Warning: The following contains spoilers for Good Trouble’s premiere.
The Fosters sisters Callie and Mariana officially made the move to L.A. with Tuesday’s debut of the spinoff Good Trouble, during which their hottie housemate probably steamed up your TV screen.
After moving into their new communal living digs, Callie hit it off with fellow resident Gael (played by Tommy Martinez), an artist and graphic designer at Mariana’s tech job. The two bonded over art… and then bonded in bed! There’s just one problem: When Callie first met Gael poolside in the middle of the night, she wasn’t aware that he was the guy Mariana’s crushing on. Still, Callie decided honesty was the best policy and confessed to her sis that she had sex with the lusciously locked fella. Mariana was shocked, but an even bigger surprise awaited the girls as the hour came to a close: the sight of Gael in his room, hooking up… with a guy! “I forgive you,” a wide-eyed Mariana declared to Callie.
Below, executive producer Joanna Johnson talks about the significance of the twist and building a different kind of TV love triangle.
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TVLINE | In the premiere, we learned that Gael is bisexual. Why was it important for you to include that?
In The Fosters, we talked a lot about sexuality. Obviously, at the helm of this family were the two moms, and our LGBTQ audience is really important to us. We wanted to make sure that that was an aspect going into [Good Trouble], and especially because we were taking our two straight girls into the show. We were like, “What is something that we haven’t really explored in the LGBTQ community?” Bisexuality is something we hadn’t really explored, especially on a man, because I think that people are comfortable with women being bisexual. I think they believe it, they can see it. But I think people really don’t get it in men. Across the board, I think a lot of people don’t believe you can be bisexual, and so that’s really hard on people that are bisexual, because they feel like there’s not really a place for them. Gay people think, “Oh, you’re really straight, and you’re just playing.” Or straight people think, “Oh, you’re really gay, but you just don’t want to come out.” There are just a lot of interesting issues. So we wanted to show this gorgeous, very-comfortable-in-his-sexuality guy, who is bisexual, and also explore how that’s hard for him in ways, too.
TVLINE | Gael is seeing somebody else (played by Switched at Birth‘s Michael Galante) in addition to being interested in Callie. This is a very different kind of love triangle than we usually see on TV. What are you excited to explore with that? And is there anything you can tease about how that’s going to evolve in the upcoming episodes?
What we wanted to show is that these are both really viable relationships, and with equal investment in [both of] them… They’re not ready for any kind of commitment, and they don’t want to be exclusive. But I think the most interesting thing is, What do you do when you actually live in the same building, in a communal living space, with someone that you’re intimately involved with, that you’re not exclusive with? You have to run into the other people that they’re dating, and does that make that other person feel that, “Oh, well, she can just go upstairs and go to his loft anytime she wants, but I don’t live with them. So I have to make a plan to come over,” and does that give [Callie] an advantage? That’s kind of what we center on in this love triangle. We don’t want to make it all about, “He’s bisexual.” It’s really about a real love triangle.
TVLINE | Gael’s bisexuality, even though it’s very much about him, does also impact Callie. How is she processing this information in Episode 2?
I think everybody has to check their unconscious bias. We all, especially progressive people, want to feel like, “Hey, I’m open to everything, and I understand,” and Callie did have a relationship with Aaron, who was transgender. So Callie has an open mind and really sees the person… But she has to just check herself and say, “Am I uncomfortable? Would I feel the same way if I’d seen him with a girl? Is it more threatening for me? Do I feel like, ‘Oh, there’s something I can’t give him?’ Like, Bryan can give him something that I can’t give him?” I think that’s what everybody who dates a bisexual person who isn’t bisexual themselves struggles with: How do I give that person everything if they like both sexes?
Grade the series premiere below, then hit the comments with your thoughts on the episode-ending shocker!