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The Fosters‘ Sherri Saum reveals the silver lining in Lena’s kissing scandal

Just because Lena and Stef seemingly made up during The Fosters‘ midseason finale doesn’t mean things between them will get magically better.

Sherri Saum, who plays Lena in the show, revealed there is still a lot of work that needs to be done before their relationship is good again.

More: Did the show sacrifice Callie’s future for the sake of teaching a lesson?

“That was a really huge betrayal on Lena’s part,” Saum said of Lena and Monte’s kiss. “And not just because of the kiss — like she was in a bar one night after a couple drinks — this was an emotional betrayal. She’s with him every day at work. She admires Monte and this is an ongoing relationship. So that’s not just something that’s going to change after a few episodes. It went pretty deep. But it will have a silver lining because it’s going to focus our love and our priorities and what’s really important.”

Especially in the midst of Stef’s health crisis, which the show will also be dealing with in a big way.

“We’re dealing with Stef’s health crisis and we’ll see how that impacts the family,” Saum revealed. “It’s a lot to deal with, especially now that we’re trying to put our marriage back on track after the whole Monte situation. There’s just so much going on!”

That includes things between Callie and Brandon only getting more complicated now that Callie is officially part of the family.

More: In the most controversial episode yet, the Foster kids explore religion

Saum explained, “It’s tough because they obviously have the feelings that they have. Obviously, stuff happens and it’s going to be difficult because we think we know what’s best for them, and we finally got our family together. We finally got our family back, the family we’ve always wanted. It’s going to be an incredible blow to have that situation threatened again. I just don’t know how we survive that.”

And while the characters on the show might be struggling with some pretty big stuff, Saum set the record straight about the rumors currently surrounding the actors, specifically Jake T. Austin, who left the show at the midseason finale. Fans have suggested that everything and anything — from fights with producers to Austin’s personal life choices not aligning with the network — led to his departure.

But Saum said the show wishes him nothing but the best. And she added that viewers are definitely going to fall in love with Noah Centineo, who is taking over the role of Jesus.

“We, the cast, we’re really invested in our show and we really want to take the positive. And we realize there’s so much stuff on social media and so many rumors. We just kind of stay above the fray. We’re so happy to welcome Noah into the cast. He just fits in like you wouldn’t believe. He wasn’t intimidated by anything. He made the character his own in the midst of all of the negativity, and he just jumped right in and he was such a gentleman about everything. It might take a little while for people to warm up to it. It’s never easy for an actor to step into an already-established role but I think people will be really happy with our new Jesus, and we wish Jake nothing but the best.”

More: The Fosters: Maia Mitchell weighs in on the future of Brallie

As for where Saum hopes the show goes in Season 4, she said, “We have so much material to mine. Our writers, creators mine a lot of it from their own lives. It’s just really flawlessly done. I just hope they continue with the excellence because they do it so well.”

The Fosters Season 3 returns tonight on Freeform.

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