Switched at Birth: 1.02 “American Gothic”

Season 1 Episode 2
Airdate: June 13, 2011

Daphne wakes up. It is her first full day of living in the guest house of the Kennish estate. Bay invites them to the main house for a big breakfast feast. It is better than the off-brand cereal they were going to eat. What are Sugar Rice Pops? It must be something cheap they picked up at the bodega. But Grandma Vasquez has to leave for work. She is the neighbor’s maid, so it’s a short commute!

Daphne has trouble following the Kennishs because they talk so fast, but she grew up Puerto Rican so come on, this shouldn’t be a problem for her! Emmett arrives on his motorcycle to take Daphne to school. Bay complains that she is grounded for a week for trying to buy beer, but Daphne gets to ride a motorcycle to school. “Why does she get to do whatever she wants?” whines Bay. Her parents correctly point out that she is being punished. But Bay is a spoiled brat, so it doesn’t get through to her.

Regina is tearing up the wallpaper in the guest house. She has made quite a mess of the place in less than 24 hours. I feel that this show is being kind of racist to Puerto Ricans. And that’s OK by me!

Liam, Bay’s former boyfriend who met Daphne at Bucker, goes to the deaf school to speak with Daphne about enrolling at Buckner. They hang out in the outdoor court with all the other students. Fucking high schoolers in TV shows never go to class. They all have three hour lunch periods and 45 minute breaks between classes.

Daphne admires the size of the Kennish kitchen. The only kitchen she’s seen this big is the one her cousin Ernesto works in. Toby sees her holding a clever and says, “Just let me know if there’s some weird clever fetish you have or something.” Cause he could learn to get into that!

Regina is repainting the guest home as a fuck you to Kathryn. She asks Bay to help. They end up talking about how they both like art, especially Freda Kahlo because she was Latina. I have to question whether Regina is truly Latina, though. Because no Hispanic mother is that thin.

Earlier, Bay tried to go to Regina to get out of being grounded, since she is kind of her third parent. Regina replied that being stuck in a mansion for a week is not a punishment and her punishment would have been more severe. This was because she worries Bay shares the same tendency towards alcoholism that she has. Regina’s father was also an alcoholic. His name was Captain Morgan de Vasquez.

The Vasquez and Kennish families have a joint dinner. Regina refuses to join in on saying grace because her family is atheist. “You’re atheist,” interjects Daphne. “I’m agnostic.” Oh, OK. We had to know that because there is such a huge fucking difference. That explains why the Vasquezes don’t have 30,000 portraits of the Virgin Mary hanging on their walls like every other Catholic household I’ve seen.

The dinner quickly devolves into an argument. Kathryn and John object to Daphne riding on that motorcycle everyday and Regina objects to them butting in on her parenting. Regina reacts negatively to the idea that the Kennishes have guns in their house. “It’s the Second Amendment to the Constitution!” yells John. Of course they own guns, it’s Missouri…or Kansas. I think both states have a Kansas City. Missouri and Kansas each have one Kansas City and zero abortion clinics.

The Vasquezes walk out of the dinner. Regina wants to move them out but Daphne asks her to stay. Bay sneaks out of the house, despite being grounded. Is she going to run away every episode?

Daphne meets Liam at a record store. She isn’t here for the music, of course, just the pretentious conversation. Outside, they run into two of Liam’s friends who make fun of her deafness. They don’t hate deaf people, they are just douchebags. If she was not deaf, they would be asking her if the carpet matches the drapes.

Meanwhile, Bay meets up with that barrio boy to add her own touch to a wall that is already full of graffiti. Bay whines over her lot in life. “I was meant be a poor Latina in the barrio!” Bay cries. “Instead I am a rich WASP. Life is so unfair!”

The barrio boy kisses her. I bet he only did that to shut her up. I’m sure he enjoyed hearing the rich girl complain about how bad she has it.

By the following morning, everyone has made up. Bay and Daphne actually talk to one another, Bay’s parents admit that Regina has done a good job raising Daphne, and the Vasquez family will remain in the guest house. Except Regina still dislikes Kathryn and vice versa.

Earlier, Kathryn and John met with a lawyer about suing the hospital over the switch, but Regina doesn’t want to join in the lawsuit. She says that suing is not how she handles things. Latinos settle things on the street. Think about it. You don’t even see many Hispanic people on daytime court shows. I am a shutin who watches a ton of daytime TV and the demographic breakdown on Judge Judy and Mathis and the like is around 80% black, 15% white (split 50/50 between Italian and non-Italian) and 5% Middle Eastern immigrant.

Kathryn and John can’t understand why Regina doesn’t want in on the suit. “She’s hiding something,” says Kathryn. “I can feel it.” No she can’t. That’s just something one woman will instinctively say about another woman she doesn’t like.