[Warning: The following contains spoilers from the Season 5 premiere of The Fosters! Read at your own risk!]
The Fosters Season 5 premiere marks another close call for Callie (Maia Mitchell), who narrowly escaped being raped (or worse) thanks to Diamond's (Hope Olaide Wilson) quick thinking. The two girls were trapped in a seedy motel with Diamond's pimp as Stef (Teri Polo), trying desperately to find them, chased Callie's cell phone signal in the wrong direction. She was only able to find the girls once Diamond stole a fellow prostitute's phone and texted Stef a photo of the motel's fire exit directions that thankfully included the place's address.
This is by far not the first time that Callie has found herself in a near-death situation, and Stef wasn't afraid to tell her that, remarking as they left the motel that the next time Callie puts herself in this kind of dangerous position she'll be leaving in a body bag.
It sounds harsh for an adoptive mother to say something like that, but it's exactly the wake-up call that Callie needs as The Fosters heads into a new, more grounded, season. TV Guide talked to Maia Mitchell about what Stef said and how it'll impact Callie going forward.
How is Callie feeling in the aftermath of escaping Diamond's pimp?
Maia Mitchell: I think it's just a massive wake up call for Callie. The scene at the end of the episode when Stef says to her, "The next time you'll be leaving in a body bag," really hits her hard. She definitely takes that on for the rest of this season particularly. She really realizes that as much as she wants to help people, she often puts herself in really dangerous positions. That really affects the people in her life and I think the whole experience really cuts deep for her. She really takes it on and tries to kind of take a different road. It's all about self-improvement for her this season.
So is it safe to say that Callie will be a little more cautious and won't be doing any more breaking and entering for this season?
Mitchell: Well, she's going to try. She's going to give it her best. I can't make any promises, but she's definitely aware of it and really trying. She gets more involved with her art and her creative passions and takes those on as an outlet for expressing herself. She does definitely try to listen to the parents more and take on more of a safer route. You know, it's Callie and she tends to attract people in need so she'll always try to save people. I can't make promises to all of that, but she's definitely giving it her best shot.
Before Callie realized she was facing jail time for the hit and run, she was very seriously looking into going to college. Will she get back to that this season?
Mitchell: College is her main focus throughout the season. She wants to get into an art school so she's really focusing on that and trying to build her portfolio, trying to explore who she is as an artist, which brings up a lot of feelings in her — self-doubt and insecurities... All these things that I think young people go through and she's kind of expressing that through her art. College is absolutely the goal for her so she's trying to stay on a steady path.
Is she doing it by herself or is she going to find an art mentor she latches on to?
Mitchell: She is going to have a mentor figure in her life with her art. It's going to really help push her and help her explore who she wants to be as an artist and what she wants to express, really making her safe to be vulnerable in her art. You're definitely going to see a nice kind of mentor/friendship.
One thing fans got really excited about last season but we didn't get to see too much of was Callie's relationship with Aaron. How is that going to progress now?
Mitchell: Callie and Aaron's relationship is very rich in this season. You see them developing a really close bond. I think he's really good for her at this point in her life because he understands her need to help people and her social awareness. He has all those qualities himself. I think he really does help her to kind of express them in ways that are safe and ways that are productive and practical. He's a very steady figure for her. Their relationship is gorgeous and progressive. It becomes quite vulnerable. They have to explore where they're going sexually and you'll see that develop as well, in a really safe, vulnerable way. You're going to see a lot more of Aaron this season.
What are you most excited for fans to get to see in this part of the season?
Mitchell: We have some fantastic guest stars. There's a lot of drama, of course! You see Mariana and Jesus and Brandon, they are all going through a lot...You've seen it kind of brewing in the past seasons and you're going to witness all that turmoil and drama coming to a head. We have some amazing actors working with us and really interesting characters that brought us a lot of cool themes, ideas and stories for us to explore so I think it's a really dynamic season.
The Fosters continues Tuesdays at 8/7c on Freeform.