Following Switched at Birth Season 3 Episode 11, you’re likely wondering certain events mean for the future of Bay, Tank and Emmett.
So who better to speak to in light of the midseason finale than Vanessa Marano?
The actress thinks Bay’s driving force in a relationship is that she doesn’t easily trust people. She hasn’t had a lot of luck with men and many of her love stories are unfinished for different reasons.
Emmett cheated on Bay and, because of that, their relationship couldn’t continue in the way either of them wanted.
“She never did stop loving him," Marano told me over the phone. "The relationship changed. He changed it and she didn’t really know what to do, so their story has been unfinished.”
Bay encountered similar circumstances in the way her relationship ended with Ty.
“Their story was unfinished as well because he enlisted in the army and went off before anything really happened and he came back and they got together and just when everything was going great, he was sent off again and she thought that he cheated on her.
"So things ended angrily and all of a sudden she learns he didn’t cheat on her and again, story left unfinished once more.”
Marano thinks this will come back to haunt Bay once she discovers that Tank was taking steps to be that better guy she has been looking for.
“I feel like she’s absolutely going to regret the decision to sleep with Emmett when she sees that Tank is making an effort to better himself because all of a sudden it switches and Tank is Bay and Bay is Emmett in that relationship and she just kind of unintentionally cheated on him.
"It will absolutely be a dilemma – I haven’t gotten the script yet but we’re going back to shoot in a few weeks and I absolutely think that is going to be a center issue.”
The star also thinks part of the reason they’re exploring so many sexual situations with Bay is because they’re differentiating her from Daphne.
The latter lost her virginity long before Bay and only later learned how sex can complicate matters, such as when she dated an older man and it ended poorly.
Bay started feeling pressure that she wasn’t as experienced and that’s when she started to explore her sexuality.
“I think what we tried to show this season with Bay and Tank was like OK, he’s in college, that’s kind of what he’s used to, you just jump into bed with somebody after you’ve been dating for a while and it was very new to her because she really had known Ty for like a year before she decided to sleep with him.”
Marano considers Bay as symbolic of girls who have only recently found their sexuality and how they explore what rules might be right or them or if there are any rules at all.
She believes that it's about caring for somebody and being willing to take that chance with someone.
“It is a big step, being physically intimate with somebody, it absolutely is and I think Bay’s trying to figure out where those boundaries lie in a relationship with someone and part of why I think she ends up sleeping with Emmett, or possibly sleeping with Emmett -- who knows what’s going to happen?
"Part of that is because she knows that she cares for him. That’s a fact. She cares for Tank, but she doesn’t know how much. And Emmett, even though he hurt her, without a doubt, she knows how she feels.”
Marano loves playing Bay because she’s the one without a filter.
“Like she says the first thing that comes to her head and in any social situation is like awkwardly making a joke and awkwardly being difficult but not really. I love how difficult she is, kind of. It’s weirdly loveable but also so unique and relatable at the same time. Bay has this weird combination of odd-girl-out but everybody gets it and that’s kind of my favorite thing about her.”
If she were writing the scripts, Marano wouldn’t have Bay reconcile with Emmett.
“I loved Bay and Emmett together but I hated that he cheated on her. I was very vocal about the fact that they should not get back together because once you cheat on somebody, that trust is not there. It changes the dynamics of the relationship.”
Marano admits that Bay’s love life seems to follow a pattern.
“I loved Bay and Ty, but at the same time, he lied to her, too. He wasn’t honest about the fact that he was leaving and just said he didn’t want to do long distance and didn’t want to hurt her.”
The relationship she does love is Bay and Tank. She gushed:
“It’s such an interesting relationship. It was so new for her, he’s so sweet, but Bay, she has not necessarily cheated, but not necessarily not cheated with Emmett, so it’s a weird place right now for Bay because with every relationship she can be involved in there are sides of it that could be negative and sides of it that could be positive.
"It’s almost like equal opportunity for everyone who is involved right now. So I might as well just find someone new, because it’s Switched at Birth and we love bringing in a new person!”
She’s not surprised about Tank about the popularity Bay and Tank’s pairing at all. The relationship wasn’t even supposed to happen, according to Marano.
“We weren’t sure what was going to happen with that character, whether he had a crush on her and she didn’t really have the crush back and that was awkward or like was going to be her first guy friend and then we just started working together and the writers were like no, I think this should be a relationship, mostly because it was getting so well received by guest directors and crew members and we all just kind of fell in love with the idea of Bay and Tank because it was different.”
Marano says that’s something that they excel at on Switched at Birth. Their storylines are relatable and the appeal is great.
“It involves deaf people; it involves sign language and relationships you don’t always see on television. There is a lot of room to play. We play all day on Switched at Birth. We love all diverse combinations and that’s our show. Our show is about everybody.”
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.