Note: The following discusses spoilers for “Good Trouble” Season 5 Episode 2.
After the shocking “Good Trouble” Season 5 premiere revealed Evan as the unexpected shooting victim of Season 4’s tense cliffhanger, and previewed the long healing journey to come for Mariana (Cierra Ramirez), showrunner Joanna Johnson is lifting the veil on what the rest of the season has in store for the rest of the Coterie residents.
“We’ll continue to talk about the unhoused crisis in Los Angeles and dealing with our character of Luca (Booboo Stewart), who doesn’t have a birth certificate … [and] realized he’s not even a US citizen,” Johnson told TheWrap, adding that this season will see Malika (Zuri Adele) keep trying to try to get her Women’s Center off the ground for women that are impacted by incarceration, as well as touch on mental health struggles across the Coterie.
The season also sees the return of Callie (Maia Mitchell), who travels back to the communal living space in the wake of tragedy to support Mariana as she deals with being Evan’s proxy while he is in a coma. While Callie shares that she and Jamie (Beau Mirchoff) are back together, after both of their jobs took them to D.C., she holds her tongue in telling her sister that Jamie also recently proposed to her.
“We don’t know if Callie said yes or no when he asked her to marry him,” Johnson said, noting that we’ll find out how she responded to Jamie’s proposal this season. “We know Callie’s a little squirrely [and] can be a little afraid of commitment and afraid of big, big steps like that.”
As Johnson expresses Callie’s importance to the legacy of both “Good Trouble” and “The Fosters,” Johnson confirmed that Season 5 also reunites additional Fosters family members.
“We will see other people coming in for both the A and B seasons,” Johnson teased. “Whenever I can work them in it makes me so happy … having been on “The Fosters” as well for five seasons, love that family, and it was hard to say goodbye to them. But I love that we don’t have to.”
Picking up on the tense moment when Mariana, Joaquin (Bryan Craig) and Jenna (Maiara Walsh) attempt to escape a strange farming community that Joaquin believes has been holding his sister against her will, Season 5 starts off in a dark and dramatic place that begins to shift once the dust of the traumatic incident has settled and peeks of light seep in from other characters’ storylines.
“What I love about doing this show, and that the network has always allowed us to do, is to really mix the tones of the show,” Johnson said, noting how each episode might combine moments of comedic levity with a dramatic mystery. “It’s just fun to be able to not be in the same … formula every week, to be able to do different things.”
Johnson points out the show relies on Alice (Sherry Cola) and Sumi (Kara Wang) for a good deal of comedic moments, as Alice finds herself with a staff writing job that takes her outside of her usual comfort zone.
For Gael (Tommy Martinez), who immediately stepped up to be a father after learning that Isabella was pregnant and subsequently fell in love with her, the onset of the season sees him struggling to keep up with Isabella’s highs and lows following the birth of their child, as he feels loyalty to Isabella (Priscilla Quintana) despite her mistakes.
“He’s defensive of Isabella because he sees in her the broken child … she’s not a bad person; she’s broken inside, and he he loves the broken part of her too; he understands it,” Johnson said. “But now, he’s going crazy, because she’s just up and left with the baby … and he gets blindsided again.”
Another Coterie romance is budding in Davia (Emma Hunton) and Dennis (Josh Pence), who finally get together after admitting their feelings for each other. Although the first two episodes are full of secret hookups and whispers of love, Johnson teased that the couple soon faces new challenges as they’re presented with new career opportunities and must manage their new relationship with very little time for each other.
Malika grapples with similar issues as new responsibilities at work amid a straggling personal life prompt an interrogation into her work-life balance — an issue Johnson identifies as a question on the minds and hearts of many millennials and Gen Zers.
“What she’s also realizing is that, she’s so intense, she’s worked so hard all the time to save the world, as it were, that she’s lost track of her personal life,” Johnson said. “That’s probably one of the problems in our country, is that people work incredibly long hours, they don’t take that lots of vacation … we just work and sometimes at the cost of our friends and our family.”
New episodes of “Good Trouble” Season 5 premiere Thursdays on Freeform, and will stream the next day on Hulu.