Monday, July 1, 2013

'Switched at Birth' Review - 2.14 He Did What He Wanted

        On the newest episode of ABC Family's Switched at Birth, the politics of being a senator's wife are put to the test when Kathryn has an uncomfortable encounter; Daphne is getting mixed signals from Jace; Bay learns more about Mary Beth and Ty; Angelo joins the country club; and Regina starts a new job.

        Next week is the big "What If? episode of Switched at Birth where the show will show what would have happened if Regina came clean about the switch 13 years earlier. Her knowledge of the switch as always been a huge rock keeping her and the Kennishes apart. Sure, they care about each other's well being and health but they will never see eye-to-eye. Both sides have their point-of-view and they will stick to their guns for the rest of their lives. But as the series has gone on, this bombshell has been less and less of the cause of the parents' frictions. But throughout these summer episodes, Bay's moving in with Regina and Angelo has caused her parents to grow increasingly cold to the two. They'll share passive aggressive remarks when passing by at the Country Club. But when John sees Regina continue to support what Bay wants, he has had enough and is able to vocalize all of this pent up feelings. So it should come as no surprise that this is the straw - coupled with his boss coming on to Kathryn - that breaks the camel's back i.e. his heart. Regina's there to take care of him because that is her personality. So, will her life-saving efforts be enough to mend their relationship? I don't know.
        The Bay and Ty story has been a great story because of how delicate the show has been touching on its stories and interpretations of PTSD. I've constantly been worrying that it would run too similar to a plot that occurred on Parenthood this last season. And while both are running on similar grounds, they are both distinct as well and both are being portrayed very tastefully. This week the two are sidetracked by trying to help Mary Beth deal with her feelings over her brother's death. Its a new take on the PTSD story because it's happening to a character largely separate and new from the main characters. We don't know Mary Beth. She's only been in like three episodes. And yet we do care for her and the pain we must be feeling. It also adds depth to the Bay and Ty relationship because they haven't talked about their feelings and what they are exactly. At the very end, they finally have that conversation, and even though they may not be in the best of head spaces, they affirm their love for each other.
        Tonight, also dug up another old but good story in Emmett's family problems. It has been a long time since we've seen his father - way back in Season 1B in fact. Emmett has grown and changed as a character but it's still startling to see him retreat back to his disgust with father despite becoming more mature. But it also gives him a great note to play as it showcases him as more than just Daphne's friend and Bay's frequent pining love interest. It also is able to keep the conversation of deaf culture alive and grounds that aspect for the show while the other characters are percolating in their various plots.
        I've avoided it for as long as I could but I guess I finally have to talk about. Daphne's interactions with Jace have just been so unsettling because Jace continues to come across as very pretentious and smug. His backstory and mystery are filled in here. The show wants us to care about Daphne standing up for doing the right thing but it is so difficult to care. This plot is coming off an epic story of her and her classmates standing up for their culture and their school and we cared because it effected the livelihood of many characters and their ideals were truly tested. Compared to those stakes, her relationship with Jace seems very tame and lackadaisical.