The Door To Freedom
Original Air Date: Jan 7, 2013
Karen Belgrad – Senior Editor
After the longest first season ever, Switched At Birth returned tonight for an all new winter season. And like all good second season premieres, this hour was all about set-up for plots lines to come.
That’s not to say this was a bad outing, it was actually chock full of small moments that were quite good. But if you were looking for a pick-your-jaw-off-the floor reveal or explosion of emotions then you were left wanting. But let’s cover what did go down…
Angelo: The nouveau riche Angelo has taken to gifting his extended family with lavish gifts. His gifts include: a Frida Kahlo to Diego letter for Bay, recording time for Toby, a cappuccino maker for Kathryn, a talking telescope for John, and a food truck for Daphne. Yes, a food truck, which just seems silly to me, but my meals are largely microwavable. But while he’s planning a future with Regina, he’s also hiding a secret from everyone. But thanks to an inopportune visit from Toby, it’s revealed that he accidentally/maybe impregnated a one night stand while he was on the lam in Rome. She declares that his court testimony implored he to come forward, so he could be part of the child’s life. If a DNA test reveals the child to be his, he’d rather just parent from a distance and a bank account. Toby is bothered, but agrees to keep his secret while he sorts it all out.
Bay: The new Bay Kennish is hard working, organized, and trying to get herself back on track to not be in the bottom ten of her class. But what she’s beginning to realize, when asked to move her graffiti decorated car, is that she’s not the best fit at Buckner Hall. And her increased studying only leads her to be accused of cheating on a French exam. In order to prove her innocence, she has to go before an honor board, where she plans on using her French bio-dad as her defense regarding improved French skills. The night before the honor board, Toby tells her about the pregnancy, and she realizes that Angelo lied to her, saying the woman at the court house was a reporter. Angelo speaks from the heart, possibly winning Bay’s case with the honor board. But afterwards, a venomous Bay goes off on him, for lying, but mostly for planning to walk away from another child. She goes to Carlton, where she vents to Emmett about Angelo and how much she despises Buckner. He has a calming effect, and we see rekindled sparks when she takes his hand in comfort. She wishes he went to Buckner…
John/Kathryn: Kathryn is at a bit of a loss as to what to do with her life now that her book is complete. During a golf game with some friends, Ivan and Merkie (played by Jessica Tuck), it’s mentioned that a state senator has recently passed away. John is tasked with convincing a friend to run, but neither he nor Kathryn thinks their friend would be a good candidate. Kathryn actually feels empowered, and citing her lengthy history of charitable work, wants to run herself. But when she approaches their friends, they’re actually inclined to support John as a candidate, with his business acumen and public image from his baseball days. And while John is hesitant, Kathryn suggests this would be a good path for him towards feeling more fulfilled and asks him to think about it.
Daphne: While trying to decide if she’s keeping her food truck gift, Daphne is equally distracted with texting Chef Jeff. After countless unanswered texts, he finally responds, but it’s only to tell her that their relationship has caused him professional problems, he can’t give her a work recommendation, and they can’t be friends. Daphne is crushed and takes her anger out on a very fragile Travis, who has been telling her (and being fairly ignored) about his less-than-desirable home life.
She’s also distant in school, doodling in her notebook while a classmate gives an empowered presentation about Andrew Foster, who brought deaf education to Africa. Melody notices Daphne’s lack of attention and calls her on the carpet. Citing the deaf trailblazers who came before them, she calls Daphne to action, demanding that she not waste opportunities that have been set forth for her. She pleads with her to wake up, get over Jeff, and avoid future bad decisions, because as a deaf person she can’t afford to make them with the limits society sets on them. It’s a very impassioned speech, one I hope makes a difference, as it is time for Daphne to make some good moves in her life.
With that, she reaches out to a soon-to-be-homeless Travis, who she finds is still sleeping in the car wash office. She feeds him a good meal and decides to keep the food truck, with its specific purpose yet to be determined. And Bay joins them, where she reveals that she’s considering enrolling in Carlton’s pilot program for hearing students.
So what we have is a lot of set-up… Angelo’s baby mama drama. Bay’s new school environment. John’s foray into politics. Daphne’s entrepreneurial venture. Maybe seeing a bit more of the hearing student we saw at the beginning of the hour? And, clearly, Bay and Emmett redux. So what are you looking forward to seeing more of?
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