Monday, July 21, 2014

REVIEW: 'Switched at Birth' - Bay and Daphne Head to Chicago to Deal with Their Grief in 'Girl with Death Mask (She Plays Alone)'

ABC Family's Switched at Birth - Episode 3.17 "Girl with Death Mask (She Plays Alone)"

When John feels built-up anxiety in Bay and Daphne, he suggests a trip to Chicago to find Bay's second cousin is a perfect opportunity for her to become more in touch with her roots and give Daphne a chance to tour prospective colleges. Meanwhile, Kathryn kindles a spark between two love-seeking candidates looking for something missing in their lives.

Life must go on. That is the lesson that must always be learned after a tragedy especially when it's as sudden and shocking as the loss of a parent. Two weeks have past since Angelo was declared brain dead and Bay and Daphne still haven't found a way to keep moving forward. Daphne is still shunning Regina believing that it's all her fault Angelo is dead right now. Meanwhile, Bay keeps getting asked to do things by that side of her family whom she knows very little about. John believes this road trip to Chicago will be just the kind of adventure both girls need but ultimately it just showcases how broken both are right now. It just seems so trivial to talk about college and the future right now. They are still processing Angelo's death and the world around them seems like it has already moved past it.

Now, I understand the need to place blame on someone as a coping mechanism. And yet, Daphne's insistence that it's all Regina's fault is already wearing very thin. This is a time where she really needs as much support as she gets. Instead she is pushing the people around her away. She isn't excited by the college trip. All she wants to do is get high in order to escape all that pain. Drugs are never a great mix with these kinds of emotions. So she throws a futon off a college dorm roof. Things could have been much worse but she's trying to get all of her frustration and anger out of her system. She's just going about in the worst way possible. Interestingly though, she's remorseful for what she did that night with Bay and yet proud of it with Regina.

Elsewhere, Bay is placing the blame of Angelo's death on the aneurysm that burst in his brain. She may not like it but it was a threat that would always have burst no matter what. He didn't know it was there. And yet, he should have. It makes it that much more powerful and poignant learning that he had an older sister who died of a brain aneurysm as well when she was just 18. She went to this city as a favor for her foreign grandmother. She hopes that she'll learn more about Angelo's family. But she still is awkward and unsure of how to talk about Angelo in the past tense now. So much so, that she breaks the news of his death to Sebastian over his intercom. Now, Sebastian didn't really much care for the guy and he tried to cheat Bay and John out of money. But he's also the person who points out the hereditary health risk to Bay. That's a really precarious threat the show has introduced - and one that is sure to get a big Bay freakout very soon. 

Some more thoughts:
  • "Girl with Death Mask (She Plays Alone)" was written by Lizzy Weiss & Bekah Brunstetter and directed by Joanna Kerns.
  • The levity this week came from the subplots with Kathryn trying to set up Leo with Renzo and Toby having his first gig being ambushed by the first time Tank and Emmett meet.
  • Last week I was worried that nobody was mentioning Abby at all during all of the Angelo drama. This week makes up for it but makes matters much worse when we learn that she hasn't just lost one father but two.
  • Lily has potential as a new love interest for Toby. She's funny. But right now, I'm more concerned about Toby becoming roommates with Tank. That seems like a disaster waiting for the first time Bay visits.
  • Regina mentions that she could really need a meeting and I really wanted that to have much more importance. Angelo got her sober just a year ago. It could be really interesting watching her struggle with that again.
  • ABC Family is taking more risks as a network but they still just aren't comfortable showing a lead character actually shooting up cocaine. We just get told she did it.