Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Switched at Birth: Identity

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Remember when this show first started and the differences in class and race were broached? Did you realize that they kind of fell by the wayside as other things began taking precedence? Well, this episode brings back the prejudice, both on Daphne from girls in her old 'hood, and on Bay from her grandmother, of all people. (I don't anticipate that we'll be seeing much of her again, though.) Daphne wonders if she's really changed since she now lives in a nice part of town and plays basketball (and takes cooking) at a private school. Bay wonders if she'll always be treated differently from now on, and even begins to think about how people may have mistreated her in the past. I think that these are important parts to the show, and hope that they are explored further as time goes on. Speaking of which, we're not halfway through the official first season! And, a final note: there was no Emmett in this episode, so that was a downer.

Switched at Birth "Las Dos Fridas" (S01E16): Regina calls Immigration to try and locate Angelo, but she doesn't get anywhere. This might be because he didn't actually get caught and he's just on the run again. See, after Adriana called immigration, she called Angelo to tell him, so he might have gotten a head start. [I'm a little confused as to why she bothered to give him a head's up, but that's okay.] John and Kathryn aren't actively trying to find Angelo (which upsets Bay), but if he contacts them, they might consider helping him out via an immigration lawyer.

Kathryn's mother (who lives in Scottsdale) is a silent partner in John's business. Bonnie comes to visit for a few days, which puts Kathryn into super-cleaning mode. [very thankful that I can just do a normal amount of cleaning when family comes. I'd hate to drive myself crazy like so many television characters do!] Toby warns Daphne that the woman generally doesn't think before she speaks. [haha - "like Bay times 50"] When she arrives, she gives Toby some poker chips, Bay an art book, and Daphne an heirloom cameo, which Bay had hoped to inherit someday. Bonnie tells Kathryn that she didn't give the cameo to Bay because she wants to keep it in the "blood" family. [!!] Bay overhears that her grandmother "can't help but see her differently now." [that's got to be so rough to hear, as a daughter and a granddaughter!] While Bonnie is in town, Kathryn, Bay, and Daphne plan to go to a formal tea with her, but Bay ignores the plans to work on an art mural for school. Kathryn demands that she come, but Bay isn't there long before she just leaves. [calls a cab? why not call a friend for a ride? how prevalent are cabs in suburban St. Louis?] She goes back to her mural and gets angry, throwing paint at it. [boo!]

Kathryn confronts her mother about the way she behaved, then tells John about it. John isn't thrilled with Bonnie, either, as she made some new business suggestions to him, including using recycled water and how to market a "green" business. So, he plans to buy out Bonnie, and Kathryn wants to be the one to present the check, for double the value. She waits until Bonnie is leaving to give it to her, and it's accepted with shock. [well, yeah. I would never want to be bought out that way!] But that's not all that happens as Bonnie goes to leave... Daphne returns the cameo, so Bonnie gives it to Bay. [getting it back is one thing, but immediately trying to pawn it off onto another granddaughter was a bit awkward, if you ask me.] Bonnie also doesn't answer directly when Bay asks if she really sees her differently now... instead she points out that Bay must see herself differently. Bay goes to Regina, who tells her how culture is a lived-and-learned experience. [true story!] She tells her that she will have to deal with closed-minded people and prejudice from time to time. Then, Bay brings Regina to the school to work on the mural with her. [how cute. though I wasn't the biggest fan of Bay's design. you?]

Now let's look at the smaller plotlines this episode. Toby shares some of his acoustic music with Simone, who gets him an audition for a big event coming up. He's pretty grateful until she wants to change his image. He ends up telling her that she can be his girlfriend, but his music is his business. [I am really not in love with the idea of Simone and Toby dating. Also, that "I can't dress you... can I undress you" joke was dumb.]

One of Daphne's old neighbors is at Buckner using the track. Simone gets into a fight with her because a watch goes missing from her locker. Daphne tries to break it up, and there's a misunderstanding that gets both Daphne and Simone four hours of community service at the other girl's school. You know, picking up trash and painting a wall and whatnot. Daphne's "friend" makes this difficult though, even when Daphne tries to play a late-night pickup game with her old crew to make amends. It seems that they won't let her play now that she lives in "Mission Hills." [if that wasn't enough to get her thinking, that "you don't look like no Vasquez I ever knew" comment surely did.]

And, the episode ends with Adriana is moving back to East Riverside to live with a friend. [two things. first, good - that character wasn't doing much. second, I'm sure there will be a crisis before long... the woman will get robbed or mugged and beaten or something. don't you think so?]
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