The Fosters has always been a show that deals with heavy issues. At its core, it’s about family sticking together to weather the struggles life has to offer. This episode, titled “Telling,” highlights just that as certain family members start to learn from their past mistakes.

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Stef and Lena

Lately, Stef and Lena have been hanging on by a thread. Both have been dealing with issues at work while trying to keep five kids happy. Tess and Logan stop by the house to drop off a bottle of wine as a thank you gift for the dinner party the Fosters hosted. They also invite the family over for a barbecue. It’s obvious that Lena isn’t really up for it, but Mariana agrees that they’ll come before she can say anything. Mariana is still trying to impress Logan in hopes that he’ll ask her out. She even makes up a lie about being an avid runner so that he’ll invite her to go with him on his jog.

When she hears about the barbecue while opening the new bottle of wine, Stef thinks it’s a good idea. She’s looking for an opportunity to unwind and says it’s nice to hang out with neighbors they actually like. The conversation switches to Jesus. He is having an adverse reaction to his medication. He’s a little depressed. Lena brings up the idea of switching him to a gluten-free diet. Then she mentions hearing about a clinical trial with electrical currents to help stimulate the brain. Stef shuts her down. Stef has been shutting a lot of Lena’s ideas down lately.

The next night, the neighbors show up to the Fosters’ house. Their gas has been shut off, so they ask if they can cook the food there instead. Stef continues to drink wine and gets a little loose with some details regarding the family’s current issues. She also seems to be maybe using drinking as a way to cope with what’s going on at work.

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Cole brings in a friend, Andy, who is being sexually abused. Andy doesn’t want to offer up any information about it. Stef seems to think Patrick Malloy might be involved. Since Andy isn’t any help, she recruits Cole to help her.

Cole brings her to an alleyway where a bunch of homeless kids stay. There, she meets Josh. He knows who Andy has been staying with. Josh doesn’t know where to find the guy, but he tells her a story about him taking him and his friends to a hotel and filming them fooling around. Josh stole a thumb drive from him but doesn’t know what’s on it.

The next morning, while nursing a hangover, Stef gets called in to work — at least that’s the story she tells the family. She’s not really on call, but she can’t stop obsessing over the sexual assault case. She’s pouring through the videos on the thumb drive, trying to get screen grabs of their faces. She’s hoping to identify one of them so she can get information about the guy responsible for all of this.

She wants to confiscate Patrick’s computer. Her boss reminds her that she needs a warrant to do that. Stef decides to take matters into her own hands and goes to his house. As she’s trying to break in through the window, Patrick appears behind her and stops her. She claims that she thought she was at her friend’s house — that she’s there by mistake — and walks off.

When Stef returns home, she gets busted by Lena. She’d been trying to call her all day and even called the office. That’s when she finds out that Stef isn’t even on call. Lena confronts her, saying she promised she would be there for the family and wouldn’t disappear, and that she feels like she’s doing everything by herself. Stef realizes that she’s been putting everyone else’s families ahead of her own.

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The Kids Go to a Party

Callie is invited by Ximena to go to a party to raise money for the roller derby team. She tells her not to tell Mariana because Mariana would show up with Ximena’s sister, Poppy. Poppy already knows about the party and invites Mariana and the junior girls to crash it. Mariana invites Logan. Callie invites Brandon. Brandon invites Grace. And Jesus invites himself.

At the barbecue, everyone lies to each other about where they’re going. Mariana and Logan say they’re going to the movies; that’s when Jesus decides to tag along. Callie says she’s going out with friends from school, and Brandon tells the moms that he’s hanging out with Grace.

Mariana eventually has to confess to Jesus that she’s really going to a party, not the movies. She thinks it will be too dangerous for him to go. He says he’ll tell on her if she doesn’t let him tag along. She makes him promise to not dance or drink.

Jesus is terrible at following directions. The first thing he does at the party is find a pretty girl to dance with. His moves are a little intense, with a lot of head banging — probably not the best idea for someone recovering from a TBI.

Eventually, Callie and Mariana run into each other at the party. It comes out that Mariana is actually on the roller derby team. Before Callie can really question her, the cops show up to shut everything down.

Mariana is out back with Jesus, waiting on Logan to bring the car around. Jesus starts stuttering. Mariana slowly starts counting. Jesus seems to get his bearings and asks what she’s doing. She explains that the moms told her to count how long his seizures last. Jesus is confused. Mariana says she’ll have to tell the moms what happened. Again, he threatens that he’ll tell them that she’s on the roller derby team or that she took him to a party and let him dance. He’s still being very immature and refusing to take responsibility for any of the stupid stuff he has been doing.

Later that night, Callie gets the chance to confront Mariana. She calls her a selfish liar. She’s lied about a lot of things: roller derby, the party, etc. Callie blames Mariana for putting Jesus in danger (even though he can make his own decisions) just to get a date with Logan. Callie warns Mariana not to be surprised when it blows up in her face … again.

Mariana Comes Clean

Mariana clearly takes what Callie says to heart because the next morning she confesses everything to Lena. She tells her she is on the derby team and that Jesus had another seizure. Lena is at her wit’s end. She grounds Jesus. He can’t leave the house and no one can come over, including Emma. He goes to throw something, but she stops him. She warns that if he loses his temper, she will send him away to inpatient behavior therapy.

Mariana may be telling the truth, but Brandon continues to lie. Courtney has been staying in the garage with Mason, and Brandon has not told Grace. She only finds out about it when Stef tells Brandon that Gabe is back, and he needs to find alternate sleeping arrangements for Courtney. Brandon seems a little embarrassed, but Grace doesn’t push the issue. The next morning, Gabe unintentionally makes things worse when he tells Courtney she can stay in the garage until her apartment is ready. I wonder if Brandon will let Grace know that Courtney’s stay has been extended.

What did you think of this episode? Did you find it as refreshing as I did to see Mariana take responsibility for once? Will Jesus start taking some responsibility? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

The Fosters season 5 airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on Freeform. Want more news? Like BuddyTV’s Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of Freeform)

Casey Cummings

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV