Monday, December 18, 2017

Review: The Fosters 4x20 "Until Tomorrow"



Originally written: April 12, 2017

JESUS AND EMMA - JESUS'S ROOM:



Emma:  Jesus?  Jesus, are you listening to me?  I can't afford to go to private school.

Jesus:  You're pregnant, aren't you?

Emma: [sits up, scared]

Jesus:  Hey, hey, hey, hey.  It's okay.  I know this might sound crazy but...we can do this.  I'm ready.  We can have this baby together.  

Emma: [tears up]  I had an abortion.  

Jesus: [quietly] Why didn't you tell me?  Why didn't you talk to me?  I'm adopted, Emma, you know that.  

Emma:  I didn't talk to you because the baby wasn't yours.  It was Brandon's.

[Jesus's phone vibrates; Jesus glances at it.  Then we see it's Jesus's phone on his nightstand vibrating while Jesus is asleep.  He has been dreaming.  It's the next morning.]

Tara:  I mean, I really can’t blame Jesus for attempting to fill in the blanks regarding all the secrecy regarding Emma.  Linking Brandon and Emma together almost seems perseverative at this point, but not unreasonable given the circumstances.





Jesus: [Wakes up; groans.  Puts on his glasses to read the incoming text]

Emma texts:  U seemed kinda weird when I left yesterday.  Everything ok?

Jesus texts back: Yep.  All good.  Have fun at school.  [Then, he takes of his glasses and sighs, lying back down]

Tara:  Happy to see the prism glasses still in use.  And it has to be beyond frustrating to have to appear “all good,” because you know that no one in your circle will be honest with you.

Tonia:  It might just be me but I don't remember Jesus needing the glasses to read Mariana's Twitter yesterday.  But perhaps his need for them fluccuates?

Tara:  Also, according to subsequent scenes, it appears that both Lena and Stef are at work here, and Jesus is presumably at home alone.

Tonia:  Seriously.  Who thinks it's a good idea to leave your kid - a few weeks to months out from a brain injury and at risk for having seizures at home alone?  You were never left alone that soon post brain injury.  There was always an adult at home with you, even if you were just napping.

MARIANA AND EMMA - SCHOOL HALLWAY:

Mariana: [smiles]  Hey!

Emma:  [angry, whispering]  You wrote about my--  You wrote about me on Twitter?!  I just heard a couple kids trying to figure out who was pregnant in our class.  Luckily for me, Natalie put on a few pounds this year.  How could you do that?  To me?  To Jesus?

Mariana:  No one knows it was me.

Emma:  I do!  And Jesus will.  

Mariana:  No, he won't.  He's never gonna find out about it because I deleted it.  The whole account.  

Emma:  What if he already saw it?

Mariana:  Don't you think if he saw it he would've said something?

Emma:  So that's your big...solution?  Hope that he didn't see it?  Some friend you are.  [Emma walks away.]

Tonia:   Ooh, Mariana.  This is where your own journal would come in handy - that only you read and write in - you told Jesus about it in Season 3.  Write in that, not anonymous Twitters.

JESUS AND EMMA - EMMA'S DOING HOMEWORK; JESUS IS READING - LIVING ROOM - (BRANDON AND CALLIE CAN BE HEARD SINGING TOGETHER UPSTAIRS)

Emma: What page are you on?  [sticks her pencil in Jesus's book to see]

Jesus: Uh, I'm on page 47.  And if you ask me again in an hour, I will probably still be on page 47.

Emma: [laughs good naturedly]

Tara:  Just because Jesus can read now does not mean that it is easy for him to do so.  Filtering information is something that can be drastically impacted by a brain injury.  (My brain injury occurred almost 20 years ago, and I still struggle to read or hear information in an environment where any extra auditory stimuli is present.)  In this scene, Emma is speaking to Jesus while he is reading while Brandon and Callie sing and play upstairs.

JESUS AND BRANDON - JESUS/BRANDON'S ROOM:

Jesus:  Have you ever gotten someone pregnant?  

Brandon: [having come in to get some clothes; laughing]  No.

Tara:  Jesus is not looking to commiserate here, he is hoping Brandon will tell him what he believes is the truth about Emma.

Jesus:  You haven't?

Brandon:  No.  Why?

Jesus:  Someone at school had a weird, top-secret Twitter account and I'm pretty sure that it was Mariana.  I mean, it said stuff that only she would know.  Anyway.  One of the posts said that her best friend didn't tell her she was pregnant.  And Emma is Mariana's best friend - or one of 'em.  I'm not--  Look... [Gets his phone to find Mariana's account.]

Tara:  With stress, Jesus’s aphasia is impacted.  So, he attempts to show Brandon the Twitter account instead of speaking about it.

Jesus:  [Searches @NoSecretsAnymor but a message displays saying: Sorry This Page Does Not Exist]  What?  Uh...  No.  It--It was there.  I--I know.  I--I--I--I saw it.

Brandon:  Hey, hey, hey, hey, listen.  It's okay. Don't worry about it.  Okay?  [Pats Jesus on the shoulder; walks out]

Tara:  I appreciate that you’re in a difficult situation here, Brandon, but patronizing Jesus is not the answer.

Tonia:  Seriously.  How condescending can you be, Brandon?

Jesus: [dials, phone rings]

Grandma [on the phone] Hi!

Jesus:  Hey, Grandma.  It's me.  

Grandma:  Jesus!  How are you, sweet boy?

Jesus:  [smiles]  Uh.  Good.  Better.  I'm getting better, I think.  Um, do you remember the letter that you read me?  From Emma?  

Grandma:  Uh, yeah.  Uh-huh.  What about it?

Jesus:  Did you read me all of it?  Because Emma keeps asking if I read the whole thing.  Like I missed something.  Something important.  And I can't find it anywhere.  So, was there anything that you didn't tell me?

Tara:  Come on, Grandma.  Time to face the music.  You can do it.

Tonia:  I'm really glad that Jesus is calling Grandma and going to the source, so to speak, especially as he can't find the letter Brandon stole.  But the fact remains that his family should have been honest with him from the start.  And more to the point, this storyline could have been handled in an altogether different way where Jesus was informed when Emma intended him to be and he dealt with the fallout then.  Not weeks later, or however long it's been, with everyone in the family lying to him.

STEF AND LENA - THEIR ROOM - THAT NIGHT:



[Knocking]

Stef: Yeah.  Come on in.  What's up?

Jesus: [closes the door behind him] Um...  I, uh...  I need to tell you...something....

Stef:  Okay.

Jesus:  Emma...Emma got pregnant.  

Lena:  Oh?

Jesus:  But then--then she had an abortion.

Stef: [bites her lip; not looking at Jesus at all]

Lena:  Okay...

Jesus:  I just-- I just found out and I thought you guys should know.

Tara:  I’m impressed that Jesus’s first inclination is to go to Moms about this.

Tonia:  I am, too, but I can't get over how Moms just sit there and keep lying to Jesus's face about their knowledge of this.  Stef won't even look at Jesus in the eyes.  Lena just keeps giving him one word answers like he's bothering them.  On one hand, their lack of reaction really allows him to talk and not get overwhelmed in this moment, but I can't help but thinking just how cold Moms seem here.  If Brandon's longtime girlfriend had an abortion without him knowing about it while he was recovering from an injury like this I doubt very much his reception would be this chilly.

Lena:  Did Emma tell you?

Jesus:  Not exactly.  Um...  She wrote me a letter, but I couldn't read it.  So, then, Grandma did, and um...

Lena:  So Emma doesn't know that you know?

Jesus: [shakes his head]

Stef:  Come sit down.  

Jesus: [sits between Moms on the bed]

Stef:  How are you doing?  How are you feeling about all this?  [rubs his shoulder]

Jesus:  It feels weird.

Stef:  Mm-hmm.

Jesus:  I mean, obviously, Ana could have had an abortion, and then I wouldn't be here.

Tonia:  A couple things:

1) Jesus's use of "I" is very noticeable.  As twins, we do use "I" in situations that only concern one of us.  But we mostly use "we" especially in instances that concern both of us.  The idea of Ana getting an abortion would mean both he and Mariana would not be here.  That has me wondering if Jesus isn't feeling particularly isolated right now?

2)  And I cannot deal with the fact that Jesus is so honest and so vulnerable with Moms here talking about how he knows Ana could have chosen abortion and he wouldn't be here and they don't take this beat of silence to let him know they're glad he's here.  Glad Ana did not make that decision.  It's this moment in particular that communicates to me that Moms are not just uncomfortable with the fact that they are lying.  They are uncomfortable with their son.

Tara:  I’m here for all the Stef and Jesus scenes.  It does feel uncomfy, however, that she and Lena know and do not tell him.

Jesus:  Um...I said I would never get into a situation like this, but if I did, I wouldn't-- [stops, swallows, closes his eyes, sighs]  but it's Emma's body.  So... [sighs]  I just wish that she would have told me.

Tara:  Totally valid feelings, Jesus.  I’m glad you have such an evolved perspective.

Lena:  So, are you gonna talk to her about it?

Jesus:  I think I should wait.  Until she brings it up.

Tonia:  It just keeps striking me over and over how shut down Moms seem.  Jesus is having all these valid feelings and handling this so maturely, coming to them right after he finds out to tell them the truth.  He gives them so much more respect than they give him.  It's heartbreaking that they don't seem warm toward him at all, and any "warmth" they do exude seems very calculated because they have to be ten steps ahead of him, covering their lie.

JESUS AND MARIANA - OUTSIDE ANCHOR BEACH

Mariana:  Hey!  Good turnout, huh?

Jesus:  Yeah, it's a good thing somebody tweeted the rumor, you know?  

Mariana:  Yeah, I know, right?

Tara:  Yeah, Jesus, Mariana is just going to keep lying to your face until you call her out.

Jesus:  Look, I know it was you.

Mariana:  What?

Jesus:  The Twitter account.  No Secrets, or whatever.  I know that was you.  

Tara:  I’m glad they’re finally having this conversation.

Jesus:  I'm not stupid, Mariana.  In fact, you're the stupid one for thinking that no one was gonna figure it out.  I cannot believe that you knew about Emma and you didn't tell me.  What's wrong with you?

Mariana:  I'm sorry, Jesus!  You have a freaking TBI!  You flipped out when there was a pepperoni on your pizza!  So excuse me for not telling you that your girlfriend was pregnant!

Tara:  I have to say, that at least on Mariana’s part, this exchange is directly tied back to that first conversation between Mariana and Stef at the hospital about not being upset in front of Jesus.  I feel like despite Jesus’s anger early on, the twins had a tight enough relationship to share things.

Mariana:  And for the record?  I didn't find out until a little while ago!  She didn't tell me!  So if you wanna be mad at anyone, be mad at Brandon!

Jesus:  Why would I be mad at Brandon?

Tara:  Oh crap.

BRANDON AND EMMA - OUTSIDE ANCHOR BEACH - NIGHT, IT'S RAINING:



Brandon:  Hey, so I think Jesus is starting to get suspicious.

Emma:  Are you sure?  Wait.  I was just with him a little while ago.  He didn't say anything.

Brandon:  No, I'm sure.

Jesus: [walks up to them, distressed; to Brandon] Did you?  Did you know about Emma?

Brandon:  What-- What about?

Jesus:  That she was pregnant!

Brandon:  Sshhh!  Quiet, Jesus!  Come here.  Come on.  Stop.  Stop.

Jesus:  Why did you know?  [To Emma]  Why would you tell him?

Emma:  I didn't!  He--

Brandon:  I figured it out!  And...

Jesus:  And what, Brandon?!

Brandon:  And I went with her to--

Jesus:  What?  Wait.  You took Emma to get an abortion?!

Brandon:  Stop!  Jesus, stop!  Okay?  She was scared.  She needed a friend.  And she couldn't tell you.

Jesus:  Why couldn't she tell me?!  Why couldn't you tell me?!  I mean, everyone else knew!  My whole freaking family knew!

Tara:  Can’t say I didn’t see this coming.

Tonia:  Right?  You can't keep a secret this big...

Jesus:  Emma, why couldn't you tell me?!

Emma:  I'm sorry, Jesus!  I really am!  I just--  I thought that it was for the best.  

Jesus:  [Nodding]  Because...because the baby was his.  That's why you didn't want to tell me because the baby was Brandon's!  

Brandon:  No--

Jesus: [Takes off running]

Emma:  Jesus!

Brandon:  Wait.  Let me, let me.  [Takes off running, too]  Jesus!

Tara:  And here’s the danger of not giving someone all the information they’re entitled to.  (And let’s be clear, as soon as Emma wrote Jesus that letter, he was entitled to all the information she wrote to him.)

Jesus is now filling in the blanks for himself, because what else is he supposed to believe?  That those closest to him repeatedly dismissed his concerns and questions?  That they deliberately withheld information from Jesus for weeks, if not longer?  That, because you have a TBI, your nondisabled family and friends think they know better than you?  Brandon having sex with Emma and getting her pregnant is a devastating scenario.  But not as devastating as your self-image being destroyed by everyone closest to you.

For more:  Disability on The Fosters

4 comments:

  1. They didn't have selective abortions in the 1990s? Or rather this process was just beginning.

    So Ana could have chosen to keep Mariana.

    But what a terrible thing for Jesus to think.

    Of course it is okay for him to think it - and for us the audience to process it.

    And, yes, Tara and Tonia, he is a very evolved guy. He would make a good Dad one day.

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    1. The point that Jesus (and Ana and Gabe) keep making is that neither were ready to be parents. Ana was 15 years old. So while selective abortion was possible, it wasn't probable as far as an option Ana would have gone with, IMO.

      And I agree, I think Jesus would make a good father down the road when he is ready.

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  2. Thanks for the review Tara and Tonia! I am disappointed the writers didn't catch the part with Jesus being left alone. Also hate that they all act like Jesus was too fragile to handle the information.

    Adelaide, yes he would be a good father and his adoption would probably effect his parenting in interesting ways.

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    1. You're welcome! And I don't even think it was on the writers' radar at this time. Hopefully 5B will show them taking more of these important things into consideration.

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