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"The Homecoming" shakes up Switched at Birth

Switched at Birth poster

Written by : published Thursday 11th August 2011

Please click here to watch the latest Switched at Birth online.

     Switched at Birth, ABC Family's freshman drama, uses "The Homecoming" to cap its summer run. In the episode, Angelo (Gilles Marini, Brothers & Sisters), Bay's (Vanessa Marano), biological father, shows up. Funny, since Bay recently decided to stop looking for him. But no one is happy to see Angelo except for Bay, even as he tries to explain why he walked out on Regina (Constance Marie), and why he is back now. Meanwhile, Emmett (Sean Berdy) learns that long-time crush Daphne (Katie Leclerc) has feelings for him. Emmett chooses to stay with Bay, whom he is dating, but Daphne vows to Bay that this isn't over.

     Perhaps because of the leap of faith required to accept the premise of the show, Switched at Birth doesn't seem to force unnecessary drama down the viewers' throats like other ABC Family dramas do. Until now. Daphne has never shown any interest in Emmett beyond friendship. Bay is right when she accuses Daphne of clinging to something comfortable and familiar when her life is in turmoil. With no one else to turn to, Daphne chooses Emmett. But she doesn't truly love Emmett. If she did, she would step back and let him be happy with Bay, which he most clearly is. Drama series do need drama to keep them going, but regarding Bay and Daphne's constant guy switching in the first season, this needs to stop. Especially when a dear, old friend is involved.

     Angelo appears to be a good guy, at first impression. His inability to trust Regina after learning that Daphne isn't his is a justifiable reason to leave. Yet, one can't help but wish Angelo had stuck around long enough to figure out what was really going on. Casting Marini in Switched at Birth is brilliant, as he makes Angelo immediately sympathetic, and it's easy to imagine that the character had the best of intentions with the nuanced actor in the role. Plus, he looks the part. Having little to work with in "The Homecoming," Marini is just getting started, but already brings the same wonderfulness he did to Brothers & Sisters, even after that series began slipping horribly in quality.

     How long it will take Regina and Daphne to forgive Angelo is certainly up in the air, but it will happen. It has to. Now that Angelo knows that Regina never cheated on him, he is determined to stay and be a part of his daughters' lives. He will succeed, because there is plenty of story to be had if he does, but almost none if they turn him away. To keep a drama going, story needs to be there. Expect Angelo to be around Switched at Birth quite a bit in season two.

     A sweet subplot of "The Homecoming" involves Toby (Lucas Grabeel) and Wilke (Austin Butler) trying to convince Emmett to play a gig with their band. When Toby realizes Emmett is breaking Bay's heart, he stops caring about the gig and talks seriously about his sister. But the best part of the whole situation is how quickly Toby and Wilke begin treating Emmett like they would any other guy. An obstacle portrayed in the show is the hearing community's strange behavior towards the deaf, something Emmett is well acquainted with. And of course, when the boys first meet Emmett, they are guilty of the same. But only weeks later, while perhaps taking slight advantage of the hook of a deaf drummer to land the gig, they are communicating perfectly normal towards Emmett. Lesson learned?

     Switched at Birth has been renewed for a second season, and will return soon (probably winter) to ABC Family.

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Article first published as TV Review: Switched at Birth - "The Homecoming" on Blogcritics.

About the author JeromeWetzelTV

JeromeWetzelTV

Jerome Wetzel is a huge fan of stories, in both books and television. He writes TV reviews and fiction. He currently posts articles for TheTVKing, Seat42F, and BlogCritics, as well as his own personal blog, as well as writing fiction. His website is www.jeromewetzel.com Follow him on twitter @JeromeWetzelTV

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