The Fosters season 5 episode 16 can be best described as a transitional episode of the show. While there was a great deal that transpired over the hour, we didn’t necessarily see all that much significant movement when it comes to the long-term storylines.
The biggest one probably pertains to Lena and Stef, who are trying to uncover some sort of happiness and drive forward. Lena has now effectively sent Tess away from their lives, thinking as though her arrival is linked to some sort of internal struggle that Stef has going on within her. What is fantastic about this storyline, and about Teri Polo’s performance, is that it really touches on something when it comes to mental health. Sometimes, you don’t quite get all that much when it comes to understanding why something is happening. It just is, and she’s in a place in her life when she is unhappy and is desperately doing what she can in order to figure out why.
Stef and Lena are now in the process of trying to figure out how to help her and move forward — meanwhile, some other characters within the world of the show are also in the process of trying to determine what the next phase of their lives is going to be. Mariana and Emma, for example, let a rivalry get the best of them and hurt others close to them. Meanwhile, Callie was encouraged to consider other options beyond art school after being told that this was ultimately not her true passion. For Brandon, it actually seems as though he and Grace are ready to get back into music that she is on the mend.
The Brandon / Grace storyline on The Fosters is easily the one that makes us the most uncomfortable, mostly because there’s this sense of dread that at any moment, Grace’s body is just going to shut down and Brandon will be blindsided. She seems to be getting better but everything nonetheless still feels touch-and-go.
All of these stories were effective in pushing everything forward — yet, none really offered up any resolution. The future of just about every character is still up in the air.
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The Fosters season 5 episode 16 was something that we would consider to be a necessary evil. It may have been entertaining, but at the same time it didn’t actually push too much forward in a way that thinks we’re in line for an explosive finale. It’s a good thing that we are getting special episodes this summer; otherwise, we’re not sure that there would have been enough time in order to tie some of these stories together.
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