Switched At Birth
The Persistence Of Memory
Original Air Date: Jul 11, 2011
Karen Belgrad – Associate Editor
This week is a very transitional episode. Almost every character has a major plot development this week, and we’ve seemingly set up the story arcs that will take us through the end of the season.
After tonight, we’ve got four episodes left in the freshman season. Switched At Birth has posted incredibly strong ratings for ABC Family, so it seems very likely there will be a second season. So as we all make sure to let the network know how much we enjoy their well written and acted drama, let’s take stock of tonight’s plots that keep us riveted.
One would think stories dealing with Daphne’s deafness would be starting to be played out. One would be wrong. Even as we revisit the cochlear implant questions from early on, the pacing and informative nature of the plot keeps viewers riveted. This week, expert chef Daphne decides to take an advanced cooking class at Bay’s school. Showing great character growth, Bay is supportive and welcoming to the idea.
Daphne is hesitant to have a interpreter with her at the school, for fear of being ostracized. Unfortunately things don’t go well in the class, as the teacher and students seem horrifically taken aback by her deafness. Her cooking partner is Toby’s friend Wilke, who’s quite the slacker, and when doesn’t hear the timer go off, she horribly burns the French fries, setting off the smoke alarm.
The school requires her to have an interpreter going forward (and he has an awful ponytail), and the other students actually mock her as “special needs.” I’d like to think that kids aren’t really that mean, but I did have a hearing impaired student in my junior high and teens can be cruel, especially when they think they’re not being heard. After Daphne almost walks in front of a moving car, she opens up to Bay about the teasing she received during her last attempt at hearing school. Emmett stepped in, verbally told the bullies to leave her alone. He took her home and his mother, Melody, introduced Daphne and Regina to signing. After telling Bay about her past, Daphne has enough confidence to return to cooking class, school the teacher in her abilities, and mock the mean teen girl.
Kathryn is still struggling with Daphne’s deafness, and once again reintroduces the cochlear implant conversation. She brings it up to Daphne, who seems to take it under advisement. But Regina is passionate in her opposition. She reminds Daphne that being deaf is being part of a community, with its own culture and language. Regina then schools Kathryn about the surgical procedure and the unknown long term risks. And then Regina finally makes a point that Kathryn actually gets… Daphne has learned to lip read, Daphne has learned to speak… What has Kathryn done to integrate herself in Daphne’s world? Regina implores Kathryn to learn sign language. By the end of the hour, the two share a true emotional moment as Kathryn signs “I want to learn.”
Toby is still in trouble over his gambling debt ($10,000!) to Wilke. He pressures Bay for a loan, but after selling all of his amps and bike, he still only has $4,000. Wilke offers him an out if he steals a chemistry exam for Wilke to sell to other students. Toby makes a last minute plea to his father for the money, but having clearly been down the road before, John is less than enthusiastic about bailing out his debt ridden son. Toby, feeling a mixture of embarrassment and shame, opts to steal the test rather than take his parents money. Toby is additionally alarmed when Wilke tells him that he thinks the teacher is on to them. Does anyone else wonder if a Gambler’s Anonymous PSA is in our viewing future?
John golfs with his friend Dale, who happens to be on the board of the hospital they are suing. Dale tells him that the hospital cannot afford the amount John is asking for. After talking with Kathryn, John agree to settle, but are surprised when their lawyer advises that the hospital is withdrawing their offer. Apparently they have found something they can use against the families in the lawsuit. I guess this begs this question, what is Regina hiding?
Bay is back on the search for her unidentified father this week. She finds an ally in Emmett, who helps her to track down the car in the photo of a pregnant Regina. Finding the car, there’s nothing in there but a guitar pick. Luckily, Emmett recalls Regina being upset a long time ago, when he and Daphne were looking at a guitar case. They rummage through her stored belongs, not finding the case, but come across a briefcase that has a birth certificate listing Angelo Sorrento as her birth father. An internet search reveals forty-five Angelo Sorrentos in the United States. Bay’s excited.
Most importantly, the story created a fantastic connection between Bay and Emmett. The way the two found a way to communicate, a mixture of sign language and charades, was really enjoyable to watch. Although Emmett seemingly has had feelings for Daphne and an aversion to dating hearing girls, there was definitely a spark/flirtation between the two. I think it’s too soon to tell if it’s just the beginning of a beautiful friendship or if it’s more.
And lastly, we close out on Regina’s closet… which contains the sought after guitar case. What do you think is in it?
Well, those are my TwoCents about this week’s episode. Share your TwoCents, comments, thoughts, and feedback below!