TV Review: ‘The Fosters’ 3×11 “First Impressions”

The second part of season three of The Fosters is back on Freeform, the new name for ABC Family! The season continues with the story lines left up in the air during the mid-season finale and is packed with new and intriguing drama for fans of the show.

The premiere episode, titled “First Impressions,” picks up with the very issue Callie has been dealing with since the beginning of the show. Her undeniable connection to her foster brother Brandon, as well as the uncertainty of her adoption, leads the two to act on their feelings. After realizing the mistake they have made, when Callie is finally recommended for the adoption, the two decide to keep the secret from their moms. The tension between them is evident throughout the episode as they try but fail to be comfortable with the realization that they are now siblings.

Callie’s conflicting feelings lead her to throw herself into her senior class project, an app called Fost and Found that provides resources for foster kids and a platform, giving them a voice where so many have felt unheard. Brandon also deals with his feelings by putting his focus into his passion for playing the piano, which got him a performance at the prestigious Disney Hall and an audition at the Julliard School of Music. It will be interesting to see Brandon and Callie focus on their own passions this season and see them grow in their separate ways and learn to deal with the dynamics of their new relationship.

This episode also digs deeper into the growing bond between Mike and AJ. AJ has begun to trust Mike even more and we see them connect as AJ deals with the grief of losing his grandmother. His brother Ty decides to skip town after finding out that the police are putting the pieces together about the hit and run accident that he now knows involved the Foster twins, Jesus and Mariana. AJ is forced to choose between his brother and Mike when he was finally beginning to feel like he had a family and a home. We will have to see what the season holds for AJ and his brother and how his leaving will affect the people he has formed connections with, including Callie.

The Foster twins deal with their own issues in this episode. The always over achieving Mariana begins to prepare a campaign for class president when her best friend and Jesus’ ex girlfriend Lexi returns with the news that she is there to stay. In preparing for the campaign, Mariana again struggles with the prevalent issue of image and how she wants to portray herself. She has always struggled with the notion that society has placed on women that they cannot be both beautiful and intelligent. Mariana’s insecurities about these issues will surely pop back up during the season. Jesus’ mysterious return from boarding school is finally revealed to be an incident of peer pressure and drugs. His wrestling teammates have been using steroids in order to enhance their performances and after feeling the negative effects of the dangerous drugs, Jesus is pushed into leaving the school. The new actor, Noah Centineo, playing the role of Jesus has seemed to mesh well with the rest of the cast and I am excited to see what new layers he brings to the character.

Everyone’s favorite couple, Jude and Connor, deal with their impending separation as Connor prepares to move to Los Angeles to live with his mother. His relationship with his father has been rocky ever since his coming out. His father has never understood the love between Connor and Jude, leading him to make the decision to move away. The choice is hard for Jude to accept but ultimately he understands that Adam (Connor’s father) is not willing to change, leaving Connor with no other alternative. Adam seems to finally grasp the fact that his son has given up trying to convince him that who he is is nothing to be ashamed of. Adam and Jude share a moment where they both recognize that the move is going to change things. What the future holds for Connor and Jude’s relationship is hard to guess, but one can only hope for the best.

Finally, this first episode peels another layer on the continuing efforts that Stef and Lena have put into their marriage as they work to fix their issues with communication. They also continue to address the infamous kiss between Lena and Monte and the effects it still has on Stef. We will definitely continue to see the couple deal with issues of trust but I am happy to keep cheering them on every step of the way. The couple also deals with Stef’s health issues and the news that she is indeed in the early stages of cancer, a devastating end to watch. As expected, The Fosters delivered a stellar premiere filled with every emotion on the spectrum. This episode promises that the season will continue exploring the complex issues each member of the Foster family has been dealing with, creating new and honest story lines. The Foster family is back and fans are ready to see them get through things as they always have, together.

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.