Portrait of my Father

Switched at Birth! My level of anticipation for this week was about the same as it was before Abbud’s Skins episode this Spring. Not at PLL heights yet, but definitely growing. Something about this show is addicting. At least part of it is the way class issues are getting played out here. 2 minutes in to the episode, Regina’s calling Kathryn a WASP. Which is completely accurate, since Kathryn’s friend assumed Regina was a live-in maid, but also hilarious because…I dunno…it just seems like they’re poking fun at their own network execs, and after a day when news was completely depressing for anyone who isn’t Jack Donaghy (SCOTUS’s Wal Mart decision…ouch) it tickled my funny bone.

Oh Kathryn Kennish, Nancy Botwin practiced suburban deception with much more class than you, and even she eventually got consumed by wildfires and Mexican cartels. Your attempt to hide is cute, but futile. Listen to the hot Latina woman in your backyard and tell the truth. Seriously, is this the message we’re sending the CHILDREN!????

Bay asks Regina about her dad, and all she gets is the classic “The best thing that man ever did was leave” line. C’mon Regina, you know it’s not gonna get left at that.

Daphne and Emmett are hanging at school. I like their friendship. They seem completely at ease, and it’s cute. Daphne also seems to always be very honest with him, and vice versa. Liam comes barging in bearing zucchini, and asks Daphne if she’d like to spend her Friday night watching him serve popcorn shrimp out of a truck. Unsurprisingly, Daphne is not wowed by this proposal, and (pleasantly) demurs. And then! She tells him off for not standing up to her in front of his friends. I like her. She gets it. Liam does not, and is left sputtering.

Marlee Matlin is Daphne’s bball coach, and is apparently quite bad at it. But she does look real pretty!

It turns out, Regina’s been doing hair out of her house, and now she’s bringing in more ethnic people as clientele. Kathryn is mortified and immediately finds her a job in town, where she can serve the white women who leave big tips. Regina (pleasantly) demurs, but she does let Kathryn give Daphne a shit ton of new clothes and shoes.

What is this new “type” that ABC Family has going on? This tall, dark, longish hair, quiet, sensitive, strong man type? Actually now that I say that out loud, that’s very obviously been the stuff of great paperback romance novels for decades. But Ty looks and feels an awful lot like Caleb to me. Anyway, he and Bay have been out in the barrio, and now his truck has broken down when she’s on the cusp of curfew. Toby comes and picks her up and they don’t make out while they’re waiting for him. Weird. She misses her curfew anyway, but her dad is so happy that Daphne’s apparently got some athletic talent (Toby is pathetic at basketball, and nothing like Carmello Anthony thank you very much) that he doesn’t even notice. Bay’s eyes get big because that means he forgot about her. Sad face.

Bay’s dad picks this exact wrong moment to tell her that he’s suing the hospital, which, of course, Bay takes as a personal insult. Now, time out. Can I just say that I find this disgusting? The guy is a bajillionaire former pro baseball player. Did you see Toby’s car?? Now, I’m sure the hospital was in some way negligent and that should definitely be brought to light, but why on earth would you sue the hospital? It’s not a oil company or a hedge fund, it’s a freaking hospital. If you’re that angry about it, use the opportunity to get yourself onto the board or in some position of power to make a positive change, don’t sue the fucking hospital so you can buy an eleventh beamer. Jeezus.

Regina is trying out the salon deal, and the owner is a fabulous adorable man who gives her a shot. Her first client is Turk’s wife from Scrubs, who is all up her everone’s biznatch. (Seriously, she got a lot sassier since Scrubs.) Regina awkwardly lies about them being lamaze buddies. No, this lie will not end well.

Bay finally asks Daphne about her dad, but Daphne gives her the same line, and she’s not a very good liar. There’s a story there. Bay presses her for more, but accidentally says that her dad might not have left it she hadn’t been deaf. Burn. Gramma won’t tell either. There really must be some serious drama.

Marlee Matlin (do we know her actual name?) aka EMMETT’S MOTHER (squeee she’ll be guest starring often, I assume) unwisely lets John Kennish coach Daphne’s basketball team, and he instantly reincarnates Joe McCoy from Friday Night Lights. This guy should patent the part. He’s good at it. Daphne’s not going with it though, and storms out of practice after she realizes how deep the crazy runs.

Regina tries to tell Kathryn that Turk’s wife is a nosy motherfucker, but Kathryn gets all defensive at this gross mischaracterization of her inner circle of friends. She reveals that the reason she won’t tell anyone what really happened is she thinks everyone will judge her for not knowing that she wasn’t raising her own kid. Hell, Pam on the Office nursed the wrong kid and everyone took it fine. Regina doesn’t seem that bothered, but agrees to keep her secret. I think I might feel a bit more sorry for Kathryn, except…well, I’m a big OC fan. And you really can’t get much more social pressure than the Newpsies. This just seems like whining. Turk’s wife sure ain’t no Julie Cooper Nichol.

But after all this build up, everyone just makes peace at the end of the episode. John tells Daphne she could be like Maya Moore (nope, wrong), and Daphne eats one of Liam’s firecracker shrimp. Kathryn tells Turk’s wife the truth, who is both gracious and polite. Bay makes outup with Ty, whom she was mad at because he rudely rejected her money to fix his alternator. John correctly interprets Bay’s arts, which means he must get her in some fatherly way, and so Bay feels better enough  to simply tell Daphne that it sucks their dad left. It’s like the entire town toked up and snorted valium. Let’s all sing kum-bay-yah.

Verdict: less good than last episode. Less ridiculousness by the Wasps. Less character development. Way more cheese and clumsy storylines. Will I still watch next week? Hells yeah. I don’t give up that easy.

 

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