Switched at Birth Season 3 Finale Recap: Breaking Grad

Switched at Birth‘s grads said goodbye to each other on Monday’s Season 3 finale, but there was one permanent farewell they weren’t expecting to make.

Nope, we’re not talking about Bay and Daphne’s unorthodox post-cap-and-gown “destination” — though that trip was a crisp slap leading to the emotional fetal position — but rather the closure of Carlton School for the Deaf. I mean, we all knew the institution was living on borrowed time, but did anyone expect the end to come quite this quickly?

Let’s recap the action:

RELATED Switched at Birth Renewed for Season 4

Regina tells Daphne that Hawaii Wes won’t be pressing charges. But before they can share the good news with the Kennishes, a detective shows up to arrest Daphne. Turns out they found her prints on the construction site and the owner is pressing charges, meaning this would be her “second strike” (since she’s on probation). And thanks to a D.A. looking to make a point, Daphne’s now looking at spending up to three years in prison. While her family wants to do all they can to fight, Daphne refuses, saying she wants to take responsibility for her actions. This also means that graduation will be her last day of freedom.

As she’s congratulated by her friends — who aren’t aware of her impending arrest — Daphne begins to lament her wasted potential, realizing the high cost of her bad behavior. (Namely, med school.) It’s hard not to detect the note of envy in her voice as she lists all the things Bay has going for her. Nonetheless, Daphne pulls herself together and tearfully gives the speech she’d been voted to give, and you know what? She nails it. Her moment at the podium is a perfect tribute to all the characters we’ve come to love and the school that brought most of them together.

After the ceremony and all its good vibes, Daphne tells Bay she’s going to the station to turn herself in, but Bay won’t let her do it alone. Then, just as Daphne is about to give the detective her statement, Bay swoops in, gives up her plans to move to L.A. with Emmett and takes the blame instead. At first, Daphne is as shocked as we are, and makes her dismay known to Bay. However, when the detective returns and asks if Bay’s lying, Daphne says she isn’t, letting Bay take the rap for her. As Bay is led away, she simply says the experience will give her credibility as an artist. However,  the real question is what will this experience do to Daphne? Is med school really worth it?

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Elsewhere in the hour: 

* Emmett tells Daphne he wouldn’t be going to L.A. if Bay weren’t going along with him. (Daphne’s right, he really is going to be mad at her.)

* Travis’ mom makes it to the ceremony and tells him she’s proud of him in sign!!! Later, she tells him she’s been using an app to learn a sign a day, and he introduces her to Melody and Mary Beth. (Honestly, if this moment didn’t make you tear up, go to your doctor and have him or her make sure your heart is still functioning.)

* Lily realizes that she really does have feelings for Toby, and that she’s not “just fine bonking.” So when she discovers him upset over his wife’s request for an annulment, she suggests they “do nothing” together.

* Wes asks Regina to move to Hawaii with him. But she declines because of what’s going on with Daphne.

What did you think of Bay’s big switch? Did you want to see Daphne finally face the repercussions of all her actions? Grade the Switched at Birth finale via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice.

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  1. ML says:

    Bay made a tremendous sacrifice for her sister. I loved that! What will be the consequences for Bay? Surely not jail time, but what?

    • Kareem says:

      One guess: She will have to remain in the state as a condition of her probation. They’re doing another season. This is not a high budget show. They need their cast in the same geographic area, I would think. Look for the main characters to stay put for one reason or another. Think about why they have played up the Gallaudet satellite campus story so much.

  2. Nicole says:

    People do amazing things for love… Bay’s sacrifice was not unrealistic. However, I HATE Daphne for letting Bay take the rap for her, just as much as I love Bay for doing it. I was literally CRYING when she did this. It’s really funny how when the show started out, Bay was the bad girl tagging buildings, wearing net stockings with black boots, and having temper tantrums and Daphne was the good deaf girl who played basketball and wore pretty, colorful attire. Their styles haven’t changed, but their personas certainly have. Bay has a huge heart, and Daphne apparently has a selfish one. My guess is that when the rest hear about this, everyone will be mad at Daphne, and John and possibly Emmett will be mad at Bay. I also predict that Daphne will crack under the pressure and prove that she was the one that actually did it and that Bay had an alibi (wasn’t she out to dinner with Tank that night?) and I’m sure Nacho will have a lot to say. I’ve got to say though, that I was done with Daphne’s character the minute she said that Bay was telling the truth, because a good person/sister/friend wouldn’t let their sister take the blame for a stupid, life changing, mistake like this.

    • sammy says:

      Absolutely agree, that last scene with Daphnie just ruined it for me. I was like, WTH why aint she screaming that Bay is lying …… she didnt even think what would John and Kath will think about, her or Emmet for that matter ….. Daphnie is not a bad or selfish girl by heart ….. I dont know how writes came up with this for her character …. it did not make any sense …..

  3. JBC says:

    Terrible ending. Nobody takes responsibility for their own bad actions these days? It’s ok to have your sister lie for you. It would have made a more realistic ending if Daphne did go to jail. Sends a completely bad message.. yes, rich people can get away with anything, it’s ok to lie to the police. This show could have explored a deaf person in jail storyline, and what it is like to be out of jail with a record and try to rebuild your life. The damage done with the vandalism cost people their jobs, but rich daughter gets away with it because her family lies for her. Her mom begs for her to not be turned in, instead of turning her in herself, rich powerful dad cries cause he can’t find a way to get her out of it. Sister just doesn’t care if she goes down for it, since it’s her first offense so she can play the system, builds up her “street cred” as an artist. All selfish motives. Expected more from SWAB.

    • Laura says:

      I mean you don’t have to be rich to have your family lie for you. Bit of a chip on the shoulder with that one!

      • Cassandra says:

        No, but at the beginning of the episode, John basically thought he could buy his way out of Daphne’s punishment. Even if he paid back what was owed for the damaged equipment, people still lost their construction jobs, Wes lost money and time he invested in a project he had to abandoned, and there will no longer be a revitalization of East Riverside. Daphne should know that her negative action affect so many more people than just herself. I can’t believe Regina was going to allow John to throw money at the problem to make it go away. The old Regina would have made Daphne take responsibility, but I guess now that she had money to chip in for restitution she also believes her daughter should be above the law.

        • JBC says:

          Very well said Cassandra. Totally agree!

        • Ears07 says:

          If you were faced with your child going to jail, regardless of how much money you do or don’t have, you would try to figure out a way to avoid it. Paying for the damages wasn’t an unreasonable idea. I thought for sure that Daphne was going to get out of it by agreeing to help them get Nacho. If you think about it, she was getting a much harsher penalty because the DA wanted the high profile aspect of nailing a Senator’s daughter. BTW – I wish they never started that Senator storyline.

          • JBC says:

            As far as Daphne goes she was already on probation. With or without the storyline of being a Senator’s daughter, she should have gone to jail for breaking terms of probation with committing the second crime of vandalism. She also could have been arrested for stealing the drugs from the clinic, but the doctor, thankfully for her, only fired her. I really believe a storyline of a deaf girl and how she handles jail, and rebuilds her life after would have been better. Also if the entire family and friends stayed in KC to help support her that would have been the way to keep the cast in the same location.

          • But, Ears07, that can be an ever bigger mistake. Not being held accountable for your actions, especially when you’re already in trouble and on probation, you’re stealing, getting high, lying, getting fired, bedding the bad boy, putting your future at med school at risk, and treating the family horribly…well, it is time for the big guns. It’s time for tough love and teaching your children that all actions and choices have consequences, be it good or bad. If parents continue to bail the young adult out it only teaches them that there are no consequences because mom or dad or their money will fix the problem. That is one of the main reasons our society is the way it is today. For every action there is a reaction. When you break the law there are consequences. If not, how does a person learn from their mistakes.

            I will say that if the guilty party had the option of making full restitution and they would have to pay back their restitution by themselves with no help from anyone, I think that would be acceptable. But, in this instance there are hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage. This person would be paying for a very very long time and while they are toiling at a job working evenings and weekends while attending school…I don’t think they would make any more unacceptable decisions.

            Had Daphne been my child/young adult this would not have happened because she would have already been in a prison all of her own making…house arrest with her car taken away along with her cell phone etc. I would not have let it get as far as the families did. But, of course that is just how I would handle it.

      • JBC says:

        Rich and Poor alike work the system and lie, but SWAB is about this family who happen to be rich and influential.

    • sam9s says:

      You are wrong ….. “Every” dad will cry if he can’t find a way to protect his kid, right or at fault …

  4. Aha says:

    Daphne deserves to go to jail. She has been intolerable for the last half of the episodes and deserved her punishment. She hasn’t even picked a damn school yet.

  5. Really? says:

    I feel that they jumped the shark this season with so much extreme drama like Angelo’s death, all of Daphne’s horrible behavior, and now this? In the earlier seasons I felt all the character’s were awesome and I could relate to the struggles they are going through but this season they took Daphne’s character in a direction I can’t enjoy at all. I can understand wanting her to have a storyline where she rebels and breaks the rules but to have her just go off the deep end and destroy a construction site, do cocaine, and be so b****y has made me dread each new episode. Season 1 and 2 Daphne was such a better character and I think they could have done better by her her in terms of storylines. The show is reminding me of Secret Life of the American Teenager which started off strong with a good 1st season but as they kept going became a shadow of it’s original glory because of too much extreme drama and push for shocking moments every episode. I do enjoy Bay and Toby and the other character’s stories because they are more relatable, often have lighter moments, and less extreme (aka they aren’t stealing oxy and getting fired). I did love Kathryn’s book story and the humor it brought. Daphne is the only one who needs better stories next season. Everyone else is great and enjoyable.

  6. Christine D says:

    Bay made a huge sacrifice, yes, but she should have let Daphne take responsibility for her own actions. It really disappoints me that this is how she’s going to let Bay take the blame for her and I highly doubt that any of the parents will let her do this. That means that she will get into big trouble for lying to the police.

  7. neha says:

    I do hate that Daphne let Bay take the fall for her. Daphne KNEW that she was on probation. Yet, she still chose to do cocaine, steal oxycodone, and vandalize someone else’s property. I get that she was grieving, but she still made those mistakes. And, she should have to pay for them. Not Bay and Emmett.

  8. Jess says:

    I thought it was touching. Why should Daphne have to pay the price (3 years in jail and permanent record) just because some judge is making an example of a former senator’s daughter. Her parents ae willing to pay for the damages and the worst Bay could get for it is probation or 30 days in jail and a record, which isn’t a bad thing for an artist to hhave. Where is a criminal can’t be a doctor which is what Daphne wants to be. We don’t know if this will end up working anyways. Plus people it’s just a show.

    • Lina says:

      Daphne shouldn’t have had to pay the price “just because some judge…”? Daphne should have payed the price because she broke the law! She deserved to go to jail, and it freaks me out that no one shows her any consequences for what she did. So she couldn’t have become adoctor? Big deal! How long did she have that plan? A few episodes, in-series a few weeks, maybe one or two months? How serious can that really have been?

      Honestly, she’s not fit to be a doctor. What does she do if a patient dies because of her? Do more drugs, throw cars off a rooftop and destroy the hospital because she’s “grieving”?

      Just because it’s a show doesn’t mean it should be so unrealistic and annoying. If that’s the best the writers were able to come up with in order to make the cast stay in KC, then they are not half as talented as I would have thought during the first two seasons.

    • Daphne broke the law…who the heck else should pay for her crimes but her. It is not her parents’ place to bail her out. For every action and choice there are consequences be them good or bad. That is how we learn. She needs to do her time.

    • TokyoCrazyPXD says:

      This is a super late response but I just watched the episode again and felt compelled to respond to this comment. Daphne knew what she was doing when she vandalized that site. Senator’s daughter or not, she and Nacho caused thousands of dollars in damage to public property. And don’t forget this is her SECOND OFFENSE! She previously blackmailed Coto. This girl has had serious lapses in judgement because of men but that’s her fault, not Bay’s. It was deeply moving for Bay to step in but as soon as she did, Daphne should have claimed Bay was hysterical or something and taken her jail time. I don’t think it’s right she went unpunished and I have yet to feel like her character has been redeemed from this disgraceful show of cowardice.

  9. Bill Vaananen says:

    I was really disappointed with this finale. We watched the show with the 3 of us, me (dad), my wife, and our 17 yr. old daughter. There were certain episodes of this show in the past that I thought were really superb. But this one was way too ridiculous, sophomoric, over-simplistic, and – for a series that usually takes the moral/ethical high ground – also sent a really bad message: mom was so happy to get Daphne off of the potential charges – like this all could just be wiped clean and Daphne wouldn’t need to take any responsibility. Worse was the Kennish mom and dad. This guy’s some state senator, but he’s crying and trying to work the system so his baby doesn’t have to serve time for what she did? Are we really supposed to be feeling sorry for these people in their immaculate house with their sprawling lawn and garden house? I think dad is downright icky. I thought many of the scenes seemed very stiff- Disney channel sitcom or worse. And Lizzy Weiss – since you take the credit right at the top of the show as being the creator of the series and the writer of this particularly lame episode, the responsibility lies right at your feet. I say 6 months for you to get it together and bring this series back to reality!

    • This has been a season that set terrible examples for our teens and young adults. I agree with you. My family will not be watching anymore at the request of my eighteen year old. He thinks the random hookups are totally unnecessary and the lack of consequences for actions is pathetic. I agree.

  10. Sam says:

    Daphne gets away yet again.

  11. M says:

    One of the most touching switched at birth episodes ever… Graduation was perfection I wish mine was like that… Fall in love with Bay more every episode… But Daphne escapes yet again *puke* can’t stand her… Hope Bay’s sacrifice wakes daphne up and get back to where she was in season 1

  12. Mara says:

    Daphne deserved to be punished and horrible of her to let Bay take her punishment — Daphne is selfish and has no integrity. Poor Emmitt too. I hope they clean this up quickly.

  13. Aly says:

    Jail time is one thing, but I think that living with the guilt of cowardice to take responsibility of one’s actions will haunt Daphne for the rest of her life. Honestly I’m looking forward to how Daphne will turn out. She can be so amazing at times but many other times her logic/ reasoning makes her stupid.

  14. Chris says:

    Between now and the holiday episode, perhaps someone will convince Toby that he has grown the ugliest facial hair on television. It’s a major distraction.

  15. CMarie says:

    I could not control the tears at any point during this episode. When Travis’ mom walked in – I COMPLETELY lost it.

    On a completely different note, I can’t believe Bay is such an idiot to do that for Daphne. She has been the most annoying character on television as of late, and I wouldn’t have minded seeing her in jail for a bit. Let Bay have her happy ending with Emmett!

  16. m3rissa says:

    Am I the only one who noticed that they mentioned Bay was 18 in the episode and at one point said that Daphne was UNDER 18?? They were switched at birth, born on the same day in October! Someone apparently forgot that means they are the same age….

  17. Tess says:

    I have been really hating Daphne’s character (in a good way, like the actress is doing a fantastic job at making a character go completely off the rails). When J & K were wanting to pay her out of jail and stuff like that all I could think was that better not happen. Call me old-fashioned but in my eyes she SHOULD have gone to jail. She made a mistake and mistakes have consequences. However, I was relieved to see her redeem herself when she said she would just take the plea deal and go to jail. I was interested to see how that would work – rather than seeing how a deaf person would deal with a hearing world, what about a deaf person in a hearing jail? Interesting concept to explore! (Don’t tell me I wasn’t the only one wanting an Orange is the New Black crossover!) After finally respecting Daphne again in that moment, as soon as she let Bay take the fall, I was once again extremely disappointed in her character. I didn’t find that to be a realistic response for her either. I honestly don’t believe Daphne would let Bay take the fall. Bay has a good heart and all she’s thinking about is her sister going to jail but Daphne KNEW she broke the law and this is just digging her deeper into the hole she was just starting to climb out of. Very surprising and well-written finale but extremely disappointed in Daphne’s choices.

    • Jackie says:

      Daphne ALWAYS gets out of everything not been one time where she gotten troubl not been one time where she got in trouble, because every time she’s about to she yells and storms off before she can even get a punishment and then everyone pities her but if they were to do this she would actually get a punishment. And it seems that John and Kathryn favor her always saying that she’s a good child and whatnot which is really unfair as well especially since lately but it’s been a good one

  18. Ruth says:

    I’m wondering if the first episode of the fourth season will be one day after Bay’s sacrifice or few months later

  19. Kate says:

    Okay, I was surprised and extremely disappointed in this finale. Everyone is going on and on about “Oh, Bay is such an AMAZING sister for taking the fall! <3" Umm, no. If Bay was a good sister she would have let Daphne go to prison. Daphne knew what she was doing, and grieving was NOT an excuse. I am sick of Daphne and Regina's random, over-the-top outbursts. Daphne needs to get the consequences and NOT have someone take the blame every single time. Disappointed in Daphne and Bay.

  20. kristabel says:

    I don’t think bay should have adjusted her life soooooo much for Daphne wrong doing throughout this season and I do think Daphne should face her charges and is a coward for so willing letting someone take the fall for her

  21. penny says:

    Is so great show and just keep going do for to vote for bay and Daphne to a work in team to fix
    It up with the new one of this email address so we have any questions about it was a few days
    Were enlists to and I love you have a lot of a any day will Vanessa I know your sister is laura
    In a show Austin and ally show that it’s
    Penny saunders

  22. manar says:

    i didnt see the movie but i think it would have been very great:)

  23. KIA says:

    I always like bay more then Daphne, but its crazy how now that bay took the fall her life aint all that she thought it would be. Bay can go on and live her dream but at the same time bay should of just let daphne go.

  24. alex says:

    im done watching switched at birth, this pissed me off so much. Daphne knew the consequences but no she decided to agree with bay. im done.

  25. Jackie says:

    Daphne NEVER takes responsibility for her own actions in this show!! Every time she’s about to get in trouble she’s off the hook! I’m starting to really dislike her character, at times she’s just a spoiled brat, treating her mother like crap and then leaving before punishment can be made—yes a lot of things are going on in Daphne’s life right now but at the same time she barely knew Angelo, all throughout the show she ignored him and then right before he dies she lets him into her life, so if you ask me Bay is the one who would more so have the “right” to act out (not saying she should either) also this completely ruins things for Bay and Emmet AGAIN love the show, but don’t know if I can continue after this…

  26. WTH??!! Will Daphne never have to face the consequences of her ridiculous actions? The way she has treated everyone is just pathetic and cruel. She did drugs, stole drugs, got fired and slept with a gangster type bad boy. Yes, let’s reward her for all those things by having an innocent young woman take the blame to keep her out of prison and let’s not forget she can now move on to Pre-Med and Med school at the cost of an innocent woman. My son and I watched this episode together and when Daphne let Bay take the blame, he rose to his feet, left the room and said he would never watch another episode. He said it was bad enough having to be exposed to sixteen-year-old students having random sex. So now he refuses to watch and the rest of our family will boycott as well.

    The writers really missed the mark on this one. What in the world is this program and its writing team trying to teach our kids. They can lie, steal, do drugs, and have random sex and not have to be held accountable.

    • TokyoCrazyPXD says:

      Agreed! Daphne should have served the prison time. Would have made a compelling story too.. ..deaf teenager in prison. Life after prison…
      But you have to admit, Bay came in like a BOSS in that last scene. I literally felt a sense of awe as Bay walked off to give her statement. When she was signing at the end there….. Wow… Handled the situation with grace and swag at the same time. Daphne didn’t deserve that bailout. But now that she did get it, I think any disrespect to Bay (from Daphne) is completely unacceptable. Daphne literally owes Bay her life.

  27. TokyoCrazyPXD says:

    I have just watched this episode for the second time. I was preferred Bay over Daphne but this solidified it all. What Bay did was a noble and brave thing that showed true love for Daphne. However I don’t think Daphne should have allowed Bay to take the fall. Why should Bay suffer for Daphne’s mistakes? I can honestly say that after this episode I grew a strong disliking to Daphne. There is no way she can begin to repay Bay for giving her an out…