First, I'd like to echo the concerns that the show seems to be piling the drama onto the characters in a way that is unrealistic and problematic and seems more contrivance in the service of melodrama rather than actual plot or character development. While I love a good Lifetime style melodrama, I certainly don't want to watch it week in and week out (these things work better as once off movies with clear resolutions after 2 hours) . Also, I feel that the writers/showrunners of the show have gotten themselves into a pickle. I think they imagined a target audience of teens and pre-teens whose parents would also watch but because of the dearth of positive/realistic portrayals of same sex couples raising families actually attracted a far more adult audience. This IMO has caused significant tension in the show that the show either does not want to resolve or is afraid of resolving. Alas, it gets back to the old adage that if you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one. Does the show want to be a teen melodrama or a more nuanced portrayal of family life that just so happens to be headed by two lesbian women? Often, the show has sacrificed the latter for the former although from episode to episode it has veered wildly in focus from mundane everyday family and school life to having the characters lurch from crisis to crisis. I am not sure what the solution is, but I imagine that if ratings continue to tank the show won't be around much longer to offer a course correction.
It is clear to me that the relationship between Callie and Brandon was telegraphed in the pilot hence I suppose if it was going to annoy me, I should probably have not watched the show. That being said, I really thought that they had settled this issue and I think the reason why people are increasingly frustrated with this show is that the storyline continues to be dragged out to the detriment of what could be far more interesting and meaningful plot points. At the very least, I would be more interested in seeing Callie and Brandon explore through therapy why they continue to make such horrible choices. Brandon is the classic child of an alcoholic ready to rescue and take care of, and as someone pointed out upthread, perhaps Callie is re-enacting her own trauma and trying to change the power dynamics by essentially moving from foster brother to foster brother. If there is anyone who watches this show with a teen or pre-teen child, I would also be interested in knowing do you get a sense that they are in support of this disastrous plot line? I'm just wondering if the idea that the "core intended audience" for the show ships Brallie is even true, again assuming that the showrunners/writers even understand their core audience which in fact might be older LGBT people like myself who are putting up with the teen angst and drama so that we can see a same-sex couple raising children and navigating life.
As for Jude, the show also doesn't seem to know what they want to do with him. I feel like they moved so quickly from "I don't like labels" to "I'm gay" with his character that didn't allow for the possibility of various forms of sexual fluidity whether pansexual or bisexual queer etc. Nor did it allow for him to just explore his feelings even though I understand that some of that was pressure from Connor to ID as gay or lose the relationship. It seems in this episode though that Jude feels he is being "punished" for his sexuality and that perhaps that means he isn't/wasn't meant to be gay which IMO is different from embodying a fluid sexuality. Both are valid issues to explore, but the distinction between the two (even if embodied in the same character) should not be blurred.
Lastly, I had no idea about the supposed drama/fall-out between Gavin and Hayden and or their moms. And since it has been mentioned by several posters I would appreciate a link or something less cryptic about what went on. While I am not sure this is the forum to do so, I would appreciate being directed to a place where this could be discussed. I imagine I am not the only one who was surprised to hear about the backstage drama and what effect if any this might have had on plot/character development.