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'Switched at Birth' recap: Suit up for an unforgettable senior prom

Season 3 | Episode 20 | “The Girl on the Cliff” | Aired Aug 11, 2014

The big story tonight is senior prom! The annual tradition of limos and corsages and awkwardly posed photographs with your high school honeys is upon the students at Carlton, and in the Switched at Birth universe, that means DRAMA. And plenty of it.

The  drama starts right away with an intervention for Daphne to address her recent behavior. What starts as a reckoning for her reckless acting out turns into an all-out explosion of revelations. And this intervention had EVERYTHING: Daphne’s relationship with Nacho, Nacho’s part in harassing Regina, Regina pulling a gun on Daphne by accident, Daphne doing cocaine, Daphne pushing Bay. And can I just say WHEW! Wow, what a huge relief. It feels so good to have gotten everything out in the open. Now we can all begin helping each other be more communicative and move forward in this difficult time. Right, everyone? “Right,” they said in unison. 

But the fearless feedback and familial advice goes unheeded by Daphne, whose attitude only continues to get worse with each passing episode. She makes another bad decision at the clinic which results in getting her fired, but her path takes an unexpected turn from there. In a tearfully tragic moment, Daphne seems to have a revelation in the midst of her world crumbling beneath her. She disappears to a makeshift shrine/memorial for Angelo and just lets the universe have it.

She breaks, she cries, she embraces both of her mothers. Her grief has been spewing out of her in the most unexpected and hurtful ways, but here she finally puts it out into the universe in the way she really needed. Simply put, she’s just sad. She’s heartbroken. She misses Angelo and is sorry she didn’t get to tell him she loved him. It’s weight off her shoulders, it’s a turning point in her angst, and I hope it’s the moment she needed to find clarity in the wake of Angelo’s tragic death. Finally I feel like everyone is on the same page. Finally.


Meanwhile, the Carlton prom is in full swing. Bay and Emmett are victoriously named prom king and queen (much to Bay’s hilarious chagrin), and there are cheers all around. But the happiness soon turns to anger when a strict and antiquated dress code is enforced on the dance. It is decreed that the girls must wear dresses and the boys must wear tuxes. It’s horrific and oppressive, and you can bet your bottom dollar that the Switched at Birth team has taken yet another important social issue and put their stamp of blatantly progressive commentary and beautiful storytelling on it.

Natalie vows that she and her girlfriend, Hillary (Abby Walla), simply won’t attend, but that doesn’t sit well with Bay, who can’t just sit by while others are being treated unfairly. In a show of solidarity—and one of the sweetest moments on a show brimming with them—Bay opts not to wear a stunning and traditional prom gown as she had planned, but instead chooses to rock out in her best tux in support of her friends. The other friends follow suit (pun totally intended!), and the rest is history. Bay may have been a reluctant queen, but she’s honestly the perfect candidate. Her poise and loyalty to her friends is actually pretty incredible, and she’s the type of person a school like Carlton should have as a prom queen—even if most people think that title is a silly high school novelty. All hail Queen Bay!

Oh, and by the way:

  • Did we know Daphne didn’t apply for Northwestern? I’m losing track of all of her destructive behavior. That was really silly, Daphne. Really. Silly.
  • Natalie and Hillary are the cutest, and I can’t take it! When they smooch and when they waltz into the Kennish’s looking super-fly, my cold, black heart just melts.
  • I want to support Toby’s DJ career and his friendship with Tank, but I can’t get behind Tank’s bad attitude. He is so pouty and whiny all the time. Grow up a little and stop flipping out over everything.
  • DW Moffett directed this episode. Kudos, Papa Kennish!
  • “It’s prom; you’re girls. You need to be in dresses.” Gross, gross, gross.
  • Emmett’s earnest desire to make it up to Bay for how things went the last time they were at prom (you know, how he told Bay he cheated on her) was adorable.
  • I can’t help but be really sad that we didn’t get to see Daphne enjoy this momentous occasion with the rest of her friends. Seeing her alone at that memorial to Angelo was awful. Katie Leclerc shines, as usual.

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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