Switched at Birth Review: #TakeBackCarlton

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Well, "Uprising" was definitely different.

I completely understood what they were going for with the all ASL episode, but my biggest complaint was they didn't think we could take the installment without music. The deaf kids can feel music, but they can't hear it. My preference would have been to go full-on silent. I considered turning off the sound, but my trust issues forced me to keep it on. I regret that decision now.

Let me tell you, this was a very difficult episode to review. I normally rely a great deal on the non-verbal communication - facial expressions, arm gestures, people's actions in the background of a scene - to fully grasp the intent of the writer's meaning. Spending so much time reading the intense dialog left me feeling a bit out of sorts. But that was kind of the point of the hour, wasn't it?

Bay Gets Resistance

The kids were faced with the fact that they would soon be "mainstreamed" back into public schools with all the other kids and treated like freaks. Are we really still like that as a society? Do we truly treat people with differences like freaks? The easy answer is yes, because there are a lot of jerks in the world, but as a whole I don't think we do.

Something that caught my attention when they were discussing their past experiences with mainstreaming was when Natalie recollected waiting for "another reject in a wheelchair to be bussed in so there would be someone to sit beside you."

The thing is, no kid holds a prize for being above considering another a freak or a weirdo for any reason. Walking around with the assumption that you'll be treated like one almost guarantees you'll receive what you're after. I have faith that by virtue of the fact Switched at Birth is on the air, we've come a long way from that kind of behavior.

On to the cool stuff about the episode.. Did you know the Gallaudet University uprising really occurred? When another in a line of hearing school presidents was hired, the university protested until its needs were addressed. Using that historical reference here was really enlightening and I'd encourage you to read up on the event.

While Daphne has struggled this season with her deafness and wondered whether she would accept the chance to hear if given the choice, it was her planning that set the uprising into motion. It was also her strength that pulled the group together when they lost focus once they had barricaded themselves to Take Back Carlton.

The immediacy of social media sent the students' message around the country in a matter of minutes. They had Tweets and emails of support, and an old fashioned pin board to keep track of their allies. Their supporters were hopping into their cars and heading to Carlton to stand beside their comrades and join in the important fight. It was really exciting seeing the kids find their stride and make headway in saving the school that was so important to them.

Like any group of teenagers that gets together, the focus can sometimes become clouded with the excitement of the moment, and in no time at all there were photos being Tweeted out of the protestors chugging back some beers and replies like "I support Carlton's right to party!"

Daphne threw down the gauntlet. Their very lives were at stake. What they started was a serious commitment to prove their education as deaf students was worth defending, and to sully it with booze and condoms would never garner the support of the School Board they so desperately sought to keep Carlton open.

The best part was the discussion between the students at the end, when they tried to decide among themselves whether Carlton should remain integrated or 100% deaf. Hearing from Travis and Bay didn't feel nearly as moving as listening to Noah, wondering just how deaf you had to be to be accepted into the deaf world. That's the problem with putting up barriers of any kind, there will always be a level that someone can't attain to fit the standard you've set.

If Carlton remains 100% deaf, should Daphne be allowed to wear a hearing aid? Wouldn't that give her an advantage over another student who may not be able to afford one, or for whom an aid might not work? Doesn't that challenge the 100% deaf standard?

If Melody is right and being deaf is a gift, then it's something they are obligated to share with the outside world. They should show those who are not able to see for themselves how being deaf can enrich life in other ways by accepting them and introducing them into their culture. To do otherwise will only keep the barriers up and prohibit growth.

Daphne was right when she told Bay it was bigger than family. It's also bigger than the deaf community. It's about time they start exploring that at Carlton.

This was a great installment of Switched at Birth Season 2 and well worth the effort put into it by the actors and crew.


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (65 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


Angelo did not obtain citizenship, he obtained a visa to stay based on his marriage and children


I am a new viewer and just finished season I on Netflix. I didn't think American citizenship could be obtained by marrying an American citiizen, as in the case of Angelo marrying Regina. Please explain.


This was my favorite episode for some reason. While I was watching it, I realized that I'm really good at reading lips lol. That'll come in handy when I eventually go deaf :/ (my eardrum broke a few times when I was little kid and if it happens one more time them ill be deaf...) this episode was pretty interesting in my opinion


Did anyone else feel shocked when you suddenly heard words at the end of the episode? Even taking into account the commercials (why wasn't it commercial free?), it seemed like such a disconnect when we suddenly heard the people, the sirens, etc.


I really love how this show is getting people to talk. This is what tv should really be about not just stupid "reality" shows. Just look at the comments on this board. Way to go ABC Family and Switched at Birth. Too bad have not seen any mention of this show on the entainment shows. Just the same old honey boo boo and the kardishins! We need to fight for more good tv like Switched at Birth!


@Ana That is true. She did keep his secret safe from John, but she also convinced him to commit a felony when he stole money from the safe to lend her. Two wrongs don't make a right of course but I can see how he feels their debt to one another is repaid even if did not show it in the most sympathetic way.


The only problem that I had watching this episode is the angry Deaf students in it for example the guy who didnt want to give phone to Daphne. He is like little bitch. Aside that, I enyojed this ep.I was so emotional at some parts and when alarm turn in and Daphne was confused what is going on I was too. All I wanted to know is what the fuck is happening, why is everybody running around the kitchen, damn. That was a very good scene and you can see how hard is for them and people making their life even harder. I didn't like how Travis was against hearing program and he was arguing with Bay - and lets remember - Bay is one who caught him sleeping at car wash office. And she stood up for him.


Last and final TBC: What I did have a problem with is her saying that it was because of her that Daphne was living at the Kennish house. 1.) Daphne was right in saying that had nothing to do with anything. 2.) Bay didn't just do Daphne a favor....she did it for herself so she could get to know Regina. 3.) Bay, Kathryn, and John have a bad habit of rubbing things they have done for people in their faces and its wrong and beneath them. And that's my 2 cents...


Tbc of last post: It's about embracing ASL and so much more. Right now as he stands Noah is in the lowercase deaf category, he's physically deaf but not psychologically Deaf. 3.) The message wasn't about bashing hearing people.
I understand that it could have appeared like that,, but it wasn't. And it wasn't about keeping Deaf people and Hearing people separate either. It's about belonging. It's about having a safe haven to call home. Kathryn didn't get this either. Melody's example of going into a cafeteria and not being able to join one of the 20 conversations was poignant. Not to mention you have this Adult hanging around and following you around campus. It's very isolating. Helen Keller was quoted saying,
"Blindness separates you from things, being Deaf separates you from people." 4.) Now the flip side. Bay wanting to stay and confronting Daphne about not supporting her.
I completely get Bay in this, and I had no problem with her telling Daphne so. What I did have a problem with is her saying that it was because of her that Daphne was living at the Kennish house. 1.) Daphne was right in saying that had nothing to do with anything. 2.) Bay didn't just do Daphne a favor....she did it for herself so she could get to know Regina. 3.) Bay and Kathryn have a bad habit of rubbing things they have done for people in their faces and its wrong and beneath them. And that's my 2 cents...


I am a sign language interpreter, so I can see both sides of the same coin so to speak...and I'll try to bring some clarity to some of the things mentioned... 1.) Where the Deaf students going over board with their experiences in being mainstreamed?
In short no. Unfortunately kids today pick up on anything different and it makes them afraid, so they make fun of what they dont understand. That is a blanket statment of course, but it happens. Case in point Noah making fun of Travis for sounding like a seal he was afraid that this could be him. Doesn't make it right but it is a defense mechanism. 2.) The difference between "Deaf" and "deaf".
There have been some comments on Noah being hard of hearing would he be accepted into the Deaf community? The answer is: it depends. Being Deaf with a capital D isn't just not being able to hear or to have a hearing loss of some sort. It's being proud of who you are as a Deaf person. It's about embracing ASL...and it's about so much more. As he stands now Noah is in the lower case deaf category. He is physicaly deaf but not psychologically Deaf if that makes since. Not saying he couldn't get there if he wanted to but I understand why Travis told him no (well and there was the fight that Noah started). 3.) Why the "anti-hearing" or "hearing are bad" message?
I know it may seem that was the message....but it wasn't. And it wasn't about keeping Hearing and Deaf people separate either.Its about having a a home. A place to belong. Kathryn completely didn't get this ....Helen Keller has been quoted as saying,
"Blindness separates you from things....being deaf separates you from people."
Melody's example about going into the cafeteria and seeing everyone engrossed in some 20 different conversations is poingent. Your isolated. And not only that but you are the kid that has an adult following you around. Now flip it to the other side of the coin.... I see where Bay is coming from. She has finally found a place she belongs (that word again) and is doing well in school for the first time....I get why she wants to stay. And I have no problem with her telling Daphne that and that she expected her support. The problem that I had was when she brought up that she helped move Daphne in to the house. First of all Daphne was right that had nothing to do with anything. Second: Bay did it for herself too...so she could get to know Regina, and finally she and Kathryn have a very bad habit of making sure people remember what they have done for them...it's petty and beneath them. Ok I think that's it for now...hope I helped in some way.

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