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Switched at Birth - To Repel Ghosts - Review: “There Will Be Pain”

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Switched at Birth returned this week with the season 4 midseason premiere. It was everything we’ve come to know and love from this show over the years. There was drama, tears, and even a few surprises!

Fan-favorite couple Bay and Emmett were a prime focus during this premiere. Bay is still in turmoil after their break-up. This storyline has devastated me because I have been a huge fan of their relationship from the beginning. Bay really isn’t handling things very well at all and she’s “seeing” Emmett everywhere she goes. I really don’t know how I feel about the direction they’ve taken this. I understand what they’re trying to do. They need the audience to really understand and see that Bay can’t escape her throughs of Emmett, and unfortunately we can’t literally see inside her mind, so now they have to literally show him to us. At first, I thought the opening scene was a dream sequence but when it wasn’t, I was super confused. There’s a difference between being so heart broken you can barely function and actually, truly, losing your mind and I don’t know…this felt very much like she was really losing it - hallucinations and everything. Also, it makes Emmett look like some evil villain, even though it’s not even truly Emmett. Anyways, I understand their method but I’m just not a fan. Hopefully this won’t be too much of a thing in every episode.

The other primary purpose of this episode was to try to sell us, and Bay, on the fact that her and Emmett would have broken up anyways. Again, I’ll allow it for now but honestly, I think Bay and Emmett are perfect for each other. Sure, when he went to LA it was a bit of a rough patch, but I think they would have made it through. However, I’m happy that Bay was sort of comforted by this realization and it allowed her to get back to her life. Some other things worth noting with Bay in this episode was her amazing friendship with Travis and her discussion with Melody. Travis is such a true friend, I love him. The way he was there for Bay, offering to be her wingman and getting her mind off Emmett. Last season he had a few missteps, which kind of affected his likability for me, but he’s really making up for it quickly so far! I loved the talk between Bay and Emmett’s mom. Even though, Emmett is her son she was still there to support and help Bay which I thought was so sweet. Bay was pretty brutal in return, and I don’t really blame her, but it was still a bit extreme to say to his mother!

Meanwhile, Daphne is still casually seeing Mingo. I don’t think this relationship will last very long, although it could be so good if they play it right. It’s kind of an overdone, cliche story - the bad boy and the good girl - but I do want them to work out. I was so happy when Daphne sided with Bay during her call with Emmett. I love their sisterly bond, it’s the foundation of this show and hopefully this is the start of them leading the show back in that direction. Overall, I really liked Daphne during this episode and I’m usually pretty torn with her. Sometimes she can be such a nice, understanding person and then other times she can be so frustrating and annoying, so this episode was a pleasant surprise.

During this episode, the mystery pregnancy was finally revealed and it’s Lily, Toby’s ex-girlfriend. I like this choice, she’s not too central of a character but it’s still going to have pretty major effects. She confided in Daphne, who promised to try to get Toby to talk to her. I was worried that Daphne would accidentally tell him in a moment of frustration but I’m glad they didn’t go down that cliche path. At the end of the episode, in an emotional scene, Lily told Daphne that the baby has Downs Syndrome. This pregnancy storyline is going to be much more emotional than anyone anticipated. However, this is what I love about this show so much. It always tackles the hardest, least talked about storylines. Last season we saw them take on rape with Bay and Tank and now they will be taking on the incredibly difficult and sensitive issues that come along with an unexpected pregnancy and the possibility of Downs Syndrome. It will be interesting to see how this story plays out. I’ve always been a fan of Lily and Toby so I hope they can work things out and make the best decision for them.

Lastly, although the parents had a smaller role during this premiere, they still had their fair share of drama as well. John and Kathryn are in some financial trouble, the extent of which isn’t really clear yet. This seems like a bit of a weak and boring storyline to me but they might prove me wrong, we’ll have to wait and see. I loved how we got answers to the mystery of Eric and Will, whose mother was supposedly still alive. I think the “kidnapping” could be an exciting and unexpected twist and I liked how it even tied in with Regina’s past and choosing to keep the switch to herself all those years ago. There was something about it though, and I can’t put my finger on it but it’s slightly unsatisfying so far, I want it to be more. With this show, I’m confident there will be more and I’m excited to see what happens next!

Overall, I thought this premiere was a solid start to the rest of this season. In my opinion, Season 4A was their weakest to date. Like I said, it still tackled some big, important issues but I think all the changes with Daphne going to school and Emmett going to LA, etc. caused more of a change in tone than expected. I hope they can recover with 4B, and there is certainly some promise after this premiere, but I still have a few doubts. I really hope they prove me wrong though because I do love this show and I want to see it get back back to the quality it had during the first couple of seasons.

What did you think of this premiere? Let me know in the comments and thanks for reading!

About the Author - Kate Sidwell
Kate is a 24 year old, USA based, Psychology/Public Health Researcher - but that’s just her day job! In her spare time she is an avid TV watcher (some may even say addict!!). Some of her favorite shows are Jane the Virgin, Bates Motel, The Flash, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Rookie Blue, Silicon Valley, Beauty and the Beast, Sleepy Hollow, The 100, The Mindy Project, Pretty Little Liars, Once Upon a Time, The Royals, Orphan Black…so pretty much too many to count and a huge variety! She’ll give pretty much any show a chance! She also devotes a lot of time to her tumblr ( where you can find her reviewing and commenting on most of these shows and just generally fangirling! She’s excited to be writing for SpoilerTV on Complications, Baby Daddy, Proof, Switched at Birth, Secrets and Lies, and Minority Report!
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