Switched At Birth – Recap & Review – Human/Need/Desire

photo: abc family

photo: abc family

Switched At Birth

Original Air Date: Feb 11, 2013

Karen Belgrad – Senior Editor

Back in the first season, we dealt with the Kennish family acclimating to Daphne being deaf. Cochlear implants and signing were addressed. Then everyone learned sign language, to differing degrees, and seemingly became one big happy family.

But this show is more than your typical ABC Family teen-angst melodrama. Steeped in the relationship and baby dramas is a real education and platform for helping the hearing world to learn more about the deaf community from several vantage points. And it’s doing a spectacular job.

Daphne: Daphne has been trying to keep the robbery a secret from her family, and is doing a fair job, but upon sight of her deep bruise, Kathryn becomes concerned about what secret Daphne is keeping. Daphne tries to go about her normal routine, but it’s clear the assault has left her with a jaded sense of the world. Melody gives an impassioned lecture about how it’s not about hearing loss, it’s about deaf gain, of a language, a community, and a culture. Having taken sign language in college with a deaf instructor, I know that the deaf community is a proud one, one that does not want to be viewed or seen as impaired. And Daphne is trying hard to hold it together, but a random customer at the foodtruck sets her on edge, and she calls Melody, confiding what happened. But being a parent, Melody does the right thing and takes her to the police.

At the police station, Regina arrives and is floored that Daphne didn’t tell her about what happened. But she goes into Mama Bear mode when a police officer questions why deaf kids were out at night alone. Daphne, clearly too exhausted to fight, just wants to go home. And then comes the barrage of hearing family members, wondering why she didn’t tell them and if she is OK. And she the divide she feels is evident. When Kathryn asks her to send more check-in texts, Daphne agrees, but the look on her face says that she wonders if the same request is made of Toby or Bay.

Regina/John/Kathryn: First off, no mention is made or shown of Regina’s alcohol slip from last episode. So we’re left to wonder if it was a one-time thing or if it will play out further down the road. Kathryn and John are upset that she didn’t call them to come to the police station, since they have connections. Regina is furious, feeling like it’s once again the Kennish family throwing their money around. She rants to Audrina, who points out that maybe the focus should be on Daphne over pride. Kathryn is aligned with John, until he sells the food truck without consulting her or Regina. I have to admit, John came across as pretty chauvinistic this hour. But not to worry, he saw the err of his ways and bought the food truck back to appease the two moms and have a mutual discussion. And they both admit, they want to sell it as well. I just have to wonder why they don’t think Daphne should be part of the decision.

Toby: Toby and Nikki prepare for Valentine’s Day by celebrating their three month anniversary. She also blurts out that she loves him, but immediately back pedals. But not to fear, he tells it back the next time he sees her. She gives him a leather cuff as a gift, but notices him pull his sleeve over the cross emblazoned on it. Nikki tells Toby that she believes in G-d with her whole self, but knows he doesn’t. He admits as much, but respects her beliefs. But it’s not enough for Nikki, who declares it best to end things. It’s a slippery slope to share opinions about religion, so I’ll ask you viewers to share your thoughts.

Angelo: Angelo is still trying to make himself look like a better guy, apparently with everyone but Regina. He and Lana constantly bicker over her choice of adoption, so Bay suggests that he just hang out with her, get to know her, and avoid the baby subject a bit. In return, he lets Bay host an anti-Valentine’s day party at his apartment. At the party, Angelo explains to Lana that he doesn’t want to lose his second chance at being a father, and asks to be able to raise the baby. As much as I respect it being Lana’s choice, I do see where Angelo is coming from in not wanting to sign his rights away.

Bay: Bay and her new bestie Natalie are bemoaning their single status. Natalie admits she has her eye on a girl, and it’s such a non-event, that I thought it had to be mentioned how cool it was the SAB introduced a LGBT character without it being an after school special. Bay clearly has eyes for Noah, but is still awkward around Emmett since he decided that it was all or nothing. She decides to throw a singles gathering at Angelo’s, but attendance is fairly sparse and four of the attendees (Daphne, Travis, Nikki, Toby) are actually couples. But to her delight Noah does attend, but he’s having hearing issues with his Ménière’s disease, which only she still knows about.

Noah lashes out, insisting the loud music (for the deaf party goers) be turned down. But he goes about it from a hostile angle, baiting Travis and mocking his speaking voice. It goes from heated to fisticuffs pretty quickly, with Angelo breaking the boys apart. Although provoked, Daphne now seems leery of being involved with Travis, given his angry disposition. Emmett gently tells her she doesn’t need to date Travis just to prove she can date a hearing guy. I’m guessing Daphne and Travis aren’t long for the couple world. And Bay finally asks Noah if he’s into her, and he admits to not wanting to be the rebound from her and Emmett. (And the couple name wasn’t EBay, it was BEmmett!) She assures him that’s not the case, and the two finally lock lips.

Episode Title Art: Human/Need/Desire by Bruce Nauman

And there you have my TwoCents! Share your comments, feedback, and TwoCents below!


About Karen Belgrad

Number cruncher by day, Karen spends way too many hours watching television and reading/writing about what she just watched. When not glued to the television, Karen sings karaoke, checks out live music, and roots for the Chicago Blackhawks and Cubs. Pop culture trivia and the Kevin Bacon game are her useless special talents. Managing Editor for TwoCentsTV.com [twitter:karenb0716]
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11 Responses to Switched At Birth – Recap & Review – Human/Need/Desire

  1. Johnny B. says:

    The food truck thing felt too first season, with John doing his own thing. But at least it had a better angle than those episodes, with Kathryn also being left out of the loop.

    Toby and Nikki seemed like a rushed cop out. That is, if it’s the last we see of her. I just felt like the show missed out on a chance for a religious/non-religious dialogue (especially given the passing mentions of characters’ faiths), although those types of breakups do happen in real life.

    On a similar note, I’m pleased to see the Deaf/Hearing dialogues going on here, and the characters’ angst and pride being pushed to the limits. I’ll be interested to see where they take these issues in the future.

  2. Zuri says:

    I guess I’ll have to wait for more Bemmett or at least Emmett. About the truck, I think they should ask Daphne because it is her truck and she won’t be with them forever and she wants to be independent. I thought Bay’s friend was into her.

    • karenb says:

      I think Natalie was telling the truth about not being into Bay. And I’m glad, because the “striaght crush” has been done to death on Glee!

      On Mon, Feb 11, 2013 at 10:28 PM, TheTwoCents

  3. g says:

    I really liked Nikki, sad to see her go. Regarding the religious debate, I think Nikki made the right decision. There are people out there who believe in God but don’t transfer that belief into their lifestyle, therefore don’t expect much out of their partner aside from respect. Then there are people, like Nikki, who believe religion to be an answer to life and seek a relationship with their God. Understanding that perspective, it makes sense why Nikki wouldn’t continue to see Toby. Similar to how Melody believes deafness defines her identity, Nikki sees her spirituality as the same, so what type of relationship could Toby and Nikki have if Toby can’t even connect to Nikki’s true self. Bay learned sign language for Emmett to connect with him, Toby just respecting her beliefs and hiding her bracelet shows that he isn’t the guy for her.

    I really like that the writers made Noah say that Travis sounded like a seal. Was it out of line, completely? But I saw it as a complete moment of passion and it sounded like a very honest and realistic reaction. Travis had every right to get mad at that comment but I think he needs to be more aware of his actions. Does he really think Noah and all the other hearing kids can deal with this reverse discrimination and not feel any ways about it? This plot really reminds me of the racial battles. When the majority attacks the minority, it is seen as heinous and evil, but when the minority attacks the majority, the minority feels entitled. Seems like Travis and all the other deaf kids share that mentality. It’s totally understandable for the minority to feel that they are more deserving but it still doesn’t make it right and Travis should have just turned down the damn music. He is friends with the Kennishes, there should be no excuse for his ignorance anymore.

    • liss says:

      I like ur post. However, I think that if Nikki wanted a boyfriend who believes in God too, she probably should’ve made it clear to Toby right from the start? I think Toby has done the best he could by respecting her beliefs. If he doesn’t believe in God, then there’s really nothing much he could do other than respecting her. They seem to really be into each other, so I’m surprised she ended it so quickly solely based on this difference, given that they’ve been dating for 3 months already.

    • karenb says:

      I think all of Noah’s actions were out of anger at his own situation and fear of his hearing loss. That being said, it was Bay’s party, she was the one to make the call about the music volume. And she was hosting a deaf party, so there was no need to turn the music down to suit one guest. But let’s face it, the music volume was just the trigger for Noah, not the real reason he was upset.

      On Mon, Feb 11, 2013 at 10:47 PM, TheTwoCents

  4. Harmony says:

    The Nikki situation I think they gave up on too soon. I also think that Toby handled the cross situation badly. He shouldn’t have been ashamed of it or even had it make him uncomfortable, he could have simply stated that it was a gift from the woman that he loved and wore it proudly as a representation of HER, not necessarily her faith. My husband and I have different spiritual/faith backgrounds and choices. We respect and even debate (in a healthy way) different spiritual choices and even different types of religions. We are raising our children with open, factual and guided knowledge on as many different religions, spiritual paths as possible so that they can make that choice when they get older.

    I think they should have talked to Daphne about selling her truck. Taking it away from her for something that wasn’t her fault seems to ‘punish’ her more, especially for being deaf and I think it’s kinda sad that they didn’t take that into consideration. It wasn’t HER fault that they were robbed. Also, why is everyone picking on Travis? Are we so quick to forget that Noah TEASED him? I’m sorry, but if someone was picking on my disability to my face, I might lash out too, maybe not like that, but it’s possible. I think it’s unfair, I like Travis’ character and I wanted him and Daphne to really have a fair shot of a relationship status, but if they are baiting him to be the ‘abuser’ in a relationship, then I think they should just end it now.

    I wish Bay and Emmett would just get back together, their relationship already got through the hardest parts of both of their lives, and they were good together. Emmett messed up, I get it, but she’s forgiven him and I feel like there is something stronger there and I’d love to see those two characters really give that a shot.

    Finally… I think that Angelo is going to end up convincing her to keep the baby and he will try to raise it with her. I think this is going to cause some serious issues with Regina and more importantly, her sobriety.

  5. flychick86 says:

    Wow. Nice. Also, Noah was SO in the wrong, so was John for what he did.

  6. flychick86 says:

    Also, I meant to post on here last night. Lol. Forgot that there might already comments.

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