The Best Episodes of The Fosters (2013)

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From executive producer Jennifer Lopez, "The Fosters" is a compelling drama about a multi-ethnic family mix of foster and biological kids being raised by two moms. Stef Foster, a dedicated police officer, and her partner Lena Foster, a school Vice Principal, have built a close-knit, loving family with Stef's biological son from a previous marriage, Brandon, and their adopted twins, Mariana and Jesus. Their lives are disrupted in unexpected ways when Lena meets Callie, a hardened teen with an abusive past who has spent her life in and out of foster homes. Lena and Stef warily welcome Callie into their home thinking it's just for a few weeks, until a more permanent placement can be found. What happens next will determine if Stef and Lena made the right choice in taking a chance on Callie, and whether they have room in their home - and their hearts - for one more.

The Show

#1 - The Show

Season 3 - Episode 19

As they perform the parts of Romeo and Juliet on the show's big opening night, Mat and Mariana are forced to face the depth of their feelings for each other. The musical performance sparks heightened emotion for members of the Adams Foster family, causing them to reflect on recent events. Meanwhile, a domestic violence call leads Stef to a tragic discovery.

star 8.36
249 votes
Writers: Bradley Bredeweg, Peter Paige, Joanna Johnson
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Potential Energy

#2 - Potential Energy

Season 4 - Episode 1

Tensions run high as Stef and Lena are called to action when the school is put on lockdown after it’s discovered that Mariana’s boyfriend Nick brought his father’s gun on campus, after seeing her kiss her ex-boyfriend Mat. Callie admits her past relationship with Brandon to her moms. But before Stef and Lena can even process the information, the school goes into the “Code Blue” lockdown.

star 8.33
362 votes
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Padre

#3 - Padre

Season 1 - Episode 15

Recent events bring up painful memories for Callie and Jude and make Callie question what is most important to her. Stef is flustered by a discovery about Lena and Mike is troubled by new developments in the shooting investigation. Meanwhile, Jesus' long distance relationship with Lexi is complicated by his growing bond with his wrestling teammate, Emma.

star 8.29
162 votes
Writers: Tamara P. Carter, Bradley Bredeweg, Peter Paige
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Collateral Damage

#4 - Collateral Damage

Season 4 - Episode 10

In the midseason finale, Callie and the family set-up a Justice for Jack booth at the music festival in the hopes of stopping Justine's foster-care bill; but Callie's advocation for both Kyle and Jack puts her in danger. Meanwhile, tensions between AJ and Aaron escalate; and Mariana flees from the festival after seeing Nick, leading the family to frantically search for her.

star 8.28
297 votes
Adoption Day

#5 - Adoption Day

Season 1 - Episode 21

Stef and Mike are faced with the repercussions of a shocking revelation, and the fallout could destroy lives and relationships. Callie contemplates her upcoming adoption and Brandon’s frustration leads him to make another regrettable decision. Mariana supports a friend with a difficult decision, and Jesus resolves to make a change for the better as he manages his ADHD. Jude gets asked out on a date.

star 8.28
144 votes
Directors: Norman Buckley
Writers: Bradley Bredeweg, Peter Paige
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Safe

#6 - Safe

Season 4 - Episode 2

After being given the all clear to head home, tensions are still running high in the Adams Foster household. Fragile and skittish from the school lockdown, the family sticks close, but their secrets keep them apart. Callie and Brandon anxiously wait for their moms to address their behavior in Idyllwild while Stef warns everyone to stay off their phones and computers due to the rumors swirling around their family. Meanwhile, Brandon sneaks out to help Cortney move, leading to a major blowup between him and Stef.

star 8.23
338 votes
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Mother

#7 - Mother

Season 2 - Episode 6

Tragedy strikes the Fosters and they must look to each other for strength. Stef confronts Mike about Ana, and he comes clean about why he was at the halfway house the night of Ana's disappearance. Meanwhile, Wyatt seeks relationship advice from a very uncomfortable Brandon, and Mariana is still furious with Jesus for putting her in the middle of his girl problems.

star 8.15
148 votes
Directors: Lee Rose
Writers: Joanna Johnson
House and Home

#8 - House and Home

Season 1 - Episode 12

Callie meets Rita Hendricks, a woman who works in the foster care system, and it’s clear it will take Callie some time to adjust to Rita’s no-nonsense guidance. Brandon comes clean about the reason Callie ran away and, unbeknownst to Stef and Lena, he sets out to track her down. Meanwhile, Mariana volunteers to help with the school play in order to impress a cute boy, but when she gets paired up with an old “friend,” it could spell trouble. Jesus’ meds are having concerning side effects, and he’s desperate to find an alternative to taking the pills. Mike suggests he participate in contact sports to help relieve his aggression, and Jesus tries out for the wrestling team.

star 8.14
153 votes
Directors: Martha Mitchell
Writers: Joanna Johnson
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Play

#9 - Play

Season 2 - Episode 3

Stef and Lena go on a babymoon, leaving Brandon and Callie in charge of the house. Brandon’s bandmates pressure him into having a few friends over to hear their new sound, but when Mariana and Jesus find out, the night turns into an all-out rager. Determined to follow Stef and Lena’s rules, Callie tries to police the party but fails miserably. Jude finds himself in an awkward game of spin the bottle. Meanwhile, Lena tries to reconnect with Stef, who is finding it hard to relax on their weekend getaway.

star 8.06
156 votes
Directors: Martha Mitchell
Writers: Thomas Higgins
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Take Me Out

#10 - Take Me Out

Season 2 - Episode 2

Brandon contemplates a big decision that could either restore or destroy his dream of playing piano, but Stef and Lena find themselves on opposite ends of the debate. The Foster siblings plot to cheer Brandon up by taking him out to see a band and he butts heads with the sexy lead singer Lou. Meanwhile, Stef confronts Mike about his whereabouts the night Ana disappeared. A mysterious stranger keeps tabs on Callie, and Callie is faced with a choice that could further complicate her life. An encounter with Connor's dad creates a rift in Jude and Connor's friendship. And Jesus begins to feel threatened by Emma's independent spirit.

star 8.06
153 votes
Directors: Elodie Keene
Writers: Megan Lynn, Wade Solomon
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I Do

#11 - I Do

Season 1 - Episode 10

Stef and Lena try to maintain calm when their parents descend on the Foster house for a very special celebration. Lena’s dad, Stewart, has agreed to officiate the ceremony while her mother Dana and Stef’s colorful, talkative mom Sharon, attempt to keep things civil while disagreeing on floral arrangements. Sharon tries to strong-arm Frank into attending. Stef avoids telling Lena she plans to return to work as soon as she is cleared. Meanwhile, when Callie’s case against Liam boils down to her word against his, she must decide whether or not to lie in order to get some justice out of the situation. Callie and Jude get some news they've been hoping for, but Callie makes an emotional slip that could destroy any chance they finally have at happiness.

star 8.06
178 votes
Directors: James Hayman
Writers: Bradley Bredeweg, Peter Paige
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Kingdom Come

#12 - Kingdom Come

Season 3 - Episode 20

In the wake of a tragic loss, the family pulls together and searches for answers. Callie makes a shocking discovery that has her questioning her loyalties. Nick gives Mariana an expensive gift, adding to her guilt about what happened between her and Mat. Meanwhile, Brandon tells his moms that Cortney has a child, and finds himself in a predicament after her ex-husband kicks Cortney out of their apartment.

star 8.02
249 votes
Directors: Joanna Johnson
Writers: Bradley Bredeweg, Peter Paige
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Family Day

#13 - Family Day

Season 1 - Episode 14

There are possibilities of someone being pregnant. She speaks with her gynecologist to know if she's still qualified to become pregnant. The issue here is that she hasn't spoken with her partner about it. Jesus tries to drop weight for wrestling, and he and Emma flirt with each other. Meanwhile, Rita opens up to Callie about her past: she cheated on her ex-husband.The Fosters visit Callie and learn she may not return with them. Callie shares a secret with one of her housemates, but events are turned upside down. Stef and Lena discuss with Jude about the option of adopting him without Callie. Stef and Lena are caught off guard by something Stef's dad Frank does.

star 8.01
154 votes
Directors: Elodie Keene
Writers: Megan Lynn, Wade Solomon
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Things Unknown

#14 - Things Unknown

Season 2 - Episode 1

it’s a big day for Callie as her future with the Fosters hinges on the revelation that Donald is not her birth father. What happens next could threaten to separate Callie and Jude once again. Brandon struggles to recover and come to terms with his guilt over sleeping with Dani, and big questions still remain about what Mike was up to the night Ana disappeared. Meanwhile, Jesus and Emma’s relationship impacts Emma’s standing with her teammates, which causes tension between them. Mariana has made a big change, much to Stef’s dismay.

star 8.01
164 votes
Directors: Norman Buckley
Writers: Bradley Bredeweg, Peter Paige
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Vigil

#15 - Vigil

Season 1 - Episode 9

While Lena tries to process the extent of Mariana and Jesus’ lies, Stef and Mike head to Ana’s to try and find Jesus. What they encounter lands someone in the hospital and changes the Foster family forever. While the family waits anxiously for news, tensions rise over the secrets the kids kept from Stef and Lena and even Brandon realizes he’s to blame for covering for the twins. Callie has a heart-to-heart with Brandon to help him understand the perspective of a foster child and Brandon learns how Callie’s mother died. Wyatt calls Callie on her growing bond with Brandon but Callie is all too familiar with the damage that could result from this kind of relationship.

star 8.00
165 votes
Directors: David Paymer
Writers: Joanna Johnson
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Someone's Little Sister

#16 - Someone's Little Sister

Season 2 - Episode 10

In an effort to help Rita with a dilemma involving Girls United, Callie calls in a favor from her wealthy biological father, Robert Quinn. But an unexpected betrayal threatens to derail the new bond she's forging with the Quinns. Meanwhile, the pressure Connor faces from his father to end his friendship with Jude intensifies and leads Lena to make a life-changing decision. The tension mounts between Brandon and Lou, despite their bandmate Mat's warnings against drama. And a visit with someone from his past makes Jesus see his relationship with Hayley in a whole new light.

star 7.99
155 votes
Directors: Norman Buckley
Writers: Joanna Johnson
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Metropolis

#17 - Metropolis

Season 1 - Episode 20

As the high school’s Winter Ball approaches, Mariana and Jesus fret about dates and a surprise nomination for Winter Queen raises suspicions. Zac’s mom shows up at school to talk to Lena. An old friend pays a visit to Callie wanting to make amends, and Brandon feels threatened. But a past mistake could cause Brandon to lose Callie for good. Ana returns with unsettling news for Stef.

star 7.98
141 votes
Directors: Martha Mitchell
Writers: Joanna Johnson
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New York

#18 - New York

Season 4 - Episode 9

Brandon travels to New York City for his Julliard audition and meets a girl who forces him to take a hard look at his life, including his relationship with Cortney. Meanwhile, Stef and Lena make an unexpected announcement that leaves the family in shock. And Callie’s friendship with Aaron causes friction between her and AJ.

star 7.98
311 votes
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Daughters

#19 - Daughters

Season 3 - Episode 8

When Rita's daughter shows up unexpectedly, Callie sees a different side of Rita and learns the reason behind their strained relationship. Stef discovers a new lead in the hit-and-run case. Brandon confronts his moms about the tensions in the house.

star 7.98
166 votes
Directors: Chandra Wilson
Writers: Elle Johnson
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EQ

#20 - EQ

Season 3 - Episode 16

Brandon’s senior thesis is in jeopardy when a student raises concerns about the play glorifying suicide, leaving the school honor board to vote on whether or not his Romeo and Juliet musical can be performed at Anchor Beach. Rita’s daughter Chloe reaches out to Callie after Rita refuses to take her calls. Meanwhile, Stef teaches a class on handling emotion as part of a Youth Outreach Program.

star 7.97
214 votes
Directors: Anne Renton
Writers: Anne Meredith
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More Than Words

#21 - More Than Words

Season 3 - Episode 4

When Lena’s half-brother Nate comes for a visit with Lena and her parents, Lena aims to get an apology for an offensive name he called her mother years ago. Meanwhile, Cole invites Callie, Jude and Connor to an LGBTQ prom.

star 7.97
166 votes
Directors: Daisy Mayer
Writers: Marissa Jo Cerar
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Clean

#22 - Clean

Season 1 - Episode 8

A visit from Lena's beautiful and sophisticated ex-girlfriend reveals a secret yearning Lena has hidden from Stef for the past ten years. Meanwhile, Brandon struggles to please his demanding new piano teacher and rebuffs an offer from Talya to reconnect. When an embarrassing video of Talya circulates around the school, Callie lends her support and urges Brandon cut her some slack. Mike's drinking and Stef's mounting concern do not go unnoticed at the precinct. Mariana and Jesus go to tell Ana to leave Mariana alone. The encounter with his birth mom and her desperate situation drive Jesus to take matters into his own hands, a move that could have dire consequences for the whole family.

star 7.92
168 votes
Writers: David Ehrman, Paul Sciarrotta
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Over/Under

#23 - Over/Under

Season 2 - Episode 12

As Callie tries to wrap her head around Robert's change-of-heart, an ambulance shows up at the Quinn's house. Stef and Lena find themselves on opposite sides of several issues, including Lena's sudden decision to quit her job. Brandon is offered an opportunity to attend a prestigious summer music program. Mariana struggles when her dance team leader changes the lineup the day before the competition. Meanwhile, Jesus secretly attends Ana's AA meeting and is shocked by what he hears.

star 7.91
129 votes
Directors: Peter Paige
Writers: Bradley Bredeweg, Peter Paige
Rehearsal

#24 - Rehearsal

Season 3 - Episode 18

During a rehearsal for Brandon and Mat’s “Romeo and Juliet” musical, Zoe tells Nick that Mariana cheated on Mat when they dated, causing Mariana to fear that Nick will end their relationship. Callie serves as a character witness for her friend Daphne, who is desperately trying to get her daughter back. Meanwhile, Jesus and Mariana want to help their birth father.

star 7.91
200 votes
Directors: Norman Buckley
Writers: Megan Lynn, Wade Solomon
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Idyllwild

#25 - Idyllwild

Season 3 - Episode 9

The family heads to Idyllwild for Brandon's music competition where long-held feelings are revealed and life-changing secrets are unveiled. Callie finds herself in danger of being hurt when she questions Carmen and Brooke's motives directly. Mike witnesses an unexpected connection that may support Stef's theory for finding the hit-and-run driver.

star 7.89
185 votes
Directors: Joanna Johnson
Writers: Joanna Johnson
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