Switched at Birth Season 1 Review “The Trial”

Switched at Birth "The Trial" Episode 29 (1)

On this week’s Switched at Birth, as the trial finally arrives, the divide between the parents and their children widens even further, and crisis point arrives for Bay.

The episode starts by dealing with the slightly inappropriate romance between Daphne and Jeff but, crucially, doesn’t pass judgement by itself. I’ve said it before, but what I love about the show is it’s ability to take risks without cosy resolutions, and a relationship with an older man, while relatively trivial compared to some of the other plot lines, is allowed to exist without a clear-cut reason to end. There’s a lot of fan love out there for the couple and, though it’s probably impossible to maintain in the charged world of family-drama, I wouldn’t be averse to seeing the couple try to make it work.

In general, I really love that the writers have given Daphne something to love separate from her personal life. A career path is rare on teen shows, since they tend to get in the way of romantic entanglements, but I hope this character thread sticks around. Bay wants to be an artist, Toby wants to be a musician, and Daphne wants to work in a kitchen. All of these things inform what the characters get up to every week, and in Bay’s case in dictates who she can connect with, and it’s a small but admirable difference that separates Switched at Birth from other teen-centric shows.

But, as the title suggests, this is the week that the trial against the hospital gets underway. Conveniently, now that the story has room to deal with him, Angelo comes back into town to testify, giving a fairly moving speech about his disconnection to both Bay and Daphne. The Kennish’s actually find new evidence to support their case, too, and it looks as if the outcome could be unexpectedly positive. I’m not entirely sure where the writers will be taking the storyline, but it’s always been the one thread of Switched at Birth that hasn’t interested me too much. It feels as if the show is bound by reality, and has dragged the trial out for far too long.

Bay gets her comeuppance this week when all of her secrets come spilling out. Had the money been stolen just to help Zarra, the audience might have felt more inclined to side with her, but the writers smartly involved sweet, vulnerable, Travis, and we’re immediately appalled by the pile of trouble she has brought down on her friends and family. Her father’s telling-off at the end of the episode isn’t entirely unjustified, but Zarra/Bay fans will be happy the family feud has driven her to stay with her new friend. The speech about Zarra being her equivalent had she not been switched made perfect sense, but I still think there’s something more going on.

With all of that happening, as usual, Toby and Emmett are given limited screen time. They at least make good on their promise to reform the band, and this time they’re enlisting the help of Toby’s church friend. The storyline with her jealous boyfriend was a little predictable, to be honest, as we knew he couldn’t be a nice guy. Eventually, we know that she and Toby are going to get together, and a break-up between her and the mystery guy is on the cards. Emmett, meanwhile, needs a storyline stat. I get that the writers are biding their time (and his) until the time for a Bay reunion is right, but at least offer him something to do.

What did you think of the episode? Will Bay’s downward spiral continue? Can Daphne and Jeff make their relationship work? Let us know in the comments.