The Fosters Season 5 Episode 16 Review: Giving Up the Ghost

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Some members of the Fosters clan and those close to them had to face a few hard truths. 

Callie and Mariana had to face their post-graduate prospects, but on The Fosters Season 5 Episode 16, Logan, Tess, and Stef had to face demons that were a bit more life-altering.

It's time to break down "Giving Up the Ghost."

Introductions to the new Family - The Fosters Season 5 Episode 16

Jude was back to being featured prominently when he and Callie took Donald and Natalie up on their offer for a nice home-cooked meal. Neither of them anticipated that it would be so awkward, or prove to be difficult and have such an impact on Jude.

Donald was the character who sort of faded off into oblivion for a while, so it was bittersweet having him back on the periphery of Jude's life. As expected, it brought up some uncomfortable and mixed feelings, but for the most part, Jude and Callie handled everything maturely.

Jude was excited about spending time with his father and his father's new girlfriend. They had fallen out of touch because Donald was off somewhere licking his wounds. It turned out though, that while Jude could forgive his lack of communication when chalked up to having a difficult time.

Jude: So where's your dad?
Natalie: Um, Caleb's father and I divorced when he was very little.
Caleb: He's not really into being a dad.
Jude: Yeah, yeah, it sucks when that happens.

It was harder to swallow when he learned that in the year or so since Donald stopped reaching out, he had formed his own family. Natalie has a son Caleb, and snippets of their daily lives include Donald showing up at all of Caleb's many sports games, driving him around, and going on a family trip to Hawaii.

There are two things happening there. One of them being the fact that, for Jude, Caleb is the replacement son. Donald failed at being a father for Jude, but he could somehow muster up the strength to be the father to Caleb that he wasn't to Jude.

Related: The Fosters Season 5 Episode 15 Review: Mother's Day

That's a bitter pill to swallow. In essence, Jude had to be Donald's mistake so that he could learn his lesson and improve for someone else (Caleb). The question of "Why couldn't you be that person for me?" had to have crossed Jude's mind often during that dinner table scene.

Dinner Conversation - The Fosters Season 5 Episode 16

The other issue is Donald did not tell Caleb or Natalie that Jude is gay. Add to the mix Caleb, the all-American athletic type, and it understandably rankled Jude, who likely grappled with the masculine stereotype aspect of it all.

Then, the icing on the cake was that he had to overhear via Callie's conversation with Donald that she could be going away to college and it all came crashing down.

Jude and Callie's dynamic is one of the best on the show and has been since the very beginning. They have been through so much together. It's sweet and endearing that a normal milestone, such as Callie going away and leaving her little brother, affects them so much.

Their conversation on the front porch was one of their best to date. It was like Jude finally realized that Callie would be moving on very soon and a chapter of their life would close.

JUDE: I guess I just thought you'd go to college nearby and live at home. Portland is really far away, and we just got here. Home.
CALLIE: That's why I can leave. It's not just you and me anymore, you've got these people to look out for you, who love you as much as I do. Almost as much as I do.
JUDE: But you're going off to college and this is it. This is the last time we're going to live together.
CALLIE: Jude, you're my brother. This is my home. I will always come back. It's not like we're going to be any less close. What was it mom used to say? That we were two sides of the same coin?
JUDE: I'm sweet and you're spicy.
CALLIE: Exactly. I can't be without my sweet side for too long.

In this day and age, Callie going to college doesn't immediately equate to her no longer being around or them no longer living together. Campus housing expenses are insanely expensive.

It was also nice because it felt like a nod at the spinoff.

Callie didn't get into the USDC art program. The conversation Callie and Donald had was a great one. Callie admitted that she doesn't allow herself to hope or expect good things.

Friendly Advice - The Fosters Season 5 Episode 16

As a result, she concluded that the school was dubious about her passion for the program. While her self-analysis was on point, her assumption about the school was off.

Related: The Fosters Season 5 Episode 14 Review: Scars

I loved that Helen told her she showed more fire and passion for social justice. It's confounding that Callie could never mesh the two. She's great at both.

Callie puts forth more of an effort when she's fighting for a cause. Callie has a calling, and she's fortunate enough to know it at such a young age. She should pursue it.

Supportive Siblings from the Beginning - The Fosters Season 5 Episode 16

Emma is all for pursuing her own goals, too. Emma is a great character for young girls in the sense that she is focused and goal-oriented. She has her mind set on what she wants to do in the future and she won't let anything or anyone (especially boys) get in the way of that.

Emma doesn't compromise herself, her integrity, her anything. The confidence she exudes is so refreshing and necessary.

It wasn't the least bit surprising that she was going for one of the most competitive STEAM programs for young adults in the country. That is so quintessentially Emma.

Meanwhile, Mariana's floundering and spontaneity are so very her. She took in all that the guidance counselor said, and she immediately attempted to remedy the situation.

LENA: Why are you so obsessed with the Bayfield's personal business?
STEF: I am not obsessed. I have tried very hard to stay out of this, but Tess keeps dragging this whole family into it, and...
LENA: You are letting yourself be dragged.
STEF: No, I am not!
LENA: Why does it bother you so much that Tess might be a lesbian?

Mariana should have spent time doing her own research instead of hopping on Emma's bandwagon. Emma was right to be upset, especially when Mariana told her to back down during Derby for Poppy's sake.

It's fitting that both girls are in derby now because their friendship gives me whiplash. They push each other, and it brings the best out of them, but it brings out the worse as well.

Related: Enjoy UNLIMITED access to thousands of Movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video. WATCH ANYWHERE. CANCEL ANYTIME!

Mariana is wrong in what she did, but Emma has a way of gunning so hard for Mariana when she feels wronged, that she'll take down anyone else in her path and they become collateral damage.

Emma hails herself as a proud feminist, but she has no grasp on the concept of sisterhood. She never did.

Emma Stands By her Choice - The Fosters  Season 5 Episode 4

She often leans so far into this idea that her being a young feminist means shirking anything stereotypically feminine, earning the respect of men by not being "like other girls" and being unnecessarily competitive, jealous, and catty with other girls, that she risks being a bit misogynistic and sexist herself.

She steamrolled all over Poppy just to get back at Mariana without a second thought. An unsuspecting Poppy doesn't even know that Emma is jealous of her innocent friendship with Jesus.

Emma and Jesus are overdue for a breakup.

Always Thinking About Jesus - The Fosters Season 5 Episode 8

And Lena and Stef are due for this retreat so that they can reconnect. Although, it will take more than a retreat to help Stef.

She finally came out with what has been troubling her so much, and it was gutwrenching. Stef is unhappy with herself.

I'm glad moms had this talk. Lena has been patient throughout all of this, but Tess' reappearance and the effect it has had on Stef was bound to make Lena feel insecure or insignificant at some point.

LENA: You have feelings for her?
STEF: No. I don't know. I have... I have feelings about her. About me.
LENA: What about? What about?
STEF: About everything. About my life.
LENA: Are you not happy with our life?
STEF: That's not it. I'm...I'm unhappy with me.

It sounds like Stef isn't just battling severe anxiety. She's dealing with depression too. Again, my heart aches for her and Lena both.

Mama's hair was extra wild and fiery today, so I had a feeling she was about to unleash the dragon at some point. It's like her hair holds all of her pent-up rage, frustration, and ferocity.

Related: The Fosters: Ending After Five Seasons!! What's Next?!

Lena ripping into Tess was long overdue. I kid you not, I clapped. Thank God!

Tess has my sympathy and Stef and Lena's empathy, but she's so messy. It's not fair to anyone that her problems keep spilling over into the Foster home.

TESS: Is Stef here?
LENA: Why?
TESS: Because my son is very upset, and I need to speak with her.
TESS: Excuse me?
LENA: You're not talking to my wife. You're not talking to my daughter, or anyone else you're trying to drag into your mess. You need to keep your business on your side of the fence, and if you want to come out, you need to do that by yourself. We have got enough of our own problems to deal with in this house, so please, leave us alone.
TESS: Yeah, OK. Sorry.

They don't deserve it, and neither does her own family.

Brandon deserves happiness, and Grace deserves good health. The ghost storyline was not interesting, but it does feel ominous.

Brandon put aside his beliefs about apparitions, and he psycho-analyzed and helped Grace through what it may have represented to her.

Grace is afraid that she's sick again and that the gene therapy isn't working. Brandon has faith that it is. I'm inclined to agree with Grace. It's a sucky situation all around.

What do you guys think? Will Grace get better or is she dying? How mature was Jude while speaking with his father? What field should Callie pursue? Sound off below!

Don't forget, you can watch The Fosters online here at TV Fanatic!

Giving Up the Ghost Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (2 Votes)

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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The Fosters Season 5 Episode 16 Quotes

Jude: So where's your dad?
Natalie: Um, Caleb's father and I divorced when he was very little.
Caleb: He's not really into being a dad.
Jude: Yeah, yeah, it sucks when that happens.

Lena: What are your reading?
Stef: The news. Everything is so bleak. It's like the world is ending.