Switched at Birth Review: What I Know Is That I Don’t Know Anything

Switched at Birth Review: What I Know Is That I Don’t Know Anything

Switched at Birth

We’ve already stated that Switched at Birth is not a show that’s afraid to take on controversial issues. Considering the show’s premise was already a hot bed of discussion for disability rights, sign language versus cochlear implants, and every socioeconomic circumstance which could come out of these conversations, that’s saying a lot. For its final season, the show chose to cover a hot-button topic indeed. The Vazquez and Kennish clan have had to deal with a lot in the past few years, but their girls have never been in the epicenter of racial tensions before. That changes now.

As we’ve already said, a lot has changed while the girls were away in China. John and Katherine are a well-oiled college athletic department recruitment team, or so they think. Katherine is new to some of the shadier parts of college sports. Even though John is willing to grease some palms to recruit a player, Katherine won’t violate or bend NCAA rules. What the kid was asking for wasn’t right, but he does make the good point that Katherine can’t understand his perspective from her big house. Katherine has a knack for playing the long game. Knowing that UKMC will give this kid the tools he needs for a future and not just ease his transition, she arranges it so that UKMC is the only option since they won’t accept bribes. Sneaky Katherine is so much fun to watch! What’s not always fun to watch is Regina out of her element. If Regina wanted to deal with know-it-all teenagers, she would have gone to see her two daughters struggling with adulthood. She didn’t need to take college courses and be told what’s hip by a gamer with attitude. Her screw-up planning a gaming night which turns into a Ms. Pac-Man marathon does at least put things in perspective regarding her situation with Luca. Luca may be young, but he’s much more mature and willing to communicate than most guys his age. It helps that Regina’s current romantic prospect isn’t running from the law.

Bay’s take charge attitude works in her favor for once. She gets a job apprenticing for a tattoo artist she admires, which is a huge step down from the work she was doing in China. When a customer comes into the tattoo shop preferring Bay’s designs to her new boss’s, she really should have taken a step back. The quickest way to get fired from a job is to act like you know better than the boss. But it turns out the quickest way to get your job back is to know way more than your boss and save their butt. It opens up the dialogue long enough for Bay to show Noel her work, and for Noel to explain that Bay can’t give out random tattoos in the U.S. because you need a license (seriously people, this is how you avoid Hepatitis). Just because things aren’t the same as they were in China, doesn’t mean they can’t be just as good. Case in point, Toby bringing a little taste of China to his date night with Bay.

Daphne and Mingo wake up the morning after the dorm party to find everyone on social media attacking Mingo’s costume. Daphne and Mingo don’t understand why people are upset, even though Iris points out dressing as Lil’ Wayne could be taken as offensive to black culture. Whatever side of the argument you fall on, it was clear from the beginning that there was something Iris wasn’t telling Daphne to clear the air between them. Despite Cheree’s insistence that she stay out of the fray, Daphne desperately wants to fix the situation, especially when the student body tries to get Mingo removed from his RA position. Daphne thinks she can sway the conversation, but she has no idea the fight she’s in for. It’s not as if Daphne doesn’t understand racism given that she grew up in a low-income neighborhood with a disability, but the fact is her opinion will be partially judged based on her skin color. That doesn’t mean she should give up trying to establish dialogue, but dismissing others’ experiences is not a good idea.

In the same way others will never understand how she grew up, she will never understand the way a black person in her class grew up. Regina makes Daphne see that Mingo’s actions were clueless, because Daphne would be offended if someone who wasn’t Latino put on a sombrero and ran around singing mariachi music. Daphne is unique in her need to understand all points of view, and call out each as she sees fit because she believes in Freedom of Speech. What she can’t do is discount an entire culture’s personal offense. Iris is so upset that the housing board doesn’t remove Mingo from his position that she moves out of the dorm. Daphne doesn’t understand because she can’t understand what Iris goes through having to be on guard everywhere she goes as a black girl. Iris fears for her emotional safety, and the one place she felt she didn’t have to be on guard was the last place she was made to feel terrified. It was never just about one ugly costume choice. It was about an entire student body, including her friend, believing that this one incident isn’t at the epicenter of a larger problem. Daphne couldn’t understand this, so she lost a friend.

What do you say audience? Has Daphne bitten more than she can chew this time? As always, keep your opinions and points clean here. Also, hats of to Sharon Pierre-Louis for her fine work in this episode.

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