“The Fosters” Co-Creator and Executive Producer Peter Paige Says Tonight’s Summer Finale Will Be “An Incredibly Dynamic Hour of Television” – Exclusive Q&A

As summer winds down, unfortunately, so do some of our favorite TV shows.

Tonight, Freeform will air The Fosters summer finale, and Peter Paige, the co-creator and executive producer of the show who co-wrote and directed tonight’s finale, exclusively told Celeb Secrets that it’s going to be “an incredibly dynamic hour of television.”

In the episode titled “Collateral Damage,” Callie (Maia Mitchell) and the family set up a “Justice for Jack” booth at a music festival in order to gather signatures to stop Justina’s foster care bill, but Callie’s persistence in advocating for both Jack and Kyle (Adam Irigoyen) lands her in a dangerous situation. Additionally, Callie’s efforts are sidelined when the tensions between her boyfriend AJ (Tom Williamson) and her friend Aaron come to a head. Mariana (Cierra Ramirez), still taking Jesus’ (Noah Centineo) ADHD prescription medication, sees Nick (Louis Hunter) and runs away from the festival, sending the family into a frantic search for her. Meanwhile, Stef (Teri Polo) discovers that her inquiries into Kyle’s case will have repercussions at her job.

Paige told us that the stories they have been telling over the last ten or twenty episodes will finally come to a head in tonight’s finale when the Adams Foster family members attend the music festival. According to Paige, paths will “cross and intertwine and explode.”

Check out our full Q&A with Peter Paige below, and don’t forget to tune in to the summer finale of The Fosters tonight, August 29th @ 8PM ET/PT on Freeform

Celeb Secrets: The summer finale of The Fosters is next week, but before I ask about that, I wanted to talk a little bit about this week’s episode. The moms realized that they can keep their home and not worry about Lena’s parents’ financial issues. Why was the decision made to keep them in their home?

Peter Paige: “The home is a character on the show. It’s the love by our family but also by the family of fans that we have around the world. It’s super important. Think about the opening sequence. The opening sequence is shots of that home, of our home, that evoke a feeling. We talked about really kind of changing things up and putting them in a new environment and forcing them to create a new home for themselves, but the truth is, I think it’s one of the things that people love coming back to week after week, is that even with all of the crazy, crazy stuff that happens to this family, there is this sense of warmth and love and history inside that craftsman.”

Celeb Secrets: And then Brandon seemed to finally make the decision to choose himself and Juilliard over his relationship with Cortney. Does that mean he’ll be moving back home? Can you give us any hints about that?

Peter Paige: “Well (laughs), I think you’re right…that Brandon finally realizes he has gotten himself way in over his head, and that in order for him to pursue his dreams, he’s going to have to make some difficult choices and have some difficult conversations.”

Celeb Secrets: We’ve seen a really interesting side of Jude this season. He’s growing up, he’s starting to experiment. What has it been like watching his character grow?

Peter Paige: “I didn’t even remember him ever that little (laughs). I mean, I kept thinking ‘that’s unreal, I was there, I might have written those worlds, how is that possible,’ but it’s been really fun. We’re just trying to honor what it is when kids become teenagers. They get a little sassy, they get a little mouthy, they start to rebel, they start to think they know better and that’s just the frickin truth, and so we thought that even with sweet Jude, it was important to explore that. And the truth is, it’s a reflection of Jude’s development and history of the show that he feels safe and he feels safe enough to rebel. Rebellion is a privilege but not everybody realizes that.”

Gilles Mingasson/Freeform
Gilles Mingasson/Freeform

Celeb Secrets: Also in this week’s episode, both Mariana and Callie have gotten themselves into trouble — Callie with the case she’s investigating and Mariana with Nick. In next week’s episode, it seems like it all comes to a head, so can you tell us what is going to happen with those two girls next week?

Peter Paige: “The finale is sort of the result of ten or twenty or more episodes of story development. Both Callie and Mariana find themselves at a (laughs) crest of the results of their choices and the decisions they’ve made — both positive and negative. Mariana is this dynamic overachiever who has decided that junior year is the most important thing that sets the course of the entire rest of her life and that’s an unbelievable amount of pressure that I think is very real for this generation of kids. And in order to achieve what she thinks she has to achieve, she is turning to some questionable resources like her brother’s pills and that’s a real challenge. And then she’s also had this really traumatic event at the beginning of the season, kind of a two-handed one, where she was isolated and locked down in the school and then she goes home finally feeling safe and Nick violates that and, unfortunately, she wasn’t able to kind of draw the boundaries that she needed to or ask for the help that she needed to and that definitely has been wreaking havoc on her psyche and her choice-making, so all of that is coming to a head in the finale. In a different way, Callie, who is everyone’s champion, Callie who only wants good things for other people and only wants to see justice served, is far, far, far, too willing to dismiss her own safety or her own well-being in order to help someone else and that is her lifelong struggle and will continue to be is learning how to take care of other people while first taking care of herself. She still has a long way to go in terms of learning that lesson, and again, that’s coming to a very major, very powerful head in the finale.”

Gilles Mingasson/Freeform
Gilles Mingasson/Freeform

Celeb Secrets: What else can fans expect from the finale besides Mariana’s story and Callie’s story?

Peter Paige: “There’s so much (laughs). There’s so much in the finale. I think on a scale of one through ten of intensity it’s at about a fifteen. Pretty much every story we’ve been telling over the last ten or twenty episodes comes to some sort of a head when our family goes to a music festival to help Callie with a passion projects. A lot of paths cross and intertwine and explode. It is an incredibly dynamic hour of television, if I do say so myself. ”

Celeb Secrets: You and Bradley wrote the finale together, so how was it getting to write this particular episode?

Peter Paige: “It’s always a challenge to weave that many stories together. The biggest challenge of this episode was where do you spend your capital, where do you spend time. We always try to honor all of our characters and give them all moments, even if they’re not carrying full stories in the episode, and with this one, that was particular challenging because so much is going on. We needed to make sure that it was all happening in a way you could keep track, that it was all happening in way that allowed you to have emotional experiences. That’s the most important thing to me always is that the rhythm of the show allows you as the fan and the viewer to have feelings and I think that’s why people come back.”

Celeb Secrets: Looking forward, since it is the season finale, do you have any topics or issues that you would like to tackle in the second half of the season?

Peter Paige: “We’ve tackled a lot (laughs). I mean, let’s be honest, we never try to waiver from an issue story. We don’t go at them from the issue side — we go at them from the character side — but when we find ourselves wading into something, we try to swim all the way into the deep end and find everything there is to be found. There is certainly more and there will always be more. I’m really enjoying, because I think it’s so relevant to what’s happening in the world around us, I’m really enjoying that we’re looking at prison reform and challenges in the justice system. More and more we’re hearing about these kind of incredible miscarriages of justice happening all around our country and all around the world that have really ruined peoples’ lives and I think it’s really interesting and exciting that we’re getting to look at that in this moment in time.”