After a fun and lighthearted episode last time around, The Fosters returns with the reveal of some major secrets in this episode “Justify.” Lena discovers that her father is hiding something from the family that could change their lives — and he isn’t the only one. Brandon is also keeping something to himself that makes its way to the surface.

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Lena’s Dad Has Let Them Down

Lena’s father is in trouble with the IRS. Since he is on the deed of Stef and Lena’s house, their home is in jeopardy. To top it all off, he is staying with them, avoiding Lena’s mother and lying to everybody about what he owes in penalties and back taxes.

Lena doesn’t want to see her father for what he is and his failures. Stef, on the other hand, is trying to get control of the situation and realistically decide what the family will do now that their house will be taken away if they don’t act. They keep it a secret from the kids, something all the Fosters are doing in this episode — keeping secrets.

Brandon Commits Academic Fraud

Living on his own is proving to be something that Brandon is clearly not ready for. He loaned money to Courtney, who doesn’t appear anxious to pay it back. She drops him off at the school and heads off to surf. After Courtney leaves, Lena questions Brandon about taking the SATs. Why wouldn’t he take the test when he’s taking the prep classes?

Lena knows the answer to this already — Brandon plans to take the test for someone else for a fee. Lena is ethically and professionally bound to report things like this. Brandon admits that he took the money to help Courtney get a lawyer. Her ex is fighting her for custody. Lena is at her wits’ end. She blows up, telling him that he is screwing up left and right — first Callie, now Courtney. She has a point.

Callie Gets the Brunt of It

Wow, Lena is stressed out! We don’t see much of Callie in this episode, but when we do, she is researching Kyle’s murder case. Lena comes into the shed where she has all of the files. She blows up at Callie like we have never seen before. She wants her to commit to her senior project, which is about being with seven foster families in seven years.

Callie packs up the case files after slashing her project with a razor knife. We are shown details of the murder case. The killer was right-handed. Callie knows that Kyle is left-handed. It was clear she wasn’t going to fully give up on Kyle’s case.

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Mariana isn’t Herself

Mariana’s decision to let Nick think that they are still in a relationship comes back to bite her. Nick wants to know when she is coming to visit. His doctor calls Lena, making her question what she doesn’t know. Mariana is on the defense when Stef asks why Nick is expecting her to visit. Mariana is keeping her conversation with Nick a secret, and Stef and Lena are doing the same. 

They don’t tell her that Nick may be released. At his hearing, his lawyer says he isn’t a danger. Stef sees it otherwise, telling the judge that Nick needs more therapy to determine if he is a threat or not. Nick lies on the spot. He manipulates the judge into thinking that he wants to see Mariana to get his necklace back.

In school, Mariana gets a text from Nick. It sets her on edge, stressing her out. She isn’t acting like a great leader for her STEAM team. She lets some of her team take shortcuts and makes some mistakes with the planning. One of her teammates codes the project in the wrong language. Mariana demands that he change it to Java. He quits and takes some of the other teammates with him. 

Noah is a Stoner?

Jude is put off when he learns that Noah was stoned at Stef and Lena’s party. Jude brings it up while they play video games, and Noah explains that he has a medical marijuana card. He uses it to help with his anxiety. He offers Jude some. They can smoke it together. Surprisingly, Jude takes him up on the offer.  

Before Jude goes through with it, he talks to Brandon, who had a bad experience. Jude tells Noah that he isn’t up for it, but it’s too late. He has been eating gummy worms that Noah brought, and they have weed in them. Who would have thought?

The best part is that Stef comes in to check on them, sees the gummy worms and tells them not to ruin their dinner. She’s in her uniform. Noah didn’t know she was the “Po, Po!” This makes them laugh before they share their first kiss.

Jesus and Emma Finally Talk

They are hands down my favorite couple this season. Jesus doesn’t want to be friends with benefits anymore. He thinks that Emma sees him as dumb. He questions her, and she confesses that she doesn’t want her heart broken by him again. Finally, it looks like these two are on the same page.

At the close of the show, we see Stef and Lena enlisting the help of a realtor.

The Fosters airs Mondays at 8pm on Freeform.

(Image courtesy of Freeform)

Sarah Luoma

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV