Fosters Recap: Is Jesus Gone for Good?

The Fosters Jake T. Austin Exits

Did The Fosters Jesus perish during the car crash that closed out last season’s finale?

Monday night’s Season 3 premiere answered that burning cliffhanger question, revealing that Jesus — whose portrayer Jake T. Austin is no longer a series regular — actually left the clan behind for boarding school on a wrestling scholarship. So an appearance around the holidays for some leftovers is totally possible — and Jesus will look different when he returns. (TVGuide.com reports that the character will actually be recast.)

However, Stef is still haunted by the traumatic event, both in her dreams and during the day, even though both Jesus and sis Mariana came out of the accident alive. She’s determined to find the other hit-and-run driver.

“I’m a mess,” a teary Stef confesses to her wife. “I thought we lost them. I thought my babies were gone, and I thought I’d never be OK ever again.”

Meanwhile, Mariana is spending all her time helping Ana take care of the baby, which she decided to keep. When Ana is finally mobile enough to look after Isabella herself, Mariana finds something else to occupy her time: losing her virginity to boyfriend Matt before he departs on his band tour and an endless supply of groupies. “I want to do it, but not like this,” Matt replies when Mariana suggests they get it on at a public beach.

Wyatt and his gorgeous locks end up providing comfort and booze. Then Mariana asks him the tough questions: “How do you get your hair to fall like that? It’s softer than mine. What do you do? Do you use some special conditioner or something?” All the caressing of tresses and alcohol leads to making out — and then some! (Mission accomplished, I guess?)

Another relationship takes a big step, too, as the news about Jude and Connor spreads among their classmates. “I’m not gay!” Jude exclaims. It’s not that he doesn’t like Connor, but he wants to know, “Why can’t I just be Jude?

Elsewhere, Callie bonds with A.J., a runaway teen boy who was separated in the system from his brother. (Hello, love interest!) She lets him sleep at the center, and he ends up screwing her over. She gets fired, which means she might not graduate on time.

Finally, Brandon’s Idyllwild experience does not get off to a good start. First, he finds out that he’s in the composer, not pianist, program. Then he gets partnered with a female pianist who is “passionate” (aka bratty — joy). “I’ve seen every kind of tantrum ever thrown,” he tells her. “I don’t scare easy.”

Fosters fans, what did you think of the premiere? Are you glad Jesus is still alive and will be back, thanks to a new actor? Grade the episode via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your pick.