ABC Family’s hit series “Switched at Birth” returns Monday, September 3 (8/7c). The show that has inspired countless adults to tell their friends, “I swear it’s not just for teenagers. Come on, just watch one episode,” ended its spring season with two major cliffhangers: Bay (Vanessa Marano) learned that her boyfriend Emmett (Sean Berdy) cheated on her with her brother’s girlfriend, and Angelo was arrested for immigration violations. The fall premiere picks up a couple months later, as summer ends. In a recent interview with XfinityTV.com, Katie LeClerc, who plays Daphne, shares why this will be the show’s most intense and dramatic season yet.
Daphne Gets a New Job… and a New Love Interest: Last spring, Daphne bid farewell to her not-quite boyfriend Wilke, who was sent away to boarding school. She spent the summer trying to find a job at a restaurant so she could explore her passion for cooking. Unfortunately, nobody wants to hire a deaf person to work in a kitchen. “My family owns restaurants, so we have gone through this situation,” LeClerc reveals. “What do you do, given the liability issue, if you have someone who is deaf who is working in an environment with flames and sharp knives?… It’s not the first time she’s had an obstacle she’s had to jump over because she’s deaf. She’s a very creative girl and she figures out how to compensate.” When she finally gets hired, she immediately runs into difficulties with her new boss, the handsome Chef Jeff who is unwilling to make any changes in his communication style to accommodate Daphne’s needs. However, as so often happens on television, their initial friction turns into attraction. “[Daphne's new love interest] is Chef Jeff. It’s Justin Bruening (“Ringer“, “Knight Rider“) and he’s an incredible actor and he and Daphne get kind of steamy so it’s fun… . Daphne spends a lot of time in the Maize restaurant kitchen. She finds an ally and she finds someone with so many things in common with her. She’s just really excited to share that with him” But her family will not be thrilled that she’s involved with someone who graduated from high school a long, long time ago. (Bruening is 32 years old!) “It is a questionable relationship and people get upset about it.”
Preview the Premiere of “Switched at Birth”:
Bay Can’t Forgive Emmett , But Can’t Forget Him Either: Bay was so hurt by Emmett’s betrayal that she ran away. “Bay escaped to the Galapagos and hasn’t had to deal with any of it,” says LeClerc. Meanwhile, Daphne stuck by her lifelong friend Emmett. “I am absolutely convinced that Daphne had a conniption fit when she found out about it… Emmett is someone who has gotten her through hard times and he made a really poor choice. Daphne knows the difference between right and wrong and she knows that was absolutely wrong so I’m sure that they had some conversations and got over it over the course of the summer,” she reveals. During the season premiere, Daphne finds herself serving as an intermediary between Emmett and Bay. Bay wants nothing to do with him, but Emmett’s continued ultra-romantic attempts to win her back make it difficult for her to get over him.
Regina Marries Angelo, Creating as Many Problems as it Solves: The premiere ends with a shocking twist when Regina (Constance Marie) marries Angelo (Gilles Marini) so that he can stay in the United States. (ABC Family already revealed this in a press release, so we have no qualms about sharing the spoiler. However, you’ll have to watch to learn how and why.) The marriage of convenience certainly does not create a happily-ever-after situation for Daphne, who now must share a home with the man who abandoned her when she was a toddler. “It is a complicated situation. Regina has Patrick around. He’s her boyfriend. And now he’s going to get married to this guy. I think Daphne thinks it’s crazy. Everyone has their own suspicions and everyone’s got to make their own decisions and her own mistakes and her own successes and I think she hopes for the best, but she’s realistic about it and she knows that he left once before and I think that she will always keep him at arm’s length and is maybe going to have a deeper appreciation for him while he’s around but will never really commit to a strong relationship with him. She’s tolerating it for the benefit of Regina and Bay.”
Katherine’s Book Creates Tension in her Marriage: Katherine’s (Lea Thompson) book, aptly titled “Switched at Birth” and is available for purchase in real life, is published during the premiere. Suddenly, the stay-at-home Mom finds herself with as many professional obligations as her husband. John (D.W. Moffett) has trouble adjusting to no longer being the ‘star” of the family. ” John’s used to Katherine housewife and now he has Katherine publisher for a wife and he figures it out and, like [they said] in the prom episode, they’re long distance runners,” says LeClerc. “And it gets tested, being that Katherine isn’t as readily available. ”
The Lawsuit Against the Hospital Finally Goes to Trial: Both families involved filed a lawsuit against the hospital where Bay and Daphne were switched all those years ago. This season, there will finally be a resolution, but, as always with “Switched at Birth” nothing about it will be simple or easy. LeClerc explains, “The lawsuit stuff happens towards the very end of the season. We build to it. There’s more curveballs in the lawsuit’s agenda but the outcome of the trial really sets up for the next season so the wins and losses are really going to inform what decisions people are even able to make… The characters are just sort of thrown in this whirlwind and it really sets up for season two pretty well.”
“Switched at Birth” premieres on Monday, Sept. 3 at 8/7c on ABC Family.