there's some drama with the investigation of the shooting and Mike's suspension is going to hold. Oh and Stef comes across some of Lena's... fertility meds? Something pregnancy-related, I don't have the brain for it right now but I get the picture. Lena tells her mother about her baby rabies. Her mother has the weirdest response. Instead of pointing out the obvious: "YOU ALREADY HAVE ONE THOUSAND CHILDREN," she just makes a dismissive comment that Lena's only freaking out because her biological clock is running out and that if she wanted a baby she'd have one by now. THAT'S NOT THE POINT THE POINT IS THAT SHE HAS THOUSANDS OF CHILDREN. Oof.
The kids are up in one of the bedrooms playing with a ouija board. I'm glad I'm a grownup. The board tells Mariana that her first boyfriend's name will start with a "Z" for Zach. Who is Zach? Do we know this character? My head hurts.
Lena's mother has a heart-to-heart with Callie about the adoption issue and points out that family isn't just about what happens before you turn 18. Callie throws attitude and walks out haughtily and Lena dresses down her mother for always being opinionated and judgmental. Her mother apologizes. I almost cried again. Variations on a theme.
Lexi skypes in to Jesus and is all jealous when she sees Emma, who she assumed was a big hulky manly wrestler chick, but it turns out she's cute. And is too good for female friends. Oh wait, Lexi doesn't know about that part but I'm still bitter.
Y'ALL THIS EPISODE. Connor and Jude are back on the ouija board and Jude is trying to contact his mother. He asks her if it's okay if Stef and Lena adopt him. Via a push from sweet Connor, the ouija board answers "yes." I'm fine, you guys, I got this. Made of steel.
AS IF I WEREN'T EMOTIONAL ENOUGH, there's this ambiguously lesbian ClearBlue Easy ad. I mean it could be argued it's just a woman telling her over-invested female friend the good news that she's preggers, but it reads an awful lot like they're a couple and that is really a new one on me for a major commercial and I have the warm fuzzies now.
The Padres cupcakes they ordered came and they are Dodgers cupcakes. Uh oh!!
Callie realizes she lost her necklace (that was her mom's) and flips out. Jude reminds her that she was the one who really lost it when their mother died. Somehow she'd honestly blocked that out, and now she remembers. Stef comes out to talk to Callie and assure her that if she's lost the necklace, it doesn't mean she's lost her mother. Callie breaks down in Stef's arms because she didn't kiss her mother goodbye the last time she saw her. Stef fills Callie in on her last words with her dad, which were hardly friendly. Stef encourages Callie not to shut down her heart. Brandon watches them hugging from the kitchen window and looks annoyed because he is the WORST LIVING HUMAN UGH.
Emma heads out, but not before crossing some boundaries and giving Jesus some bedroom eyes. He's into it but he behaves for now, because FUNERAL.
Frank's pastor (?) tells Stef that Frank really had been searching and trying to reconcile his fundamental religious beliefs with her lifestyle. She's defensive about this at first but then softens a good bit.
The police captain shows up and tells Mike that the D.A. has decided to try to press charges against Mike for the shooting. Oops!
Brandon found Callie's necklace and puts it back on her. Is he the one who took it in the first place? Because seriously. He's so creepy. Anyway she tells him she loves him but that she needs a family more, and he's finally decent enough to acknowledge that it's not fair of him to ask her to give up so much just to date her. Stef's mom comes out in a jacket of Frank's and says it's what he was wearing the last time he told her he loved her. I want to call everyone I have ever loved right this minute and tell them how much I love them. Just me? It can't just be me. And then Callie tells Jude she's going to stick around. There's another flashback to them younger and deciding they refuse to be split up.
Brandon plays the piano for the guests. It's just family left at this point. (Mike is sort of hilariously in the background sulking about maybe going to jail. I guess that's not funny? But something about the mise-en-scène cracks me right up.) Everyone's there but Stef, who's sitting out in the car that her father gave them. She talks to her father.
Stef: I can't believe I'm saying this but I'm going to miss the hell out of you. I know you did the best that you could, the best way you knew how. And uh, I want you to know that I forgive you. And I love you, Daddy. Go Padres.
And then it snows. Just a bit. In San Diego.
I can't handle grieving Stef. I love her.
Lena comes outside to check on her wife.
Stef: So. You want to have a baby?
I'm going to go eat my feelings in chocolate and then maybe watch someone tell some fart jokes, because that is about all I can handle right now.