Monday, February 17, 2014

REVIEW: 'Switched at Birth' - Renzo Stages a Murder Mystery Party While Bay & Tank Chat About Their Relationship in 'The Scream'

ABC Family's Switched at Birth - Episode 3.06 The Scream

Kathryn's murder mystery party quickly gets complicated when both John and Kathryn discover something about each other; Bay tries to get an invite to Tank's fraternity luau; and Daphne plans a 21st birthday party for Campbell.

Kathryn and John simply aren't on the same page anymore. They have slowly drifted apart. It's not a sudden development to their relationship either. It always seems like they are constantly dealing with something new - whether if it's with Toby, Bay or Daphne. They've had to deal with complicated family issues. It's been awhile since either of them truly felt happy about something. Like Kathryn noted in the premiere episode, she feels untethered to her life.

Then came along tap and then her new book deal, and she was the happiest she has been in a long time. She's finally doing something for her. She loves being given this second chance at a writing career - even though it's with a concept she's not entirely comfortable with. It's the only idea the editors got excited about - and that enthusiasm spread to her as well.

John has been stuck in a career that wasn't as rewarding as he once thought it could be. He's been miserable as a state senator. The Coto scandal with Daphne only made things worse. He's been alienated by his fellow senators - who are certain he put Daphne up to the whole thing. He has mended things over with Daphne, but his life is still missing the thing that can put a smile on his face. The drunken kiss with Jennice came out of no where but it made him remember about his past life as a baseball star and the happiest time of his life. It was a mistake and now he is forced to deal with the consequences.

Regina catching them kiss was an over-the-top cliche that I didn't really like. But I'm glad the show addressed the issue right away without it simmering up into something even bigger later. Keeping such a thing secret paired with the playfulness and fun tone of the murder mystery party was truly engaging. The night was designed as a fun celebration - but by night's end it has turned to tragedy as Kathryn asks John to move out. Their relationship won't be mended easily. They needed to get back on the same wavelength if they want to make things work again. But I'm honestly unsure if the show is heading to a reunion or a separation. Which ever way it goes though, I know the show will handle it excellently.

Parties also served as turning points for two other relationships - Bay & Tank and the Daphne-Campbell-Jorge triangle. Of the two, I'm much more interested in the Bay story. Almost too much stuff is happening in the Daphne corner of the universe right now. It feels like the show is just going back-and-forth with the stuff going on with her. One week, she is dealing with Sharee and field hockey and then the next week, she's caught up in a love triangle. There's merits to both stories but they are really just ping-ponging opposite each other.

And yet, Tank and Campbell are so different than anyone Bay or Daphne has ever dated before. Tank is so sweet and caring towards Bay. He's always trying to protect her feelings - tiptoeing around the luau party and its true meaning. He wants to be the good man for her. His apology was so nice and it was equally nice to see Bay overcome this issue of him still wanting to be a part of this fraternity. With Daphne, Jorge is exactly the type of guy she's been with before. That's what makes Campbell so much more appealing. She had an instant connection with him through their shared experiences with disabilities. She feels the need to do something special for him for his 21st birthday party and does pull off a pretty great event. The reveal that another crash could turn him into a vegetable was an interesting conflict that made her reveal her true feelings towards him. She really cares about him. I don't expect this love triangle to die anytime soon. But him staying behind means there is a meaningful connection between the two of them.

Some more thoughts:
  • "The Scream" was written by Chad Fiveash & James Stoteraux and directed by Jonathan Frakes.
  • Glad to see the show didn't forget about that time that Regina's hand too was in a cast. Bay got some fun advice too.
  • It feels like it has been forever since we've seen Travis or Angelo.
  • Mary Beth is totally pretty and Travis is a very lucky man to have her right now.
  • I'm guessing living with his father is not something Toby imagined when he moved out of the Kennish household.
  • Adrianna, you're over-the-top "death" scene was wonderful. Also, Renzo and Adrianna would make a very fun pairing.
  • The whole murder mystery party was just a lot of fun. The accents and costumes were all very enjoyable and funny. My favorites had to be Bay and Toby.
  • Lastly, is Renzo ever going to officially meet Daphne?