Switched at Birth Season 1 Review “Declaration on Independence”

Switched at Birth "The Declaration of Independence" Episode 27 (5)

Almost every single member of the Kennish/Vasquez family is caught in a tangled web of lies this week on Switched at Birth, ‘Declaration of Independence’, and it seems it’s going to get worse before it gets any better.

Daphne is still relentlessly and unwittingly pursuing after her boss, chef Jeff, completely unaware that he’s already been sleeping with Melody for weeks. I’m unsure at this point where the writers are going with the storyline but I have to admit I like what it’s doing to Daphne’s character. Previously the good girl who looked out for everyone’s best interests, she’s now pretty ruthless in getting what she wants, even if that means taking him from someone else she cares about.

Her reaction to finding out what was going on was slightly irrational and a little petty, but also understandable given all the mixed signals she’s been receiving. Jeff at least owns up to his mistakes at the end of the episode and admits that he thought Daphne was a college student. It must have been a pretty nasty shock when he discovered her real age, but doesn’t really excuse the extent to which he’s been messing with her head. Now, it’s a complete muddle, and I can’t wait to find out how this twisted love square plans out over the last few episodes.

Yes, I said love square, because poor Travis is caught up in the drama too. As the one character that just can’t catch a break, from performing badly at work to crushing on a wholly disinterested girl, of all the characters on Switched at Birth, I really hope things work out for him. We’ve already seen his miserable home-life with non-signing parents, but John decides to take him under his wing this week. Unable to connect with any of his own children, it’s amusing to see papa Kennish grab hold of whatever parental bond available to him and no one needs the support more than Travis.

And John’s own children are currently rejecting any kind of affection from him or Kathryn, revealing the privilege they’ve grown up with since day one. Toby is still wandering around the sidelines like a lost puppy, and betrays his slightly ungrateful nature with a negative reaction to his father playing his music at his shop. Bay, meanwhile, continues her new homoerotic friendship with an undercover mission. I admit I was shocked when she suddenly pulled a knife on the rogue street artist, and I don’t think the fact that it was really a paint scraper makes the scene any more unsettling.

I predict a downward spiral for Bay, but I really don’t know how far she’ll go down. With all of the support Switched at Birth have given to street artists and what they do, it’d be a shame to twist the culture into something dangerous or outright criminal, but I also get that a show on ABC Family has to tow the moral line somewhat more than other networks. The parents and kids are living in entirely different worlds at this point in the series, meaning we’ve seen Kathryn and Regina grow much closer over the course of the first season. The show has always been about the concept of family as an entire unit, so I hope the writers reconcile the groups again at some point.

What did you think of the episode? Does Bay’s new friendship spell trouble for the character? Will Jeff still be interested in Daphne after their kiss? Let us know in the comments.

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  • Tabchesson

    I hate the Daphne and Chef storyline. It illustrates what is wrong with society today. Where are the moral boundaries?chef is too old for her and her boss. Yet he gives into her and judging by the previews has no qualms about continuing to do so. Shame on hhim. Bay is searching for identity so I understand her relationship with Zarra. Being the teenager she is her good sense isn’t kicking in entirely yet. Tonight’s scene in the bus yard could have gone wrong quickly because of the actions of her new friend. Side note: I really hated that Toby encouraged Bay to be dishonest. I like the progression of Regina and Kathryn’s friendship. And I’ve always liked John as a father figure. Good work was done with those storylines.

  • ptjackson

    You know, I was ready to rant about Daphne being jail bait for Chef,  but I looked it up, and in Kansas, 16 is the age of consent. So, unlike some other states, if they do have sex, he cannot be charged with statutory rape. But, I so totally agree with Tabchesson – he is the adult here, and he is still responsible in my mind, and needs to put an end to this. Too bad Regina did not get to finish her advice to Daphne about Chef’s history – not that she would have listened, but he is clearly a player, and Daphne is looking for love, and will not get that from him.

    I am happy that John is befriending Travis – it will be so good for both of them!!

    And, Toby seems to have found a nice girl – hope it does not go south.