The Fosters (ABC Family) Review “Kids in the Hall’

The Fosters Episode 17 Kids in the Hall (1)

Brandon has never been in the system, making him unique within the Fosters’ home. He is perceived from within the family and without as a rock. He’s the oldest brother, the one with the promising piano career, the one who from his other siblings’ perspectives may have lived something of a charmed life. However, Brandon is struggling immensely, but he’s doing it in the shadows. Quitting his lessons, bribing the twins’ biological mother, moving in with his father, getting a fake ID– the list goes on. While his siblings stumble through their teenage dramas publicly, Brandon is keeping all of his troubles inside.

The Fosters has played Brandon’s issues subtly thus far, so subtly that earlier in the season I was willing to dismiss his feelings and emotions simply because he doesn’t have the same experience base as Callie or even Mariana and Jesus. That isn’t how life works though. Brandon didn’t grow up in the system, but he is a child of divorce with an alcoholic father. He also carries the burden of being the responsible one, a role he feels a duty to uphold. Even in “Kids in the Hall” when he lies to Callie about being in the office and agrees to not to tell Mike that his supposedly five years sober girlfriend was drinking in a bar, he does it to maintain the ruse that he can protect his entire family. Suddenly, Brandon’s story has a real sense of urgency to it. He is spiraling while simultaneous isolating himself, which is a dangerous combination.

Knowing his actions will have repercussions for Daphne, a young woman struggling so hard to get her life back on track makes the situation all the more complex. Callie knows Brandon lied now, so she will have to make a choice about what to tell Stef and Lena, who in turn will still have a hard time believing their son would steal, or be involved with people who would. I am both dreading seeing this story unfold and looking forward to it, as is the way with so many of The Fosters‘ stories.

Brandon wasn’t the only member of the family making questionable choices tonight. Lena decided Timothy (smoldering hot Timothy) should be the donor for the new baby. On the surface, I understand why she would want the father to be someone she knows. Having information about the baby’s heritage readily available, its medical history, all of that is important, plus the Fosters aren’t anonymous kind of people. Their family is always growing so it makes sense that the idea of having the father be part of the extended family would be appealing for Lena, in particular. She has seen the benefits of having Mike around for all of the kids and the good it does for him as well. All of that is to say her heart is in the right place. The only problem? I get a distinct “I don’t want to be your friend, I want to be your boyfriend vibe” from Timothy, and that can never happen. It’s going to cause crazy complications. The safer choice in my mind would be Mike, who is already part of the family…but that too would be complicated to say the least. Maybe an anonymous donor would make more sense after all.

Elsewhere, both Mariana and Callie faced the gauntlet that is high school. Mariana had to deal with ridicule from all of the boys due to the underwear incident and Chase’s general obnoxiousness. To make matters worse, all of her friends sided with Kelsey, and Zach was miffed over the whole non-date thing. Zach got over his issues in record time though and slipped a scathing review of Chase’s performance into the school paper. I am pulling for those two kids purely on the grounds of adorability.

Callie is finally dealing with less traumatic issues, namely getting involved at school. I like the introduction of Callie’s interest in photography. It’s a skill that she can utilize to give back to foster kids, and it is an activity that could lead to her making friends at school. It’s about time Callie got the chance for some sort of normalcy.

As always, Jesus pulled up the rear as he and Emma got into a heated wresting match which resulted in their pent up feelings rising to the surface. So for those of you keeping count, Jesus kept his “I’ll wait for Lexie” promise for roughly six episodes, which is longer than I thought he would hold out. Right now his story is so tertiary, it is hard to invest in. I’m hoping there’s more to the wrestling arc to come. So far, it’s just not as intricate as the stories around it.

What did you think of Brandon’s decisions this week? Are you team Mariana/Zach? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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