The Fosters Season 2 Review “Take Me Out”

MAIA MITCHELL, CIERRA RAMIREZ, DAVID LAMBERT, AMANDA LEIGHTON, JAKE T. AUSTIN

Accepting yourself for who you are is one of life’s greatest challenges. The road to reaching acceptance is rocky for many people, particularly teens. “Take Me Out” showed us characters whose security threatens others (Jude and Emma) and characters trying to define themselves in light of new revelations (Brandon and Callie). In between, Stef, Lena and Mike proved even adults stumble as they scrambled to decide whether or not Brandon should have a risky surgery in hopes of getting full use of his hand back. It is reassuring to see even in adulthood, the answers about what is right do not come easy.

Lena was once again left feeling like the odd parent out where Brandon was concerned as Stef and Mike made the decision not to allow Brandon to have the surgery on their own. It was hard to be angry at Stef after the opening moments of the episode found her curled on the couch with Brandon in an attempt to comfort her son. For Stef, the thought of Brandon losing anything else is too hard to face, so she shuts Brandon down even as he is grappling with his own identity. However, a well-timed concert outing with his sisters helped put things into perspective for Brandon (as well as put him in the orbit of a potential new love interest, Lou). Being a classical pianist was Brandon’s dream, but he can still play other music, and by the end of the episode he was engrossed in a project to punch up the band’s songs. Flexibility in the face of adversity is a valuable trait, and seeing Brandon’s willingness to adapt gives me hope he might not spiral further down after all.

The issue of identity was much more profound for Callie. Discovering her birth father has been visiting her incognito since he was served the abandonment papers left Callie reeling. Here is a man with money, power and the means to take care of her, but according to him, he had no idea Callie existed. Making matters even more complicated is Callie’s half-sister who wants to know who Callie is. For the first time in her life, Callie has two families who want her in their lives. Robert Quinn does not look like a man who wants to give up contact with his new found daughter, but little scenes like seeing Mariana comfort Callie, act as reminders that Callie has an amazing home and support system. This does not mean she cannot use more love, but her life has not been easy. Having Robert and his daughter to suddenly factor into her world could be too much for Callie to handle.

On the flip side of Brandon and Callie’s issues we had Emma and Jude. Emma is unapologetic about knowing what she wants and Jesus is not comfortable with her security. The pair almost had sex–which would have been Emma’s first time–but Jesus was put off by Emma vocalizing exactly what she wanted. Seeing her realize Jesus cannot appreciate her forthrightness was painful. To possess that level of confidence is a precious thing, and while there is value in occasionally letting someone else take control, if she wanted to be in charge of her first time, Jesus should have went along with her even if it bruised his pride– taking control can also lead to security, something Emma has always appeared to crave.

Finally, we have Jude. At the end of last season Jude began to question his sexuality when he became jealous over Connor dating a girl. Now Connor’s father will not let his son sleep over at Jude’s house because he believes Jude is gay. The heartbreaking thing is, when Jude asks Connor if it would matter to him whether or not Jude was gay, Connor hesitates. Jude’s self-assurance about what is right is beautiful, but at the same time the thought of him losing the first real friend he has ever had is distressing.

“Take Me Out” was another slower episode, but it is nice to relax and contemplate who the characters are and just how far they have come since we first met them before the inevitable storm of drama hits once more.

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