‘The Fosters’ exclusive: Co-creator Peter Paige on Brandon’s future, Callie’s new-found danger, more

Fosters -Monday night’s summer finale of “The Fosters” was certainly eventful when you think about all that transpired, whether it be Mariana’s drug-related episode, Nick removing his ankle bracelet, Brandon’s past with the SAT test coming back to haunt him, or Callie finding herself in grave danger by getting in the wrong car. Every story came to a head in this episode, and now the painful wait begins until the show returns.

Before we send you off into the hiatus, we had a chance to get some clarity — and teasers for the future — courtesy of co-creator / executive producer Peter Paige, who also happened to co-write and direct the summer finale. Below, he tells CarterMatt the thinking that went into several twists, and also what is coming up for several characters.

CarterMatt – You certainly had a [jam-packed] episode to direct.

Peter Paige – I also wrote [on] it, so I knew what I was getting myself into. We had so many things in motion, so many things that had been building for ten or twenty episodes. They were all naturally coming to a head in the [summer] finale, and it played out really, really well.

CarterMatt – Going into the finale, what were you hoping to accomplish? Do you feel like you got in everything you wanted?

I actually think we did! I’m very proud of how economical the storytelling is in this episode, because I do think you manage to track all of these stories that are colliding, and they are still resonant and effective.

At the start of season 4 we had everything with Nick, and then he came back once again in this episode. Was there a plan in some way to bookend this story with him?

I can’t say we looked at it with the idea of ‘let’s bookend the season with Nick,’ but as we were talking about what could make an exciting finale — what are our cliffhangers, where we are leaving our audience going into our break — he was definitely one of the pieces on the chessboard that could be really dynamic. Mariana had built a sort of misunderstanding about their relationship. She had led him to believe that they were still together when really she needed to say to him ‘you scared me, you hurt me,’ and at least in this episode she gets a chance to do that.

Obviously you can’t give anything away, but are we done with the Nick character for a while? After what he does here with the ankle bracelet is there anything left to do with him?

Never say never on ‘The Fosters’ … you never know. But, in the immediate future, Nick is back in jail. He tore off his ankle bracelet and it’s a really blatant parole violation, so there’s really not another conversation to be had about it.

So when it comes to Brandon, what went into the decision here to have him learn that the SAT test [he took for someone else] was going to come back to haunt him, and that he wasn’t going to get into Julliard?

Brandon’s made a lot of big decisions on ‘The Fosters,’ and [in this world] things come out and they come back to haunt you. I cried when he gets in to Julliard, and I cried when he loses it. It’s part of life. You make mistakes, and you live with the consequences. We pick ourselves up, we dust ourselves off, and we move forward. Certainly that’s something I understand on a deep level.

Going into the second half, is there going to be a big time jump?

We are going to start things off the EXACT second we ended.

So where do we find Brandon going into the second half? Where is he at emotionally?

Brandon basically feels like his entire life just got blown up. You can see that in the scene where he is told the news. He knows that it’s his fault … The question is who does Brandon become in light of that?

How worried should we be for Callie right now?

Well, she’s in a car with someone we super don’t want her in a car with! She’ll probably figure something out, but what will that put in motion? Who knows. Callie’s got herself in pretty deep.

Will we see more of AJ and Aaron in the second half facing the fallout of all that happened with Callie?

Yep! They’re really interesting relationships that are different and have different strengths and challenges. Callie has a great connection with AJ, but there’s also this very different but equally compelling connection with Aaron. We’ll see where that goes.

Finally, this is season 4 and you guys have been at this for a little while. Are you starting to think about what the endgame for the series could be, or is that something you’ll address down the road when you get a note from Freeform that you’re winding down?

I think it’s more that. We’re coming down to the end of season 4, and hopefully there will be a five. Our ratings are going up against all probable odds, and we’re having a nice rebound. Who knows? A great family drama can go on for a very long time, so fingers crossed that we’ll get to keep telling these stories.

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The second half of “The Fosters” season 4 does not have a return date just yet; stay tuned, as we will have more updates as we go through the rest of the year. Thanks to Peter for his time answering our questions.

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