Switched At Birth
Long Live Love (series finale)
Original Air Date: Apr 11, 2017
Karen Belgrad – Social Media Editor
Back, in June 2011, when Switched At Birth premiered, it was marvel to see how seamlessly it integrated the deaf community into its premise. Never before had ASL been used as such a core part of a television drama. Sure, there’d been the occasional deaf character on a show, but to see a lead character fluently sign, and have the rest of the show learn sign to communicate was groundbreaking.
Over the years, the show touched on many social issues with varying success, but the core of the show was always the family and their close community. Even the core couple, #Bemmett, was secondary to the main theme of the show… and as the show wrapped up this evening, the bond of Bay and Daphne is truly the show’s legacy.
So for one last time, let’s cover what each character faced and where their future lies…
Daphne: Daphne is inspired by the opportunity to learn from a prominent sports doctor. After attending his lecture, she applies for an internship. The doctor, unaware of court precedent, cruelly dismisses Daphne’s surgical dreams. Originally devastated, a pep talk from Kathryn motivates Daphne to stand her ground. She marches into the doctor’s office, recites the Americans With Disabilities Act, and vows to pursue her dreams. Also, she and Mingo reconnect.
Toby: Toby is adrift, feeling less than fulfilled by his DJ career. At a job interview, he intervenes when a café owner is confrontational to a customer with Downs Syndrome. But then he meets Nina (Glee’s Lauren Potter) and is encouraged by how self-reliant she is. With Lily’s support, Toby decides to (in an undetermined manner) become an advocate for the Downs Syndrome community, wanting to educate others.
Regina: Regina decides that five years is enough and it’s time to move out of John and Kathryn’s guest house. Luca excitedly offers to cohabitate, but Regina is not overly enthused. Mostly because she’s still in love with Eric. She ends things with Luca, but tells Eric that she can’t go on the run with him. Instead, she tells him she talked to a lawyer and that if Eric turns himself in, he’ll only go to jail for two or three years… during which time she’ll take care of Will for him. (let’s hope that Will’s incarcerated mother doesn’t have family which will contest the arrangement)
Melody: Melody is offered a position as Dean of Student Affairs at Gallaudet, basically her dream job. Gabe (her husband, remember him?) insists she take it and she agrees. But then Natalie tells her that Matthew’s parents kicked him out for being gay, and he’s living on the streets. They track him down to a tent city, and Melody invites him to be Travis 2.0 (translation: live with her). She also decides not to move to Washington D.C., stating that the kids in her program, which she started, need her as an ally.
John/Kathryn: After Regina tells her she’s moving out, Kathryn decides to put together a scrapbook of The Switch. But her project uncovers a second DNA test of just John/Bay, which John had run a full month before they got the initial (pilot episode) DNA results and learned of the switch. She is devastated, realizing John got the test because he thought Kathryn had cheated on him. She yells at him, but rather quickly changes her mood… realizing that even though John knew Bay wasn’t his daughter and assumed infidelity, he didn’t leave them. (Or, you know, his biological son Toby… or actually say anything…)
Bay: Travis and Emmett could get their own blurb, but really both end up as footnotes to Bay’s journey. Bay is excited, as a tattoo magazine is featuring her (via Emmett’s photographs) and throwing a party to which she’s invited and celebrated. But her enthusiasm is dampened when John basically craps all over tattooing as a viable career option. And to top it off, she learns that Travis is going to Japan to play professional baseball. Travis encourages Bay to come with him and absorb all of the culture and art of Japan, like she did in China.
At the same time, Emmett is considering joining Melody in D.C. for a new scene as well. Bay, knowing she’s on the precipice of her own dreams coming true, realizes she can’t head to Tokyo. But she manages to mend fences between Travis and Emmett and the not-blood-but-brothers decide to go to Japan together. Bay tells Travis that they are real, and the two plan to continue their relationship long distance. With Emmett, viewers get a full montage of flashbacks to their entire relationship, as Bay says that when he’s famous, she’ll tell everyone that he was her first love.
At the end of the 90 minutes, the blended family sits down to a dinner… John proclaims his pride for his daughter, Kathryn tears up, Regina announces she’s moving… and they all lay down on the lawn to watch a comet.
Episode Title Art: Long Live Love by Max Ernst
And that’s a wrap on Switched at Birth… Are you satisfied with the finale? What will you miss most about the show? Share your TwoCents, comments, and feedback below.