Monday, August 11, 2014

REVIEW: 'Switched at Birth' - Bay and Emmett Attend Prom While Daphne Returns to the Clinic in 'The Girl on the Cliff'

ABC Family's Switched at Birth - Episode 3.20 "The Girl on the Cliff"

Regina, Kathryn and John are shocked when they learn the extent of Daphne's self-destructive behavior. Bay reconsiders attending the prom when the school board implements a new rule. A bad decision puts Daphne's job at the clinic in jeopardy. Tank helps Toby grow his deejay business.

Daphne has been acting out because she felt Angelo was taken from her unfairly. She never had the opportunity to tell him that she loved him. And now, her response could have life-altering repercussions. She needed to vent but chose the most self-destructive ways possible. She was with Nacho because it would piss off her mom. She vandalized the job site because it would delay the project Regina was so focused on. She did cocaine and stole the drugs because she wanted to dull the pain of reality. She didn't believe anyone understood what she was feeling. No one seemed to be as upset as she was. But now, they are all showing concern for her actions. They recognize the severity of her actions even then it takes her awhile to get to that same conclusion. The important thing is that she gets there. It just took her losing her job at the clinic and the threat of going back to prison to knock some sense into her. She has really screwed up. Her future isn't as certain as it appeared before Angelo passed. Now she's gonna have to try and pick up the pieces and that starts with apologizing to her family whom she has hurt.

And then, there's Bay who made a huge decision about her future last week but this week she's fighting for friends and their right to express themselves the way they want to. It's such an uplifting story about friendship. Bay is willing to fight for Natalie and her girlfriend. She too used to be the outsider and now, she's freaking Prom Queen! But she recognizes this injustice and feels the need to stand up for it. She doesn't believe the school district should dictate what the students should wear to prom. It is suppose to be a great night for everyone and they are limiting the people who can join it. It's a very ugly discussion that unfortunately is still prominent in society. Carlton is a very progressive school but they still have to abide by these rules. The teacher has to follow it and that gets ugly very quickly. Girls who don't want to dress in dresses are freaks because they are different than the norm. And yet, society is telling these young people to embrace what makes them different. When they are comfortable expressing themselves, they then get punished. That's wrong but unfortunately there's nothing Bay and company can do. Except for stage their own prom right outside the doors of the official school one. That's where the special night of remembrance will be held. None of these kids will forget this night.

A small part of the prom story too is Emmett trying to create this unforgettable night for Bay. The last time they attended a dance together was one of the most tragic nights of Bay's life. That was the night she learned he cheated. That is the furthest thing from Bay's mind. She's being proactive and standing up for Natalie and Hilary. And yet, Emmett is still worried that if she's not in the school sanctioned prom and in the limo which a special playlist, then it won't live up to her expectations. I love that he wasn't against her dressing in a suit for a moral reason. He wanted her to have the best night possible. She ultimately gets that. But that's because they both worked hard to create a special night for their friends and then relaxing later with each other's loving embrace.

Some more thoughts:
  • "The Girl on the Cliff" was written by Linda Gase and directed by D.W. Moffett.
  • I'm honestly surprised that Toby went to the Omega Psi party. That wasn't the emotional resolution I was expecting after seeing Bay stand up for a friend. But hey, at least Tank and him had a nice bromance moment in the end.
  • And yet, the show still felt the need to show Bay in an actual prom dress before she makes the decision to go in a suit. It looked wonderful on her but it did undercut the message a little bit.
  • Are Dr. J and Daphne the only people working at the clinic? Because it seemed pretty empty.
  • I love Regina name-checking all the bad guys Daphne has dated. If she manages to get out of this entire situation okay, she really needs a positive guy in her life.