I thought the "Duel of Two Women" would be about Bay and Natalie, but the real duel took place between Regina and Melody - and that was extremely disappointing.
And while Bay and Natalie came to a truce, did the other two women do the same? Let's see what a weekend at a tolerance retreat brought about...
Shouldn't Melody have planned the required student tolerance retreat on school time? They were already discontinuing programs left and right and grating on both the deaf and hearing students last nerves. Was cutting into their private time really the ideal way to go about bringing them together? Including all of the hearing kids and only some of the deaf kids clearly set the former even farther apart from their deaf counterparts. It could have been done much better.
The first group formed for an exercise was comprised of Daphne, Natalie, Bay, Emmett and Noah. Really, Melody? Targeting students much?
The school's guidance counselor took her unease with the pilot program on the tolerance retreat. Sitting them all in a room and telling them to grow up might have been just as effective. Neither group understood the other, and someone like Noah, who was transitioning between the two, had the best chance to grasp the consequences of not fitting into both worlds. She should have known about his condition.
That there was a breakthrough with Bay and Natalie made it worthwhile, and I'm guessing they will eventually end up friends. The thing we've lost in our world is the ability to yell at each other and call each other names without repercussion. It's that lack of outpouring of grief and tension that leads to things like schools shootings, so the underlying idea behind the retreat was wall thought out, even if it seemed a bit heavy handed and targeted. After two people do what Bay and Natalie did - get their anger out and begrudgingly admit their positive attributes - friendships often blossom.
It was a shame that Melody couldn't do that in her own life. What's going on with her? Regina was fighting what every doctor was telling her about signing, and she lost her career as well as her ability to indulge her artist's creativity - but Melody immediately decided she must be faking it for attention because she'd never known anyone who was broken enough not to sign before.
It was a stunning development between those two friends, highlighting exactly what was happening with the pilot program at the school and why she was against it.
Kathryn's interview about her family to promote John's Senatorial run was horrid. The way she jumped into a political speech on immigrants and being inclusive felt so false, especially when John has said so many negative things about Angelo, as well as expressing his displeasure about the immigrant population and the poor in general by his over-concern about Daphne taking the food truck to her old neighborhood in "The Awakening Conscience." John took Kathryn to task about her discussion and they were out of sorts again.
In an odd little outlying story, Toby somehow got tied up in Lana's baby drama. He was getting his car fixed and since hers wasn't done, he offered a ride. Paying attention not being his strong point, he smashed his car and at a trip to the hospital he learned she was planning on giving the baby up for adoption. That's not great news for Lana, of course, but at least it means she wasn't after Angelo for money. She was honestly giving him the opportunity to be involved in her baby's life if he wanted to be involved.
Since out of family adoptions rarely happen on television and are only slightly less prevalent than abortions, she will most likely end up either sticking around and adding to the already extended and interesting brood or giving the baby to them directly.
Do you think it's really the end for Bay and Emmett? It was easy to work out that he thought she went to Carlton to be with him, but there was much more to her decision than that. The retreat was very stressful, and Bay's first week at school has done everybody in, so I'm not going to hold him to cutting off his friendship with Bay just yet. What they have runs so deep that he'll realize as difficult as it was to be with her without being with her, it will be even more so to be near her without being her friend.
I'm sticking with that. What about you?
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.