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The Fosters - Welcome to the Jungler - Advance Preview: "What the..."

Welcome to another rendition of your weekly The Fosters' preview. I am your cruise director and will be for the foreseeable future. If there was a word or phrase to describe this week's installment, it would be "what the [insert bad word of your choosing here]?" Some of the things that happen aren't so much surprising as they are perplexing. It's like we've entered an alternate reality or an episode of The Twilight Zone. Besides being really confused, the show continues to tackle controversial and timely issues with grace. So when this episode isn't making you question if that really just happened, it's a decent installment that moves several storylines forward.

In this episode Callie is torn with turning over a new leaf or supporting a cause that means a lot to her. By now we all know the new cause for the rest of season 5A is immigration, which The Fosters has not fully tackled. It was briefly mentioned during season one when it was discovered Lexi and her parents were undocumented, but that was sort of just a plot device to create drama between Lexi and Jesus. This time around, we see college students preparing to protest a supposedly racist and uneducated guest speaker the university has invited. As someone who just graduated college, I can confirm that there are a lot of protests and movements and activism on college campuses. Whether it is something as serious as immigration and rape to something as enjoyable as winning or losing a sporting event, college students have very strong beliefs about certain topics. So this episode attempts to show both sides of the argument of whether the guest speaker actually has the right to share her beliefs. One character makes a point that the group should debate the speaker in an open forum, but that everyone has the right to free speech. However, some of the other characters disagree and that they are going to exercise their right to peaceably protest. While Callie is initially on one side, something happens that may influence her actions. The way this debate is presented, at least initially, seems very black and white to some of the characters. However, I hope future episodes will deal with shades of gray because protesting the presence of the guest speaker could have consequences for both Callie and Ximena. I get that this is an important issue for people, but if something were to go wrong, Callie could face jail time as she has a record and Ximena could be deported as she is no longer enrolled in DACA. I just want the show to acknowledge that just because you disagree with something and don’t do anything about it doesn’t make you a hypocrite or uncaring. It may just mean you have other priorities.

Meanwhile, Brandon continues his reign of completely dense boyfriend of the year. Cortney is still living at casa de Adams-Fosters, and this continues to cause tension between him and Grace. I don’t remember who said it, but I am starting to agree with them about Cortney and Mason being homeless. Also, can we touch upon why Stef and Lena are letting Cortney and Mason crash in the garage? I get them letting Gabe stay because he’s the twins’ birth father and Jesus really needed him after his TBI, but why on earth would the moms let Brandon’s ex-girlfriend and her toddler stay? I mean they were so opposed to him moving in with Cortney, but now they’re fine with her and Mason staying because Brandon and Cortney are no longer dating? I don’t think so. So since Cortney is apparently going to be around for the foreseeable future, unfortunately, Grace decides that she and Cortney should get the know each other. Cue the most awkward three person “date” of the night and some insecurity and jealousy. Also, it’s more abundantly clear than ever that Brandon has a type after seeing Cortney and Grace side by side. When you factor in Callie and even Lou, it’s as clear as day. Brandon is drawn to dark-eyed brunette beauties that are in desperate need of rescuing.

And then we have Jesus who makes a final decision about whether he will drop out of school or not. And the reasoning behind his decision just confuses the hell out of me. Here I am watching a show and then all of a sudden this thing comes out of nowhere. It was one of those moments where I was like, ‘whoa, he really does have brain damage.’ I know that may seem a little harsh, but I’m pretty sure some of you will share my sentiments after this episode. I can’t really get into more details, but something that happens earlier in this episode prompts him to do this unbelievably wild thing. I know I’m being super vague, and maybe overhyping it, but it was just completely out of left field. It’s like the show has pulled some crazy things over the past four seasons, but we at least had some warning for those events. Of course, this isn’t the most jaw dropping thing to happen this episode. The final few minutes provides a mindboggling reveal. Like this may be one of the most effed up things that the show has done after the whole Brandon sleeping with Dani thing while she and Mike were on a break. Like it’s just that insane and crazy and about 100 times worse than anything Jesus does this episode. So now I’ve maybe overhyped two things, and if it falls short, please don’t shoot the previewer.

So Jude is back this episode with no mention of where he has been for the past two episodes. He and Taylor begin getting unwanted notoriety when they start making gaming videos. It’s an interesting take on the issue on cyberbullying. While there was the instance with people posting mean things about Callie on Fost and Found and Mariana’s “secret” Twitter account blew up in her face, I don’t really think The Fosters has fully explored this topic. In today’s day and age, technology is a huge part of millennials’ lives and that extends to bullying. It’s really hard to escape when people and trolls on the internet are everywhere, and not even going home can offer sanctuary. We’ve all heard the horror stories of what can happen, and I think this is a great opportunity to educate people about how much impact their words can have. We’ve seen this show tackle bigger topics like prostitution and gender and sexuality, but it’s nice that some of quieter topics like cyberbullying aren’t being ignored. This show has such a great platform to make a difference that I really hope viewers will take what they learn here and apply it to their lives.

So what else happens? Well, Stef makes some headway in her case with help from an unexpected source. As Stef continues further down the rabbit hole on her quest to take down Detective Grey and Patrick Malloy, the more of Stef I see in Callie. Stef has always been this amazing mother and cop, but as the seasons have progressed we’ve seen her become more and more involved with certain cases except she usually follows the law unlike our favorite flawed heroine. Going forward, I really hope Grey ends up behind bars where he deserves so we never have to see his smug little face again. Elsewhere, the moms reach a decision about Mariana’s future on the roller derby team and the Adams-Foster kids find out about Mike and Ana’s engagement. Not everyone has the reaction the happy couple would have liked, and one teen in particular is playing with fire. Didn't anyone ever teach them if you play with fire, you'll get burned.

So tune in to watch an all new episode of The Fosters when it airs Tuesday, August 15 at 8 on Freeform. Before you hit the comments, here are a few of my favorite quotes from the episode:

“What so you're gonna arrest me?" / "If I have to."
"Oh, hey. What are you doing here?" / "I just was in the neighborhood, and I thought I'd come by to say hi." / "Oh, well 'hi.'"
"How about we extend our no games, no pot pact like forever?" / "Yeah, no."
"Hey, you look snazzy." / "Snazzy? I'm gonna change."
"I try to do one thing a day that scares me." / "Well, this is mine for the day. I'm kidding."
"Too much Middle English?" / "I think I just read an old timey fart joke, seriously."

So comment below to let me know your thoughts. Are there areas of gray when it comes to issues we care about? What are the two surprising and very confusing twists? What issues do you want to see The Fosters tackle? Who may end up being against the Mike and Ana engagement?

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