“Switched at Birth” returned on March 11 with the winter finale episode, “Introducing the Miracle.”
In this riveting follow up to the groundbreaking all ASL (American Sign Language) episode, Bay (Vanessa Marano) and Noah (Max Lloyd) break up after he admits having feelings for Daphne (Katie Leclerc).
The girls' feud escalates when Bay confronts Daphne and accuses her of stealing her boyfriend. Daphne denies it and tells Bay to stop being a victim. Can these two girls, who are more or less sisters, work beyond their differences and make amends?
Plus, Lana gives birth and Angelo (Gilles Marini) doesn't want to sign away his rights to his baby daughter. He holds her and bonds with her immediately. Later, he’s stunned to find that Lana disappeared and took the baby with her. We're left wondering if Angelo will look for them and find them, or, will he miss out on watching another daughter grow up?
Bay Feels Betrayed
Bay and Daphne’s fight continues when Daphne is offended that Bay, as a hearing person, spoke to the press about the Take Back Carlton initiative. Bay is hurt by her reaction and feels Daphne is being harsh and ungrateful.
Carlton is saved and will remain open with the condition that 50 percent of the student population is hearing students. The deaf students are upset and feel defeated. The head of the School Board looks to Daphne to set the example, as she led the occupation to save the school. She wants Daphne to send a positive message to her fellow students. Daphne is conflicted but agrees.
Bay continues to feel ostracized when Carlton students, including Daphne, are upset that the hearing kids are staying and the hearing enrollment is increasing. Many of them feel like they've lost the school they know and in a sense, they are still being forced to be mainstreamed.
Things go from bad to worse for Bay when Noah admits he has feelings for Daphne. They break up and Bay accuses Daphne of using the play to steal her boyfriend. Daphne denies it and retaliates by noting that Bay is always the victim.
Vanessa Marano and Katie Leclerc have done a brilliant job depicting the mounting tension between Bay and Daphne over the past few episodes. Sibling rivalry is tough. But these girls have an even bigger challenge. They were switched at birth and are both still grappling with how to relate to each other and their shared parents.
Fighting with your sister over a guy is probably the worst kind of fight to have – especially at Bay and Daphne’s age. We can’t blame Bay for being upset. And, Daphne isn't being totally truthful with Bay or herself. She obviously shares Noah’s attraction. But, Noah and Daphne can’t help what they feel. Neither one of them set out to hurt Bay. Ultimately, the heart wants what it wants.
Overall, though, is any guy worth losing a sister? One of them needs to give in this situation. High school relationships come and go. Family is family, and that never changes.
Angelo Meets His New Daughter
It’s great to see Gilles Marini return as Angelo. While we’re not always sure of his intentions, Angelo proves to be a real stand up guy in this episode.
Regina gets drunk, wakes him up in the middle of the night and tries to seduce him. She also lets it slip that the girls know she’s drinking again. Angelo's concern is obvious, and instead of taking advantage of what would be a very easy situation, he tells Regina to lay on the couch and rest, while he finds music.
He knows she’ll pass out—and she does. Daphne and Bay show up together to try and help Regina. Angelo finally seems like a real father when he tells them they don’t have to take care of her, he’ll handle everything.
It’s a welcome relief to see Angelo’s inner paternal instincts kick in here. He’s trying to protect his daughters and their mother at the same time. Bay and Daphne are reluctant, but, they both seem to trust that they can count on him – and this is real family progress.
Angelo calls Regina's mother and then he arranges for Regina to go to rehab, which he'll pay for. When Regina wakes up and her mother fills her in, she doesn't balk at the idea of rehab and we’re glad. She clearly needs help.
Angelo returns and while Regina is in the shower, he gets the news that Lana is having the baby. He rushes out and assures Regina’s mother he’ll be back. She believes him. (We’re glad about this too!)
After the baby is born, Bay watches Angelo hold her, rock her, and sing to her. It's a very wistful and emotional moment for Bay, as she considers what could have been.
Gilles Marini shines in the entire sequence, as he shows us a sensitive side of Angelo we haven’t really seen before. We've been rooting for Angelo to become the father he never was to Bay and Daphne. We want trust him and so do Bay and Daphne.
But, Lana doesn't really know Angelo. She tells Bay that Angelo refuses to sign off his rights to his daughter, so, she can’t give her away. She asks Bay if he’s reliable. Bay tells her he’s been trying really hard – that he’s even helping Regina with her drinking. Lana looks concerned when she hears this and we're not sure what she's going to do.
When Bay leaves and returns with Kathryn (Lea Thompson), they find Angelo alone in Lana’s empty room. He tells them Lana took the baby and told the nurse they had to catch a plane. Bay is shocked and Angelo looks totally stricken.
Angelo already missed both of his older daughters’ childhoods. Is he going to miss out his new baby girl’s life too?
As an actor, Gilles Marini has a very natural ability to convey many different expressions in his eyes and he brings a lot to the dramatic table of this show. Marini has drawn Angelo as a layered and complex character. Sometimes we like him and sometimes we feel like we can't trust him.
In this episode, however, Angelo is more of a father than he’s ever been and we ache for him as he paces back and forth and absorbs the shock that his baby is gone. We also feel sorry for Bay, who never even had a chance to hold her baby sister. Is she going to blame herself and feel like she scared Lana and the baby off by inadvertently casting doubt about Angelo?
The situation seems truly heartbreaking, as it stands, and we hope for the right resolution for everyone involved.
Other Notable Moments
John (D.W. Moffett) wins the senate race by default because his opponent drops out. Plus, Nikki and Toby (Lucas Grabeel) get engaged right after Nikki tells him she’s going on a mission trip for six months.
John and Kathryn feel like they’re too young and rushing it, and Kathryn finds Nikki to tell her. Their talk doesn't sway their plans and we can’t help but hope they’re not making a huge mistake.
Overall, the “Switched at Birth” season two winter finale puts the perfect cap on an excellent season thus far. We’re left with several conflicts and we’re rooting for our beloved blended family to overcome the challenges they face. We’re also looking forward to the next phase of their journey and the spring premiere can’t come soon enough …
“Switched at Birth” airs in Flint on ABC Family Channel and will return on June 10. Click here for a Flint area channel guide.