the fosters season 3 premiere

And… they’re back! Who’s excited? I know I am. I really do miss The Fosters when they’re not around. There’s something about this wholesome drama that adds to my life and makes me feel like everything will be alright. Glad to have you back, friends.

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Let’s start with the obvious: I told you so — i.e. no one died in the car crash. Jesus, Mariana, Ana, and the baby are all OK! Predictably, The Fosters just wanted to freak us out. (Mission accomplished.) I do like where they took it with Stef, who was very impacted by walking up to the scene of the accident and thinking the worst might have happened. Stef usually keeps her cool, but now she’s anxious and worried and just can’t shake it off. I think that’s very realistic and also interesting because Stef is always really grounded and focused, so it’s good to see her being a little vulnerable.

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Callie is still working at the drop-in center for youth in foster care, and it seems like things are finally going to work out for her. She’ll be able to graduate on time by using her time at the drop-in center to make up for some missing credits. But you know we’re not going to spend a whole season watching Callie as a happy, normal teenage girl, right? Things have to get complicated. So she makes a bad call while trying to reach out and help a fellow troubled youth, and eventually gets fired from the center.

I have to say I’m a little over Callie’s never-ending problems. Give the girl a break. I just feel like it’s a bit repetitive. She wants to do something good for another foster kid, and messes everything up. It will work out, but we’ll have to go through some drama first. Moving forward, I hope they are a bit more creative with the problems they have Callie face.

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Brandon, my least favorite character on the show, starts his prestigious summer program at Idyllwild. His big surprise of the episode is that he wasn’t actually accepted to the piano program, but to composition. He’s not half as experienced as some of the other kids in the program, and suddenly he doesn’t feel like that much of a prodigy anymore. He’s faced with a snobby girl as his composition partner, and he’ll have to summon a lot of self-confidence to stay in the program.

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Back in adult-world, Lena has to deal with that little thing that happened last season — aka when her boss, Monte, kissed her. Monte swears that she’s straight and Lena suggests they keep the kiss situation between them, but there’s no chance in a million years that this will actually stay a secret. Besides, Lena and Monte have way too good of a dynamic for the story to be over. Once again, I hope that the dent this will undoubtedly leave on Stef and Lena’s relationship is not be too deep.

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Mariana is a little lonely in the big house. Jesus is away at boarding school, and Mat is about to leave for his band’s summer tour. If you ask me, Mariana is completely overreacting to Mat daring to leave town for three weeks. She’s distant and anxious, and generally feels abandoned by him. So she distracts herself by “helping” Ana take care of new baby Isabella. But Ana wants to spend some time with her new baby and not constantly be made to feel like an incompetent mom who needs to be supervised, so she pretty much asks Mariana to give them some space.

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Now, Mariana is feeling pretty rejected. She’s very nervous about Mat “forgetting about her and hooking up with all of these groupies” on tour, and so she decides to seal the deal by sleeping with him before he leaves. The only problem is that he’s not really into that. It feels rushed and wrong to him to do it for the first time on the beach after a school party, so he tells her no. Now, as you might guess, Mariana is feeling super rejected, and she does something so painfully stupid. Wyatt happens to be at the wrong place at the very wrong time. They have a couple of beers and have sex. Why, Mariana? WHYYY? I’m so sad about this. Mat is actually my fave. I think he’s really cute and nice and they’re good together, but I really don’t think they have a chance of surviving this. Not to mention what Callie is going to feel… Mariana, I love you, but you’ve dug yourself into a real hole here.

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And, finally, the best thing in my life: Jude and Connor. I literally can’t even write about them because I melt every time I think about it. The young couple has to face the kids at school and decide if they’re going to tell people about their relationship or not. Connor wants to, but Jude says it’s no one else’s business. Eventually, their friend Taylor spills the beans, thinking that she’s helping them by pushing them out of the closet. Connor has the cutest reaction when a kid says something like: “Haha. So are you two, like, gay for each other?” He’s totally not intimidated by anyone. But Jude is really hurt and ends up yelling: “I’m not gay!” Then, running away.

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Eventually, Connor, slightly slowed-down by his crutches, finds Jude and tries to figure out what’s up. Connor thought Jude meant “I’m not gay” as in “I’m not into guys and we need to break up,” but that wasn’t the case. Jude is totally into Connor (thank the lord), he’s just not into labels right now. I thought he might be bisexual, but he’s actually just tired of always being labeled as something, and he “just wants to be Jude for a while.” There’s really something to this. I mean, if he was dating a girl people wouldn’t be referring to him as “the straight kid,” so he doesn’t feel like being “the gay kid” right now. Very legit.

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The real question is: why does the sight of two 14 year old boys holding hands make me feel so warm and happy inside? Seriously, this is so emotional and adorable I can barely take it. My real hope is that the season won’t be just all about their struggles and secrets, but that they’ll get to enjoy their relationship and have cute and romantic moments, too. Tumblr is waiting!

Overall, this was a good episode, although I can’t get over not caring for some of the characters. I truly only care about Jude, Connor, and Mariana, but I really want them to make me care about the other characters, too. Perhaps that will be this season’s challenge: to somehow have the other characters live up to the high standard that Jude and Connor are setting right now.

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Yuval

Written by Yuval

Yuval Idan is a writer, feminist, activist, and pop culture nerd who started loving television because of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and hasn't stopped since. In addition to pop culture, she writes about food, politics, justice, and pretty much anything you can rant about. Follow her on Twitter at @JuvTalks.

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