Season 4 of Freeform’s The Fosters left off with one of the biggest cliffhangers of the series. Callie, played by Maia Mitchell, finds herself the victim of human trafficking after being abducted by Diamond, played by Hope Olaide Wilson, and her pimp. With Stef, played by Teri Polo, tracking Callie’s lost phone, the fate of Callie and the other girls in danger is up in the air.
TVGuide.com spoke with executive producer Joanna Johnson about the upcoming season. The main goal for Season 5 is to bring the show’s focus back on family issues. She revealed, “One thing we’re trying to do this season is get back to the family stories and the smaller stories, also sort of the social activist stories that we like to tell on the show.”
In regards to Callie’s human trafficking storyline, Johnson ensured that the Season 5 premiere will immediate;y address the situation. “Callie is in a very compromised position having gone with Diamond’s pimp to hopefully get him put away.” She added, “It’s pretty exciting and intense.” Fans will be happy to know that Callie will exit the scary situation during the first episode, but that “there will be consequences that reverberate as always on the show as the season goes on.”
Much of the past season dealt with Jesus’s brain injury. While Jesus, played by Noah Centineo, is healing, Johnson has no plans in having him recover anytime soon. “A traumatic brain injury is not something that you just get over quickly. It usually has lifelong effects that you are still dealing with. We really wanted to be true to that so he doesn’t just instantly get better,” she revealed. “He’s still struggling a lot. He’s not back at school yet. He’s trying to figure out what his future is. He still has trouble with these outbursts, emotionally and physically…This is something that is going to be a long-term recovery for him, and the family because it affects everyone.”
While Johnson is excited for many storylines in the upcoming season, the one that sticks out to her the most is the budding relationship between Callie and Aaron, played by Elliot Fletcher. “It’s interesting she’s dating someone who is trans and them just having a normal male/female relationship and going through those ups and downs of that.” She also added that she’s excited for fans to see Callie as a normal teenager and that this season she will “find out who she is and what she wants to do.”
Johnson also added that the upcoming season will continue to include social topics. “We’re exploring the political climate on college campuses and a lot of the debate about whether freedom of speech should be totally protected on college campuses or whether speakers who are inflammatory or incite discrimination and violence, whether they should be allowed to speak,” she said. “Also, Stef is a detective in the human trafficking division now so we’re going to continue to highlight those stories and how children are exploited in this country, the things we need to help them and the resources that they need.”
Season 5 of The Fosters will premiere on Freeform on Tuesday, July 11 at 8/7c.