Thursday, February 1, 2018

Review: The Fosters 5x13: Line In The Sand

This week was generally on the lighter side.  Tara and I will focus on Jesus but give overviews on Grace and Stef (otherwise we'd risk recapping the entire episode, and we just do not have the stamina for that LOL.)


JESUS AND FAMILY (EXCEPT JUDE) - KITCHEN

[LENA ARRIVES]

All: Congratulations, Principal!

[MARIANA PRESENTS LENA WITH A NEW NAME PLATE FOR HER DESK]

Mariana: We are so proud of you!

Lena: [smiling]  I love it.  Thank you!  [Hugs her]  Where's Jude?

Jesus:  Oh, he's in his bed.  Sick.

Lena:  Oh...

Stef:  I'll go check on him.

Jesus [To Lena] Congrats.  [Hugs Lena]

Lena: [Hugs Jesus back]  Thanks.

Mariana:  So, how do you feel?

Lena:  Uh...  Excited.  A little nervous, honestly.

Callie:  Hey.  Who's gonna be the Vice Principal now?

Lena:  Uh, I think I'm gonna wait until the new school year to hire someone.

Callie:  [Nods]

Brandon:  Can you do both jobs yourself?

Lena:  It's gonna be a lot of work.

Jesus:  Are you gonna...have time to be my para?

Lena:  I will make the time to be in the classroom with you.

Jesus: [Is clearly let down by Lena's level of commitment here]

Tonia:  I seriously don't think Lena's allowed to be Jesus's para.  Not when she was Vice Principal and not now that she's Principal.  She's not trained (or "almost professional") in that sense.  I'm sure Jesus's IEP is specific about this.

Tara: Jesus still hasn't found a way to tell Mama she's bugging. 

Mariana:  Oh!  You two need to get your senior pictures and quotes into the yearbook or you're not gonna be in it.

Callie:  Do we have to do a quote?

Brandon:  Do we have to do it at ALL?

Mariana:  Oh my God.  It's your senior year.  What's wrong with you guys?

Lena:  She's right.  You have to do something to celebrate your senior year.  

Mariana: I already picked out my senior quote: "A girl who leaves behind a trail of glitter is never forgotten."

Jesus:  [Snickers, amused]

Mariana:  What?

Brandon:  What about you, Mama?  Did you have a senior quote?

Lena:  "When you learn, teach.  When you get, give." - Maya Angelou

Stef: [Arriving back in the kitchen]  Well, Jude has a fever.  I think he should stay home.   

Callie:  Mom, what was your senior quote?

Stef:  My senior quote was...  No. I don't remember.

Brandon:  Oh, come on.  Yes, you do.

Jesus:  What was it?

Stef: [Sighs]  If you expect nothing from anybody you will never be disappointed." - Sylvia Plath.  [Toasts with the carafe dryly] Cheers.

Mariana:  Cool!

Jesus:  That's bleak.

Stef:  It was the 90s.

Tonia:  Nice to see Jesus more at ease, just hanging out with the family here.

JESUS - MATH CLASS


Craig, Math Teacher:  Now I wanna see your work for each problem.  Alright?

[LENA ARRIVES]

Craig:  There she is!  Our new principal!  [Cheers]

Class, including Jesus: [Applauds]

Lena:  Okay. Thank you...very much.  Just ignore me.  I'm not here. [Moves a chair next to Jesus, sits]  [Whispers]  Hi sweetheart.

Tonia:  Lena, you say you're not here, but you are very hard to ignore.

Jesus:  Hi, Mom.

Craig: [Is clearly distracted by the presence of Lena, the new principal, in class while he is teaching]  Uh...as I was saying...I don't care about...

Tonia:  Nothing more nerve-wracking than having your boss watching you work...except maybe having your mom sit next to you in all of your classes...

Lena: [To Jesus, softly]  Oh, you might wanna check that one.  It's A-squared plus B-squared not 2A plus 2B.  

Tonia:  No, Lena!  Definitely not allowed...

Tara: As this is a test, Lena?  This should be Jesus's work.  Not yours.  I can only imagine how stressful it would be to have been micromanaged at home for months, only to end up being micromanaged at school. :(

Craig: I--I care about how you're finding the answer.  

Jesus: [Erases; whispers]  Yeah...Ma...That's...what I meant.

Tonia:  Demoralizing...

Tara: Also, when Lena speaks over Craig?  She is making it impossible for Jesus to hear Craig's instructions.  And how many tests does Craig give?  Wasn't there just one when David was Jesus's para?

Craig: ...So, feel free to use the back of the test.  I, um...  [Glances at Lena]  Just please put a corresponding number so I know which question the work is for.

Tara: I wonder if Craig is attempting to add more explicit directions for Jesus's benefit because Lena is there?  Or if her presence simply unnerves him?

[JESUS'S LEG BOUNCES]

[LENA LAYS A HAND ON JESUS'S LEG TO STOP IT]

Tonia:  This horrified me.  Seriously, can we stop the touching disabled people without our consent???

Tara: YOU WOULD NOT DO THIS WITH ANY OTHER KID IN THAT SCHOOL, LENA.  So inappropriate.

Lena:  You okay?

Jesus:  Mm-hmm.  [Looking straight ahead.  Clearly can't focus on his test anymore.]

Tara: Oh, what to say about this scene... By restraining Jesus here, Lena prevents him from coping.  Movement can help with focus.  It may help with cognition.  ("Greasing the gears" of Jesus's brain, so to speak.)  By stopping the movement, Lena has not only made Jesus's test monumentally harder, she has also communicated (through restraint) that the movement he needs to make is unacceptable.

Tonia:  He can't focus because she's essentially restraining him here - stopping a movement he might need to make to concentrate, or to deal with the anxiety of having her breathe down his neck here, or both.  We've also seen (thanks to a fellow fan for pointing this out) that Jesus's leg bouncing has been a thing since the first season.  And when Lena saw it back then?  Her first move was to suggest seeing the doctor to up his ADHD meds.  Not reassuring.  I hope she continues to educate herself about these thing - or at the very least - ask Jesus before she touches him like this.  

Lena is making everything Jesus is trying to do right now exponentially harder.  In general, it is much more difficult to do things as a disabled person when we are forced to use or control our bodies in ways nondisabled people think we should.  In Tara's and my case?  CP means it takes us five times as much energy as a nondisabled person to do the same task.  Now, factor in additional pressure of a nondisabled person pushing you to function in a way that is literally impossible, and the energy expended is even higher.  

Jesus is attempting to do several things at once: Read his test, make sense of the questions, answer questions on his test, (and write the answers as he intends to), listen to Craig and listen to Mama over all the other noise in the room.  Not to mention any extra stimuli going on.  If he has a headache, for example.  If the lights are buzzing.  If the tag in his shirt is itchy.)  

As Tara said above, Jesus needs to move his leg like this in order to take the test.  Lena holding his leg down is one more piece of sensory information he needs to deal with, and it could very well be the thing that makes taking that test actually impossible for Jesus. 

Once, when I was around twelve, I was forced to practice walking with one crutch.  (I typically used two.  But had managed to get pretty good at using just one, assuming there was no pressure and I used the crutch with my left arm.)  This time, though, there was considerable pressure.  Anger that I had not been practicing enough.  So after everybody left the table in the dining room, I was made to stay and walk back and forth.

Nervousness at being watched made my legs and my right arm tense up even more than usual.  Which made walking even more difficult.  Then, I was given an empty, plastic Tupperware and made to carry that in my right (spastic) hand.  The pressure of being watched on top of the motor planning it took to keep my balance with one less mobility aid and keep moving forward, and carry that Tupperware was too much.  

I dropped the Tupperware.  

Soon after, I hit my knees.

It was just too much to do all at once.

I was pulled to my feet by my hair and screamed at.  Blamed, for the way my body naturally reacted to stress and fear.

I don't remember ever practicing walking with one crutch again.

This memory might be why I can't accurately put into words how much Lena's actions here bother me.

Craig: And, as always, please keep your eyes on your own paper.

Jesus: [Glances at Lena.  Then at his paper.]

JESUS AND MARIANA - ROLLER DERBY PRACTICE - AFTER SCHOOL - JESUS IS DOING HOMEWORK, MARIANA IS ON THE BENCH NEXT TO HIM WATCHING THE TEAM:

Jesus:  Hey, why aren't you out there?

Mariana: I can't scrimmage until I make the team.

Jesus:  I thought you were on the team.

Mariana: Nope.  Still fresh meat until tryouts in two weeks.

[POPPY GETS KNOCKED DOWN]

Poppy:  Hey!

Jesus:  Number 8 just fouled Poppy.

Mariana:  Really?  I didn't see that...

Jesus:  Neither did the...ref.  Elbow in the back. 

Tonia:  Good eye, Jesus!  

(Not sure if this is a thing the writers were intending, but I have noticed Tara, that you now have an even keener eye for details than pre-brain injury.  I wonder if this is a thing?)

Tara: Sometimes, due to filtering, it is easier to focus on one specific thing.  

But Jesus has always been good at sports, and this scene shows that that has not changed. 

[JESUS'S PHONE RINGS]

Jesus:  Hi!

Emma, on Video Call:  Hey!  [Listens for a second, to all the background noise]  Where ARE you?

Jesus:  Uh, derby practice with Mariana and Poppy.

Emma:  I thought Poppy was seeing her parents.

Jesus:  Uh...she is.  After.  

Emma:  So, what happened to all that homework you had to do?

Tara: Emma, calm down, please.

Jesus:  I'm doing it.  I'm just gonna do it here.

Tonia:  I love seeing that Jesus now has the freedom to make choices for himself, including whether to do his homework in the warehouse during derby practice.

Emma:  [Skeptically]  That's not...distracting?

Tonia:  Emma, seriously, you're ruining my good mood here.  I was so happy Jesus is free to make his own choices and here you are trying to micromanage him...

Tara: Now, I'm wishing that Emma had gotten to be in on that ableism conversation.  Jesus can make his own choices.  

Jesus:  No.  [Watches the action on the floor.  Watches the score go up to 3.]  That was...four.  [Loudly]  Oi!  [Holds up four fingers]  She passed FOUR blockers.

[ON SCREEN THE 3 IS CORRECTED TO A 4]

Mariana:  [Smiling.  Clearly proud of Jesus]  Nice.

Tonia:  Loved seeing this.

Tara: I feel like it was a bit of overkill from Mariana, but true to life that she would go out of her way to praise him for something she may not have commented on if brain injury was not a thing.

Tonia:  That's a good point...

Emma:  Yeah...that doesn't sound distracting at all.

Tara:  So what if it is, Emma?

Tonia:  While it's possible that Emma's just annoyed that Jesus has apparently told her he has homework and could not hang out, I also can't miss the ableism here.  Because instead of just being annoyed and hanging up with him she has to bring up how distracting it is.  Twice.  (I'm pretty sure he knows - more than Emma - just how distracting it is.  He can't admit it because she's acting like she's his parent.)

Jesus:  Uh...what?

Emma:  Just forget it.  I gotta go.

Jesus: Wait.  [Shakes his head]  What is wrong?

Emma:  I just...I feel like I don't get to see you anymore.  Not alone.

Jesus:  Wanna go to a movie tonight?

Emma:  Can you?  Are you sure?

Tonia:  Reminds me a bit too much of how Mariana put up a big stink several episodes ago about how Jesus "couldn't" go to a movie.  Come on, Emma.  (Again, she might be asking in general.  But in the past, (pre-TBI) her first question to him was not "Can you?")  Which makes it pretty clear that this is ableism again :/

Tara: He would not have suggested it if he wasn't sure.  Chipping away at the old self-esteem here, Emma.

Jesus:  Yeah.  I'm super sure.  

Emma: [Smiling]  Okay.  I'll see what's playing and I'll text you.

Jesus: [Smiling too]  Okay, I love you.

Emma:  Love you, too.

Jesus:  Bye.

[HANGS UP; TURNS HIS NOTEBOOK SO MARIANA CAN SEE IT]

Jesus:  Hey.  Is this right?

Mariana: [Leans in to check; then seriously]  Do you really want me to tell you?

Jesus:  Yes.

Mariana: [Takes a deep breath]  A triangle can't have two right angles.

Tonia:  Seems like this is tough for Mariana, but she didn't just placate Jesus here.  She asked him if he wanted the honest truth.  He said yes, and she followed through.  Good job, here.  (Plus, this allows her - and the audience - to see that Jesus can handle honesty.)

Tara: Nice to see Mariana work through this moment with Jesus.

Jesus: [Scoffs, erasing]  I used to be...good at this.  I mean, kinda...good at this.  I suck at everything now.

Mariana:  [Honestly]  That's not true.  I mean, you totally picked up on the derby rules really fast.  They're really complicated.

Tonia:  No pity voice here, thank goodness!

Tara: I maintain I don't think she would be making as big a deal of him picking up the rules pre-injury.

Tonia:  No, she wouldn't.  

Jesus: [Makes eye contact]

Mariana:  Hey, you know, we have a stats manager.

Jesus:  What is that?

Mariana:  It basically tracks all the jammers' lead percentages and stuff.  Don't worry, there's not a lot of math involved.  But you'd be really good at it.  [Nods, smiling]

Jesus: [Nods a little, considering]

Tonia:  While I may have to suspend my disbelief here that a stats manager does not require a lot of math, I'm glad to see that the twins may have found something Jesus can enjoy now.

Tara: I like this scene juxtaposed with the scene where Mariana asks Moms if Jesus can build a treehouse for his senior project.  She's speaking directly to Jesus in matters that concern him.  I can see the growth here. :)

JESUS - COMING DOWN THE STAIRS ALL DRESSED UP - LATER THAT NIGHT

[HIS PHONE BUZZES; TEXT CONVERSATION IS VISIBLE ON SCREEN]

Emma Texted: I got the tix

Jesus Texted: Then I got the [popcorn emoji]

Emma Texted: lol such a gentleman

Jesus Texted: u know it

Most Recent Emma Text: OMW.

Jesus: [Smiles, sends a thumbs up and a heart]

Tonia:  OMG their texts are so sweet...

[POPPY ARRIVES HOME]

Jesus: Hey!  How'd it go with your parents?

Poppy:  [Shakes her head, trying to keep it together, but something is clearly wrong.  Her arms are crossed around herself]

Jesus: Um... [Tucks his phone in his pocket; walks to her fast]  What--  What's wrong?

Poppy: [Starts crying]

[LATER, DOORBELL RINGS; JESUS OPENS THE DOOR FOR EMMA]

Jesus: Hi.  You look...really, really pretty.

Emma: [Comes in and shuts the door.]  Uh...thanks!  [Laughs]

Jesus:  Ah.  [Leans in to kiss her cheek]

Emma:  You ready?

Jesus:  I--  Um--  You know how Poppy...was supposed to see her parents today?  

Emma:  [Nods]

Jesus:  Well, when she got there, she found out that they actually moved them to a detention center in Arizona.  She's like, really upset about it, and everyone else is either sick or out of the house, and I just don't feel okay with leaving her here alone.  So...do you think I could just tell her we were gonna stay in and watch a movie?

Poppy: [Wearing her dad's sweater again]  Popcorn's ready.  Oh.  Hey, Emma.  

Jesus: [Under his breath to Emma] I might have already...told her that...

Poppy:  Oh.  Were you guys going out tonight?

Emma:  [Lying badly]  No!  [Looking at Jesus]  N-No.

Poppy:  Are you sure?  Because I can go upstairs if you wanna be alone.

Jesus:  No.  No, no.  We don't wanna be alone, we wanna be with you.  Right?

Emma:  [Stilted] Totally.

Poppy: [Smiles sadly.  She knows what Jesus is doing.]  Okay.  Well.  Have you ever seen Whip It?  

Tonia:  Loved hearing Nandy Martin (Poppy) say in an interview that "Jesus is really there for her.  He's really good at that," and that, "He's a great friend to her."  He makes sure to check in with her.  Really seems like the only person Poppy is consistently able to touch base with emotionally, and she needs that.

Tara: I do enjoy these scenes that depict Jesus as a teenager doing teenager things.  There's power in portraying people with disabilities going about their everyday lives.  

Emma:  No.

Jesus:  Mm-mm.

Poppy:  It's about roller derby.  And as our new stats manager, it's kind of a must-see.

Emma:  [Clears throat]  

Jesus:  Mm?

Emma:  Stats manager?

Jesus:  Yeah.  They--they asked me to help out with the team.  

Poppy:  Yeah, he learned the rules in, like, RECORD time.  He's amazing.  

Jesus: [Smiles big at Emma.  Points.]  After you.

Tonia:  It has to have been a hot second (at least) since anybody has described Jesus as genuinely "amazing" at anything.  And look at how happy he is.  When people notice our strengths, and don't ignore our disabilities, that's one of the greatest things.

Tara: Poppy's commentary feels more genuine to me than Mariana's did.

JESUS, SITTING BETWEEN POPPY AND EMMA WATCHING WHIP IT - LIVING ROOM

Poppy:  So, some people think that Ellen Page is to small to be taken seriously as a derby girl, but it's like, look at me and Mariana.  

Emma: [Is clearly over this.  Was not planning to share her date with Poppy]

Poppy:  We're small!  And we kick ass!

[WHISTLE BLOWS ON TV]

Jesus:  Whoa.  Wait.  They just ALL stopped and knocked the other team down!  You don't really do that, do you?  

Poppy:  Mm-mm.  No.  In real life?  They'd ALL be ejected. 

Emma:  [Testily]  Can we not talk during the movie?

Tonia:  Seriously, Emma.  They're having sis-and-bro time here. I get that you weren't counting on sharing your date with Poppy, but come on.  

(Plus, Jesus has made it very clear early on in the series that he would not ever date a foster sister - knowing it would put her at risk - and having been in the system himself.)  

Not to mention that Poppy has a bit much going on right now.  And she, no doubt knows that there is no way she can even think about dating anybody in that house without being removed.  And if she is removed, she has nowhere to go...

Jesus: [Stretches comically across the space so he is right next to Emma.]  [Softly.]  I'm sorry.  [Rests his head against her arm to watch]

Tonia:  Hahaha!  I was so here for all of Jesus's body language here.  So funny!

Tara: It is notable how much happier Jesus seems with so much less ableism in his life now. :)

Poppy: [Can tell Emma's been over this since it started]

[LATER; EMMA'S FALLEN ASLEEP]

Poppy: [Comically]  I...don't think she really liked it.

Jesus:  She's just--  She's just tired.

Poppy:  Well, thanks.  For staying in with me.  I know you guys were supposed to go out tonight, and I just hope she's not mad.

Jesus:  No.  She's--she's not.  She's good.

Poppy: Well, good night.

Jesus: Good night.

[POPPY LEAVES TO GO TO BED]

Jesus: [Leans WAY over to Emma again.  Kisses her arm once.  Then over and over.]

Emma: [Wakes up]  Hello.

Jesus: [Smiles]  Mm.

Emma:  Is it over?

Jesus:  Mm-hmm.  Yeah.

Tara: ^Aphasia

Emma:  I should get home.

Jesus:  Wait.  You don't wanna...make out for a little while?

Emma: No.  [Starts to leave]

Jesus: [Stands up]  Hey, hey, hey.  Whoa, whoa, whoa.  Come on.  Look I'm...sorry about tonight.  Okay?  Don't be mad.  Please.

Emma:  I'm not mad about tonight.  I'm mad that you don't have time for me, but you have time to be a roller derby manager.

Jesus:  I don't have time to be a roller derby manager.  

Emma:  Then why are you doing it?

Jesus:  Because!  I gotta...feel like I'm good at something. 

Tara: ^Truth. 

Emma:  You're good at lots of things!

Jesus:  No, I was good at wrestling, Emma.  But I can't do that anymore.  And I was never good at school.  And--and now...I'm even worse at that!  I  just--  I need SOMETHING to be fun and easy.  

Emma:  [Takes his hand.  Dryly]  I'M easy.

Jesus:  Oh yeah?

Emma:  Mm-hmm.

Jesus:  You can't be the only thing in my life that makes me happy.  

Tonia:  So glad he said this!

Tara: Loved this!

Emma:  [Nods]

Jesus:  But if you don't want me to do it, though, then I--

Emma:  No, I want you to do it.  I just--  I feel like since Poppy moved in with you and Mariana, sometimes I just feel like a third wheel.

Jesus: [Glances around him] Girl, you are my ONLY wheel.  I'm talking both axles.  My DRIVE shaft.  I mean, you are the windows that go up and down automatically!

Tonia:  Hahaha!  Oh my God...

Emma: [Laughing]  Okay, okay, Foster.  I get it.

Jesus:  [Seriously]  I will make more time for you.  I promise.  [Glances around him]  I think we're alone right now...actually...

Emma: [Smiling]  Yes...

Jesus:  Mm?

Emma:  Yes, we are...

[THEY KISS]

Tonia:  So cute, you two!

Tara: I liked this. :)

JESUS, WALKING DOWN THE HALLS AT ANCHOR BEACH, TAKING IN THE HALLS FULL OF SAND AND BEACH DECORATIONS (COURTESY OF BRANDON'S SENIOR PRANK WITH GRACE, CALLIE, MARIANA, WYATT AND COMPANY WHILE JESUS WAS ON HIS DATE LAST NIGHT.]

Jesus: [Is eye to eye with an inflatable shark hanging from the ceiling]

Brandon:  How'd they all find out?!

Wyatt:  I figured a little shoutout to the student body was in order.  

Brandon:  Great.  This is only gonna make Mama even madder.  Especially when she sees THAT.  
[Motions to a Lena-mannequin dressed in a coconut bra]  We gotta get RID of that!  

Jesus:  [Sees it.  Covers his mouth to stifle laughter]

[LENA ARRIVES IN SHADES, A ONE-PIECE SWIMMING SUIT AND LONG SKIRT]

Lena:  Good morning, seniors!  

All: [Applaud]

Lena:  How's the surf today?

Boy: Ready for the beach, Ms. Foster?

Lena:  [Lowering her voice as she approaches Brandon, Jesus, Mariana and Wyatt]  By the way.  This had better be all cleaned up by the end of the day.  And if I find even one grain of sand?  I'm going to make a beach in all of your beds.

Jesus:  It's not my problem.  [Walks away]

Tonia:  So true!

Tara: Loved that, for once, Jesus is not in trouble!  

[BRANDON AND MARIANA FOLLOW HIM]

Brandon:  What?  Yes, it is.  Your last name's Foster.

Mariana:  It's OUR problem.

Tonia:  No, it's not!  You two and Callie were the ones who decided that bringing the beach inside your school was a good idea.  Jesus was home watching Whip It...

JESUS AND HIS FAMILY AT THE CHURCH WITH XIMENA, WHO IS FREE TO LEAVE NOW

Ximena:  Pastor Nicole.  [Hugs her]  I can never thank you enough for everything you've done for me.  

Pastor Nicole:  You are always welcome here, and we will be praying for you and your family.  Do you know where you're going?

ToniaHave to say that I have loved Jean Louisa Kelly (Pastor Nicole) since Uncle Buck in 1989.

Ximena: Stef and Lena said that I could live with them until my DACA status is approved and I can be Poppy's legal guardian.

Tonia:  So now they have 7 kids.  Poppy's already sleeping on the floor in Callie and Mariana's room.  Where's Ximena going to sleep?  Living room?

Pastor Nicole:  That is so lovely of you.

Lena:  We're happy to have her.

Tonia:  Got a bit of a gross feeling though when Pastor Nicole told Lena how "lovely" it was that they took Ximena in...  Like, way to make Ximena feel like a burden..  

I was really glad Lena genuinely said they were glad to have her.

Ximena's Lawyer:  There are some people and press outside.  You ready for that?

Ximena: [Nods]

Lawyer:  Okay.  Let's go.

Jesus:  [Opens the door]

JESUS - AT DERBY PRACTICE WITH MARIANA, POPPY, XIMENA AND CALLIE (WHO IS TAKING VIDEO) - THE NEXT DAY

Poppy: [To Mariana]  Oh, hey.  Emma's here.

Jesus:  Hey.  What's up?

Emma: Well, since my best friend and my boyfriend are obsessed with the derby, I thought why not give it a try myself.

Jesus:  [Looks unhappy at this.  He wanted something apart from Emma to make him happy and here's Emma joining derby]

Ximena: We can always use fresh meat.

Jesus: Yeah, that's great...

Emma: [Smiling] Cool.

Tonia:  Again, I'm gonna say: What could just be a girlfriend thing?  (Where she's worried Jesus and Poppy have a thing.)  Now feels a tiny bit ableist what with Jesus not being allowed to have one thing seperate from Emma.  One thing that him and his sisters can do together, and instead, there's Emma, in on this, too.

Tara: I don't necessarily see ableism here.  I think Emma's desperate to find ways to spend time with Jesus, and she's trying to join the team so she does not have to be a third wheel.

I do think that Jesus was perhaps hoping to have something that his girlfriend would not potentially outshine him in, but we will have to see how things play out.

Tonia:  ^That's a good point.  I was thinking more in the sense that (to me) Jesus was pretty clear about wanting to do derby without Emma and she injected herself in there anyway, disregarding his wishes and not taking him seriously.

WHAT ABOUT GRACE?



Tonia:  Grace and Brandon had a pretty good storyline this week.

After they look at Brandon's stark, serious senior pictures, Susan shares about her senior prank.  (Afterward, saying, "I used to be fun," and Grace adds, "Until you had a kid with cancer."  Susan denies this but Grace doesn't believe her.)

I love that these moments are included and that Grace feels at-ease enough with her mom to bring them up.  Felt very real to me, even down to Susan's hard denial.

Things are tense until Brandon brings the conversation back around to senior pranks and Grace begs Brandon to do one so she can be in on it.  Brandon drags his feet.  Senior pranks aren't his thing, but he can't resist giving Grace what she wants.  And Grace apparently wants to bring the beach inside Anchor Beach.

They get caught (of course), and Brandon and Grace have a great conversation in the car later.  She says she wants him to take care of himself.  He says she should not feel guility because he is exactly where he wants to be.

Grace tells him that she'll make him a deal:  she won't feel guilty if he will stop treating her like a Make-a-Wish Kid whose every dream he has to make come true.  He says he will.  Then she says she's getting her T-cells put back in soon and needs to go no-contact so she won't be sick when she gets her T-cells back.  (How she can not get sick with no immune system?  No one really knows.)

They have a sweet final scene where Brandon comes to her apartment and they talk through the door.  He leaves her a gift that he sterilized outside the door.  She opens it after he's left, and it's a jar of sand from their prank and a framed new senior pic of Brandon in a louge chair in the sandy hallway of Anchor Beach.

I continue to enjoy that Grace is strong in what she will not accept.  She wants to experience things, but not at the expense of her own self respect.

Tara: It will be interesting to see if the treatment takes or not, and how that might change things.

WHAT ABOUT STEF?

Tonia:  Stef has apparently arranged to meet with a therapist at the beginning of the episode, but ends up catching Jude's flu and spending the entire episode in bed.  She's concerned about her high school bestie and current neighbor Tess, who seems to be exploring her sexuality while married to husband Dean.  (Stef and Tess's friendship was disliked by Stef's father when they were kids, as he felt they were "too close.")

I'm curious at the origin of Stef's anxiety here, as it seems, in this episode particularly, centered around Tess, whom she confronts at the end of the episode.  When they were friends in high school, Stef's dad made her talk to a priest, alone by herself, who told her being gay was a sin and she was going to hell.  I'm wondering if her anxiety stems from something around that, or the many other (also legitimate) places it could originate.  (Stef being shot and having cancer.  Lena miscarrying their baby.  All the kids being in danger all the time.)  But it seems to have been a thing even back when Stef and Mike were married (before the show began).

I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Tara: I felt like Stef's new job was a huge stressor.  But, as you said, Tonia...we'll have to see what happens!

As always, we welcome your thoughts and questions.  Thanks for reading. :)


6 comments:

  1. Fantastic review ladies! Still love Jesus and Poppy. The make out scene between Emma and Jesus made me giggle. I can totally see why Emma is jealous and wants to join in on the sports. I don’t see ableism there. Just a “Don’t touch my hot guy Poppy” kinda vibe from Emma. I can also totally get why Jesus needs to have something totally his own. I remember reading that it is very healthy in a relationship for each person to have something that is separate from the other.

    Tonia, I’m so sorry they made you walk with only 1 crutch until you fell. :(

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  2. Fantastic review ladies! Still love Jesus and Poppy. The make out scene between Emma and Jesus made me giggle. I can totally see why Emma is jealous and wants to join in on the sports. I don’t see ableism there. Just a “Don’t touch my hot guy Poppy” kinda vibe from Emma. I can also totally get why Jesus needs to have something totally his own. I remember reading that it is very healthy in a relationship for each person to have something that is separate from the other.

    Tonia, I’m so sorry they made you walk with only 1 crutch until you fell. :(

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    1. Thank you <3

      (I did go back and clarify a bit as to why I feel that ableism may have played a part - however small - in Emma joining the team.)

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    2. Thanks for the clarification! That makes more sense. You're welcome!

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    3. You're welcome! Thanks for the clarification! That makes much more sense!

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