Callie sees Robert in a new light after she visits with his father; Mariana prepares for a critical dance team showdown; Jude stands up for a friend.Callie sees Robert in a new light after she visits with his father; Mariana prepares for a critical dance team showdown; Jude stands up for a friend.Callie sees Robert in a new light after she visits with his father; Mariana prepares for a critical dance team showdown; Jude stands up for a friend.
In the season finale the major stories of the season come together. We have the issue of Callie's adoption go into its climax. Jude and Connor (or as the fandom refers to them, Jonnor) have this part of their arc come to a close. Lena and Stef face hard times ahead. Brandon makes his definitive choice between the band or classical music. And Jesus, Mariana, and Ana find themselves at a critical point for there characters. Basically, this season finale was packed with huge, defining moments for everyone. And was it a doozy.
The issue that could plague shows like "The Fosters" is that all of the stories could come across as a jumbled mess. In my less than elegant description (as descriptive as I could be without giving anything away) above, it would seem pretty clear. Anyone of these "big, defining moments" would be enough to end a season of build up. Doing them all together at once, that is the tightrope trick they are performing.
Happily, I can report they do it with apparent ease. Not one time does each story overstay its welcome and it never feels jumbled. There is a flow to each story here. For example, as we move from Callie's story to Jude's, we can see the connection between them. Then we move on to Jesus and Mariana's story and so on and so forth. This flow works because there is a running theme in every story that connects them.
It is our decisions that define us and that is what happens here. Callie's decision about how to deal with Robert and Jude's decision about how to deal with Connor both have side effects that will change their characters from this point onward. The same can be said for every other character on the show (Lena, Stef, Jesus, and Mariana). These decisions change the way the family works together and even defines their relationships with each other. There is even a theme of control here. Every character is trying to take back control in hopeless situations and it leaves a lingering sting.
Whether it be Callie taking control from Robert or Jude taking control from Connor's dad, these stories illustrate how desperate we can be for control during hard times. However, there are times we all must deal with the fact we do not always have control and that can impact our decisions greatly. These are very powerful themes for the show to use and, happily, they do not hammer them home but instead let them flow with the story.
Now I keep coming back to Callie and Jude's stories, not because the other stories are small in comparison, but because they have some of the most poignant moments in the episode. Callie trying to hold onto her home while also having a relationship with Robert is powerful. Maia Mitchell plays the hurt, confusion, and even fear that Callie has with great skill. Her performance in the finale is fantastic. Callie is a character that has been to Hell and back and Hell again. This story is a nice way to close off one painful part of her past once and for all. The same can be said for Jude. In the beginning he was shy, confused, and even scared. His character has truly grown from a meek child too scared to stand up for himself against a bully, to a young man standing up to Connor's father demanding to see Connor. Hayden Byerly has done consistently great work throughout the show and here he is no exception. He portrays Jude's confidence and resilience in the face of adversity extremely well. These are two stories that have been two seasons in the making. Both outcomes feel earned and poignant, both stories have ended very important chapters for these two children and now they can start a new chapter in their lives.
Every story here brought something new to the table, and while everyone will be talking about the last few minutes of the episode, the entire finale brought some new possibilities to the table. It is without saying this finale has changed the landscape of the show, for better or for worse. However, whatever they decide to do with season three, it does not change how fantastic the season two finale was. It was dramatic, funny, heart-wrenching, and altogether fantastic. I will definitely be waiting for the third season premiere with bated breath.
- Mar 24, 2015