The Fosters Season 2 Review “Truth Be Told”

The Fosters Season 2 Episode 5 Truth Be Told (5)

A couple of episodes back, The Fosters reminded us Brandon is sixteen, and at the time, I thought they may have been retconning his age. For so much of season one, Brandon acted like he was an adult. He was responsible, reliable and carried himself with the aloofness of a teen on his way out the door to college. The truth is, Brandon is sixteen years old and an adult woman had sex with him, manipulated him at his lowest point and then held her transgression over his head with a threat.

The Brandon we watch in “Truth Be Told,” is acting every bit his age. He is young, frightened and full of guilt. After eating a pot brownie (in a refreshingly normal scene without the usual dramatics that come from marijuana use on teen shows), Brandon called Lena to come pick him up. Instead of judging Brandon, Lena took her son for a walk while they waited for his anxiety to wear off and Brandon finally unburdened himself about what happened with Dani. Even with the truth out, the situation is messy. Brandon does not want Lena to tell Stef because he is afraid both of what Stef would do and the ramifications the truth would have on Mike. When Lena comes into Brandon’s room to discuss his confession, Brandon is no longer wise beyond his years, he is a scared kid who was taken advantage of by a woman who knew better. The moment was powerful and it elicited anger from me toward Dani and the strongest sense of empathy I have ever felt for Brandon.

Ugly truths reared their head all over this episode, but perhaps, the impact of the past was most strongly felt by Callie. Sophia continues to show Callie a fun house mirror version of her life. At the beginning of the episode, Sophia shows up on the Fosters’ doorstep with a copy of the sweater Callie complimented her on as a gift for Callie. At fourteen, she is young and innocent. She still has a nanny. Callie’s life is not like Sophia’s and by the time she was fourteen, her foster brother had raped her and made her feel like it was her fault.

The pain Callie felt over what Liam did to her continues to linger on and it manifests as a panic attack when she comes close to having sex with Wyatt. Callie’s desire to believe her reaction was due to still having feelings for Brandon was crushing. For Callie, the truth– she was violated, and attempting to have consensual sex for the first time since that violation brought back visceral memories of what was done to her –is one more thing in her life she cannot control.

She could tell Jude though because he was with her every step of the way. Jude is not ready to speak again yet, but when Callie tells him she thought she saw Liam, he comforts his sister. Callie may be able to develop a relationship with Sophia, but Sophia will never be able to have the same kind of bond with Callie that Jude has. Sophia is still all innocence, but Callie and Jude were robbed of having a childhood full of love and safety. Their truth is they have only ever truly had each other to lean on and even being part of a family (maybe two families in Callie’s case) will not change the strength of their bond.

The twins, as usual, dealt with typical teen drama while their siblings’ lives were full of darker traumas. On some level, watching Jesus continue to suck at relationships while Mariana tries desperately to be just like the other girls on the dance team is a relief. Their struggles are grounding The Fosters right now. Their normalcy is not as compelling as what Brandon, Callie and Jude are going through, but for Jesus and Mariana, their problems feel big. Struggling to find your place and to work out the difference between love and lust only feels small in comparison to what the other kids are going through. In actuality, Jesus and Mariana’s growing pains are just as worthy of being explored because they are going through things everyone experiences at some point in their lives.

Finally, Stef discovered Mike’s truth which turned out to be baffling. The good news is Mike did not kill Ana. The bad news is he is keeping her in a hotel room for an unknown reason. Whether he is giving her money, drugs, sex or some combination of the three, no good can come of this.

Follow me on Twitter @sljbowman