Stef and Lena try to find time to work on their relationship.

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(creator), (creator) (as Bradley Bredeweg) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Mike Foster (credit only)
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Noah St. John ...
Garret Paul
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Jenna Paul
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Lexi Rivera (as Bianca Santos)
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Savannah George
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Teacher
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Storyline

Stef and Lena try to find time to work on their relationship.

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Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Release Date:

1 July 2013 (USA)  »

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(Dolby 5.1)

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16 : 9
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The monologue that Garret Paul (Noah St. John) performs is based on a real monologue, "The Last Mile," by St. John that he performed on the National Public Radio storytelling program "Snap Judgement" when he was fifteen years old. See more »

Connections

References The Lone Ranger (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Where You Belong
(uncredited)
Performed by Kari Kimmel
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User Reviews

 
The troubles of intimacy and some of the issues of gay culture are featured, but without the heart needed to hit it home.
3 July 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As The Fosters continues, I find myself analyzing Stef and Lena's relationship more and more. Be it my preconceived expectations of what a couple should be, or not understanding what type of couple Lena and Stef are, I find myself constantly feeling the need to address their lack of intimacy and question if the actors are really into their roles, or are just trying to get by?

Continually, and maybe this is just me, but it looks like before Lena or Stef kiss one another, we can see receiver mentally prepare for a woman kissing her knowing this is what the character must do, but never really being comfortable with the act. Strangely, almost as if they are addressing people like me who are skeptical of Lena and Stef's relationship, there is an admittance in the episode that Stef and Lena haven't really been intimate in quite some time. They can't even guess when they last had sex, and as for when they last went on a date? Such information isn't available in either of their memories. And this whole questioning of their relationship comes from their friends, Kelly and Jenna, who have been together 20 years and have been in a 2 year rough patch.

So, being that show is as much trying to show a lesbian couple raising kids, as well as how just because they are lesbian doesn't mean they don't have general couple issues, we watch as not only Stef and Lena address their intimacy issues by trying to rekindle their romance, but we hear from Lena, albeit briefly, some of the issues they face by being a lesbian couple like not being able to hold hands on the street or kiss as freely as heterosexual couples. And in many ways it helps you understand why they aren't that intimate, but at the same time, if you watch Modern Family you'll notice Cam and Mitchell aren't that intimate as well. But, the difference is, you can at least see without them kissing, some sort of intimacy or chemistry just by the way they interact with Cam and Mitchell. Personally, which I have said since maybe the beginning, it really does feel like two friends raising children together, and not so much a couple raising kids. For me, and I know it is a bit rude to really want this, I sort feel like they need to breakdown why Stef went from a heterosexual marriage to now being partners with Lena, and I just really want them to explore how they came to terms with their sexual preference. I can't say this will help me from critiquing them, but at the very least I think this increased understanding would help me in terms of seeing them as a couple. Their journey, like most parents on shows like this, are rarely explored and I don't think The Fosters should really follow that route since it is one of the few shows I know about, outside maybe The L Word which is no longer on air, that not only has a lesbian couple, but one raising a family.

Lena and Stef aside, I feel that Jude is, in a way, is representing what I sort of want to see when it comes to Lena and Stef's back story. Currently, the character is feeling out what he is comfortable with and I'm not sure if he maybe just a boy who may like dresses and nail polish, or maybe a boy who likes other boys? This little bit to me is sort of what I hoped for with this show, since this show has the potential to socialize and inform people about gay culture like Switched at Birth does with deaf culture. But, outside of Jude, I feel like Lena and Stef being lesbians is more used to draw in viewers than to help define the characters, or be something they identify with.

As for everyone else, I must admit only really a character named Garrett I found interesting, if only because his involvement in the show could mean character development for Mariana. Garrett is Jenna and Kelly's son and he is into spoken word, and because Mariana has a crush on him and is inspired by what he does, I do hope that this leads to her expressing herself and what she has gone through. And again, this is because I would like to learn more and though TV may not be the best teacher, it is the easiest way to get acclimated and learn about a culture. Hence why cultural groups get up in arms when a show with their people are on the airwaves and a stereotyped is portrayed. For, as much as a show can help a population like The Cosby Show did for African-Americans, it can just as easily reinforce preconceived ideas.

Overall, I am beginning to see the cracks in the show and I have to say Stef and Lena are the leading causes. While decent actors, I feel that they aren't fully committing to the characters and may just not have chemistry with one another. Add on Lena often bringing up really interesting topics like talking about the issues of: being bi-racial; a lesbian, if not just queer; different parenting styles; and the conflicting opinion of using the morning after pill, which is an issue Lexi and Jesus are having after having sex, but they never do more than just touch on it. And again, this deals with me wanting more than just the characters, but trying to get to know their opinion and how they feel about certain issues. Like with the morning after pill situation, I would have liked a real dialog which would have had Stef, Lena and Lexi's mom having competing cultures and beliefs. Rather than it being mentioned, talked about without even speaking on what the pill is, and then it being over within an episode.


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