Switched at Birth Season 4 Review “Bracing the Waves”

VANESSA MARANO, MAX ADLER

While last week’s premiere of Switched at Birth was largely about addressing the rift between Daphne and Bay caused by both of their actions at the end of last season, episode two was more about paralleling their situations. On the surface, they’re entirely different but, as we know, that’s never the whole story on this show.

For one, Daphne has always been the most coddled, despite growing up with a single parent in a ‘bad’ part of town, and this season’s arc for her seems to be about striking out of that comfort zone. She didn’t interact with anyone else in the family during ‘Bracing the Waves’ – not for help or reassurance – while Bay, always the more independent one, was guided through the entire week by friends and family.

By friends, of course, I mean Tank, who made a very welcome though brief return. With Emmett out of the picture for the time being, I really hope that they don’t become anything more than good friends, because those two characters (plus Toby) are perfect for showing how guys and gals can just be friends.

But both Bay and Daphne found new adversaries in their respective situations – Daphne with her less-than-understanding classmates and bay with Tess on community service – and have to find ways of dealing with that. Daphne’s response is to take the high road, not letting anyone fight her battles for her and making the best of a bad situation, while Bay has to fight back. Both responses show incredible growth for them.

And somehow the writers made me like Josh! I found his abhorrent during last week’s episode, but somehow I came out of ‘Bracing the Waves’ actually wanting he and Daphne to get together eventually. I say eventually, because I think one of the reasons he was more appealing here than most of her love interests is that they’re establishing him as a full character before they try to introduce romance.

But they could be great, with clashing but complementary personality traits and a mutual understanding of each other’s situations and boundaries.
For some reason, we had to put up with a storyline involving Kathryn and her new Broadway-style musical about baseball, and I pretty much hated it from start to finish. The thought of it continuing for the rest of the season fills me with dread, and I’ll only accept it if Lucas Gabreel (and Max Adler) can sing and dance in it.

Elsewhere, Regina is also making plans for her future, meeting a hot coffee house owner and deciding to go into business with him in order to mend her reputation in East Riverside. I can see season four being about finding new purpose for these adults, with the exception of John, and I’m on board for seeing Regina and Kathryn try new things now that the kids are out of the house.

What did you think of the episode? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.