They finally broke Stef Foster.
The lightheartedness of that statement aside, I can't put into words how important this revelation was, however subtle. After five seasons of everything imaginable thrown their way, on The Fosters Season 5 Episode 11 we saw a crack in the steady rock of the family's exterior.
Stef's anxiety attack was such a small fraction of the hour, something barely noticeable if you weren't paying attention, yet it was the best part, especially in the final scene that she shared with Lena and Jesus. But more on that later.
It was a very balanced hour of The Fosters, and if you're a long time fan of the show, you know that it occasionally struggles with giving each of its characters adequate screen time. That wasn't the case here at all. Everyone had something going on, and all of their screentime went somewhere.
There were hints to potential conflicts down the road, all of which look promising. For example, is anyone else proud of Callie for focusing on her schoolwork and herself? Callie is committed to all this self-improvement, and it's something of which she should be proud. It was a long time coming
She has her hands full working on her portfolio and trying to be a great friend to Ximena, but she's balancing both quite well, and she's not doing anything stupid or reckless. I'm so very proud of her right now!
Callie: I think we might have to talk about what friends do.
Aaron: What, friends don't hold hands?
Callie: No, and they don't surprise their friends with picnics on the beach either.
Aaron: C'mon. I do this for the guys in my study group all of the time.
Callie's relationship with Aaron has also improved tenfold now that they're trying to be friends first. Does every romantic relationship need to start from a base of friendship?
There's no definitive answer for that, but more often than not, it doesn't hurt. In Callie's case, she needed to get to know Aaron on a platonic level, and it's working.
Think about it, Callie's relationship with Brandon was healthy because it was rooted in a stable friendship/sibling bond. We've long since moved on from that, but that special bond, that friendship that they have, it's still there. It's what makes their scenes exceptional, even now, because they truly understand one another.
Callie's relationship with Wyatt started off as an easy, breezy friendship as well, and it worked. Callie and AJ also had a sweet bond, so despite them no longer being together, there's still a connection rooted in a mutual understanding and genuine care for one another.
Callie and Aaron didn't have that because Aaron was pursuing her from the second he met her, and she was trying to pretend like she wasn't into it the entire time.
Callie and Aaron are developing a fine friendship that can potentially lead to a very mature, solid romantic relationship should they pursue that again. But will they? As enjoyable as their scenes were, it does not feel like they'll find their way back to one another romantically.
Thank God we went back to focusing on Callie's studies. College is right around the corner, and she had so much other stuff going that it detracted away from the typical teenage anxiety that comes with graduation.
She wavered back and forth on whether or not she should try to transfer into the Art program later or buckle down and complete her portfolio so that she could apply for it now.
I like that she could to talk things out with Brandon who, regardless of how you feel about him or their relationship, has always been a great sounding board for Callie because he understands her so much.
The majority of the time, he gives her pretty sound advice when she approaches him about those types of matters. She also took into consideration the perspective of Aaron who is currently in college.
She then made the best possible choice for herself. I was right there with Aaron when he told her that he was proud of her. Art is what she's passionate about right now, and she should pursue her passion. One has to wonder though, based on the little we know of the spinoff, if she eventually shifts over to Social Work later on.
Callie kept her helping Ximena to things within her means, and she didn't allow Ximena's situation in the present to determine how she would make choices for her future. That was progress for Callie.
Ximena is having a rough go of it. She's stuck in that Church 24/7 and addition to all of her worry and concern for her parents and her sister; she has cabin fever.
Leave it to The Fosters not to wrap things up prettily. Ximena's DACA status has not been renewed which means she's still trapped in that church until she has a trial. If she steps foot out of it and ICE is there, she could be deported. Ximena has a long road ahead of her, and it won't be an easy one.
What a truly devastating situation all around!
At least Jesus can be there to comfort Poppy. The two had a nice rapport during the prom, but that was nothing compared to how they bonded that moment in the hallway. It even resulted in a comforting hug.
I know it was a solemn moment, but I may have giggled at how adorable their hug was. As someone who is vertically-challenged myself, seeing a tiny Poppy being engulfed in Jesus' arms was the cutest.
Noah Centineo looks like he gives really good hugs.
Emma didn't give away very much when she caught them, but after everything they have been through, and how vastly different they are, I don't know. Poppy could be more Jesus' speed, and they would be a precious couple.
I like Emma and Jesus, but I do think their romantic relationship has run its course. Their friendship, on the other hand, is something that can and should last a lifetime because Emma is typically a great friend.
I loved how attentive she was when it came to helping Jesus on his first day back to school, but his frustration was palpable and understandable. In Jesus' defense, his aide was grating.
There were some things the aid did that were irksome. They didn't gel well, and Jesus probably needs one, but he needs someone who can mesh better with him, because of David, or whatever his name was, wasn't it.
The goal is not to make Jesus feel like he was stupid, or embarrass him, or set him back, and David did a poor job at all of those above.
The absolute best scene of the night was when Jesus finally told his mothers how he felt. Initially, the support group felt a bit too pushy, but when the one woman started speaking about her experience with her family, it resonated with Jesus so much that it reduced him to tears.
Again, Noah Centineo knows how to pull at every single heartstring the viewer has when it relates to this ongoing storyline of Jesus' struggles with the TBI.
Jesus finally was honest with his moms about how they made him feel, and he covered all the bases. Lena always has the right words to say, but little does she know, the words touched Stef too.
Lena: We've been doing this wrong, and I'm so sorry. We really thought that we were helping you.
Jesus: Every time you guys were trying to help me, you made me feel like I can't do it, or I'm bad, or I'm broken.
Lena: Honey, you're not broken. You're not, and I promise you, we're going to stop making you feel that way.
It was only a matter of time before all of the stress got to Stef. The tell-tale signs of her anxiety were there instantly, an I found myself holding my breath. Lena noticed she was a bit off when they were talking in the kitchen, but she has no idea that Stef had to literally leave her job because it was too much.
Any time the moms have focus, it's the show at it's absolute best. Stef in particular always has to deal with everyone else's issues.
She's the one the no one ever worries about because, with five kids with various issues, there's always something more to worry about. That's why Stef being a victim of crippling anxiety is the most realistic, best choice.
Life has a funny way of catching up to you sooner rather than later, and it's a miracle Stef has endured as much as she has without issue for this long. This potential storyline touches my soul, and it only makes me love Stef even more, though it hardly seemed possible.
Someone, please look after mom! At least look after her the way that she looks after everyone else. It's funny how she got in Brandon's case about self-care. She has to remember to take her own advice.
Stef and B moments are among my favorite of the series. I'm so glad she asked him about his plans for the future because Brandon does need to set a goal, go to school, or do something. He has a lot to offer, and he needs to focus on himself too.
Brandon has every reason to be concerned about having sex with Grace while she's in treatment. He doesn't want to jeopardize her health in any way.
I understand why Grace would feel insecure about him not wanting her after finding out that she's sick, but she didn't handle it the best. It's easy to remember how inexperienced Grace is because she occasionally comes off childish.
Brandon and Grace may have been annoyed that her mother moved in with her, but what did they expect? What mother wouldn't move in to take care of her daughter when she's going through treatment and battling Leukemia? It was childish of Brandon and Grace both to be pissy about that.
Then there's Mariana. She went from having zero guys chasing after her to four. How does that happen? Mat feels like the obvious choice, although he's going away to college. Logan and even Nick made some sense, but Wyatt is a surprise. It just never felt like Wyatt and Mariana were interested in each other like that, and he dated her sister!
At least old Wyatt was sort of back. He came bearing pretty fruit too, so that was nice.
Mariana made some headway saving Anchor Beach, but that darn board lady had to go and screw it up with threats and nepotism. I can't stand that woman! Monte made the best choice for herself. She needs a job and couldn't have that woman jeopardizing it, but the situation still sucked.
I understand you have some information that can save Anchor Beach.Lena [to Nick]
That mean Mariana reached out to Nick in hopes of following up on his text. At first, when he asked to meet her in person, I was afraid Mariana was going to do something reckless, but Lena showed up instead! Nick's face was priceless, and Lena's hair was bigger than usual-- the big hair is for when she means business.
Jude being a normal teenager doing normal teenage things is my favorite. I'm happy things worked out for him and Taylor in the end, but Declan seems interested in Jude, right? What about Noah?
Are you happy with Callie's progress? What will Nick have to say? Will Ximena be detained? Hit the comments with your thoughts!
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Jasmine Blu is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.