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'Switched at Birth' recap: Moving on is hard to do

Season 3 | Episode 17 | “Girl with Death Mask (She Plays Alone)” | Aired July 21, 2014

As expected, the fallout from Angelo’s death is brutal. After saying goodbye to Angelo last week in a truly touching and heartfelt episode, the repercussions from his passing radiate through the Kennish and Vasquez families.

Each member of the family has their own demons to fight, their own mountains to climb. Or, more accurately, their own deep, dark holes to crawl out of. Moving on from a tragedy like this is hard enough, but just thinking about looking forward is nearly impossible when everything and everyone seems to remind you of who you’ve lost.

But John and Kathryn are trying their darndest to stay positive, insisting on an impromptu trip for Bay, Daphne and John to Chicago when Bay finds out Angelo has a cousin who lives there. Bay is to tell Angelo’s cousin about the tragedy, while Daphne is to tour Northwestern, one of her top choices for college. But you know how the saying goes: best-laid plans and all, right?

The trips quickly starts to wreak even more havoc on the way in which each girl is trying to deal with her crippling grief. Daphne is consumed by a devil-may-care attitude, damning Regina and damning the world because of life seeming so outrageously unfair. Nihilism in the face of tragedy is nothing new on TV, and it’s an easy trope to play for a grieving family member. Resorting to drugs is also nothing new, but Daphne’s cocaine trip is the beat this character needed to play in this particular moment of coping, so I shall not judge. “Being good never gets you anywhere” is, unfortunately, a sentiment I always knew Daphne would feel at one point or another, and she seems to be feeling that at every possible turn now that Angelo’s death has kick-started this latent angst.

As you can imagine, Bay’s meeting with her cousin doesn’t go as planned either. I think she was looking for someone who would feel her pain, who would grieve the way she was grieving in Sebastian. He was Angelo’s blood too, after all. Unfortunately, he turns out to be a bit of a con man, trash-talking Angelo and seeing an opportunity to play John and Bay for some quick cash: “I’m a Sorrento. When we see an opportunity, we go for it.” (He really is Angelo’s kin, isn’t he?)

But what turned out to be a rather disappointing family reunion for Bay turns out to be a Sorrento family history lesson. At the news that Angelo’s death was caused by a brain aneurysm, Sebastian informs Bay that Angelo actually had a sister who passed away at the age of 18 due to the same ailment. Is Bay’s coping going to be clouded by her fear that she also carries the same genetic predisposition that her late aunt and father had? Bay’s attitude toward healing (or lack thereof) here is less obvious than Daphne’s, and I’m still curious to see how she handles it moving forward, especially with the knowledge of the events at K&D the night of the accident, and the information about the hereditary aneurysm carried by the Sorrento family.

In both Daphne and Bay’s cases, the trip to Chicago was enlightening on some level. Whether or not it was enlightening in a good way remains to be seen. Daphne still seems to be filled with a Regina-ruled rage, searching for the meaning of life when it seems so fleeting, so hard to keep hold of. Bay is searching for something deep in her blood; what that is, I’m not so sure.

Oh, and by the way:

  • I like Ms. Summers (Rachel Shenton) a lot. I hope she and Toby become friendly. (If next week’s preview is any indication, they’re going to get waaaay more than that!)
  • Regina’s coping in this episode is nonexistent, mainly because she leaves to go to what I assume is an AA or grieving-widow meeting. This leaves Leo (Larry Sullivan) and baby Abby to keep Kathryn company. In just the quick glimpse we get of Regina, her grieving seems to be pretty standard: PJs, house awry, rattled mind. I hope we get to see more of how she handles this than Ugh, Daphne still hates me! Ugh! 
  • Daphne tries to tell Bay that Angelo’s death is Regina’s fault. “She said some really awful things,” Daphne says. But she is very much neglecting to mention that the fight was two-sided, and Angelo said some pretty hurtful stuff too. I know Daphne has to work this out on her own, but for now it’s the Regina Is the Worst show, and that is going to get old fast.
  • Daphne. Cocaine. Oof.
  • Tank living with Toby. Oof.

Switched at Birth, rated TV-14, airs Mondays at 8/7C 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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