Indeed, every character on The Fosters could use a makeover. The kids are growing up fast, making important futuristic decisions and steadily coming into their own; however, making a return to a cold case involving Kyle Snow and revisiting Ximena’s immigration saga are two unexpected events in this episode, which all add up to the series of plot lines that need closure as the curtains gradually get drawn.
The Fosters is that show that has done virtually everything in terms of portraying social issues with varying degrees of character development, so it is really not surprising, though commendable, that careful thought is given to seemingly forgotten stories, recreating them without losing the narrative – talk about major strides in continuity. The Fosters Season 5 Episode 17 bears “Makeover” as its title, which is holistic and embodies all the stories told almost all the stories told within it. Callie FINALLY embraces her true calling, Jude gets a literal makeover for publicity, Mariana stays caught up in her boy web, Callie and Aaron reach a friendly consensus, while Brandon awakens from his ‘Grace-ious’ slumber.
Callie To The Cause
In a very welcome addition of Callie’s growth and development, she has finally chosen to study law. Frankly, that was quite unexpected and more like a makeover because social work was the other option she was advised to take in lieu of art. Suffice it to say, though, that Callie will totally make a great lawyer. That speech she so brilliantly renders in favor of immigration at that panel is one for the books. It was as though every force in The Fosters’ universe conspired to put Callie on this path, including Callie herself unbeknownst to her. Her hilarious self-fulfilling prophecy happens at that moment when she instantly forgets about her own “stupid” problems, as she calls them, focusing instead on getting Ximena’s parents released. Though that endeavor does not work out as anticipated, its relevance can be found in the encouragement it gifts Callie, which, coupled with a series of other tell-tale signs, propels her to officially bow to the honorable call of duty, the duty of service to humanity.
Callie’s struggles with finding her true calling are relatable because finding one’s true calling is a huge testament to success. Some people go through life doing things that sound appropriate but not tasks they are passionate about. Passion generates motivation in itself, and it is often said that if you do a job you are passionate about, you would not work a single day because every day on the job would seem easy like leisure. It is also a relief to see that whole arc rested and now Callie can move on to getting admitted and doing bigger things for the less fortunate. Callie’s story is inspiring in the sense that she uses her experiences not as a reason to hate society or be belligerent, but as a pedestal to facilitate a path towards justice, fairness, and equity. The Fosters has tried to inspire this consciousness through Callie’s story since the past five seasons and this seems like a worthy climax.
A Rude Awakening
The good news Grace is getting better is exciting and with that new situation, reality hits. Brandon experiences his own version of a makeover after his beloved Grace inquires about his personal business. Initially, he ruined his chances at Julliard, where he was working on becoming a composer. Now, he is bent on studying sound effects in movies. The past few episodes have been devoid of school, Anchor Beach has been non-existent, and it just makes sense that he got the wake-up call from the person who has been the reason for his laxity in pursuing his future goals. Stef had spoken to him in the past about his future, but as classic teenage behavior, he shoved it aside until he hears it from his mate. The shock and realization that dawn on him are relatable. This is why every parent hopes their kids hang out with the right group of friends because young people have the tendency to listen to their friends over their parents. This episode seems to be some conclusion to their arc, especially with their Coachella and future plans already set. Grace is obviously a good influence on Brandon by challenging him to pursue his dreams. It would be interesting to watch their relationship unfold, seeing that he no longer has to babysit her, but it’s just a few episodes left in the series, so most of the details may be left to the imagination.
The Quest To Belong
One character who undergoes a complete physical makeover is Jude, under the influence of Declan. The desire to be seen as a cool kid, to belong, and be respected among peers can cause kids to take drastic actions, which may include disobeying their parents and guardians. In comparison to Grace and Brandon, Declan seems like a negative influence on Jude by encouraging him to become somebody else just to attract attention from fans, not considering the possible consequences of what that excessive publicity holds. Granted, the makeover looks good on him, but would he maintain that persona for a long time?
Besides, Stef is worried he may be a target of sexual predators, which is a valid concern because of the nature of the internet. A parenting style of Stef and Lena that sometimes raises eyebrows is also called into account when Jude and Stef engage in a heated exchange and Lena encourages both of them to “settle down.” It feels like putting them on the same level, which shouldn’t be the case. Jude should have been the one to settle down, as he’s the younger person. The kids, sometimes, are allowed to get away with certain behavior, which, in real life, most parents would not entertain lightly.
But this is television, and the drama provides the thrill. It may be best for Jude to quit working for Eminent Power, but, at the same time, that feels like taking away his passion from him. Meanwhile, Noah has been missing from the equation; hopefully he makes an appearance soon because he may become Jude’s voice of reason. Living vicariously through these characters makes for the ability to judge their actions, but in the grand scheme of things most of their experiences are not lost on anyone who has advanced through those life stages. It is really important that Jude is getting adequate screen time now because his journey is one that a lot of kids can relate to, especially growing up insecure and marginalized.
The Making of a ‘Ship’
Callie and Aaron’s relationship has been tied up to the friend zone, and, during this episode, Callie and Ximena share some subtle exchanges that are suggestive of imminent intimacy. Callie cares about Ximena and sympathizes with her plight, but it feels like something more is brewing. Now that Callie is officially single, there is really nothing holding them back.
Apparently, the show is trying to portray Callie as an open-minded person, who can love whomever she pleases and also as a channel to advance a bisexual storyline. Other than that, Callie does not need to be dating anyone but herself right now. We have seen her navigate different relationships without ever being single for any considerable period of time. It makes her character out to be someone who is afraid of being alone, hence always getting attached to another as soon as she leaves one. What is even more fascinating is that fans have already coined a ship name for them: Calmena. At this point, they would expect nothing less than to see that relationship become a reality. Fingers are crossed on how it will eventually play out. They will definitely be some sort of power couple together, no doubt, and Callie’s sexuality may be further explored in the spin-off installment of the series.
Mariana’s Pretty, Little World
The queen of competition, Mariana, has turned her love life into some kind of competition as she’s dating two guys currently. How healthy is that, any way? She can hardly make up her mind and seems to be having fun being the desired one in the love triangle. But for how long can she keep up? She is also in a competition with Emma on the internship opportunity and seems to have the upper hand, after stealing Emma’s idea and upgrading it. It is, however, unclear if she knew it was Emma’s sketch before she decided to run with it. Knowing Mariana, she probably knew. Mariana’s brilliance shines both in negative and positive situations. It is true that she needs STEAM to help her college ambitions, but, true to her character, going head-to-head against Emma is her not-so-subtle attempt to prove a point, to spite Emma for keeping her out of STEAM club. In the end, she may likely make the internship but plunge into a guilt trip afterwards. It will be a real rumble when Emma finds out Mariana pitched her idea. Unfortunately, Jesus may be dragged right into the middle of the scuffle.
What would have been The Fosters series finale, the anticipated 100th episode, airs next. It is dubbed a two-hour spring finale, holding off for the three final episodes that will air in the summer. From the preview, it is expected to be a highly emotional affair. So, stay prepared with wipes and comfort food as the show slowly but surely drives to its exit.
What did you think of The Fosters Season 5 Episode 17? What are your predictions for the finale? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!