Not even a whole week has gone by since the summer finale and I am still thinking about Jonnor and the mysterious Event in the Tent. I believe that now, because of Jonnor, The Fosters has a chance to make TV history. I hope they don’t blow it but unfortunately I think they might.
This post is me organizing my thoughts on Jonnor and how things might turn out in Season 2.5. I am trying to come up with what I think are logical conclusions based on clues in the finale, how the show has handled things in the past, and how the characters have been established.
What happened in the tent
Although we may never know exactly what happened, I think everybody realizes by now that it was something “intimate”, which means it wasn’t typical teenage boy stuff like sneaking out to spy on the girls in the tent next door. Jude’s confession to Lena and Stef at the fund-raiser gives the whole game away. When he asks Lena if she quit her job because of him, she assures him that it was not about him but about standing up to Connor’s dad because he was bullying Jude by judging him unfairly and spreading rumors. Then Jude tells Lena that something did happen between him and Connor on the camping trip, and his message is: you quit your job over Connor’s dad thinking I’m into boys and want to get with his son, but guess what, I did get with his son, so you quit your job for the wrong reasons and I feel bad about it.
Who made the first move
I think it was Connor. Jude had more to lose if he risked making the first move, because by now he knew what Connor’s dad was saying about him and the only signal he’d gotten from Connor was that Connor liked girls. And, after Jude got mad at Connor when Jude thought that he was being a little phobic (“What? Gay? You can say it, it’s not a bad word”), Connor would have realized that if anything was going to happen with Jude it would be up to him (Connor) to start it. (Just like in the spin the bottle game.) Also, Jude commented at the beginning of the episode that “Connor can be kinda needy” and later said that it was Connor who’d wanted to share the tent. In Connor’s effort to steer events the way he wanted, he might have expressed himself in a way that made him seem needy.
The Jonnor storyline from here
I wanted The Fosters to give us more Jonnor and it looks like my wish has been granted, but when it comes to The Fosters we should realize that if you get a major storyline on the show then it has to come with extra drama. Fortunately, Lena quitting her job is a major plot development that is directly tied to Jonnor. This makes it almost certain that Jude and Connor will be a focus for at least a few episodes of Season 2.5. This is very exciting but full of peril haha. The real question here is not whether we’ll have Jonnor but how the drama will go and whether Jonnor survives.
So here is where I look at the possibilities. Probably none of them is right because I’m not half as smart as the Fosters writers but I had to try.
- Connor’s dad takes drastic action to remove Connor from the situation. By this I mean something like Connor’s dad pulling him out of the Anchor Beach school so he won’t see Jude anymore. It’s an extreme action but Connor’s dad isn’t exactly the chillest guy in the room, and tbh some of his anger at Lena for not honoring his parental wishes seems justified. If this does happen, I hope it could be a temporary situation that is worked out as part of a longer storyline. Remember the drama with Lexi and her parents in Season 1. Lexi’s parents were dead set against her being with Jesus and were going to send her off to boarding school to make sure they were apart. In the Fosters universe this kind of extreme decision usually doesn’t succeed. This is because the show likes to redeem the characters who have negativity. (Another example is Ana. Look how she’s doing so much better now. I like to think that the same could happen with Connor’s dad.)
- Lena and Stef decide that Jude must cool it with Connor. This seems unlikely. I truly believe that the dialog in the kitchen where Lena and Stef discussed this idea was mainly to show them having a big disagreement, highlighting that tension was building in their relationship. If they were to make such a request of Jude, it would go against how they have approached him from the very beginning and would be incredibly different from how they’ve dealt with the relationships of their other kids. Sure, they wanted Brallie to stop but that was because of the adoption, and even when their other kids pick terrible partners (I’m looking at you, Jesus), Lena and Stef let them find their own way. I suppose they might ask Jude to cool it with Connor because of Connor’s dad, but they never asked Jesus to drop Lexi even after her parental drama blew up.
- Connor decides on his own to cool it with Jude. After Connor finds out that Jude confessed the truth to Stef and Lena at the fund-raiser, I think he will be wishing Jude had remembered how to be mute and kept his big yap shut lol. Connor might even resent him for it. Also, word might get out at the school as to all the reasons why Lena quit as vice principal, and with the resulting rumors about Jude and Connor there could be lots of pressure on them to distance – especially Connor, since as the more “popular” kid he has more to lose. This would be upsetting to viewers so I don’t think this is endgame, but it might be a temporary stop on the way.
- Jude decides on his own to cool it with Connor. This would have been unthinkable before the mid-season finale but in that kitchen scene with Stef and Lena, Jude practically offered to end the friendship. At first this knocked me back because it seemed out of character for Jude to even think of such a thing, let alone to offer it. However, it was before Jude found out that Lena quit her job over the Connor drama, and after he finally told her and Stef that something had actually happened in the tent, he finished by saying it was “wrong, I guess.” So he might end up having an impulse to push Connor away in the hope of making things right. Unfortunately, I think this is a possible direction the story could take since Jude is already showing regret about what happened. This would be sad because there goes the Jonnor friendship and we can say bye to TV history along with it.
My fear about where this storyline is going is that Jude will regret what happened in the tent and cool things with Connor. So much of the dialog in this episode seemed to break in that direction – Jude commenting that Connor is “needy”, Jude offering to stop being friends with Connor, Jude saying that Connor was the one who wanted to share the tent and that what happened in the tent was “wrong”. It could be that they’re setting things up so Connor is questioning his sexuality even more than Jude is, and that would be an interesting take, but I will get pretty heated if it means that their friendship falls apart. The show has spent so much time establishing these two as best friends and done it through some amazing scenes of closeness and support. (Someday if I have time I want to do a breakdown of the whole “pick a partner” sequence where Connor visits Jude’s house for the first time in Season 1 because it’s a great feat of writing and acting.) I think one reason I had to type all this is I’m a little panicked they’re going to turn the Jonnor friendship into something Jude feels bad about. And if that happens I will go down with this ship and start watching something else, real talk. It will feel like such a cop out when they had a chance to really soar with this storyline.
My hope is that The Fosters will give us a groundbreaking Jonnor endgame where Connor’s dad is somehow made to be okay with what’s happening and both boys figure out how to take their friendship to the next level without shame or fear. This is what The Fosters does best. As for Connor’s dad and his anti-gay feelings, the show likes to depict how people who are lost can find their way. So I hope the Jonnor drama will play out so that with Stef and Lena’s help, Connor’s dad somehow comes to accept that his son might have an attraction to another boy and Jude realizes that despite all the drama over the tent event and Lena quitting her job, Connor’s the guy for him. It’s pretty safe to assume Connor’s dad is not an undocumented immigrant like Lexi’s parents, but who knows, maybe it will come to light that he himself had some ish with another guy in his past and never dealt with it. That would be crazy good haha.
Season 2.5 is going to be a moment of truth for The Fosters. They can make TV history. I hope they don’t screw it up.