Monday, April 22, 2019

What's the Deal with Robert Quinn?

I've finished watching season two of The Fosters.

I'm trying to get my head around Robert Quinn (Kerr Smith).

Robert is the biological father of Callie ((Maia Mitchell).  He didn't know Callie existed until she was 16 (I think that's her age), and her foster family was forced to contact him so they could get permission to adopt Callie.

Callie has been in and out of foster homes since she was very young. She's been raped. She's been in juvenile detention. She's ran away.  Oh...and she's had to deal with the fact that her believed-to-be father (Jamie McShane) killed her mother in a drunk driving accident.

Callie has had a rough life.

But something good has finally almost happened to her and her brother Jude (Hayden Byerly ). They have bonded with a family who wants them to become a permanent addition to their lives. Callie and Jude have found love and stability

Well...maybe not stability.

Because Robert doesn't want to relinquish his parental rights. Although he hardly knows Callie, he wants her to be his full-time daughter and come live at his house.

Even though this makes her unhappy.

Even though this will separate her from her brother.

Even though this will cause more upheaval in a life that has already had too much upheaval.


Could it be he doesn't like or trust her foster family?

Well, maybe but, as far as I can remember, he has said nothing against them. He seems fine with them minus the fact that they're his competition in the I-need-to-win-Callie game.

Could it be that he doesn't want to lose Callie—that he wants her in his life?

Signing the papers is not some kind of restraining order agreement.

Callie and her father can STILL have a relationship. They can still be friends. He can still do generous things like pay for her college education. He can STILL be her father. He just doesn't have custody or legal rights.

Maybe he feels insecure about not having the legal rights? Maybe Robert is afraid Callie won't want to hang out with him, so he wants the courts to force her to. Is that what's going on with him?

Is he that desperate?

Is he that STUPID?

Isn't no relationship better than a forced one where you are despised?

The show made me think about that 1990's TV movie The Face on the Milk Carton.

Janie (Kellie Martin) learns that she's a kidnapped child. I forgot the exact happenings, but the people she considered her parents were innocent of wrongdoing. It was something with their daughter?  She gave them Janie, and they didn't realize she was kidnapped?


When her birth family finds Janie, they want her back.

It's sad to watch, because though they love her, Janie doesn't love them back. She's uncomfortable with them. She wants to go the parents who have her illegally.

And I'm pretty I had negative feelings towards Janie's biological family. Yes, Janie was theirs. But couldn't they understand how horrible it would be to be taken from the family you know and be forced to live with strangers?

At least with those parents, though, I can have some sympathy.

Robert Quinn never knew Callie existed. He never lost anything.

The milk carton family DID know their daughter. When she was young she lived with them. They became attached to her. They lost her. They went through the whole absolutely-horrible missing child trauma.  Of course they'd be overjoyed that they finally found her. Of course they'd want her back.

I can't remember how the movie ended. Did her original family keep her? Or maybe they realized she needed to go back to the family she knew as her family. Maybe unlike Robert Quinn, they realized that relationships work better when neither party feels like a prisoner.

Well, Robert Quinn does FINALLY sign the papers. But that's after he learns that Callie is so desperate she's trying to get emancipated.  Then I got the sense that he feels all noble—like one of the moms in the King Solomon story.

But really.  It shouldn't have taken all that for Robert to see the light.

Despite Callie being created from an orgasm he once had, he was never a father to her.  But then life gave them a second chance. He was given the opportunity to know of Callie's existence. He was given the opportunity to meet her. He was given the opportunity to befriend her and play a part in her life.  And he messed it all up.

I wonder what happens in the rest of the series.  I saw from IMDB that Robert does appear in a few episodes in the later seasons. So he's not completely expelled from her life.  I'm wondering...does Callie end up forgiving him for his greed and selfishness?  If so, does he behave in a way that merits the forgiveness?  Do they become friends?  Or is the relationship strained?