The long-awaited spinoff to The Fosters is finally here: Good Trouble premiered tonight on Freeform and it is everything we thought it would be and more. Since this is the pilot episode, myself and Stephen Anderson wanted to recap the episode and discuss all of the key moments together. Keep reading to see what we thought.
Good Trouble kicks off just moments after Callie (Maia Mitchell) and Mariana (Cierra Ramirez) Adams-Foster drive off in their U-Haul truck for their new home in L.A. Little do they know what awaits them. The first thing we see is Mariana mistakenly parking the U-Haul on the yellow line, which turns out to be a big no-no. The sisters go to pick up their impounded truck but Mariana is upset Callie won’t pay for half the fine.
Stephen Anderson: I loved this scene because we see the same bickering sisters we saw from The Fosters and we’re only six minutes into the premiere.
Bryna Kramer: Agree. It’s good to know that time apart on two separate coasts hasn’t changed their relationship at all.
Stephen: Before we continue, can we talk about that intro theme music? I’m not the biggest fan of it, mainly because I am so used to “Where You Belong” from the original show. Although after a few episodes I think I’ll hardly notice it.
Bryna: The intro theme music is a little weird and I feel like it doesn’t really fit the show. But like you, I don’t know if it’s because I’m so used to the iconic “Where You Belong” or whether I actually hate it. But I do really enjoy the focus on the different street art murals throughout LA. I think it’s a nice, familiar touch as it reminds me a lot of Callie and her love of art & photography in The Fosters.
Anyways, Callie and Mariana move into their new home – a communal apartment called The Coterie. It isn’t the best… okay, it’s a dump. Let’s just call it what it is. The girls aren’t happy at all but decide to make the best of it.
Both girls struggle with the first day of their new jobs. Callie is a clerk for conservative Judge Wilson, which already spells trouble considering how progressive she is, and her fellow clerks, who attended Harvard and Yale, don’t make things easier on her. Meanwhile, Mariana is struggling with her job as one of a few female engineers. Her team leader assigns her grunt work, presumably because she is a woman.
Stephen: I really like how the producers highlighted the struggles women go through in the workforce. Bryna, as a sports journalist – I am sure you’ve dealt with the same type of issue Mariana has?
Bryna: Not necessarily to the same extent Mariana has, but I’ve definitely experienced similar things in the sports world. There have been plenty of times where, as a woman, I’ve felt like I’ve been an outsider in the “boys club” that can exist in sports journalism. But like Mariana eventually learns, you can’t let that get to you. You’re good at your job and you have to let that speak for itself, regardless of gender.
We see mini-flashbacks/flashforwards throughout the episode. Our first flashback shows Callie meeting Gael, Mariana’s ‘friend’ from work (and future boyfriend as she calls him) and fellow Coterie resident on the first night they moved in. They talk on the roof which leads to them hooking up.
While guilt clearly ate away at Callie, she was also extremely pissed at Mariana for not telling her The Coterie was communal living and signing the communal living agreement when she applied for the lease. She threatens to get her own place and leave Mariana behind, which causes Mariana to storm out. Callie goes over to Gael’s place and tells him a guy won’t get between her and her sister…. Right before sleeping with him a second time.
Stephen: Oh Callie…
Bryna: Oh Callie indeed. But can you honestly blame her? I mean look at him. It seems like he’s going to help remind Callie about her passions in life, which she’ll need to work for someone who doesn’t share her values. At first, I really wanted her to have a fling with Jamie, Eliza’s older brother, especially once we learned he was living in LA in the series finale of The Fosters. But I’ve already abandoned that idea in favor of Callie and Gael’s future relationship filled with oh-so-steamy sexual tension.
Also, Mariana was completely in the wrong to keep Callie in the dark regarding their living situation. Callie still probably would have been mad about it, but she still should have said something from the beginning.
Stephen: I agree, they make a good looking couple but c’mon, the first night? Although, I do like how the writers envisioned this season. I mean, let’s face it – that is how the ‘hook up’ culture is seen in the real world. As for Mariana, this kind of proved to me what Callie and others said on The Fosters, that she always wants things her way. She shouldn’t have kept Callie in the dark about their living situation at all but she wanted to make this move. However, while it was wrong, it did bring the sisters closer than ever as they get ready for a bumpy road to adulthood.
And speaking of Eliza, I wonder if we’re going to see her in this series? I’d love to get more insight into how the marriage is and see that Callie/Brandon sibling bond in some real-world adult-like situations.
Bryna: I know we will see Brandon, but unclear as to whether or not we will see Eliza. But yes, the Callie/Brandon friendship/sibling bond was one of the best parts of The Fosters and I’m excited to see it in future episodes.
A fellow resident at The Coterie, Malika, mentions a case to Callie where a black man was killed by cops and she wants to see the case go to trial. In a twist of fate, Judge Wilson will be overseeing the case and, according to precedent, he’s likely to dismiss it. Callie imagines how she might deliver the news to Malika, but when we flash-forward to the present, she avoids bringing it up.
Stephen: Oh, I don’t think that is going to end well. With that said, I really like how Callie is still fighting for those who need a voice. This made me think of those times Rita and Callie talked at GU; she was so passionate about helping those in the foster system and the premiere showed we’re going to get that same Callie, maybe an even tougher one.
Bryna: Callie’s passion used to be so intertwined with her recklessness that it honestly used to be the storyline I hated the most. But as Callie has gotten older, her maturity has allowed her to figure out how to be passionate but also not ruin her chance to effectively make change. I’m excited to see how Callie’s job challenges her and pushes her to change the world, starting with this case.
Stephen: I really like that we’re starting with this case; it really sheds a whole new light on the racial divide in America. I am so intrigued to see Callie tackle this and Malika’s response to it all.
Mariana tries to make things better at work by finding a way around the boys club. Instead, her job nearly came to an end as she was scolded for approaching the company’s CEO in the elevator with a pitch.
Stephen: Man, I could have told you that wasn’t going to end well.
Bryna: Yeah, Mariana has always been an act-first, think-later kind of girl. Sometimes it works out great for her, and other times, like this one, it gets her in real trouble. But I love seeing how she’s started to stick up for herself in a tongue-in-cheek way. Very Mariana of her.
In the last scene, Callie finally confesses to having sex with Gael. And, like the good sister she is, Mariana doesn’t make a big deal about it. Then the girls see Gael and some other guy hooking up before things fade to black.
Stephen: Gael possibly being bisexual was not a twist I saw coming.
Bryna: No, me either. But I’m super excited for the potential this holds. Bisexuality is rarely seen on television, and especially with males. Often times, when it is depicted, the show focuses on that character’s relationships with one specific gender and drops the “bisexuality” part altogether. The Fosters’ writers room always told diverse stories thoroughly and properly and I have no doubt the Good Trouble’s writers’ room will continue to do the same.
Stephen: All in all, Good Trouble is a sexier, edgier, more grown-up version of The Fosters. And I cannot wait to see Stef and Lena, Jude, Jesus, and Brandon as the season goes on. This show is exactly the right follow-up to The Fosters and has the potential to be something very special.
Bryna: I completely agree. We’re just one episode in and Good Trouble already feels like the most natural evolution of our beloved show. This show is sexier and more mature but still has all of the heart and soul of the flagship show. Speaking of the flagship show, although this technically a spin-off and there might be references every now and then to something that took place on The Fosters, I do believe viewers could dive right in to Good Trouble without any context. Overall, this show is fantastic and I cannot wait to see what adventures Callie and Mariana have with their friends in The Coterie, their co-workers and, like you said, for all of the members of the Adams-Foster family to pop back up and pay the girls a visit.
What did you think of the first episode of Good Trouble? Let us know in the comments below! Good Trouble airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on Freeform.