Switched at Birth: Hearing the Other Side

SWITCHED AT BIRTH: 1.11 “Starry Night”

And we’re back! To be fair, I wish that I had done a little homework before returning to Switched at Birth last night. I remembered a few things — Regina’s ex being back in the picture, Emmett and Bay (of course) — but a few things took a little time to catch up on.

First, timing. For some reason, I didn’t realize that while we have been waiting months to see the show again, months did not pass by in Bay and Daphne’s world. In fact, only a few hours — days, max — passed by. Emmett was still with his band members. In fact, they hadn’t even reached the music festival yet. Daphne and Bay were still fighting (ok, I didn’t think that was going to go away anyway). And wounds were still fresh with the arrival of Daphne’s absentee dad — or Bay’s biological father, whichever you’d like to call him.

Second, there were the little things. I can’t remember: Did Daphne recently add the hearing aids, or was that new? I remember she was asking about the possibility of becoming hearing, but did she always have the aids? And I completely forgot about the cars they got for their birthdays. I know these are little details, but reminding me of what I forgot just put me a little off in the episode.

Nonetheless, I was hooked, yet again. Bay is still my favorite character, and her relationship with Emmett is still super adorable. Daphne is still getting on my nerves, with her forever-pouty face. And Regina is just…Regina.

Personally, I care little about Bay’s biological father. I even care little about the lawsuit. That being said, I think the scene between Katherine and the nurse was just fantastic. It really put the reality back into the scenario, and Katherine was right. It does make it feel more like a mistake, not something that was meant to be.

But the best part of the episode (and this shouldn’t be a surprise, considering what I just said above) was Emmett and Bay. One of the best things that this show does is really makes you understand what deaf people are feeling and how they interact with the world. Bay may be learning sign language, but there’s still a lot to learn. Honestly, the way Bay interacted with both the food vendor and the guy who was demanding his drink is exactly how I would have reacted. Hearing Emmett’s explanation of why that doesn’t help was refreshing.

More so, though, was the final scene. We’re constantly being reminded how we don’t understand what it’s like to be deaf. But in the moments when Emmett’s staring at the stars and Bay’s watching the idiots around her, we’re suddenly placed in different shoes. We get to see how Emmett doesn’t understand Bay’s world. How is it that she can’t just escape? You can’t turn the sounds off.

It was nice seeing both sides in this one. Now, I just have one more question: What parents let their child stay overnight in tents with a bunch of dudes at a music festival? Just sayin’.

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