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Switched at Birth - "Left in Charge" - Review

3 Apr 2017

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“Switched at Birth” stepped into its final three episodes in full force with the return of an old character, showcasing how much another character has grown, while also showing maybe how some still need development. And we don’t have much time! 

As we pick up “Left in Charge,” Ally continues living with Bay and Daphne in their apartment above Regina’s cafe, The Cracked Mug. “Living” is loosely putting it, though, because Bay can’t afford to pay the electric bill. Heck, she doesn’t even know they have one until they run out of power.

After her attempts to snag a loan from both John and Regina fail,  she throws an all-lights-out style party and charge their guests a $10 entry fee based on Ally's advice.

They go around The Cracked Mug, where Bay’s helping out to make some dough, and Ally accidentally invites Regina’s boo Luca to the party. Bay quickly tries to recover, promising him there isn't going to be any alcohol. He’s totally chill, though, and won’t be able to attend because he’s doing a double date game night at the Kennishes with her. His friend Tucker leaps at the request to attend the party.

Also invited to the party? Bay’s old high school frenemy Simone. Remember her? You must. She caused quite a havoc when she slept with her brother Toby AND her then boyfriend Emmett, which also lead to their break up. The last time we saw her, she was an alcoholic trying to get clean and asked Regina to be her sponsor. Now, she’s recovered and is doing really well as a successful pharma sales rep, wearing stunning blazers and driving a peachy car. She walks into the cafe to “borrow Regina’s wifi” which is a stunning way of saying she wanted it for free.

Simone also runs into Toby at the cafe. He introduces her to Carlton, the cutest baby you’ve ever seen, and she’s dumbfounded because she didn’t realize he has Down Syndrome. Her behavior upsets Toby. Later, as he DJ’s Bay’s party, he overhears two idiot students making fun of disabled people and tries to intervene. When they don’t stop, Travis sides with Toby and they make fun of his deafness, which he doesn’t take well and punches the guy. He definitely had it coming.

The reason wasn’t just because he was a protective father, it’s also because he was hurt by how Simone reacted. It’s the first time he introduced Carlton to someone from his past. He expected more but what exactly, he didn’t know. His parental instincts took over. Bay tells him what I was thinking the whole time: people want to say the right thing but they just don’t know how. He can't go around punching those who act like idiots because there's always going to be those.

Kudos to the writers for really fleshing out Toby. He has grown so much as a person. He always steps into each role with such ease, only growing into it, whether it’s as a brother, a son, a husband, and now, as a father! Lucas Grabeel has really grown on me over the course of five seasons.

Back to the party, Bay’s trying to impress Simone and opens up the cafe below her apartment to make her some coffee. Tucker aka Luca’s friend crashes the cafe and that becomes the party’s next venue. Bay is initially reluctant, knowing Regina will be mad, but goes on with the idea, anyway. This proves to be a bad idea, obviously, because Tucker ruins all of Regina’s antique mugs (the specialty of the cafe), rightfully pissing off her mother. After apologizing to her, Bay talks things out with Simone. Both of them admit to not leading the life they imagined they would by now, and that’s okay. With this talk, they hope to resolve their competitive nature when it comes to one another.

Unfortunately, I don’t think this episode’s story for Bay did her justice. I’m not buying her behavior. It would’ve been fine for season three Bay to throw a party to make some money or to listen to someone she just met or to act up because of jealousy or to ruin Regina’s cafe. With only two episodes left, they really need to give more meaty issues for her beyond the childishness.

I’d say the same for Daphne, who in this episode, bonds with John’s star baseball player Chris in an effort to move on from her “Mingo-itis.” Sure, they spend a fun day together and all, but she gets suspicious of the bruises on his arm. We know he’s got them from when a campus police officer almost arrested him back in “Occupy Truth,” but she doesn’t. After learning from Travis during the party just how serious of an issue taking steroids is, which she suspects Chris is doing, she rats him out to John and Kathryn without giving his name.

I understand why she did it. She wants to protect John’s and even Chris’s career. But come on, Daphne, at least talk to the guy first. Acting rationally hasn't been a strong suit for her but I expected that to change by now. Especially because Chris reveals to her he did take the steroids but only till his wound healed because he needed a fully functional arm for the game. He stopped taking them and now his career will most likely be ruined.

Their stories in the last few episodes have been powerful and has shown us how both the sisters have grown. “Left in Charge” seriously derailed that. Toby, on the other hand, even meets with Simone later and reintroduces her to Carlton. It goes so well with them this time around.

Regina’s arc wasn’t too great either. The only pro was affirming how great of a guy Luca is. She suspects him of cheating on her with their TA so along with Kathryn, she spies on the TA. Turns out, Luca and Lauren had a fling over a year ago but he’s so done with it, there’s was no point in drudging that up with Regina, who insisted they keep their past in the past. Meh.

This was probably the weakest episode of the season for me, which is disappointing after “Switched at Birth” delivered a heartfelt 100th episode the week prior.

The final (!) two episodes remain. And I hope they’re an emotional doozy with some depth, unlike last week's "Left in Charge."