Let's just call it now. Elliot Fletcher was the MVP of the hour.
It's a tough task, drawing attention away from all the family shenanigans that go on in The Foster home. There were plenty of them to go around throughout the hour.
Some of the very best moments of The Fosters Season 4 Episode 18, were when we were at the Baker home, dealing with Aaron and his parents who were still trying to accept that they have a son, not a daughter.
Of course, The Fosters did it again, taking on another social justice issue, with heart and aplomb. The show quietly solidifies itself as one of the most groundbreaking shows presently on air, especially as far as family shows go, each and every week.
This installment was no exception.
Aaron has been one of those characters who can either bug you or endear you. If you're like me, then he does both.
I wasn't fond of how he pursued Callie knowing that she was involved with AJ. That and the fact that he didn't always respect boundaries bugged me constantly.
That being said, I love Aaron and Callie as friends, and I love the fact that he, ironically, much like AJ actually calls Callie out. She needs that in her life. He's good that way.
One of my favorite Aaron moments was when he checked Callie for outing his being transgender to AJ. He took her on yet again when she overstepped her boundaries a bit when confronting his parents.
It isn't often that you see a transgender narrative on television, and when you do, it can be a bit polarizing or stereotypical.
Even though they were working within an hour and not even a full one, the show tackled transphobia and acceptance without vilifying any of the characters (for the most part).
Callie is self-righteous, and that can be both good and bad. The moment Aaron invited her to his parents' house, you knew it would be an interesting experience for everyone involved.
So are you a lesbian? His last girlfriend was a lesbian.Evan
The problem is Callie, in her effort to protect the people she cares about, can be a bit quick to judge, outspoken, and she can overstep. I completely understood her impulse to defend Aaron when his father was being such an asshole.
In fact, I can't say that I wouldn't have reacted similarly. Jim was rude, snippy, and cold. When he tossed the limited edition book aside without a second glance after Aaron gave it to him, my heart hurt for Aaron.
But I also understood where Aaron was coming from when he discussed Callie's outburst with her later on that evening. No matter what, they're still his family. There is still some adjustment and certain allowances that have to be made.
It reminded me of Grey's Anatomy Season 6 Episode 5 when Arizona had to remind her newly out bisexual girlfriend, Callie, that she was the one who changed (not her father), and that she can't write her father off just yet because he hadn't adjusted to the news.
It's an interesting way of covering the issue without immediately vilifying the parents who maybe need time to accept change, as was the case with Aaron and his parents. Specifically, his mother.
The scene between Aaron's mother and Callie was really deep. Mrs. Baker wasn't a monster who just couldn't accept Aaron for who he really is. She was just a mom who needed time to mourn the loss of her daughter.
I imagine it can feel like losing a kid. She felt guilty too, for every time she made "Alison" do something "girly" that she didn't want to do. She may have gained a son, but she still lost something in the process.
Is there a way that she can mourn without coming across insensitive? She seemed to be a genuine person who loved her son. We saw as much by the end.
Callie is the girl who always means well, and despite recent developments, her giving Mrs. Baker that great photo of Aaron was one of those moments where her intentions and the results aligned. All for the better.
Jim still needs work. He clearly came across transphobic and a bit of a jackass, but underneath it all, by the end of the hour, you got the sense that he's just hurt and confused.
If you want to get out of here, I'm totally down.Callie
I hope that he gets there in time. If time doesn't help him overcome his issues and accept Aaron for who he is, then so be it and good riddance, I say.
I enjoyed the entire storyline, and I could have watched an entire episode dedicated to just that, to be perfectly honest.
The only thing I was not a fan of was how things took a romantic turn, yet again. I genuinely like Callie and Aaron as friends, for the most part. I just don't want to see Callie with anyone romantically for a bit.
It was pretty obvious things would go there with Aaron, and they would be a great couple down the road, but it has been all of 36 hours since she broke up with AJ and now she's with the very guy that had him questioning their relationship.
That's going to suck for AJ. It validates many of his concerns about their relationship, that's for sure. Callie needs to focus on Callie. She has too much going on right now.
It does appear like there may be a break in the case for her with the whole revelation about Troy's girlfriend. She and Aaron have found a legal way to cast doubt on Troy and potentially help her out, too. Thank God.
Their amateur sleuthing has led to something productive and legal for a change. Awesome.
So you were right, Vanessa was having an affair with Troy.Aaron
Speaking of productive, poor Lena had her hands full with everything.
While she's right, that she was the one pushing Stef to get this new job causing her to be away from home more, it does suck that Stef isn't helping out as much as she probably should.
Stef's point about the kids, however, was the strongest. They're all damn near grown. They can handle chores and cleaning up after themselves.
Stef: You wanted me to take this job
Lena: I know...I just didn't think I was going to end up feeling like a single parent.
In fact, Brandon failing so hard at grocery shopping had him flat out looking incompetent. He's not that incompetent. Why aren't they doing their own laundry or picking up groceries?
Shouldn't they be doing some of that stuff anyway? Lena has been running herself ragged with Jesus, so at what point do the others take initiative and help out more anyway?
There was a lot going on in that household that had me cringing, because no way in hell would any of it had happened when I was growing up. I love Lena to pieces, but she took this whole open, liberal, non-traditional parenting thing to a whole new level.
My siblings and I have had our fair share of conversations with our mom that would make stricter parents blush, but oh my God, everything pertaining to Jesus' sex life had my jaw on the ground.
Who gives their teens the "OK" for having sex in the house? What?! Lena, my love, I am side-eying you so hard right now.
Men and their egos. Jesus went through all that awkwardness to make sure he could have sex with Emma only to discover that his meds make him impotent.
It's amazing how his brain could be tricked into reading again when his sex life was at stake!
It's so great that he can read now. It's not, however, that he's pretty much the only person in the house who hasn't read Emma's letter yet.
Why was that thing still around? Shouldn't it have been burned or something? It was inevitable that one of the moms would find it at some point. Unfortunately for everyone involved, it was Stef.
Everyone knows Stef is the "heavy." They spent the entire hour implying that. All hell is about to break loose with Stef knowing the truth and Jesus eventually finding out.
To think he was just thanking Brandon for being such an amazing brother.
Mariana, on the other hand, pulled a "Mariana" and promised Gabe he could move into the garage apartment before talking to her mothers. Deep down I'm annoyed because she always does stuff like this.
The thing is, I have a love fest for how this family keeps expanding, because they take in extended "family" like strays. It also means hot Gabe would be living right next to them.
I love Gabe. I squealed when I saw him. In fact, I'll be squealing again, because I get not one, but two doses of Brandon Quinn on my television screen tonight. If you're a fan, check him out on Rebel on BET at 10/9c.
I was wondering when they'd touch on Gabe struggling with depression. It turns out he got evicted and hasn't been finding work. He was planning on moving away for a job.
Fortunately, he's not planning on doing that now. It was interesting watching him and Ana, both birth parents to the twins, discussing how they are (or are trying to) get their lives together.
The Foster clan has had a positive impact on them. As I said, it's amazing seeing this blended and extended family. Family comes in all shapes and forms.
We even got some Joah action on this installment.
I loved the fact that Noah reminded Jude of who he is. Jude and Noah have been having fun and getting into mischief, and that's been fine, but it was great to see Noah the preacher's kid, resurface in time to remind Jude that becoming a bully to defeat a bully isn't him.
I get that you're pissed off and everything but bullying a bully kinda makes you no better than him.Noah
Noah can be the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other, depending on the situation. I like it.
Of course, it's also great that Jude came to his senses and went to the school to take down all those flyers because they found out that Drew is plotting again.
Two things we found out about Drew: he's the guy who likes the title but none of the work and also wants to convert the school from a charter to a private one. Oh, that's quite a development!
Ugh this show knows how to squeeze every last emotion out of you, doesn't it? All the feels.
So what did you think of the episode? Do you think The Fosters handled their transgender storyline well? Are you happy that Callie and Aaron are finally together? What do you think will happen now that Stef knows about the letter?
Hit the comments below and let us know what you think. You can watch The Fosters online here at TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.