David Lambert Maia Mitchell The Fosters Freeform

“The Fosters” Season 4 has started at full speed with their terrifying school shooting episode, Nick’s (Louis Hunter) break-in to the house and the backlash of Stef (Teri Polo) and Lena (Sherri Saum) finding out about Callie (Maia Mitchell) and Brandon’s (David Lambert) secret.

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Now, Callie is gearing up for one of the toughest seasons yet, as she returns to her old foster homes as part of her senior project. Zap2it spoke with Maia Mitchell about which parts of Callie’s past — both old and new — will come back to haunt her in Season 4.

Zap2it: Congratulations on a seriously amazing kickoff to ‘The Fosters’ Season 4!

Maia Mitchell: Thank you, it’s a good one. I’m really proud of this season.

It’s really kicked into a much more mature gear this year.

It has. It’s matured and grounded in a way. I think it’s because it’s growing with the fans, which is cool.

Do you think Lena and Stef have put Callie’s fears about being un-adopted to rest?

Absolutely, yeah. I think her instinct when she messes up is that everyone is going to give up on her, and she constantly has that kind of default anyway. Before she was told otherwise, she was really, really anxious and preparing for the worst. Hearing that and hearing it reaffirmed — having the worst thing that she could have done happen, and them still love her — I think has really been potentially what she needed to fully trust their love and her place in the family.

What can you tell us about Callie’s old foster homes we’re going to see through her senior project?

Callie kind of comes up with this idea of “seven homes in seven years,” so she comes up with the idea to go to all of her old houses, look at the outside of them, take pictures and then talk about it. She’s invited into one of the homes, and once she’s inside and drawn into the house, she kind of realizes that it’s not going to be enough to just take pictures from the outside. She’s going to need to go inside and really explore what the houses meant for her and kind of get a little more closure than she thought she needed.

RELATED: ‘The Fosters’ Maia Mitchell: Callie and Brandon’s romance comes to a head

It’s interesting because that actually leads to her going to another house, to a foster home that was actually quite positive, where she and Jude lived with another younger boy called Kyle. She finds out this boy, her old foster brother, was wrongfully convicted of murder and is in jail for a crime that his family believes he didn’t commit. That kind of sends her on her Season 4 journey — Callie to the rescue.

You definitely see her really affected by that, trying to figure out how she can help, and we see her detective pants kind of come on a little bit.

Are we going to see her motorcycle boy, Aaron, again?

Yeah, so Aaron (Elliot Fletcher) actually ends up helping Callie with the case because he works at the Juvenile Justice Center, so she ends up seeking Aaron’s help, and the two of them together are partners in trying to free Kyle. They definitely connect over that and their shared sense of social justice. He’s a really prominent character, and I really enjoy working with him.

Phew, so they weren’t just ships passing in the night?

No, no, he’s not done. They wouldn’t do that to you.

So does that mean that Callie has to come clean about not being Cameron?

Uh, yeah. I’m not Cameron, I do have a boyfriend … it’s a little awkward. But he’s a good guy, so I think he understands.

Speaking of AJ, how is he going to feel about Callie and Aaron’s new partnership?

You definitely see some tension there. AJ (Tom Williamson) is a pretty accepting and confident dude, he’s not really the jealous type, you know? But you definitely see a strain on their relationship because of the addition of this new guy in her life, whether it’s romantic or not, it definitely tests things in later episodes more than the first few because AJ really is trusting and not the jealous or possessive type.

What does Callie think about Jude exploring religion this year?

Yeah, he’s exploring religion a little bit. He’s exploring his sexuality a little bit. He starts to explore different types of stuff that older kids usually explore. It goes down a little bit of a rocky path — maybe not rocky but this new kid, Noah, kind of introduces some more mature stuff into his life.

You’re definitely going to see him go through adolescence. He becomes quite teenage-y, and I think Callie is kind of irritated by it because they don’t really connect. She looses that sense of maternalism over her and that mother-son relationship they had. It’s the combination of Stef and Lena entering the pictures and him growing up and building his own ideas about religion and all these things he’s coming to on his own. I think Callie is not as prominent in that, which is a good thing because it’s a part of growing up, but it does put a strain on their relationship.

Brandon and Callie are kind of in no-man’s land at the moment, what’s going on with them?

She’s really mad at him for reacting the way he did to everything that’s happened. She’s trying desperately to be a part of the family and try to make it work and make amends and build back trust, and he’s sort of doing the opposite. I think she finds that quite frustrating and is really judgmental of it. They just don’t really see eye to eye at this point, but no, they’re always going to connect and have an understanding.

I think they’re both just kind of doing their own thing and letting that be their reality because when they’re not just doing their own thing it never really ends up working out for them. I think it’s a good thing.

“The Fosters” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Freeform.