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Friday, 16 of April of 2021

Switched at Birth – “American Gothic”

“She’s pretty, she’s smart, she bakes. What doesn’t she do?”

Is that what Bay wears to school? Man high school got awesome since I graduated. This was only going to be a Final Thought but then I kept thinking about it so it’s a tangent worth discussing.

Because really, is no one going to comment on her attire? Does she go to school at Constance Billard? Her parents don’t find it inappropriate? Her brother doesn’t find it a tad risque? Or hot depending on how he feels now knowing that they aren’t related. Speaking of which, I wonder if incest (or a close likeness) is gonna be possible on this show. Probably not. The Family in ABC Family doesn’t really scream incest. Well actually…by definition I guess it does.

I mean come on, who wasn’t reading the incestuous undertones of that scene with Daphne and Toby and the brownie batter. I get that they are connecting as brother and sister but I cannot be the only one who sees incest there! Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system…

Switched at Birth could very appropriately be subtitled All About Daphne. Not to say that’s a bad thing, she’s probably my favorite character, but the focus on her is so intense that Bay comes off as more of a snarky victim than an actual part of this. Everything comes down to Daphne and Bay is just kind of left in the corner asking “What is going on in this crazy situation?”

Let’s begin the Daphne focus with her growing love life. It was sweet that Liam went to visit Daphne at her school. But then again that could just be my own personal soft spot for black guy/white girl relationships. (Parenthood‘s Haddie and Alex, anyone?). Good thing Daphne took it as being sweet cause the flip-side of that would have gotten his black ass thrown in jail for trespassing and carrying the concealed weapon he probably has on his person. Tis a fine line between stalker and sweet. But it worked. She asked him to hang out sometime.

Luckily Daphne had a lot of family turmoil going on cause that fast-tracked her date with Liam. Cause if Serena van der Woodsen has taught the youthful girls of today anything besides how to dress it’s that solace can only be found in the arms of attractive teenage boys. (Bay will get her turn later.) Daphne and Liam spend some time in a music store where Liam continues to show his overwhelming ignorance and penchant for bad pickup lines and sexual innuendo.

Despite Liam being kind of an idiot, the date was going well. Until his douchebag friends showed up. Good call on Daphne’s part teaching them how to sign exactly what they are. They were just unnecessarily rude and totally killed Liam’s game. I’d like to have more faith in humanity (mainly because I’m on a really high anthropology kick after finally getting into Bones) and believe that there are no people as blatantly ignorant and mean as those guys. But then again I grew up in the South so I already know they exist.

With the date ruined, Daphne texts Emmett to come and pick her up. She tells him he was right about Liam. Now comes the part in the story where Liam has to prove himself to Daphne, show her that he’s not just another douchey guy, while Emmett will have to reveal his true feelings for her. Just another set of people fighting over Daphne. Cause that’s what this show is all about.

Now for the parental battle for Daphne’s affection. This conflict is more one-sided in actually being about Daphne. John and Kathryn want the best for Daphne and are going to do whatever it takes to make sure she has it. That actually makes this more about them. Take the lawsuit for example. Did the hospital mess up? Absolutely. But it seems as though this whole legal thing is going to be more trouble than it’s worth. It’s not about the money, they already have enough of that. It’s mostly stemming from the fact that they didn’t get to raise their own daughter. I understand that. But as the lawyer said, these types of cases generally turn into “Look, this person raised my child like shit” and then it becomes a parental blame game rather than a hospital lawsuit. And with the Kennish parents being as shitty as they already are, the last thing they need is to point legal fingers at Regina, driving her (and probably Daphne) further away.

Kathryn is just insufferable. Her whole existence is centered around nagging and pushing her thoughts and wants onto others. This week it was all about Emmett and his motorcycle. She can’t stand that Regina lets Daphne ride around with Emmett and she is dead set on not allowing it to go on any longer. Do you have nothing else to do? You were a Wolverine, ma’am. Go kill something other than everyone’s mood.

And of course what’s the reasoning for not wanting Emmett to drive Daphne to school? He’s deaf. Yes there are concerns there and there is a certain level of “risk” involved, but as Regina says, are they just supposed to stay locked up because they’re deaf? Get educated, Ma and Pa Kennish, cause your pompous ignorance infuriates me so. Even after Regina turns down the offer for Kathryn to drive Daphne to school, she brings it up to Daphne anyway. That kind of underhanded move is incredibly rude. She can’t let it go.

The Kennish parents are like two interchangeable parts of one ridiculously obnoxious machine. In the beginning it was Kathryn who was so gung-ho about the motorcycle thing and John was just kinda along for the ride. Then towards the end of the episode it switches and Kathryn has a sudden change of heart (that doesn’t even last the rest of the episode) and sees where Regina is coming from. John on the other hand now thinks that this arrangement is no longer working out. I don’t buy it. They have to be evil and entitled and then learn a lesson and it seems like they’ll just switch off being assholes and then voices of reason under the guise of character growth. This is the one problem I have with the show right now. These two are terrible people and while I don’t agree with their perceived superiority, I also don’t believe their rapid and random change of heart. A large part of it is because I know we’re gonna be right back to square one next week with a different issue.

And of course Kathryn is still not ok with Daphne riding with Emmett. All of that clarity, all of that “development” from 10 minutes earlier has been thrown out the window. But Regina brings up a great point that should have been made abundantly clear from the beginning: they all moved in together to get to know each other’s girls, not to co-parent them. John says he didn’t see it that way (of course he didn’t, the prick) but they’ll try and remember that. I hate you so much.

Further props to Regina for deciding not to go through with the lawsuit. It’s true that nowadays everyone sues everyone else for almost anything. Yes an unfortunate mixup occurred, but what is suing the hospital now going to do? John and Kathryn don’t need the money and Regina doesn’t want it. And don’t say justice. That’s bullshit. You suing the hospital isn’t going to protect anyone else. So of course Kathryn and her slow zoom think Regina is hiding something and that’s why she doesn’t want to go through with the lawsuit. That’s kind of crazy thinking, but this is television so unfortunately she’s probably right.

Finally to Bay. See how much one can say about this show without getting to her? Art has been established as a very important outlet for Bay. Her artistic expression is a large part of who she is. While it was touched upon that Regina has a background in the arts as well, it became very apparent in this episode. She begins to redecorate the guest house and brings Bay in to help and to offer opinions. They bond over a shared love of Mexican heritage art. Bay beams when thinking of herself as a Latina artist.

Then Regina shares the story of her battle with alcoholism. She says she would have been way harder on Bay about the fake ID stuff because for their family alcohol is not something to be messed with. Regina’s father was an alcoholic, Regina is one and Bay has the potential to become one and she is going to do everything in her power to make sure that doesn’t happen. At least someone on this show seems to care about Bay. Well there is Ty. He seems to care. Bay gets him to be a lookout for her while she goes all Jet Grind Radio on some wall followed by a prompt makeout sesh. Ah to be young and a character on television.

Final Thoughts:

  • Yay for Daphne sticking up for herself in the end and asking everyone to start speaking at a slower pace.
  • Christ almighty, girls. Stop falling in love with the boys in each other’s lives. Bay already has Ty, did she need to give Emmett that smile as well?
  • Emma Roberts in big black glasses is my new favorite thing. This is only marginally related to Switched at Birth but it is. A preview from her new movie, “The Art of Getting By”, played during the first commercial break.
  • “Hey. Do you speak English?” ARE YOU A FUCKING IDIOT, LIAM?
  • I love Emmett. He’s able to be this smartass right in front of people because they can’t understand sign language. What I wouldn’t give…maybe I should learn how to sign. Useful for many different reasons.
  • Liam Lupo. He’s an Italian negro? Not fair!
  • Liam’s forced sexual innuendo statements are super awkward. Not because it’s innuendo, but because they were just so bad.
  • “How could this be your fault? You were like 9 hours old when all this happened.”

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