TV Recaps

‘Switched at Birth’ Season Premiere Recap: It’s going to be one dramatic summer

Photo Credit: ABC Family

Tonight’s season premiere set the path for a lot of drama this summer.

Last season on Switched at Birth: The Carlton School standoff resulted in the school remaining open, but not without the deaf kids wanting the hearing kids permanently gone, leaving Daphne and Bay on opposite sides of the fences. Lana disappeared from the hospital with her and Angel’s newborn child. Regina fell off the wagon and went into rehab. Emmett’s mother took Travis in when it was clear his living situation wasn’t working for him. John ran for office with Katherine’s full support. Toby announced he was engaged. Noah and Bay broke up when he admitted he had feelings for Daphne.

Guys, let me take a minute to just squeal about how excited I am that Switched is back. It’s easily one of my favorite shows on TV and my life feels a little emptier when it’s not around. At times last season felt a little hit or miss for me, specifically in the middle of the season, but by the end it was back on track and left us all in a state of devastation during the spring finale. The episode done entirely in sign language will go down as one of the best episodes of TV of all time for me. I will never forget it, and I’m hoping for the same kind of emotional developments this summer. With that said, on to the summer premiere!

Photo Credit: ABC Family
Photo Credit: ABC Family

The show jumped ahead six weeks, just enough time to get some progression on stories we were left with in the spring without getting too far ahead. Angelo’s trying to track down Lana and their baby, who may or may not have been adopted. Regina’s done her first 30 days in rehab and is coming home. John won his place in office. Bay and Daphne are still at odds over what happened at the school and with Noah. The family’s had time to adjust to Toby’s engagement announcement, but not enough that they’ve accepted it yet. This jump not only moves the show along, but provides the perfect jumping off points for the rest of the season. Several storylines were set up and it’s going to be a lot of fun to see them play out the rest of the season. So let’s look at a list of what we can look forward to this summer:

1. Bay and Regina vs. Daphne and Katherine

In the last six weeks, Daphne has moved into the Kennish home and practically become BFFs with Katherine, much to Bay’s dismay. Naturally, Bay is left on the outside while she watches her mother become increasingly close to her biological daughter. Bay doesn’t have the same chance considering that Regina is still struggling with her addiction. Daphne is leaning on the parents who were there for her when her mother felt short, but distancing her mother in the process. Meanwhile, Bay is trying to keep her head above water and struggling to understand why Regina kept the switch a secret and why she keeps leaving her. She isn’t the only one struggling; Daphne feels just as abandoned by her mother’s relapse and has found relief in not having to worry about her mother while staying with at the Kennish house. This is where the heart of the show lies – the way they articulate everyone’s frustrations and heartaches is always so beautifully done.

It’s taken several seasons, but it seems like the show is actually going to focus on Bay’s issues of abandonment in regards to Regina. When Regina returned home to unwelcoming arms, she did what most people would do and decided to move out. Understandable. She needs her own space to deal with her addiction, where people won’t judge her or throw it into her face. Regina’s a fantastically layered character because despite her shortcomings (hey, every character on this show has them!), you still root for her. When Bay learned that her biological mother moved out, she went straight to her and confronted Regina with her feelings about being left, the switch, and being unwanted. It was a short heart-to-heart, but so long overdue that it felt just right. Daphne and Katherine have been building a strong relationship throughout the past seasons. Now it’s time for Bay and Regina to build theirs. I’m so excited to watch this!

2. Toby’s engagement

Katherine is all for planning a fancy rehearsal dinner for Toby and Nikki, who suddenly refuses to have Toby’s parents blow a bunch of money on an unnecessary party. Secretly, Toby’s parents are planning to support the marriage in hopes of it falling apart – never good. Nikki is a far cry from being privileged and wealthy, so the dynamic this creates will keep things really interesting. Will the Kennish money be too much for her? Will she be able to accept Toby’s privileged upbringing? Or will this ultimately drive them apart? Young people are willing to jump into marriage too quickly sometimes, so it’ll be interesting to watch this play out and see whether or not they make it to the altar. (Just in case you’re wondering, I’m hoping not.)

3. Ty is back!!!! (The exclamations are required.)

Do all the guys in Maui, Kansas look as good as Ty? Just wondering.

Photo Credit: ABC Family
Photo Credit: ABC Family

As if the personal strains between Daphne and Bay aren’t enough, John has them working together at his law office. Bay feels a little too bossed around by Daphne, who feels a little worn down from Bay hating her. Oh, sisters! The fighting never stops, does it? When Daphne sends Bay out to pick up snacks for a meeting, her car breaks down and she finds herself in the beachy-themed town of Maui, Kansas. While waiting for someone to tow her car, Bay plays a few games, wanders around, and runs into Ty! Her reaction upon seeing him is exactly how I felt. Heart flip-flops. Skipping beats. Heavy breathing. All that jazz.

Bay was stunned to learn that Ty had been back for a while and no knew about it. He’s currently staying in the area on base. Their reunion was awkward to say the least, but they’ve become different people since being apart, so this is a natural progression. And as if things weren’t tense enough, when Bay received a text asking to see her, she rushed off to Ty only to learn it was a prank from some of his army buddies. Ty wasn’t exactly happy that they were messing with her and flipped out, all signs pointing to post-traumatic stress disorder. Switched always brings such a good level of realism to their characters and stories, so it’ll be really interesting to see Ty’s play out – if this is the route they’re going. Not to mention that the show is good about educating viewers (without getting on a soapbox, which they do so well), so they could bring a lot of attention and understanding to a serious problem facing those who have served in our armed forces.

4. Angelo, Lana, and their baby

Although he was absent from the premiere, Angelo will be back soon. The only question is whether or not he’ll have found Lana and their baby. It’ll be interesting to see this play out because everyone was so stunned to learn about Lana’s pregnancy and then became so involved in it throughout the rest of the spring season. Everyone will have different reactions and feelings about this baby and whether or not it comes back into their lives. Cue lots of emotional wreckage for this one, I’m sure.

5. Emmett and Travis as new BFFs

Travis is just the kind of friend that Emmett needs because he’ll help Emmett cut loose in a way that won’t get him into too much trouble. Both are struggling to move on from heartaches. Travis is worried that Daphne was the one while Emmett’s impassioned plea to win Bay back wasn’t enough. So Travis does the logical thing and wants to move on… by inviting girls who have been eying him at the car wash over to Emmett’s house. With his mother gone, it was the perfect night to sneak in some girls, drink some beer, and possibly get a little action. How funny was Travis telling the girls that Melody was Emmett’s crazy ex-girlfriend only for her to show up and scare them simply by walking in the room? If these are the types of humorous interactions to expect from Emmett and Travis being friends and roommates, I am all for this.

6. Regina vs. John and Katherine

VANESSA MARANO, BLAIR REDFORD
Photo Credit: ABC Family

This dynamic has existed from the start of the show and grown increasingly tense, specifically with the truth about Regina knowing the switch happened and never telling anyone coming out. It is natural for everyone to feel so betrayed by Regina’s relapse, but it isn’t like they were privy to exactly what was going on with Regina or how she was feeling. I think the show has set up a very realistic dynamic here where the addict is coming back into her family, who resents her for messing up and hurting them all. The dinner scene where John and Regina went back and forth was heartbreaking, but also necessary. This is a family that doesn’t skate over their feelings. They lash out and argue (as most families do) and usually end up coming around to one another. John’s point-of-view on alcoholism not being a disease and a lack of willpower will make for an interesting story because he’ll either change his mind or put further distance between himself and his family. Will he come around to seeing how difficult alcoholism is? Will he get educated on what things are really like for Regina? Or will she spend the entire season being the outsider? Thankfully Bay is on her side. Maybe she’ll bring her parents along with her.

What are your favorite parts of the season premiere? What stories are you looking forward to playing out this summer? And are you as happy as I am that Ty is back (we should just unite and gush about him if you are)? Sound off in the comments below!

Check back later this week for sneak peeks and previews of next week’s episode, and I’ll see you back here next week for next week’s episode recap.

About the author

Amber Cunigan

Amber Cunigan is a sarcastic mid-twenties undergrad, extreme book hoarder, Netflix addict, and reality TV aficionado. She enjoys excessive amounts of chocolate and caffeine, tweeting, and all things Ezra Fitz and Ryan Gosling. When it comes to TV, she expects to be thoroughly entertained and when not, she will slam and mock you, but still tune in next week. She's a glutton for punishment. Basically, she's awesome.