In Switched at Birth 5×04, the racial tension at UMKC comes to a boil, while Bay and Travis are in some hot water of their own. Read on for five things we learned during Switched at Birth 5×04, “Relation of Lines and Colors.”
1. Emmett and Bay are collaborating – professionally (for now).
Following the scare that brought Daphne and Bay back from China in the Switched at Birth season 5 premiere, Emmett is taking the semester off from school in LA. He asks Bay if he can photograph her tattooing him as an assignment for a local photograph course he signed up for, and although Bay sees it as “just an artistic collaboration,” Toby advises her to be upfront with Travis anyway. She’s not, and of course, Travis finds out, which causes friction. This is the final season of Switched at Birth, which begs the question: Is Bemmett endgame?
2. Travis is having second thoughts.
Between Emmett’s reappearance in Bay’s life and star pitcher Chris joining the UMKC baseball team, Travis is beginning to regret spending eight months in China. “I love being with Bay, but I didn’t realize what I’d be giving up,” he admits to Melody. Although he’s been working hard to get back to his best form, John still accuses him of abandoning his responsibilities. After a pitch-off between Travis and Chris devolves into a physical fight, John kicks Travis off the team.
3. Kathryn stands up for herself – but at what cost?
As we learned in the season 5 premiere, Kathryn’s working for the UMKC Athletics Department now, a position that has already put her at odds with John over funding. In Switched at Birth 5×04, more trouble comes her way when her boss tells her to wear a dress to dinner with a big donor. The guy is a misogynistic sleazeball, and when she calls his bluff, he slinks away. Go Kathryn! Unfortunately, his money goes right along with him. “I handed you a sure thing and you blew it,” her boss tells her, fuming. As Regina phrases it, “Welcome to working in a man’s world.”
4. Daphne learns more about the realities of racial inequality on campus.
UMKC’s Black Student Union becomes the object of vandalism with racist overtones when cottonballs are left on its front lawn, and although Daphne’s confident the administration will come down hard on those responsible, Sharee is less convinced. Professor Morillo assures Daphne that the university takes racist actions seriously, but the perpetrators merely get tickets for littering and a three-day suspension. In contrast, when Daphne receives a threatening note from a black student, the student is expelled.
Sharee: “Let’s do the math: A white girl gets intimidated, a black kid gets expelled. The entire Black Student Union gets intimidated? Three days’ suspension. Maybe it’s right the guy got expelled, but the cottonballers should’ve been too.”
Daphne: “I hadn’t thought of it like that.”
Sharee: “Why would you? It’s not your reality. The fear that you felt over that flyer – I feel like that all the time.”
5. Iris (and Sharee and Daphne) take action.
Iris goes on a hunger strike until the cottonballers are expelled, explaining, “I’m tired of talking. It’s time for action.” After Daphne goes back to Morillo to ask about the cottonballers’ wrist-slap and inform her about Iris’ hunger strike, a furious Iris tells Daphne to stop trying to be the Great White Hope.
Toward the end of Switched at Birth 5×04, Daphne tells Iris “I can never know what it’s like to be you – all I can offer is my support” and sits with Iris and some other protesters outside the BSU. Morillo comes by to say the cottonballers’ punishment had nothing to do with race, to which Iris replies, “If you really believe that, you’re part of the problem.” Sharee starts a chant, and when Morillo tries to grab her megaphone, she pulls back – and is promptly hauled off by security. Undeterred, Iris continues the chant, and Daphne joins in.
What did you think of Switched at Birth 5×04, “Relation of Lines and Colors”?