[Warning: The following contains spoilers from Monday's episode of The Fosters. Read at your own risk!]
The tragedy of Romeo and Juliet was nothing compared to the final moments of Monday's episode of The Fosters, when Steph (Teri Polo) found Jack's (Tanner Buchanan) lifeless body after responding to a domestic-violence police call. It turns out that Jack's alleged "safe place" after he was pulled from his abusive group home was actually with Callie (Maia Mitchell) and Jude's (Hayden Byerly) former foster father. Jack suffered the same fate that Callie was so afraid of for Jude in The Fosters' pilot.
"Obviously Jack was a very important character for us this season because we got to explore the foster care system in a very different way, especially the more corporate side of the foster care system — which can be a very controversial thing," The Fosters creator Brad Bredeweg tells TVGuide.com. "It will be devastating, especially to Jude and Callie, once they find out what's happened with Jack. They will deal with it in very different ways."
Callie will take the rage approach after years of being dealt low blows by the system. Her entire outlook on the work she's been doing with Fost and Found, as well as supporting the foster care reform bill, will change in the aftermath of Jack's death.
"This is the straw that breaks the camel's back, and you're really going to see her react and get quite fired up. You're going to see her make some choices and some moves," Mitchell explains. "She's been a little bit of a follower and a sheep in the system. You'll see Jack's death make Callie come into her own. She's fueled by this rage that she feels about the system and privatization as well. The curtains are back on [privatization] and she sees it for what it is."
That includes a change of attitude when it comes to Justina (Kelli Williams), the lobbyist who has been using Callie to push through a bill that will further privatize the California foster care system. "Justina and her relationship is set up in such a way that Justina is calling the shots. You're going to see that dynamic really shift," Mitchell says.
Jude will have a much calmer reaction to the situation. "He kind of explores spirituality a little bit. He's not at peace with it; obviously he's very sad," Mitchell explains. Calmer may not necessarily mean better, as Bredeweg adds, "Jude, who is already heartbroken and crushed by [his breakup] with Connor [Gavin MacIntosh], will begin to crumble. The family will have to rally around him and help him recover from everything that's happened."
Callie and Jude will discover Jack's fate in The Fosters' season finale on Monday, March 28 at 8/7c on Freeform.