It's Callie's Party And She'll Cringe If She Wants To
You would cringe, too, if it happened to you.
It's Callie's seventeenth birthday, and because she has "always loved birthdays," Jude has the sweet idea to throw her a surprise party! Bonus: it even has a bounce house, which the great Rosie O'Donnell not only jumps in, but slides out of, and it is amazing.
First of all, why is it a thing to say how someone has "always" loved birthdays? Who doesn't? Birthdays are the best: anyone who had even an okay childhood loves them. Turns out, however, Callie doesn't technically love birthday parties at which every single person who has been invited without her knowledge (a) hates each other; (b) could blow her joblessness cover; (c) intends to rap at her. Yes, the titular girls of Girls United unleash a sick flow in honor of Callie's party and...I love them, but it was not necessary to incite the troubled youths to such displays.
Secondly: why isn't Callie adopted yet? What is the holdup at this point? It hasn't really been mentioned in the first six episodes, and there has been so much "your sister" this and "your sister" that, I was half-convinced that they had glossed over this central plot point until I saw the preview for next week in which the continued jeopardy of the adoption is trotted out again. What the hell, man? Still, until we can confront these extremely important issues, let us instead deal with the top five confrontations that take place at this backyard teen hip hop birthday party, ranking them from "whaaaat?" to "whooaaa."
- Robert v. Stef
Finally, Robert puts Stef on Front Street for the blackmail stunt she pulled that ultimately forced him to come clean to his wife about the affair he was having, which in turn alienated him from Sophia. He doesn't get in her face about it, which he would be perfectly justified in doing since it was zero percent her business. In the spirit of her newfound self-awareness, Stef reluctantly admits that she was wrong to do and say what she did, and he is kinder about it than she deserves.
- Stef v. Lena
These two continue to bitch at each other and pick fights and thus have been attending counseling together. Their therapist makes the somewhat questionable professional suggestion that they make a list of the things they love about each other and one of the things they...don't love. Stef refers to this as Lena's Hate List, and I am kind of on her side about it.
- Brandon (and Sophia?!) v. AJ
Brandon overhears AJ on the phone with his brother, Ty, and naturally spends the entire birthday party scheming and plotting to prove the inherent evil of these phone calls. In the strangest pairing I can remember seeing on The Fosters, he enlists Sophia as his Watson. After coming up with a stupid plan to steal AJ's phone, they discover it right in front of them, charging on the counter. Instead of, I don't know, opening it and looking at it right there while they have a clear view of AJ through the window and thus are perfectly positioned to see him coming if he were to head toward them, they take the phone off the charger, sneak into a dark hallway, crouch over the phone as if it is a complicated piece of technology they have to dissect to understand, and THEN, instead of walking three feet to put it back where they found it, Brandon puts it in his pocket and lies about taking it. He is immediately busted by AJ when the phone RINGS, and a fight pops off. Parents swarm to break it up, too quickly in my opinion -- Brandon deserved a few more punches for being such a brat and taking away AJ's only connection to the brother he has been desperately trying to locate.
- Mike v. Brandon v. Mike
Mike, very disappointed and struggling to balance his parental role between more than one kid for the first time ever, goes to lay down the law to Brandon, who mopes that he was just trying to protect his dad from a potentially conniving foster kid that none of them really knows anything about. Then Brandon reveals what's really up: he's jealous of the attention that Mike has been paying to AJ. To his enormous credit, Mike listens and supports him, and then goes to AJ and supports him, as well. I love Mike.
Of course, part of Brandon's issue is no doubt his fear that his new brother from another mother is going to move in on their co-almost-sister, Callie and///this is a teen romance triangle I cannot even diagram, but suffice to say, Brandon is right about that one.
- Callie v. Mariana
Under the concerned, caring guidance of Lena, Mariana half-confesses to Callie that she is into Wyatt. She tries tries to game it like she really likes Wyatt and would like to date him and would Callie be okay with that thnxbyeeee! This inspires an international championship-level side-eye from Callie...
...but she is teen-trapped into saying she guesses it would be okay, since she and Wyatt are just friends. High school girls of the world: IT IS NEVER OKAY. At minimum, there's like a two-year gap rule on dating a friend's ex, but it's best to just avoid that kettle of fish altogether. In any case, Wyatt snits the truth to Callie anyway, and Mariana must confess to Callie that her shame is what is leading her to pursue a real relationship with Wyatt. Kudos to the writers and Cierra Ramirez for (a) killing me again with Mariana; and (b) not making her all that contrite about it. I mean, she's sorry she did it, but she still kind of makes excuses for the whole thing in a way that feels extremely real. I could only have enjoyed it more had a massive hair-pulling fight occurred in which Wyatt's own hair was proven to be an extremely expensive wig because how else is it so perfect please tell meeeeee!