TV Review: The Fosters “Minor Offenses” & “EQ”

tumblr_o30allh8m11v40odto1_400Two new episodes of The Fosters packed with so much emotion that show that this series can only get better! “Minor Offenses” begins with an infomercial starring Callie in support of a new foster care bill, which brings up the suspicions of Callie’s moms and Rita. Callie later finds out that the bill is in favor of privatization of foster care, something she has always been against. However, Justina begins to change her mind, to Rita’s dismay. AJ finally gets out of juvie and is back with Mike; his apology to the Fosters for everything his brother did brings him closer to Callie. Before Ty’s hearing, Mike informs Stef and Lena that his multiple charges can get him up to five years in prison but Stef is not sympathetic. After Callie questions Stef on her stance of never giving up on people, she has a change of heart. Stef speaks on Ty’s behalf at his hearing telling the judge that he has never been given a chance, helping to get him a lighter sentence. It is beautiful to see Callie be so present with her new family and really teach them things as well.

“EQ”, the next episode of The Fosters, deals with some heavy subject material as it addresses the complexity of mental illness and the complicated problem of suicide rates in our country. Brandon’s senior thesis is compromised when some students rally against his performance of Romeo and Juliet. Some students think that Shakespeare glamourizes and romanticizes suicide and that it is therefore inappropriate to perform at their school. It was interesting to see both sides of the argument and the relevance they found in this classic piece of literature. Brandon’s image of Romeo and Juliet seems to be a depiction that many people miss; it is not romanticizing suicide but warning us of how impulse and emotion can lead to dangerous situations. Although the school decides to shut down Brandon’s play, it will be interesting to watch how he adapts himself to a new environment to make the performance work.

Stef’s new assignment of teaching an emotional intelligence class to at risk youth brings her head to head with some of the unhealthy ways she has been dealing with her emotions after the mastectomy. She not only teaches the kids that they must learn better ways to deal with their feelings but that we can all get overwhelmed and can learn from and lean on the people around us, a very valuable lesson.

A remarkable performance from Noah Centineo as Jesus in this episode as he deals with the reality of who his birth father is. Gabe’s past has haunted him for his entire life and his mistakes cannot allow him to have a relationship with his birth children. This hits Jesus very hardly and he begins to deal with things with alcohol. His breaking point comes when he shows up to Gabe’s place of work drunk and risks getting him arrested. How he will bounce back from these events will be great to see evolve on screen.

The storyline that was the most riveting to watch was the return of Rita’s daughter Chloe. Chloe’s struggle with mental illness and her damaged relationship with her mother has created some deeply rooted strife between them and has left her living in dire conditions. Chloe leaves Callie a voicemail with what appears to be a suicide message. This leads Callie to Rita, who no longer believes in her daughter’s attempts to get something out of her, as she says. Chloe does eventually attempt suicide but is saved in time. Rita’s emotional conversation with Callie reveals that she has finally heard her daughter’s pain, and Chloe has finally gathered the courage to get the help she so desperately needs. The show’s portrayal of such delicate issues that affect so many people is what makes it such a significant show to watch.

Melissa is a 22-year-old English major at Florida International University in Miami. She has been passionate about storytelling for as long as she can remember. She loves literature, film, and television; any great story that can make her cry really. Her dreams include working in film or publishing in order to get great stories told. She is an unashamed and unapologetic fangirl of way too many fictional characters and is still waiting for her Hogwarts acceptance letter to arrive in the mail.