‘The Fosters’ "Brallie": To ship or not to ship?

The Fosters has a lot going for it. It is progressive and beautiful and full of love and honesty. Additionally, for some fans, one of the biggest draws is the relationship between the oldest Foster child, Brandon, and his not-yet-adopted foster sister, Callie. These two characters–and the actors who play them, David Lambert and Maia Mitchell–have undeniable chemistry. From the moment Callie arrived at the Adams Foster home there was something between them, and through all of the bumps on Callie’s road to adoption, it has never quite gone away.
Promos for this week’s episode, “Going South,” have teased some quality Callie and Brandon time. Across the internet, “Brallie” supporters are anticipating the hour with bated breath. The big question, though, is within the context of the show, does it make sense to root for these two as a pair?

The answer, quite simply, is no.

Despite the goosebumps Brallie fans may get when re-watching scenes of these two together, the entire message of the show would be compromised were Brandon and Callie to wind up in a romantic relationship. The Fosters spends a lot of time teaching us that family is not about biology. Family is about love; the children and siblings we gain through adoption are every bit as much our family as the ones we get by blood. Callie had her chance to go live with her biological father. Robert Quinn showed up and he was wonderful and provided a healthy, legitimate option for Callie and she chose the Adams Fosters. She chose to be Lena and Stef’s daughter–and to be Brandon’s sister.

Yes, when she momentarily thought that the option was off the table, Callie immediately fell back into Brandon’s arms and admitted how difficult it was to give him up in order to be adopted. For a second, it looked like maybe she’d find the silver lining in Sophia’s betrayal and make the choice to live with the Quinns in order to be with Brandon. But, she didn’t. Ultimately, when Brandon reminded her that her dream was to be a part of the Adams Foster family, she refocused and promised not to let go of that dream.

That has to be it, folks. No matter how much their time together felt right. No matter how real the connection was. I get that it’s tough to let go of something that showed such promise early on. Back when Callie was only supposed to be in the house a few weeks, it felt right that she should find comfort in Brandon (especially since his girlfriend was so terrible). During Callie’s time at Girls United, Brandon’s visits were illicit and sexy and he even wrote her a song! It was everything good ships are made of. But, all of that is behind us now.

If we are to believe in the idea that families that are assembled like the Adams Fosters are no different than families that we are born into, then we have to let the notion of Callie and Brandon go, once and for all. Rooting for them at this point is rooting for the system to fail. If Callie had chosen Robert, then we could have gotten a different ending. But, that’s not the story that’s being told here. Callie is clear on the fact that she wants these people to be her family. There is no confusion when it comes to brothers and sisters, so there should be no confusion when it comes to Callie and Brandon.

That ship has sailed.


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