Switched at Birth: American Gothic

Second episode of Switched at Birth, and Bay’s creepo parents are flipping out about the deaf non-boyfriend on a motorcycle. It’s obvious the theme of this episode is “How tightass can Bay’s parents be and how quickly can they wrap their octopus arms around Daphne?” As soon as she rides off, they give each other a look and say, “We’ll fix it.” Then Mrs. Bay gives Mrs. Daphne the big ol’ stink eye. It’s her fault. I hope this theme is a one episode arc, because it’s already a little tired.

Also, Bay looks like a combination of Eliza Dushku and Lucy Hale:


So Mrs. Bay (I should eventually learn characters’ names) heads over to confront the dirty minority living in her backyard, but is so shocked that the guest house is apparently just falling down after one day of being inhabited by hispanicals that she invites her to a bbq instead of telling her how to raise her daughter. Her meaning Mrs. Bay.

Maybe it’s because my raging homosexuality prevents me from having truly biological offspring with my future partner, but I really don’t understand this outrageous biological hormone that has overtaken Mrs. Bay. And Bay, despite liking Daphne and her new mom, can’t help but question if biology is so important, does that mean her non-birth mother will stop loving her?

Bay’s ex, Liam, is not nearly edgy enough to ever have been dating her in the first place. He blows her off because she’s flaky mcflakypants, and goes to the deaf school to hit on Daphne instead. He’s like Smash Williams but without the charm or mad baller skillz.

Why can’t Daphne like Emmett? He’s so obviously into her, had a sick motorcycle, and is wickedly snarky. I wonder if they’re going to do the “disadvantaged girl just wants to experience normal high school life and date the football player and be the homecoming queen and ignores her true feelings/roots” storyline.

Bay and her mom bond over Frida Kahlo. I find their tentative relationship a lot more authentic. They’re bonding over shared interests, grasping at anything because they know they are family and are trying to get to know each other. I also get the impression that Bay’s bio-mom is being more frank with Bay than with Daphne. At least, I hope that’s what happens. In my mind, they have the luxury of being open and honest with each other because they don’t have the same type of smothery mother-daughter relationship Bay has with Mrs. Bay.

The bbq has barely started when Bay’s parents confront Regina Vazquez (looked up the name!) about the motorcycle. 1) Good point about Toby’s car, Regina. 2) The parents are ridiculous. I hate both of them for being dicks about Regina’s parenting and Emmett’s driving/hearing abilities. Things really come to a head at dinner, when Daphne is trying to be the biggest suck up ever and lead them all in prayer (dear lord, she’s been raised a heathen), and Kathryn Kennish tries to con her into giving up her sweet ride. Regina points out the obvious, and then give a very well done speech about everything that is wrong with the Kennish’s. This is every lower/middle class family’s answer to the rich prep school types. At least my kids aren’t spoiled brats who never had to work for anything. (Having gone to school and having joined the workforce with a lot of these kids, let me say that I find this stereotype definitely based in truth, but exceptions are also pretty common.) She articulates her point very well, and storms off. Daphne is furious with her for not trying harder.

Meanwhile, Bay is finally confronting her mom about the fact that she hate her bio mom, and maybe that means she hates part of Bay too. Hey, someone had to say it. I had kinda hoped it would be Mr. Kennish, but they apparently decided not to make his character interesting.

Daphne and Bay are so cut up about the fights with the mothers that they go out and have fantastic dates. Bay’s is the clear winner: she takes her beau out vandalizing and her artwork is actually pretty cool. I’ve always liked good graffiti myself, so maybe I’m not the most objective. Daphne takes Liam to a record store (how retro chic) and tries to recreate the deaf experience with some headphones. Rich Hardbeck could’ve shown him better.

After the record store, some of Liam’s jackass buddies see them, and make deaf jokes until Daphne basically tells them all the fuck off. I have a feeling the little deaf boy they were making fun of is going to be Emmett.

Ty asks Bay why the girl in her paintings is so angry, so Bay tells him. Note that when Liam asks Daphne about her family, she gets super awkward about it and asks to not talk about anything serious. Since that seems pretty out of character for Daphne, who has been the most accepting of all of them of the new situation, I’m guessing the writers just wanted to put off the scandal of Daphne dating Bay’s ex until next episode. Either that, or Liam has a serious “can’t keep a secret” vibe. Anyway, Bay ponders why this all had to happen to her, and Ty answers perfectly that otherwise she’d have nothing to paint about. And they wouldn’t have met. And they kiss. Aww.

Once everyone gets home, there’s a big make-up fest. Daphne tells the Kennishes that they need to remember her deafness when they talk. Regina starts to give some ground on letting them have some input. And then Kathryn Kennish just takes a giant dump on the whole thing. She hates motorcycles, she hates Regina, and Regina must HIDING SOMETHING because she is poor and doesn’t want to take advantage of FREE MONEY. What a freak show. She reminds me a bit of Orson Hodge’s mother on Desperate Housewives.

Verdict: still a good show! Well worth the DVR space, and fun to analyze while in progress. The ability to pause tv is gold. Plus, all the Pretty Little Liars previews during the commercials are amazing. SEASON 2 PREMIERES TOMORROW!

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