A house is not a home, but the people within it make it seem so, and in this episode that key element of what makes a home seems like it is being ripped away.
Trigger Warning(s): Mental Illness depiction
Being that Switched at Birth is a type of soap opera, you expect drama to be part of the show. There have been love triangles; people getting cheated on; dramatic entrances, and exits of characters, but this was all balanced with a sense of realness. In "Memory is Your Image of Perfection" however, the balance teeter totters as Sheree's mom tilts it one way, and the rest of the cast try their best to balance her illness with their own personal issues.
Topic 1: The Importance of a Mother Sheree & Travis
A mother's love is usually a person's first experience with love and creates a fierce loyalty. You see that loyalty in this episode with Sheree who, despite her mother's ways, is fiercely protective of her. And when Daphne calls child protective services, this is an ultimate betrayal. But, love is complicated. For while this endangers the little bit of family Sheree knows, she also wants her mother to be healthy, get diagnosed, and learn how to control herself. Unfortunately though, she decides to go along with Daphne and trick her mother into seeing a doctor, and this leads to a very tense moment in which Dr. Jackson gets stabbed, and shows Daphne that her meddling in people's lives, increasingly, will have severe consequences. Before it was just an argument, maybe someone getting fired, and then escalated to probation, but now it almost killed someone. And while I have nothing against her trying to protect Sheree and help her mother, I do wonder if this need to help people may evolve into something. Not, per se, her being a recluse and not getting involved, but considering she hasn't done much in terms of working with food lately, maybe working at the clinic, and saving Dr. Jackson's life, may lead her to maybe considering something in the health field?
And speaking of health, especially of the mental variety, I think there is a need to talk about Travis' mental health. For while he may not have the type of, for a lack of a better term, "issues" Sheree's mom has, there are some deep rooted issues within that boy. As we know, his family is pretty much just Melody and Emmett at this point. They are like his adopted family, and with talk of going to Gallaudet, which is in Washington D.C., being Melody's plan for her boys, as Mary-Beth states, it is like Travis being a baby bird who found a mom and nest for himself, and him being kicked out of it just when he finally found some semblance of a home. And with that said, Marlee Matlin shows once again why she is so integral to this show. Set aside she is probably one of the most famous deaf actresses out there, what matters in this episode is the fact she can get an emotional response out of you which makes it so every time she is in an episode, you know to expect something special. Be it the protest episodes last season, her work with Travis in this episode, or even her friendship with Regina, and family life with Emmett. I mean, if ever there were to be a spin-off, who would be better?
Topic 2: The Ego of Men Wes & John
But, while there is much praise to be bestowed on the actresses who play worried friends and mother figures, that is not their only place. Well, at least if you consider the opinions of men like John and Wes. Starting with Wes, his project to gentrify East River Side is gaining traction, but a meeting in which Adrianna speaks in, seems to be the beginning of the end for it.
Now, being that Regina owes Wes $50,000 and has a contract with him, she is very much invested in this project. Never mind the fact she thinks this would be good for her old neighborhood; but, as elders do, especially mothers, Adrianna decides to take the rose colored glasses off her daughter and make her realize she is being touted out there since she is of the neighborhood, much less a Latina. This idea, being touted out there like a token doesn't sit right with Regina. Thing is, Wes is getting tired of her back and forth, again, and her threats of pulling out are met with his threats of lawyers. And with this, his ego makes it seem like he has already won and she is helpless, but hopefully Regina can rally the neighborhood and shut Wes down.
Leading to us speaking on John. Now, we have known since season 1 that this man is basically abusive, in a mental sense, toward women. He is old fashioned, selfish, and really shows that some people really never mature past their high school personalities. And to prove this, he puts so much blame on Kathryn in terms of their marriage going wrong and says she should forgive him for making one mistake within 20 years, not really thinking how him cheating, even if she kissed him, is a problem. And perhaps that kiss was really just the final straw. Both admit to being unhappy, but John seems to think Kathryn is the root of it. Meanwhile, Kathryn actually has real, logical, reasons for their issues. Nothing in common but the kids, lack of support for her career, and John's ego of thinking being a good provider makes up for everything else. Making it so, at this point, if they don't get divorced, it would be a surprised because John is really, really, at that point where I can't fathom why she would reconcile, unless he nearly died. And even then, just get him a good nurse.
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