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'Switched at Birth' recap: Broken hearts, promotions and one big twist

Season 3 | Episode 13 | “Like a Snowball Down a Mountain” | Aired June 23, 2014

Quick and dirty: Sometimes a breakup has to be just that.

“Like a Snowball Down a Mountain” opens with Bay confronting her relationship with Tank head-on by ending it in one swift blow. The breakup is short but nasty: Bay says they just work better as friends, to which Tank childishly responds by blaming his de-pledging on her, saying she “brainwashed” him into giving up his fraternity for her. Bay is rightfully hurt (even though she was the one who decided to end things), and they two depart on Tank’s painful “See ya around.” Oof.

Kathryn informs Bay that she and John know about the morning-after pill, which does nothing but slightly embarrass Bay and give John the information he needs to inadvertently tell Tank that he was disappointed in him for putting Bay in the position to buy the pill in the first place. Tank’s response to that? A stone-cold deer-in-the-headlights face that flat-out broke my heart. It’s evident that he came to try to smooth things over with Bay, only to have the bomb dropped on him that she slept with someone else while they were together. Ouch.


Back on planet Bemmett, Bay is forced to deal with the fallout from the realization that Matthew not only has incriminating photos of Emmett, but that Matthew might actually have feelings for Emmett that transcend their prior platonic relationship. Emmett tells Bay about the photos, and they hatch a plan to steal Matthew’s laptop so they can delete any photos or other evidence of Matthew’s awful catfishing scheme. But Bay and Emmett are in for a bigger surprise than they could have ever imagined, as it becomes clear that Matthew has a large collection of intimate and personal photos of Emmett stashed on his computer, along with a letter apologizing for the whole incident. But Bay is not convinced, and she deduces that it’s not merely an apology, but that Matthew has romantic feelings for Emmett.

Aside from one minor character, Carlton and Kathryn’s BFF Renzo, the topic of homosexual relationships hasn’t really even been broached that often on Switched at Birth (or broached well, I should say), so we’re sort of in uncharted waters here. I think it’s an excellent and intriguing twist to the already heartbreaking catfish plot, and handled so carefully in that exceptionally perfect Switched at Birth kind of way. It’s a great showcase for a different kind of identity struggle from the ones we’ve already seen.

Bay convinces Emmett to let the whole thing go, as humiliating someone (even someone who did a terrible, terrible thing) who is struggling with coming out in his sexuality can’t be good for anyone. And in the scene with Matthew and Emmett where they acknowledge the whole thing, the struggle is painfully palpable. I think it shows the true growth and integrity of Emmett’s character that even in his darkest hour, he can sit out the revenge on this one in favor of allowing someone else to grow at his own pace and learn from his mistakes.

In Daphne’s world, she’s (FINALLY) given a storyline that does not revolve around a love triangle. She’s promoted to a paying employee of the clinic where she’s been serving her community service. But her excitement is quickly squashed when she realizes that by being promoted, she’s essentially surpassed other members of the clinic team that have been working there much longer than she has. And with the return of RJ Mitte (welcome back!), it’s evident that Daphne feels torn about getting this job over Campbell. I think this might be the first time since she worked at Chef Jeff’s restaurant (and even then, that storyline was dragged down in a quagmire of her romantic feelings for Jeff that clouded her professional judgement) that Switched at Birth could give Daphne a plot that can speak to her struggles to succeed in a hearing world and her fight for equality in the workplace. Not to mention any challenges that might arise with her being a young woman (deaf identity not withstanding) in a position of authority, albeit minor.

Will she be able to handle the supervisor/subordinate/boyfriend relationship this new job presents her with? The answer seems to be no, evidenced by Campbell’s inability to cope with Daphne getting the job over him. This leads him to take a job at another clinic across town, oh, and, essentially break up with Daphne in the process. Boo, RJ Mitte! I do hope that this new role for Daphne sticks, as it seems that maybe the show has completely abandoned the idea that she wanted to be a professional chef in favor of a doctor. That’s all fine and good, as people’s motivations and aspirations change all the time — but if that is the case, let’s really try to stick with it for longer than half a season, OK?

Oh, and by the way:

  • Kathryn’s photo shoot with the scantily clad baseball players was ridiculous. Also ridiculous? Her reignited beef with sneaky sports reporter Sarah Lazzard. Looks like they’ll be duking it out in the next episode, so stay tuned for something else to throw a wrench in John and Kathryn’s marriage that doesn’t rhyme with Shmegina or Shmangelo.
  • I am really enjoying the increased presence of fellow Carlton student Natalie (Stephanie Nogueras). She’s great on screen, and it’s always nice to see our core characters expand their friend circle. I hope she sticks around in this capacity for a while.
  • So the violent threat of Regina continuing to work for Wes’ East Riverside expansion project is going to be a thing. And Wes has a gun. And Regina wants lessons on how to use a gun. Oh, boy. Am I the only one rolling my eyes? If there’s one thing I don’t really need in my precious Switched at Birth, it’s commentary on the gun issue. Socioeconomic struggles? Sure, bring ’em on! But guns? No thanks. (And that’s coming from a girl who grew up around them in north Texas, so I’m no stranger to the topic.)
  • John: “You’re not a bad person. You just made a bad decision.”

Switched at Birth, rated TV-14, airs Mondays at 8/7 C on ABC Family.

Get more of Brandi’s take on all things entertainment over at ReelSnarky.com!


TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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