Post Mortems

Switched at Birth EP Talks Love Triangle Fallout, Emmett's 'Real and Scary' Arc

Switched at Birth Recap

Warning: The following contains spoilers for Tuesday’s Switched at Birth premiere.

China is for lovers?

During Switched at Birth‘s fifth and final season premiere on Tuesday night, Bay made her choice between ex Emmett and his BFF Travis when the latter came to China for a visit… and ended up staying for months. The new couple quickly got serious, shacking up together, before a call from home sent them and Daphne racing back to Kansas City.

So what was big enough to uproot the trio? It turns out life has not been so sunny for Emmett in L.A., and he overdosed on a bunch of pills, almost lethally.

Below, executive producer Lizzy Weiss discusses Emmett’s ongoing battle with depression, and why Bay needed to pick Travis.

TVLINE | Travis comes to visit Bay in China, and you make a choice in the love triangle. Why did you decide to go in that specific direction?
Bay and Emmett have been through so much and so many ups and downs, and they may end up together in the long run, but for right now… that’s put to bed a little bit. And Travis is this incredible guy, [whom] she’s become very close to, and they’ve shared a lot. She needed to give him a try. … And we were excited about a fresh relationship. We love how it turned out. They get to have great fights, though, about everything, including Emmett. He’s a little bit of a shadow in their relationship in the beginning, and we deal with that later.

TVLINE | Do you feel like Bay and Travis living together in China, separate from everything that’s going on back home, made their relationship progress at a much faster speed?
Totally, yeah. We talked about that a lot, that they were sort of living not real life. They didn’t have parents. They didn’t have Emmett around to make them feel guilty or weird, and in fact, that becomes an issue that we explore when they come back: “Now that we’re back in real life, how are we? Was it just something that was because we were away on this incredible journey together?” That’s a real question and a good one.

TVLINE | What effect does Bay and Travis coming home have on Emmett going forward?
It’s ironic, of course, because Emmett dated Skye first, but the heart doesn’t deal with logic too much. So of course, he’s trying to be a mensch about it, but it’s hard. Travis is family to him. So part of him feels like it’s a betrayal for Travis to go after Bay. At the same time, he broke up with Bay himself. It’s very complicated. He has to deal with that himself. Did he make the wrong choice by breaking up with Bay? Does he have regrets? All of those kinds of questions.

TVLINE | In the premiere, we see the seeds of something going on with Emmett, that he’s dealing with depression. What is he facing?
We all knew people in college who, just biologically, that’s what happens to some kids at a certain age. That’s when depression manifests itself, and we thought it would be just really interesting to see a character like Emmett, who we all know is so incredibly confident and strong, go through something that a lot of kids go through and how that jars him. But he has this incredible mom. He has a great support system. It’s just something that we hadn’t seen explored in a way that was touching and thoughtful and real and scary.

Switched at Birth fans, was the premiere worth the 15-month wait? Grade the episode via the poll below, then hit the comments!