“Switched at Birth” aired the emotionally-charged new episode, “Dance Me to the End of Love” on March 3.
The lives of the Vasquez-Kennish clan have been chaotic to say the least as John (D.W. Moffett) searches for a way to restore things with Kathryn (Lea Thompson), Bay (Vanessa Marano) struggles to create art after snapping her tendon and Daphne (Katie Leclerc) considers a major career choice that may prove really challenging for a deaf person. Plus, Travis (Ryan Lane) is worried Mary Beth (B.K. Cannon) may realize how much she’s missing out on by dating a deaf guy.
Everyone's problems are explored in the danced-themed episode and ultimately, Bay and John must look for a way to dance to a different drum to cope with their problems and restore their faith in themselves and faith in the future.
Bay’s Artistic Dilemma
Bay’s hands is incapacitated following surgery and try as she might, she can’t draw or paint. She’s frustrated and worried about her future as an artist. Will she ever be able to do what she loves again?
To make matters worse, her art teacher assigns the class to paint a memory and she hates Bay’s first attempt at a bloody thumbprint that represents her discovery she was switched at birth and her family is not really her own.
She blows up at Angelo (Gilles Marini) who offers to call the art teacher and intercede on her behalf. She stalks away and he just looks after her, helpless. It's great to see Gilles Marini return as Angelo in this episode. He and Vanessa Marano continue to have amazing on-screen father/daughter chemistry.
Thankfully, Emmett (Sean Berdy) comes to Bay's rescue and shows her a cityscape a man built in an effort to get his wife who lost her memory to remember him and how they met. Emmett encourages her saying the project doesn't have to be her memory.
He helps her build a zoetrope (art with the illusion of animation) and the teacher loves it. The entire Bemmett sequence is wonderful, including Bay’s fantasy that she dances with Emmett show girl style.
Is there a chance Bay and Emmett will eventually reconcile? Max Adler has been great as super-sweet frat boy Tank. But, Tank and Bay just don’t have the same chemistry or history she and Emmett share.
It’s a really sweet moment when Bay apologizes to Angelo and he says at least by her yelling at him, he knows they are truly a family.
Daphne Dares to Dream
Saving Dr. J’s life causes Daphne to consider a career in medicine. She tells Melody (Marlee Matlin) and Regina (Constance Marie) she’d like to apply to some medical schools. She’s buoyed up by the thought and blushes when everyone at the clinic claps for her and dubs her a hero.
Jorge brings her quickly back down by telling her she isn't a hero at all. She’s just a person trying to clean up a mess that almost cost the doctor his own life. Ouch! Did he really have to go there just because he’s jealous of Daphne's feelings for Campbell (R.J. Mitte)?
Jorge loses some nice guy points for this. But, he eventually apologizes and takes her in to see a little boy who has asthma and is having complications. Jorge and the boy’s mom leave Daphne in the room alone with him. When her back is turned to prepare an injection, the boy has a seizure. Because Daphne is deaf, she has no idea there’s a problem.
Jorge and his mom come back in and his mom screams at her for her neglect and then chastises Jorge for leaving her son alone with a deaf person.
The whole heartbreaking experience scares Daphne and makes her question if she should even consider going into medicine. She vents to Dr. J and he tells her in 1971, he was one of nine black doctors in med school, and only one of two that finished. He tells her she needs to adjust and build her own ladder to her goal.
Once again, “Switched at Birth” paints a very realistic picture of the emotional and physical struggles deaf people encounter. Daphne seems to take his advice and it would ultimately be wonderful to see her pursue and conquer this kind of dream.
Teach Me to Dance
Travis and John are dealing with very different struggles with the women in their lives. Travis is afraid he’ll lose Mary Beth to a hearing person who can do all the things with her that he can’t. He lies to her and tells her he loves to dance, in an attempt to make her happy and take her to her college formal.
He seeks Toby’s help in learning how and Toby turns to Angelo, as dancing is one of his many skills. Viewers are treated to watching former “Dancing with the Stars” season eight runner up Gilles Marini as Angelo attempting to teach Travis to waltz. Oh, to be that smooth, Gilles!
How can we help but smile when he tells Travis “Dancing is like making love”?
Then Melody arrives and she and Angelo spin into a whole routine and it’s so fun to watch. Poor Travis, however, still seems to have two left feet. When he finally tells Mary Beth the truth, they share a tender moment as she tells him “you don’t have to impress me” and that he’s changed her and shown her a whole new world. She tells him to relax, all he has to do is hold her and sway
If It’s Adventure You Want
We continue to wonder if John and Kathryn are going to survive his betrayal and the strain on their marriage. John tries to please Kathryn by giving her some spontaneous jewelry. His plan backfires because he gave her the same thing four years ago. He begs her to tell him what he can do to make her happy.
She tells him she doesn't want to do the same things every day, eat the same meals, get the same presents. She wants adventure.
How many couples have been here? Where, one partner becomes disillusioned with the routine and craves more. It’s so easy to fall into a rut and it’s just as easy to take each other for granted.
At first John is furious and blames Renzo. But Renzo puts him in his place by telling him he’ll do anything to avoid having to change.
John tries again and asks Kathryn to a family dinner. She’s skeptical, but agrees. A beautiful table with a beautiful meal awaits. John ushers her to her seat at the head of the table and then everyone starts to use their silverware and other items to tap out a Stomp style beat.
Music starts and everyone gets up to dance. John gestures to Kathryn the whole way through, until he finally pulls her to her feet and into the dance. She’s bowled over by his effort and he tells her, if it’s adventure she wants, then adventure she’ll get.
Overall, the feel-good tone of this episode is a welcome reprieve to the chaos we've seen. We’re also reminded if we really want something, we have to be willing to be unconventional, think outside the box, have faith in ourselves and do whatever it takes to make it happen. Above all, we need to allow our spirits to get up and dance and help others around us to do the same if they forget how.
“Switched at Birth” airs in Flint on Mondays at 8 pm ET on ABC Family. Click here for a local channel guide.