The Fosters “Going South” Review (Season 3, Episode 5)

Going South Image

It was only a matter of time before the truth started to come to the surface on The Fosters; and after – of all things – a raccoon wreaks havoc on the garbage behind the Adams-Foster house, Stef finds a used pregnancy test. This, of course, leads the moms to worry if it is either Callie or Mariana who might be pregnant since they, obviously, know it’s neither of them.

As viewers know, it’s not Callie but Mariana who had a scare after sleeping with Wyatt on the night when she had planned to have sex with now-former boyfriend Mat. The moms eventually get the truth out of Mariana, but in doing so Stef – albeit unintentionally – alienates her daughter.

Once again, I have to give the show credit for handling this subject matter with as much realism as possible. Teenagers having sex as a storyline is nowhere near new ground, but the way it is depicted is always a crapshoot. It can either be portrayed as too preachy or too accepting or somewhere in between, but doesn’t always teach a lesson. This depiction, at least in my opinion, had elements of all three scenarios, but – at the very least – attempted to not only teach a lesson but also comes to terms with what happened in a realistic way.

The real test of how things will proceed, specifically between Mariana and Callie, once the latter learns the truth – that Mariana lied about sleeping with Mat – is clearly going to be revealed in next week’s episode; and that will be anything but pretty. Cat fight, anyone?

Elsewhere, Mike and AJ discovered a lead to AJ’s older brother Ty at the assisted living facility where the brothers’ grandmother now resides. But the big question I have is if Ty is still in the area – and that is obvious not only by their finding his name in the visitor log but also in Ty calling AJ – why hasn’t Ty tried to find his younger brother before now? If he were in trouble, he wouldn’t be visiting his grandmother and if he’s not in trouble, why would he seemingly abandon AJ?

In line with the episode’s title – “Going South” – Callie tricks Brandon into going across the border to Mexico to do something crazy; to do something that will give her a great story to tell one day. But, her plan backfired when the Mexican police showed up to the illegal hang-gliding, which was the reason for their visit south of the border.

Enter yet another age-old storyline for teenagers in a TV show: go across the border and get in trouble. While I can see the reason behind Callie and Brandon going there, was it really a necessary plot device? I think that they could have both comes to terms with the underlining issues they were having instead, but that’s just my personal opinion. Either way Callie and Brandon will have a great story to tell one day once their punishment phase has ended; needless to say, the moms were none too happy with either of them.

The only silver lining, well actually two silver linings, in the episode came from, of all people, Oscar the contractor and Tony, Brandon’s “buddy” from Idlywild. Because he was witness to the ongoing disagreement between Stef and Lena, Oscar actually enlightened Stef to what Lena had been suggesting: they need to see a therapist before they end up like their other friends, who recently broke up after many years together. And, Brandon just might be able to get back into Idlywild thanks to Tony. We shall see how that works out soon enough I’m sure.

What are your thoughts on ‘The Fosters’ so far this season? The next new episode will air on ABC Family on Monday, July 13 at 8/7c.

Teri Polo as Stef
Sherri Saum as Lena
Maia Mitchell as Callie
David Lambert as Brandon
Cierra Ramirez as Mariana
Hayden Byerly as Jude
Danny Nucci as Mike Foster

Guest stars:
Tom Williamson as AJ
Keean Johnson as Tony
Fran Bennett as AJ’s Grandmother
Ruben Garfias as Oscar, the contractor