After This Penultimate Episode, Can We Even Handle One Final Switched At Birth?
And more important questions after an exhausting, satisfying hour.
My heartstrings, y'all. They're all tugged out. Let's talk.
So what other odd jobs is Toby doing these days?
It's pretty swell of the highly in-demand DJ TK to take the time to install a security system at the Cracked Mug for Regina. Catch him later this week at the downtown library branch for the Senior Seminar "Making The Most Of Your iPad."
Does Daphne have a future as cult leader?
After Daphne's steroids tip, the athletic department gets moving right away on the drug tests. Chris delays his by faking stomach flu. When he finds out Daphne is handling the samples as a clinic volunteer, he asks her to help him cheat. Instead, she offers to help him get the steroid out of his system faster by drinking two gallons of water (which I am pretty sure would kill him), exercising, taking vitamins, and eating a lot of red meat. I feel like Leah Remini is about this close to doing a new series exposing Daphne.
But that look on Daphne's face when Chris calls her a "beautiful genius"?
Yeah. That was adorable.
Why is Kathryn so awful?
So remember how Travis punched Aidan last week? Of course, Aidan is a little shit and files a complaint about Travis with the athletic department. John and Kathryn punish Travis with two weekends on work detail, even though they privately hate Aidan as much as the rest of us.
The problem is that Aidan's dad is a big donor and he says he'll pull his support unless Travis is kicked off the baseball team. John -- very endearingly -- resists this, but Kathryn is just weirdly, screamingly intense that it needs to happen because it wouldn't be fair to make the whole team suffer. She knows John likes Travis, so she offers -- a little bitchily, if you ask me -- to give Travis the boot. But John breaks the news himself, telling Travis that he has to find out the root of his anger.
Why can't Bay be my best friend?
And yours! I'm not selfish. I just think the show owes us an answer to this. Because no matter how many underage kids she tattoos or electric bills she spaces on, there's no better ride-or-die gal out there. Daphne finds out that her dodgy "cleanse" to help Chris game drug the test probably won't fool a real doctor. Plus she's just seen Chris being totally sweet with his aunt, who tells him how proud she is of him and how she hopes he can join the Royals so he can be close to home and raise his little brother. Daphne ponders with Bay whether she should help him cheat the test. Bay tells her that it's not cheating to help someone who never got a fair break, and reminds Daphne how she took the fall for her vandalism -- and that she'd do it again in a heartbeat. Look, I'm not saying it's the best advice, but Bay's got some breathtaking loyalty.
And that's not even the best Bay moment of the night. That comes...well, see below.
What are we all going to do without Travis after next week?
I'm thrilled that Ryan Lane got a showcase episode before the end of the series -- and that it's harrowing and sad and perfect. Travis's biological mom wants to rebuild their relationship, so he and Bay go to dinner at her house. It's all going well until Travis realizes that his Uncle Eddie, who molested him, is also there. Bay is all, "We can get out of here right now," but Travis stays, because he wants to reconnect with his mom. This is a doomed effort, though, because it's impossible for Travis to act normal with that creep there. The scene feels airless and panic-inducing. Mrs. Barnes notices that Bay has stopped interpreting the conversation for Travis, and realizes something is wrong. She comes to the tattoo studio to ask Bay what happened -- was it Mrs. Barnes's bad signing? -- but Bay says Travis has to tell her. He doesn't want to have this conversation, though, because he's scared she won't believe him. But after talking to Bay, and his earlier conversation with John, Travis knows he has to do it.
It doesn't start out well. Mrs. Barnes asks if maybe he's misremembering, but he recalls all the circumstances leading up to the attack until she finally asks him to stop because she can't bear to know it. He explains that he couldn't tell her at the time because he literally couldn't talk to her, due to her unwillingness then to learn sign language. Which is just brutal. Mrs. Barnes pleads that she's trying now, but Travis says it's too late. Bay explains to her that Travis needs her to believe him, and teaches her to sign "I believe you." This whole sequence is the most powerful one in the show's whole run, and Lane and Vanessa Marano just nail it.
Who could have seen that coming with Eric, huh?
Well, pretty much of all of us, probably. The preview showed someone surprising Regina at the Cracked Mug, and then Terrell Tilford's name was right there in the opening credits. But even though the big reveal of Eric was kind of muted, his whole return works a lot better than I would have guessed. Tired of running, Eric has a plan to get himself and Will out of the country, but he needs some money he stashed under the floor of Bay and Daphne's apartment. (Which could have really helped with the power bill last week.) He asks Regina to go with him, which she somehow refuses even after he lays a soul-searing kiss on her. I'm sure Luca (who's conveniently on a trip with his buddies this week) has his good qualities, but he probably can't kiss like this. I'm only surprised Eric had to tear open Regina's blouse himself and that the buttons didn't spontaneously fly off. My other favorite moment of their storyline is when he tells her where to find him if she changes her mind, and she just goes, "I won't." Like our hearts need to hurt anymore!
In a not-completely-necessary denouement, Toby is showing Regina how her new security cam works when a picture of her hugging Eric pops up. Regina confirms with Toby that she doesn't need to tell Luca. (I will always, always wonder why everyone asks Toby for advice like he's the Fonz or something.) And she asks him to delete the picture, which is a good idea because she probably would have managed to accidentally email it to Luca.
Is there any chance for Daphne and Chris now? Do we want there to be?
After talking with Bay, Daphne "accidentally drops" Chris's specimen for his drug test. Since it's Friday afternoon, he can't come back to retake the test until Monday morning, which means he'll probably test clear. He's jubilant and tries to kiss Daphne, but she's not feeling great about herself. I don't know if it gives her any resolution when Chris promises that he'll live up to his aunt's expectations for him. I do think the show takes Bay's view that Chris deserved a break, but it's not a strong endorsement, and I like how much ambiguity we're left with.
Why, why, why did Travis have to tell Bay "as long as we're together, I have everything I need"?
Because that's totally the kind of thing people say before something comes up to separate them! I thought Emmett was going to jump up from behind the couch, but the actual reason for the possible separation is a lot happier. John has passed tape of Travis onto a scout friend who's looking for a relief pitcher, and now Travis has an offer to play in the pros. In Japan. Starting next week.