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Tara Ariano

S04.E13: Between Hope & Faith

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Travis visits Emmett in Los Angeles and is displeased with how his friend has changed. Meanwhile, Eric wants Regina to move in with him, but Regina wants to learn more about Will's mother first; and a stressed-out John takes his anger out on Toby.

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Oy. I have a headache from being beaten over the head with all the clumsy writing.

 

The Tobaby resolution was predictable.

 

And the totally unsubtle messages continue. Really, dad-of-a-kid-with-Down? It’s “the single most enriching experience of your life”? Well that’s great that it worked out so well for you. BUT for someone else it could be the single biggest life-ruining choice that will rob them of their life and autonomy and make them consider suicide and experience daily regret (or so I’ve heard). Not to mention the child could be in terrible health, confused, lonely, angry, violent and even a danger to others. But “it’s the hard times that make you closer”? Ugh. The happy “oh different isn’t worse” propaganda the show espouses so frequently is gratingly disingenuous.

 

At least they had Bay voice a less popular, but more realistic opinion. I still think the show errs WAY too much on the “being different even if you’re missing critical things is awesome” side of things, but at least they have someone drop a few lines of dialogue that expresses the opposite viewpoint.

 

My reaction when I saw Emmett: “Oh shit. I thought we were done with you.”

Edited by CleoCaesar
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Although the stories may be cliched and anvilish, Lucas Grabeel is knocking it out of the park.  I just wanted to reach through the screen and hug him.

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Well, couldn't have seen any of that coming at all... *drips in sarcasm*

 

Totally called the ex wife being bad news. Couldn't have any moral ambiguity about Regina`s boyfriend kidnapping his child! 

 

The anvils being dropped this episode so hard I worry I have a concussion. 

 

I feel like this storyline is getting more into Very Special Episode territory than usual, but Lucas Gabriel is knocking it out of the park. 

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I was glad John finally had to talk with Catherine about their money issues.  Good for her for going to the accountant.  She should pay more attention to their finances.

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Unless the show lasts many more years than most shows ever do, they won't actually be showing much of the parenting involved in raising Toby's kid. I wish they had not raised this issue at all, but since they did, I think they tried to represent all the different viewpoints and they didn't make any of them inherently wrong. To be honest, I don't think the point of view that disabled people are valuable to society and their loved ones is represented enough in the world, and I liked that they did not sacrifice the idea that women have the absolute right to decide whether or not to carry a pregnancy. Even the people who were against abortion across the board OR in this particular case did not waver on the principle that women have the absolute right to choose. If they had decided to opt out of the abortion because they thought abortion was wrong, it would have been a guilt trip not an act of choice, and I would have objected to that. But as it is, they managed to be both pro-choice, respectful of women being in charge of their own bodies, and people having a conversation that is full of passion but not becoming enemies over it, and then deciding to rally around the people most affected once they decide what to do. That's better than many people do in real life or on TV, so I consider this story not as bad as it could have been, though I agree it was imperfect.

 

Like everyone else, I agree that Lucas Grabeel is doing great work with it. He's so often been given not much to do, it's great to see that when given a chance, he can totally deliver as an actor.

 

I was okay with Eric's ex being a nefarious person, because I think there is way too much sentimentalization of motherhood and anyone who abuses her kid as badly as Eric described is unlikely to turn it around sufficiently to deserve a second chance with that child. Also, if she was truly in recovery and pining for her baby to the degree she pretended, why isn't the kid's face on every milk carton in the country?

 

I was glad Kathryn stepped up and confronted John about his infantilization of her. That she went to the accountant first really pleased me. I expected her to go to John, and him to deny things, and the BS to continue. She acted very adult about it, decided not to let herself be put in second position, and averted both more deception and a pleading/fighting/doubting scenario.

 

I felt bad for Travis. Emmett never really apologized to him for bagging on something he knew was a big deal for T, he just made excuses for himself and tried to make it seem like Travis's interests were lesser. It's worse because I know Travis feels really alone in the world. His relationship with Emmett was his family, Emmett was a brother to him. And now he gets slapped with the realization that Emmett doesn't feel the same way and is dismissively casual about moving on and not valuing Travis the way Travis valued Emmett. This happened to Travis when John offered the car wash job to Toby, also. He keeps finding himself back "on the street" so to speak, after thinking he'd found a home. I think this is a very true kind of story for kids who lack families. I like that he's such a good guy, and they've chosen not to make him the stereotypical "walled-off bad seed." But it breaks me, a little, too. I feel for him too much.

 

When Bay and Daphne were arguing, I realized Bay didn't know about Daphne's own use of the morning after pill. I thought it was a good scene because it made me realize that they are still not the confidantes and 100% sharing everything sisters they sometimes think they are, and also because it showed that Daphne was actually thinking and informing herself, not only having a kneejerk dogma (a lot of people conflate the morning after pill with abortion and her not doing that showed that she had at least looked into the difference).

 

The people on this show may do stuff I don't like, and think things I disagree with, but I appreciate that they aren't flat out stupid or just spouting something they've heard.

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"Hipster Ken doll" -- thank you, Travis, for putting into words what I was thinking the first time I saw Em (his Cali name) as soon as I saw him in that first hat.

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I can't believe Regina used her real name when she was talking to the addict ex wife.  

She has now fully implicated her self as an accessory.  OMG the decisions these people make around criminal activities.  Sweet jeebus.

 

And yeah, the Tobaby resolution was always the only possible result this show would go with (both because of the above mentioned "all the colors of the rainbow makes up who we are and enriches us" theme and because Daphne can never be denied).  The only thing I liked was Regina saying the one completely, unambiguously correct thing of the entire show... Once whatever decision is made by the prospective parent, get the fuck on board.  And because of that, as treacly as it was, the socks thing was actually nice.

Edited by RachelKM
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And the totally unsubtle messages continue. Really, dad-of-a-kid-with-Down? It’s “the single most enriching experience of your life”? Well that’s great that it worked out so well for you. BUT for someone else it could be the single biggest life-ruining choice that will rob them of their life and autonomy and make them consider suicide and experience daily regret (or so I’ve heard). Not to mention the child could be in terrible health, confused, lonely, angry, violent and even a danger to others. But “it’s the hard times that make you closer”? Ugh. The happy “oh different isn’t worse” propaganda the show espouses so frequently is gratingly disingenuous.

 

Agreed, and here is another thing, Lily and Toby are going to be pretty atypical parents of a child with Down's because they are much younger than average.  And Toby is fairly immature.  It could bring out the best in him, I'm pretty sure that's the way we'll be seeing it presented, and the extended family will pitch in, etc. etc., but will Lily end up having to take up even more of the load as Toby continues to grow up himself?  That's what I'd be wondering if I were her.  It's hard enough for someone their ages to be faced with unplanned parenthood, let alone a child who is not only different but with possibly many health problems.  It puts tremendous pressure on people and can really unhinge someone who isn't pretty rock-steady.

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What luck! Regina's boyfriend wants to move in together just as Toby and Lily need a free place to raise a family.<br /><br />As glad as I am for Toby to get a storyline, did he in one year get married, divorced, impregnate someone?

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There was also a trip to Iceland, a cringey stint as a DJ, and a series of increasingly unfortunate haircuts.

Toby's not a bad guy, but I have to say: John was right about him in his angry assessment this episode.

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I was kind of hoping Toby's revelation moment would be that he wants to go back to school and become a teacher.

 

Bay should have taken him to a group home for adults with developmental delays. That is, in some ways, a whole different environment. A child with Down's Syndrome is cute. A 30 year old adult with Down's Syndrome who can have impulse control difficulty and can break your nose with one punch is a lot less cute. That being said, I do appreciate that Toby and Bay took the time to get educated about what it is like for those with Down's Syndrome. And I like that he came to his own resolution. 

 

Every time John mentioned adoption I just got irritated. People who are doing private adoption want healthy babies not babies with Down Syndrome. It felt to me too much like if this baby were healthy we'd take it but since it isn't let's dump it off on someone else. But, to my knowledge, there isn't really a market for kids with severe medical conditions.  Especially since they knew in advance.  

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She has now fully implicated her self as an accessory. OMG the decisions these people make around criminal activities. Sweet jeebus.

And her kid! Regina, Daphne has had a hard and unsuccessful time keeping her life crime-free, you don't have to add to it!

Cute moment when Daphne said Regina had her at a young age and Bay corrected her.

Edited by Luciano
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I could have been so much more on board with the after school special of a story line had Kathryn or Regina been given the surprise special needs baby. So much better than Regina and Daphne as the Hardy Girls, too! Glad to see Toby getting a story line and, as others have said, Lucas Grabeel is doing great work, but really it's just too sunshine, lollipops and rainbows - these two are not in a position to raise any baby, let alone one with potentially overwhelming needs. It's not fair that these two issues are rolled into one (yes, of course that happens in real life but....).Would have liked to see a realistic, sensitive portrayal of a young couple accepting that they are not ready and choosing to either terminate the pregnancy  or give the baby up for adoption, without being villains because of it. Or, have it happen to someone who might more realistically accept and make the choice that yes, this baby is just as worth having and loving and raising as any other,*and* actually be capable of doing that. Would have been interesting for Regina to face, since she *could* do it, but stated clearly last season that she has no desire to raise another baby.

 

As for Travis and "Em" - you deserve better, Travis!! Go home and be bros with Bay and Toby. They need you and will appreciate you more! 

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Maybe it was just my own projection, but it seemed like Emmett felt like a horse's ass when Travis left.  Which he should have, he spoiled Travis' dream to see the Chiefs play.  That took me out of the story a bit because that championship game should take place in December or probably January, right?  And back in KC, there were roses blooming outside the school and other flowers outside Bay's studio and fully green leaves on the trees, i.e., not winter.  People wearing boots and flannel shirts doesn't make it so.  Just a small nitpick, it happens a lot on t.v.

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Every time John mentioned adoption I just got irritated. People who are doing private adoption want healthy babies not babies with Down Syndrome. It felt to me too much like if this baby were healthy we'd take it but since it isn't let's dump it off on someone else. But, to my knowledge, there isn't really a market for kids with severe medical conditions.  Especially since they knew in advance.

 

Actually, there is a waiting list of families who want to adopt babies who have Down syndrome.

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Bay should have taken him to a group home for adults with developmental delays. That is, in some ways, a whole different environment. A child with Down's Syndrome is cute. A 30 year old adult with Down's Syndrome who can have impulse control difficulty and can break your nose with one punch is a lot less cute. 

Or she should have shown him old episodes of ABC Family's "The Secret Life of an American Teenager". The Tom character was such a huge jerk, he likely set back Down Syndrome acceptance by like 50 years.

 

Maybe this show is the network's way of trying to atone for that one.

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If Regina and Daphne flew, what car did they have worked on at the shop? I guess it could be a rental but wouldn't the company find out about the damage--and wouldn't that be risky to do with someone else's car? I don't know. Weird.

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And then Regina's righteous boyfriend asks her how her family visit in Ohio was and she just smiles and merrily keeps lying about her whereabouts.  Her judgment is screwy.  Plus how does Daphne have so much free time?  Shouldn't she at least be doing some type of tutoring if she hopes to have a snowball's chance in hell of becoming medical school admissions material? 

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I was kind of hoping Toby's revelation moment would be that he wants to go back to school and become a teacher.

 

Bay should have taken him to a group home for adults with developmental delays. That is, in some ways, a whole different environment. A child with Down's Syndrome is cute. A 30 year old adult with Down's Syndrome who can have impulse control difficulty and can break your nose with one punch is a lot less cute. That being said, I do appreciate that Toby and Bay took the time to get educated about what it is like for those with Down's Syndrome. And I like that he came to his own resolution. 

 

Every time John mentioned adoption I just got irritated. People who are doing private adoption want healthy babies not babies with Down Syndrome. It felt to me too much like if this baby were healthy we'd take it but since it isn't let's dump it off on someone else. But, to my knowledge, there isn't really a market for kids with severe medical conditions.  Especially since they knew in advance.  

 

Children with any sort of severe medical condition are typically lowest on the list to be adopted. It is incredibly hard to find a home for them. It might be easier as a baby, but I know it is very hard for children with developmental disabilities in foster care to find a home.

 

Maybe it was just my own projection, but it seemed like Emmett felt like a horse's ass when Travis left.  Which he should have, he spoiled Travis' dream to see the Chiefs play.  That took me out of the story a bit because that championship game should take place in December or probably January, right?  And back in KC, there were roses blooming outside the school and other flowers outside Bay's studio and fully green leaves on the trees, i.e., not winter.  People wearing boots and flannel shirts doesn't make it so.  Just a small nitpick, it happens a lot on t.v.

 

The thought of the Chiefs in the AFC Championship was the funniest thing in the world to me. First of all, if Travis went all the way to California for that game and Emmett blew it off, I'd be pissed because of the massive amount of money that was probably thrown away. The Chiefs haven't won a post-season game since 1993, so those tickets probably cost a fortune and Travis would have been waiting literally a lifetime to see a playoff win. Granted, the Chiefs apparently lost the game, which was the most realistic part of the entire episode, but still. Emmett has turned into a giant douche.

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It really stood out to me how the school they visited didn't use people first language (such as "child with DS", "child with special needs"). As an educator, that grated on my nerves quite a bit. Also, the woman holding those conversations in the hallway. Ugh. But they pulled out all the stops with the heart string-tugging adorable children. 

 

The establishing shots at the LA party were painful, with the purse dog and all. They made me groan aloud. I liked Travis' assessment - "turkey burgers and name-dropping wannabes". Heh. Emmett can get off my screen at any time. Skye was interesting and kinda cute before they were coupled, and now she's horrible. 

 

Vanessa's makeup looked really pretty. /shallow 

 

I'm glad Bay spoke her mind, & was generally supportive & not getting crapped on this episode. Also, I didn't really mind Daphne this episode, even though I don't like what she and Regina did. Daphne, herself, wasn't as self-righteous and prissy as she sometimes is.

 

When Lily started her reproductive rights speech & Toby said he agreed, but... I just screamed inside. I knew it, though. I wish we weren't stuck with Lily. I'm not a fan. 

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I appreciated having both sides of the abortion issue represented, but, really - Daphne's stance is so shocking, Bay can't even utter the words "pro-life"?  We do make up about half the country, show writers! I could've lived with a story line about an abortion, but an abortion because of Down's would've had me tuning out for good.  Confession:  the cheesy & predictable sock scene made my eyes simultaneously tear up & roll back in my head.

 

Regina & Daphne single-handedly resolving the fugitive dad/kidnapped child/druggie mom story with an internet search and one parking lot conversation:  Wow.  And not in a good way.  Can Regina please have a meaningful, believable story line for a change?  Or can she move to California with Emmett, neither to be heard from again?  Thank you.

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I half expect Eric's ex to actually be working under cover or be an informant now or something.  Because that'd be about as good as the rest of this story has been.

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At the least, Regina should tell Eric that the little guy spilled the beans, because he might do it again and land his dad in hot water.  That would mean she would have to tell all, and it would probably mean he'd have to split, but the son is getting too old to reliably keep the secret and stay off the internet and do his own contacting, etc. 

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If Regina and Daphne flew, what car did they have worked on at the shop? I guess it could be a rental but wouldn't the company find out about the damage--and wouldn't that be risky to do with someone else's car? I don't know. Weird.

 

It seemed to me that they snipped the hose, it's an easy, cheap fix and was something they could afford to take care of and the rental car company would never know

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I appreciated having both sides of the abortion issue represented, but, really - Daphne's stance is so shocking, Bay can't even utter the words "pro-life"?

That`s the weird thing about TV. Writers are scared to actually have characters get an abortion, but they don`t want characters to be Pro-life either. I cannot even think of a Pro-life character on any TV show off the top of my head, but at the same time, I feel like most every story like this ends with them having the baby. Writers are so scared of offending no one, they show nothing. 

 

I was actually happy to see that Daphne was Pro-Life. Not for any political reason, but because it fits with her character. 

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I half expect Eric's ex to actually be working under cover or be an informant now or something.  Because that'd be about as good as the rest of this story has been.

Oh shit. I didn't think of that.

 

At some point, Eric needs to stop trying to be underground. Since it was so easy to show mommy threatening people in parking lots, and being a drug dealer undercover at NA meetings, he really ought to get a lawyer. If Regina and Daphne had worn wires, they'd be providing him with evidence. And it seems like just about anyone could get the same documentation pretty easily. For that matter, finding your baby in a dumpster or whatever the original story was, is enough to win any custody battle. I don't understand why he's so convinced that he couldn't win in court, even though the initial kidnapping sounds bad, look at the context and pair it with current evidence-- does he expect the two of them to move every few months forever, live under fake names, and generally be fugitives forever? I know the system is insane, but they painted the mom as so extreme, it's not like she's a pillar of the community and no one would believe she's doing what she's doing.

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I was actually happy to see that Daphne was Pro-Life. Not for any political reason, but because it fits with her character.

To me it actually felt the opposite - as Bay pointed out, Daphne was downright militant in her disdain towards Chip Koto and his "morality" policies re: sex and contraception. I remember her being pretty repulsed by John's Republicanism too. Nor can I really picture Daphne telling other women what to do with their bodies (which to me is what the "pro-life" position is). I think Daphne is all for people having the right to get abortions but personally wouldn't or would want any close family members/friends to do so. Which I think makes her pro-choice.

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Guys, why are we even talking about Toby and Lily's baby? Everyone knows what happens to TV unplanned pregnancies where the characters agonize over whether to keep the baby or not and then decide they do want the baby...

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To me it actually felt the opposite - as Bay pointed out, Daphne was downright militant in her disdain towards Chip Koto and his "morality" policies re: sex and contraception. I remember her being pretty repulsed by John's Republicanism too. Nor can I really picture Daphne telling other women what to do with their bodies (which to me is what the "pro-life" position is). I think Daphne is all for people having the right to get abortions but personally wouldn't or would want any close family members/friends to do so. Which I think makes her pro-choice.

 

I think that Daphne being pro-choice politically but anti-abortion personally is a lot more nuanced than what they were going for here.

 

Daphne doesn't deny it when Bay starts to call her pro-life, she brings up the other ways that she is "pro-life" (vegan, anti-death penalty). She made it clear to Bay that her issue with Chip Koto had been contraception. When Bay brought up the morning after pill, Daphne made it clear that it wasn't "an abortion pill".

 

She refused to acknowledge abortion as even being an option for Lily, which IMO is very much denying that Lily should have that choice.

 

I think that they just ignored how they'd written her in the past so she could have a pro-choice Vs pro-life debate between Bay and Daphne.

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Guys, why are we even talking about Toby and Lily's baby? Everyone knows what happens to TV unplanned pregnancies where the characters agonize over whether to keep the baby or not and then decide they do want the baby...

 

Or they send her back to England, where should would have her own family's help, which makes a lot of sense.  She can do the same kind of work there, and have better health insurance.  Toby can go along and do unspecified creative endeavors and continue growing up.

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Gaaa, I missed this episode because I was sure there wouldn't be a new one on Labor Day. Sad thing is, I don't mind after reading about it. I would have liked to see the John throwdown of Toby, but most of it seems cringeworthy enough that I wouldn't have enjoyed it. And that's happened more than once with this show this season (and before the summer hiatus) - I hope this trend doesn't continue. I want to like this show as much as I used to! 

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When Bay brought up the morning after pill, Daphne made it clear that it wasn't "an abortion pill".

 

Which made me so happy because it is not an abortion pill. 

 

Guys, why are we even talking about Toby and Lily's baby? Everyone knows what happens to TV unplanned pregnancies where the characters agonize over whether to keep the baby or not and then decide they do want the baby...

I can't recall, can we talk previews in this thread or send them to speculation or spoilers? 

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I didn't mean to imply that it is, just that Daphne was being clear.

I didn't think you were. I know there's a large population that believes it is so it is nice to hear that reinforcement. 

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I really hate that baby story... REALLY

But the silver lining - LG kicked major rear this whole time. He is an extremely underrated actor. Both Toby and LG need more love :)

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