Unfortunately sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction, and there is an eeriness about The Fosters season 5 summer finale. Back when this episode (entitled “Prom”) was first written, no one knew that it would air on the same day that President Donald Trump announced (via Jeff Sessions) that he would be ending DACA and allowing Congress to come up with a new solution to it.
Tuesday night, The Fosters put a face to the struggle of dreamers everywhere courtesy of Ximena, who had raised objections at the activist rally and found herself soon after being hunted down by ICE agents — and on prom night, no less. Stef was able to help her to flee the scene before the agents got her, and shortly after that Callie and AJ were responsible for bringing her to Noah’s family church. There, she has temporary sanctuary, and the episode ended with the flashing red-and-blue lights as it became all the more abundantly clear what a desperate and difficult situation Ximena has now found herself in. Kudos to AJ and Callie for sticking with her, but it does feel clear that both of them are going to be facing a rather big struggle of their own for making the decision to try and help. They were attempting to do the right thing, but we have to remember Callie’s checkered legal history and AJ being a likely target as a young black man. Could be trouble for all of them.
This story was powerful and absolutely haunting, and it does help to overshadow some of the deficiencies that this episode had elsewhere.
One of the biggest issues that we had with watching this episode was that some storylines felt like they came out of nowhere. Take, for example, Aaron suddenly becoming an over-possessive jerk. We understand being insecure about AJ, but saying what he did to Callie about him “stealing” her away from him just felt out of character for a guy who seemed to understand her so well on an emotional level. Also, for him to not take an internship just to watch over her is not his style. Maybe we just didn’t know the character as well as we thought. The other issue comes via the reveal that Grace is suffering from leukemia, which is why her mother wants her to come back home. To think, last week we just thought her mother was a prude who hated Brandon because he was dating her daughter. Now, it’s more that she just wants her daughter to be okay. Grace doesn’t want to tell him, and Brandon, in a sign of tremendous maturity, didn’t let on that he knew. He did tell Callie, but we also think that she is mature enough not to spread that around.
Now, let’s turn towards Mariana and whatever in the world this story was. In some desperate attempt to prove to Logan’s girlfriend that she wasn’t out to steal him, (even though she was) she tried to hire many people to be her fake boyfriend, and then at one point got a clearly-drunk Emma to pretend that they were together. There were a few moments here that felt like the pilot for Faking It, and we’ll be the first to admit that Stef’s face when she saw Emma and Mariana together kissing was the funniest thing in the entire episode. In the end, though, Mariana ended up finding some comfort in an old flame: Mat. We hope that these two can realize some of their mistakes and move forward, and Mariana can also start thinking a little more like an adult. (For the record, Jesus and Emma seem to be back on the same page.)
In between all of what we’ve mentioned and a few interesting storylines between Stef and Lena (including Lena getting a new job offer to leave Anchor Beach behind alongside Monte), The Fosters season 5 summer finale proved to be a combination of very entertaining and also very flawed. Some moments worked wonderfully, whereas others felt like they needed an episode or two to build. Grade: B.
What did you think of The Fosters season 5 summer finale?
Do you think that Ximena will get out of this situation? Share in the comments, and head over here to check out when The Fosters could return to the air. (Photo: Freeform.)