Review: ‘Good Trouble’ 2×09 “Nochebuena” and 2×10 “A Very Coterie Christmas”

Freeform/Christopher Willard

*Through the years we all will be together, If the fates allow*

Good Trouble’s two hour holiday special is filled with everything a fan of this world could ever want: holiday fun, heartwarming moments and the entire Adams-Foster family reuniting for the first time since The Fosters went off the air. Yes, you read that right – the entire Adams-Foster family is back together, but more on that in a second.

Without further ado, let’s break down two hours of holiday magic, shall we?

The First Ever Adams-Foster/Hunter Family Holiday Extravaganza

A majority of the holiday special focuses on the Adams-Foster family and seeing them blend with the Hunters for a holiday extravaganza to remember. The kids get all along swimmingly, but Stef and Lena still don’t seem to get along with Jim and Diane, which I honestly can’t blame them for because Jim and Diane are kind of the worst. 

But the thing that I loved the most about the special is that we got spend a little bit of one-on-one time with each member of the Adams-Foster family. It was a lot to cram in in just two hours – especially when you consider the fact that all of the Coterie residents had storylines of their own too – but I’m glad the writers gave us these moments because it’s truly what made this special feel like coming home for the holidays. 

Here’s a little rundown on what everyone is up to:

Brandon: Brandon is still happily married to Eliza and both are still pursuing their individual careers in music; Brandon is getting ready to start a job as an assistant to a TV composer while Eliza has been offered a first chair position with an orchestra in Amsterdam. So for now, they’re going to do long distance. Until a tiny wrench gets thrown in their plans: Eliza might be pregnant! Brandon tells her that he’s willing to give up his assistant job to join her in Amsterdam so that she doesn’t have to go through it alone. In the end, she’s not pregnant but Brandon still chooses to join her in Amsterdam because he loves her and doesn’t want them to be apart. Cue all the *awwwwws*.

Jude: Everything is well in Jude’s world. He took an ethics class this past semester and now can’t stop quoting philosophers. He also starts hooking up with Carter, the third Hunter sibling, after some major flirtation went down between the two of them the last time they saw each other. It seems pretty serious between them at the end of the special but I guess we will have to wait and see what comes of it.

Callie: In classic Callie fashion, she still hasn’t told her moms about quitting her clerkship so now it’s hanging over her head during the holidays. Mariana also finds a ring in Jamie’s underwear drawer while she’s snooping so it looks like Callie could have a rock on her finger by the time the holidays are over. But as it turns out, all Jamie wanted to give her was a pair of earrings and a key to his apartment. Oh and thanks to Malika, Stef and Lena already knew about Callie’s clerkship. And they’re not that upset – a major win in Callie’s book!

Mariana: Mariana is obsessed over making sure she has an Instagram-perfect holiday so that it will force Raj to reach out to her while he’s in India. That also means going all gung-ho on this Christmas festival for families of people who have been incarcerated. So when it gets cancelled, of course she volunteers to host the entire thing at the Coterie. It goes off without a hitch, so much so that she doesn’t even bat an eye when Raj does finally text her. She recites one of the philosopher quotes that Jude had been saying ti Callie: “Be a good person but don’t waste your time proving it.” Looks like she learned one of the true meanings of the holiday after all!

Stef and Lena: Stef has been officially elected to the state assembly of California! This means since she will be spending a lot of time in Sacramento, Stef is going to be taking some time off to join her there. But as it turns out, Stef is hiding something from Lena: she got a position with Amnesty International – in Venezuela. Lena, being the understanding partner that she is, tells Stef to take the position. 

Jesus: Jesus is the only Adams-Foster who’s NOT joining the family for the holiday. He’s off gallivanting around Southeast Asia. They do get to FaceTime him though and he’s got some exciting news: not only has he reunited with Emma, they’re engaged! Yay for love!

Holiday Miracles Do Happen

Jazmin comes over to The Coterie to celebrate Nochebuena with Gael, especially since this will be his first one estranged from the family. However, their holiday plans change when Gael gets a text from their mom letting them know that Abuelo is in the hospital. Jazmin is hesitant to go visit him since they called Gael and not her. But Gael convinces her that Abuelo would want her there by his side.

When they show up to the hospital, their father is not happy. In fact, he storms of the room as Jazmin walks over to Abuelo’s bedside. Gael follows him out and confronts him, but that conversation really goes nowhere. 

Later that night, Jazmin goes and sits with her father in the waiting room. He tells her that he’s never going to stop missing his son Alejandro, but she says that she was never actually Alejandro – she was just trying to be for him and Abuelo. “Maybe you could learn to love your daughter, Jazmin,” she admits hopefully.

Although it looked grim for a while, MIRACLES DO HAPPEN Y’ALL! Not only does Abuelo open his eyes, but he also gets Jazmin and her father to reunite in one of the series’ most touching moments to date. I’m excited to see how this relationship progresses as the season goes on and watch their father learn to love his daughter.

The Coterie is saved!

Alice has a big secret that she’s been keeping from all of the Coterie residents as she’s afraid it will ruin all of their holidays. Apparently, The Coterie’s lease is up, which typically would be no big deal as Alice could just sign an extension. Except Alice is not actually the property manager – a woman named Claudette is. 

Alice goes to see Claudette to try and get her to sign the papers; she agrees to sign but only if she can move back in. Alice runs the idea by the rest of the Coterie – without any context – and they all refuse to have her move back in on the grounds of her being crazy. 

But leave it to Dennis to come in clutch in the end. He uses the money that he got from the sale of his house to pay for the Coterie to renew their lease, despite having considered moving out earlier in the special. “The Coterie saved me,” he tells her as he finishes signing his name on the dotted line.  No, *you* are crying all the tears right now.

Episode Notes:

  • I get that the holiday special is meant to be an isolated thing, but are we really just going to not address Malika standing up to Judge Wilson at the end of 2×08? Like I’m assuming she didn’t get arrested, but what happened? Hopefully we will find out when season 2B really picks up in mid-January.
  • I love that they hit on so many topical issues in the opening of 2×09 when discussing their Christmas wishes: ending hate and violence, stopping putting kids in cages, that we save our planet. It always amazes me how well this show is able to ground itself in reality.
  • Jamie, if you were really worried about the Adams-Foster family being late, you should have told them it started 30 minutes before it actually did. 
  • Malika and Issac continue to be the cutest. Also, Issac can wear the HELL out of a suit. Like damnnnnnnn.
  • I really love the scenes of Davia and Dennis baking cookies at Dennis’ old house. Moments like these are a great example of how you properly build the foundation for a potential relationship down the road.
  • The scene of the couple who bought Dennis’ old house ‘making a baby’ while Dennis and Davia hide out in the closet gives me life. 
  • Claudette seems like she is the definition of batshit crazy. I’m glad she didn’t move back in to the Coterie.
  • The Stef/Davia scene was a great touch, but I feel cheated out of another Stef/Dennis scene. Can we get another one soon, please? K thx.
  • Is it just me or does there seem to be a lack of chemistry between Eliza and Brandon this time around? I felt it in the series finale, but it just seemed to be gone this time around.
  • Lena thinking the mistletoe is weed might be the best and most underrated part of the whole two hours. 
  • There was so much sexual tension between Mariana and Evan in the elf house that I have to believe they are going to kiss at least once this season. I’m calling it now.
  • Although we don’t learn anything about the ring or who it was meant for, I have a feeling that ring was actually meant for Jamie’s ex-girlfriend Heather, who his mom couldn’t help but praise at the family get together after mentioning that she recently ran into her.
  • I have so many questions about the Jesus and Emma proposal. When did they get back in contact? When did Jesus know he wanted to propose? Is she moving back to the US? Are we going to get to see the wedding? SO MANY QUESTIONS!
  • Even if Jesus was on FaceTime, seeing the ENTIRE Adams-Foster family back together simultaneously warmed my heart and made me cry happy tears. Can’t wait for the next family reunion.

What did you think of the episodes? Let me know in the comments below!

Good Trouble season 2B premieres Wednesday, January 15th at 10/9c on Freeform.

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