TV Review: The Fosters “Dream a Little Dream” & “Cruel and Unusual”

Two weeks of The Fosters means two weeks of a lot of drama, this family has truly been through a lot. “Dream a Little Dream” begins in an unusual format for a family drama, a bit Twilight Zone but very unique. Throughout the episode, with the uncertainty of whether Jesus will come out of the coma or not, we see him experiencing a dream/alternate universe while unconscious. What this weird dream eventually reveals is Jesus’ unconditional love for his sister, the ups and downs the twins have faced together and how his inability to protect her from pain makes him feel like he failed her. My favorite part of this episode was probably the moms in the hospital, in those moments we saw them most vulnerable. These situations make people frustrated and angry, they make them cry and seek consolation through the most unexpected means. I am thankful that the show saw to that reality. Call it faith or Lena’s own inner defense mechanisms, what she heard was both a positive message and true to real life moments of pain, “Remember you can handle anything in the moment, it’s our fear of what might happen that undoes us.”

The episode also continues to deal with Callie’s car accident debacle and how her desire to finally do things right still lands her in trouble. In another he said she said situation, Callie has been dealt all the losing cards. With the record she has obtained over the years, detectives arrest her for running from the scene of an accident.

“Cruel and Unusual” continues with Jesus’ recovery and I hope to see the writers explore the complexity of how the new mental and physical obstacles will affect Jesus as a person. It appears that the shocking development will be Jesus’ change in personality, I’m curious to see how that will affect the tone of the show and the rest of the characters. With Lena taking a leave of absence from work to care for Jesus at home, new tensions are bound to arise. Although Mariana’s break up with Matt might seem like the arch of her storyline this episode, I loved seeing her try to communicate with her brother. Stef’s talk with her about returning to therapy was a small scene but so important for what this show stands for, encouraging open-mindedness in all things that make us human and not being afraid to ask for help when we need it.

The rest of the episode focused on Callie’s hearing and her time in juvie. Things don’t seem to be looking up for her either. The fact that getting tried as an adult could get her five years in prison, but taking a plea deal will get her eight months in a detention center where she has already made enemies, shows that her options aren’t exactly great. Robert also comes back into the picture and lets the moms know his anger at not being kept informed on Callie’s situation. Although I understand Callie siding with her father on wanting to fight in adult court, I also understand the moms wanting her to take the deal. I loved Stef calling Robert out on his privilege too. Although he sees the obvious path to Callie’s freedom, Stef reminds him that the good guys don’t always win in a world that is unjust to anyone outside statuses of power. Hopefully Callie’s day in court will lead to the justice she deserves.

Rating: 8/10

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.