We’ve finally reached the first season finale of Switched at Birth, ‘Street Noises Invade the House’, which doesn’t wrap things up as much as it just sits back and takes stock of what’s happened over the year.
Bay and Zarra have been getting alarmingly close over the last few weeks, coming at the expense of Bay’s relationship with her family. As we begin the episode, the two girls are living together in the latter’s abandoned trailer park, but decide to leave for Mexico in order to visit her absentee father. I have to say I’ve quite enjoyed this storyline as a whole, since Bay’s rebellious spirit has always been there, waiting to explode. It makes perfect sense that she would attach herself to the first person who truly understood her passion, but it looks as if the attraction was just a passing thing for the series.
As I’ve mentioned in past weeks’ reviews, the internet fandom for Switched at Birth have really taken to ‘Angry Medusa’, and I really thought that the show would delve into the romantic implications before Zarra was written out. It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen, as Emmett and John come looking for the pair before they can get very far. My favorite parts of this finale were the moments between John and Emmett, since both represent some very scary home truths for each other.
John has always been uncomfortable for the deaf world, and I guess Emmett terrifies him in a way Daphne never could, while John doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to his daughter’s emotional well-being. Both characters have been highlights for me this first season, since they’re the only two who have been completely pulled out of their comfort zones. Neither has coped too well, at times, but John’s relationship with Travis and Emmett’s with Bay just prove how far they’ve come. Speaking of Bemmett, the pair had a lovely moment near the end of the episode, and I guess reconciliation is imminent.
Daphne’s story doesn’t work out quite so well, and I love Switched at Birth for having the conviction to break her young heart. The relationship with Chef Jeff was always inappropriate and uncomfortable, and Jeff proves how little it meant by running away as soon as it hits the fan. The family’s reaction to things seems genuine and in proportion, but unfortunately comes across slightly melodramatic when translated onto a teen drama. I suppose Angelo’s overreaction was a final show of fatherly love before the season wrapped and, with him winning $4m at the trial, I guarantee his storyline will be a lot more interesting next year.
This season of Switched at Birth has been a lovely surprise, and the huge episode-count has allowed the characters to really develop in the way you’d hope for a family and relationship show. I feel genuinely attached to so many of these characters, and wouldn’t have predicted I’d even make it through the whole year based on the first few episodes. Crucially, it was also a story worth telling, and introduced so many viewers to a world they previously knew nothing about. I hope it returns just as strong next year, and look forward to seeing more from the most dysfunctional family in America.
What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments.