'Switched at Birth' Season 2.5 Premiere Recap: You Can't Go Home Again

Is that a gorilla hugging a banana or are you just happy to see me? Switched at Birth (ABCFamily)That Dorothy Gale was a big fat liar: Returning to Kansas ain't that easy without some blinged-out ruby slippers. Switched at Birth's third season finds characters new and old making their way back home... with plenty of baggage in tow.

But first, we catch up with the Kennish clan, including Daphne who's basically turned into Kathryn's mini-me, at the country club pool. Predictably, Bay isn't too thrilled about her stepsister turning into a Stepford sister. She's also still holding a grudge about that whole Daphne-playing-tonsil-hockey-with-Noah thing from last season. 

Toby, doing his usual wise Yoda impression, advises Bay to get over it and make up with Daphne. She sniffs her dismissal, and like any good sister would, starts giving Toby grief instead about how the 'rents aren't so thrilled about his impending nuptials with Nikki. Then the siblings amusingly voiceover an animated-looking conversation Kathryn is having across the pool, imagining she's humblebragging about the wedding to another country club cronie. Kathryn may be a marriage-hater but she loves herself some wedding planning.

Bay's amusement is short-lived though; John ambushes her and demands she work at his congressional headquarters for the summer since she hasn't found a job yet. Bummer. Even bigger bummer? Regina's planning to spring herself from the Kansas equivalent of the Betty Ford Clinic a few days early despite her sponsor suggesting those are some bad idea jeans she's wearing. But no, Regina has a date: she always takes Daphne to their old neighborhood's community pool on the first day of summer. Ruh roh.

At Chez Kennish, the girls are still fighting and Daphne also tells Bay to get over the Noah thing and stop ignoring her. Both girls end up flouncing from the room. Obliviously, Kathryn coos to John how great it's been to have both girls to themselves the past six weeks. 

The next morning, Daphne shows up to John's office bright-eyed and bushy-tailed eager to get to work pruning a donor list down from the hundreds to just 50 names. Yawn. Bay runs in late, aggrieved to be wearing her mother's jacket and "pantyhose" (I feel ya, Bay. The devil's instrument!). John wags his finger, but sends her off to work with Daphne, clearly with an agenda to get the girls talking again. Let's hope there are trust falls in their future!

John's plan is a bust, as Daphne starts telling Bay how they should tackle the list and Bay tells Daph to stop bossing her around here too, which results in Daphne telling her if she has a better idea she should do it. More flouncing ensues.

Over at Emmett's place, the subtitling is flying fast and furious. Melody is headed out for a business trip for two nights and she kisses Emmett and Travis (Remember? He's living with them now.) goodbye and warns them against any parties while she's gone. Travis immediately suggests they have a party.

Regina's early homecoming? Not quite a party. While she's awkwardly small-talking with Bay in her garage/paint studio, Kathryn and Mini-Me come home wearing matching tennis outfits and giggling the giggles of the rich and entitled. An awkward four-way conversation ensues, as Regina gets the picture: she's been replaced. Daphne's been staying with the Kennishes (Grandma is away working at that job we never knew she had of being a "baby nurse" apparently? Yeah...I don't know either).

Regina's resentment finally boils over when Daphne blithely reveals that John and Kathryn gave her a credit card so she could buy lunch at work. (Kennishes don't brown bag it, yo.) Regina flips and Daphne protests that it's not like she's using it to buy "big flat-screen TVs or anything." Regardless, Regina thinks she should spend her own hard-earned money and demands she hand over the card — which, by the way, ain't your regular Visa, but a black elite-level charger — prompting frowny face from Daphne. 

Toby and Travis are working at John's car wash and some chicks in a convertible are checking them out. Travis is drooling, but confident Toby makes the introductions. Turns out the girls are sign language groupies and find Travis pretty hot. Score.

Back at her apartment, Regina finds a huge bottle of vodka under the sink and sighs longingly, but returns it to Kathryn, apologizing and admitting that she took it back in her dark period. Kathryn dismisses it as no big deal, but Regina insists that she be able to apologize for it. Then she tells her that she took Daphne's credit card and they can't accept it, returning that to Kathryn too. THIS, she gets pissed about. Lol. She uses the same rationale her Mini-Me did word-for-word about flat-screen TVs, which incites Regina's ire further. They legit argue over whether it's struggling or suffering not to have a black label card as a teenager. Regina flounces, and Kathryn's put out.

Things lighten up a bit when we go back to John's office where Bay is conversing with the coffee cart guy, who is kind of snarky with a British accent and will clearly be a love interest for one or both of the girls pretty quickly. Daphne shows up to boss Bay around some more and tell her to go pick up gluten-free muffins for some important breakfast meeting John's hosting. The Brit coffee guy reveals himself as another sign-language groupie (they're everywhere!) and thinks it's "so cool" that he vows he'll learn how to sign within a month. Daphne tells him it's impossible and he smugly says "Just watch me."

Off on her muffin expedition, Bay's car breaks down (she has really really bad luck with cars doesn't she?) and while she's waiting for Triple A, she wanders off to the nearby Maui, Kansas, which is some kind of Hawaiian themed amusement park she apparently had no idea existed, despite it being within muffin pick-up driving distance from her dad's office. She wanders around bemusedly, genuinely happy for the first time this episode, and just when it looks like there's another love interest alert in the incredibly young carnie who manages the festival — SURPRISE! Ty's back!

Oh wait, you have no idea who Ty is? Because Season 1 was approximately two years ago now? And you didn't watch the previously ons? Well, he's the guy that was Daphne's older, thuggish-looking friend from the hood who was actually a sensitive artist that Bay started dating before he abruptly joined the army and got shipped off to Afghanistan. Got it? Good.

So Ty's been back a few months, though he didn't call anyone and has just been hanging out here at the amusement park doing nothing I guess. They spend a nice 40 minutes winning each other ridiculous stuffed animals and Ty gets Bay a job there before they part reluctantly so Bay can meet the tow truck.

Over at the country club, Kathryn's going nuts with the rehearsal dinner plans — not even the wedding itself! — imagining where she'll put the fondue bar and Toby and Nikki's names spelled out in pool lanterns. She's oblivious (a theme with her, right?) to Nikki's obvious discomfort with all the pomp and circumstance.

When Bay gets home, she and John have a fight about her skipping out (even though she texted) on his big meeting, and she snits that it doesn't matter because she has a new job at the fair. John derides it as low-class and Regina comes to her rescue, telling him it's in her old neighborhood and that it's a good job for a teenager who doesn't need to be shut up in a stuffy office all dayJohn fumes, but doesn't flounce.
 
                                            Everything's bigger at the Kennishes', even the shish kabobs!

Then the whole Kennish/Vasquez clan has a terribly awkward family dinner, as they are wont to do! As they nosh on the biggest shish kabobs I've ever seen, they also skewer each other a bit too, as Regina once again comes to the rescue of someone disagreeing with the Kennishes. She agrees with Nikki, who has tentatively raised the subject with Kathryn about having a low-key barbecue in the park instead of a fancy fondue bar rehearsal dinner. After Kathryn almost keels over into her soda glass — not wine! there will be no alcohol at this dinner! — she teeth grittingly agrees to consider it and brings out dessert, a cake that should've had a rum glaze but got vanilla instead. Vanilla is so appropriate for the Kennishes, isn't it?
 
Even so, Regina's had it with the over-cautiousness about alcohol and John throws it in her face in front of everyone that she took that bottle of Stoli. For once, Daphne and Bay agree that their parents should stop fighting. Regina snits "Thank you, John, for making this process so easy," and flounces.

Meanwhile, Travis is lighting some candles at his and Emmett's weekend bachelor pad. Emmett starts to remind him they can't have a party but Travis says it won't be a party, just some girls coming over to learn sign language. Think of it as a tutoring session, he suggests. The girls show up with beer and homemade cookies (aw, that's kind of cute). They ask if this is the guys' place and they say yes, but when the girls see a picture of Emmett with his mom, Travis covers by saying she's his older ex-girlfriend. Lol. And....ew!

Over at the mansion, Daphne runs after mom and they have it out too. She argues that the Kennishes took care of her while Daphne was gone and she should be grateful to them, but Regina is too steamed that her daughter has turned into a Kathryn clone. A little later, she starts packing. Daphne wonders if she's going back to rehab. Nope, she's going to Angelo's empty apartment (he's off somewhere with a PI trying to chase down his baby and his baby momma) because living at the Kennishes destroys her self-esteem and the most important thing right now is that she stays sober. Daphne is torn, but mostly relieved that she can go back and stay in the big mansion.

At the Bledsoes, Emmett does indeed seem to be showing his assigned date how to sign, but Travis is just straight up making out with the other girl on the couch. So of course....guess who comes strolling in with her suitcase as her business trip concluded early (has that ever happened to anyone in real life, I wonder?)? Emmett's ex-girlfriend! The girls scatter and Melody isn't sure if she should be outraged or amused. She sits the boys down and asks if they'd been prepared to use condoms. When Travis says yes, they all basically decide they've learned from it and will never talk about it again. But later, Travis admits to Emmett that he'd been hoping this was his chance....to lose the big V-card. Emmett is floored, but says not to worry: Emmett will be his personal wingman and they've got the whole summer to get Travis laid.

Bay, who has missed most of the fireworks at home, is hoping for some of her own when she gets a text from Ty to meet him at Maui. When she arrives though she finds him drinking with what clearly seems to be his army buddies, who stole his phone and texted Bay for shits and giggles. They start acting like obnoxious jackasses, making kissy noises and falsetto declarations of love to Bay and Ty snaps, nearly choking one of 'em in an attempt to get him to apologize for disrespecting Bay. Then HE flounces. PTSD anyone?

Her crappy night continues when Bay comes home to find Daphne eating ice cream on her living room couch and gets informed that Regina has moved out again without even leaving Bay so much as a goodbye post-it. She storms over to Angelo's and tearfully asks her birth mother why she's always abandoning her. It's genuinely moving and pretty long overdue, as Bay wonders why it's so easy for Daphne and Kathryn to bond, but Regina has mostly ignored her for the past two years. Preach, Bay, preach! Regina turns teary too and admits that for years she had to try to forget that Bay existed because she felt so guilty knowing she was out there and not being able to claim her. She wants to do better and Bay asks if they can start right now, with her staying over at Angelo's too. Regina would love that, and they happily make up the couch for Bay together. Awwwwwww. 


What did you think of tonight's Switched at Birth return? Is Ty bad news for Bay? Will Regina ever get it together? Hit the comments below with your thoughts!
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