[The following contains spoilers for The Fosters. Read at your own risk!]
The Fosters delivered a big win for Ximena (Lisseth Chavez) on Tuesday when a judge gave her a stay order, forcing ICE to back off until her DACA status could be approved.
The victory was in large part due to Callie's (Maia Mitchell) social media activism and putting Ximena front and center on major news outlets like The Huffington Post. However, Callie's need to save people may once again come back to haunt her. The ICE agent previously targeting Ximena is now spying on both girls and he even followed Callie home at the end of the episode, putting the audience on edge.
TV Guide talked to The Fosters executive producer Joanna Johnson about what the next steps are for Ximena and Callie now that they have this win, as well as what we can expect from the rest of the season.
Ximena was granted a stay order, but she's still not a legal citizen. What are the next steps in her process?
Joanna Johnson: For right now, she's just waiting to see if her DACA gets approved. As we've set up before, she let her DACA expire because with the current administration and because her family had moved, she was afraid to give the new address for fear that they'd show up and take her parents, which is exactly what did happen. She did reapply for DACA but it's still pending. She's just in the waiting game. There's not much she can do right now except continue to keep a social media presence.
At the end of this episode, we see that she is still being targeted by one of the ICE agents that was following her. How worried should we be about what he's going to do?
Johnson: When you know that some of these ICE officers are getting carte blanch to go after anybody they want, I think we should be nervous about whether this guy is trying to harass her. If you notice, the car he follows is not Ximena's — he follows Callie. We worry once again, has Callie herself gotten herself in the crosshairs by helping someone else? Is the retribution going to come to her? Obviously, right now they can't touch Ximena. Don't forget that Callie did help Ximena escape ICE when they came to the prom. We're definitely worried about that with Callie and we're also worried that she's once again derailing her focus from trying to get into the art school at UCSD by getting so involved in Ximena's case. This season is a lot about Callie coming to terms with what her true calling is and trying not to sabotage herself when it comes to her goals in life...That's always the fear with Callie.
In the past few weeks, Congress failed to extend DACA in exchange for reopening the government. What are you hoping Ximena's storyline highlights as the real life struggle continues to play out in the headlines?
Johnson: What we're really hoping is that this will inspire our fans and people that watch the show to get involved, to call their congressmen and their senators and their lawmakers and urge them to stop playing politics with this very vulnerable group of people...We hope it just gets people active and involved. It's an important time in our history and in our politics, in our country, not to give up and not to lose hope, to really get out there, whatever you believe in, and be heard, especially young people who think they can't make a difference. We've shown through Calle — and obviously we're a drama, not real life — but there are a lot of kids out there doing the work that Callie is doing... We can affect change.
Last week we saw Callie and Ximena exchange a very quick kiss after the Huffington Post news broke. Are we going to see that come back in later episodes and break down what that meant?Johnson: We're obviously seeing that Ximena has some feelings for Callie. In that moment they kind of slipped out but it was an awkward moment. We're going to see that relationship and that friendship grow... Mostly, we're going to see this friendship is deep and it is dynamic. Ximena does clearly have feelings for Callie and we'll be curious to see where that goes.
Stef has been having these severe panic attacks over the past few episodes. We're still not completely sure what is the root of that. What can you say about what's going on there?
Johnson: The timing of these panic attacks coincided largely with Tess moving in next door. It's not lost on Lena that that seems to be when some of this was coming up for Stef. It's definitely going to make Lena feel a little concerned. We're also learning that this isn't the first time in her life where Stef has had panic attacks. She had them when she was in her marriage with Mike when she was unhappy and they were about to separate. Drawing that comparison certainly makes Lena uneasy. Also, the fact that Stef isn't really sharing a lot with her about it. We're going to learn about Stef and Brandon's relationship a bit more because he does remember the time when he was young and Stef went through this. It's really going to be about Stef coming to terms with some of the feelings that she's repressed in her life... It's a great season for Stef. It's a really interesting, dynamic, psychological journey. Teri Polo is just brilliant in it.
We know these are the last few episodes of The Fosters. How much of the current storylines are we going to see the current storylines wrapped up before the three-part summer finale or will those be a continuation of what's happening?
Johnson: We definitely have some cliffs that will go into the summer finale, the special three-night event that we're doing. Things will wrap up as they always do every season, but there will be new dilemmas and new characters and new dynamics that we will tease at the end of the season. We hope that will motivate our viewers to want to come back and see what's next for this family.
The Fosters continues Tuesdays at 8/7c on Freeform