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AmandaPanda

S05.E05: Occupy Truth

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Both the director Jeff Byrd and writer Talicia Raggs of this episode are Black BTW which is why it was so well done. I wish they had focused on the college stories more in the past and not the other drama last season that way we would've been more emotionally invested in Iris and the rest of the students (other than Sharee because we've known her for awhile).

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I'm not sure that I would say that Prof. Marilla was out of line to be upset and scared that she was startled by Keeshawn. As a woman, I don't care what color a man is when I am chased down by an upset man demanding my attention. At night. In a dark, deserted parking lot. While alone. And he refuses to listen to my request to leave me alone and to call and make an appointment during office hours. All of which were perfectly acceptable. It isn't Marillo's fault that the school higher ups are sticking their heads in the sand concerning student conduct. And if I remember right, Prof. Marillo has already met Iris about the issues and it isn't like she was ignoring calls and requests. Like the school president/Chancellor.

That part just bugs me. What woman wouldn't be scared at being accosted at night by a charging upset man? Being concerned about her personal safety doesn't make her racist.

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She was perfectly safe in her car and he wasn't being threatening. he was asking why they won't meet with the students, and practically crying. You have to read body language. He was a student, saying he wanted to ask her a question. It's not like he was cursing at her or making threats. He was pleading with her.

Also, Marillo is the same person who forcefully tried to yank the megaphone out of Sharee's hands, and then threatened Sharee with expulsion for allegedly shoving her when it was Marillo who was the aggressor.

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I was impressed and surprised that Travis did not jump at the chance to pitch. this was an interesting episode, but the reason I watch switched at birth, is well, because of the story of 2 girls being switched at birth, etc....I like iris better now after this episode, but am not emotionally invested in a lot of these characters. I also wonder if Chris's pitching career is over for forfeiting a game....

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1 hour ago, nlkm9 said:

I was impressed and surprised that Travis did not jump at the chance to pitch. this was an interesting episode, but the reason I watch switched at birth, is well, because of the story of 2 girls being switched at birth, etc....I like iris better now after this episode, but am not emotionally invested in a lot of these characters. I also wonder if Chris's pitching career is over for forfeiting a game....

Agreed. I wish Freeform didn't drop their premises so quickly. There's still so much to discuss about these two girls being switched at birth and now it's not even a mention. Let's see Angelo's family, the long forgotten grandmother, more about Bay and Regina's non-relationship. That was the cliffhanger last year and they didn't resolve it at all. Does John have a family? Since race is a big focus this season, how does Bay feel about being biologically part Hispanic yet culturally white? Or Daphne growing up Puerto Rican? 

I do think the episode was well done - if not a little late. This would have been really good to have aired around election time.

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And another episode that was a bummer. I know that they are showing us important issue, but maybe it shouldn't be done when there are so many loose ends and not so many episodes left. We are five episodes in and the storyline is getting worse and worse. It's frustrating.

And when it comes to being prof. Marillo I understand her completely. I had a couple of situations like that and I always felt anxious, it doesn't matter if the guy's body language is not threatening, when I'm alone at night I don't want any stranger to talk to me. There was already mentioned that if you want to talk with your prof. go to his or hers duty hours. If I behaved in a similar way it would be considered rude, but on the other hand I'm from a different country so it's difficult for me to judge his action since I'm not well aware what the social norms are.

Edited by joacha
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Completely agree with our recapper Sarah Beckham - these are the kinds of stories SAB has always told and has usually told well until the murkiness of Bay's sexual assault storyline (and I think even some parts of that were really good storytelling). Even if this isn't primarily about the switch or the families - it is, like the Occupy Carlton storyline and many others, about the pains and pleasures of fighting for justice. It's about the ways that love and family and obligation and ethics and friendship create multidimensional struggles that shape who we become - and to me that's what Switched at Birth has been committed to as a motif since the very first season.

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Marillo rubbed me the wrong way since the previous episode - predisposed fear and a lack of a backbone for standing up for what was right, over a misunderstanding no less. She witnessed the way that Dean talked down to Sharee, her socio-economic background being thrown in her face...if she was getting poor grades rather than good ones, would he have warranted that same attitude? It was a good opportunity to show the audience how white privilege could have been used for good to stand up to this type of unjust discrimination instead of Marillo's "They should have been expelled" from behind closed doors. I suppose Bay stepping in to help Chris was as close to one as we could get but not one person of authority was held accountable. I had expected John to be on those cops' behinds the moment he found out about Chris but I guess that was too much to ask for.

As a black viewer, am I too jaded to think that the call Iris had was of punishing the entire Black Student Union for their role in the events of this episode?  Ugh the times we live in now. I'd have been happier if the President had Dean "I have a school to run" fired...err I mean "forced to resign."

Edited by Eri
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17 minutes ago, Eri said:

Marillo rubbed me the wrong way since the previous episode - predisposed fear and a lack of a backbone for standing up for what was right, over a misunderstanding no less. She witnessed the way that Dean talked down to Sharee, her socio-economic background being thrown in her face...if she was getting poor grades rather than good ones, would he have warranted that same attitude? It was a good opportunity to show the audience how white privilege could have been used for good to stand up to this type of unjust discrimination instead of Marillo's "They should have been expelled" from behind closed doors. I suppose Bay stepping in to help Chris was as close to one as we could get but not one person of authority was held accountable. I had expected John to be on those cops' behinds the moment he found out about Chris but I guess that was too much to ask for.

As a black viewer, am I too jaded to think that the call Iris had was of punishing the entire Black Student Union for their role in the events of this episode?  Ugh the times we live in now. I'd have been happier if the President had Dean "I have a school to run" fired...err I mean "forced to resign."

No you are not jaded. As a white woman, I too feared this. I think it was the football team from Wyoming that threatened to boycott a bowl game and the administration threatened to yank their scholarships. 

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I will say, that was very much an improvement on the last few episodes when dealing with the racial tensions stuff, especially everything with the cultural appropriation stuff, which was horribly handled, in my opinion. I liked seeing the experiences of the different black students (although if they never show up again, I will be over here rolling my eyes) and I think it was well handled. We got to see lots of issues and different peoples reactions to them, and we also got some nice moments from our regulars, even if they were in the background this week, like Travis standing with Chris for the baseball boycott. I still don't like Angry Yelling Guy (does he have a name? Have they ever said it?) though, and I hope we don't see him again after this. Yeah they gave him a few more humanizing scenes, and he has reason to be angry, but for three episodes, all we have seen is him yelling at people who either meant no harm or did nothing wrong. Screaming at Iris about how she has no idea how to be black, in front of everyone, just because she's from a wealthy family, is really asshole behavior, even if he did apologize.

That being said, I really wish they had done this earlier in the season, or even earlier in the show. We are on the home stretch now, and I would like to get closer to wrapping up the arcs and stories of the main characters now, instead of taking time off to talk about other characters. It does feel like the shows creators just realized they haven't dealt with campus race issues, and felt the need to add it to the list of social justice topics they need to talk about. Not that they didn't do well this week, and its not like this show never deals with these kinds of issues, I just wish they could have done it earlier. Still, at least it corrected a lot of the issues I had with the last two episodes when it came to the racial issues, like how it made it seem like black student protestors are just a bunch of overly sensitive whiners, or are constantly pissed off and lecturing people about how awful and racist everyone is. I thought it was a good episode, probably the best of the season so far, but, again, I wish we had done this earlier.

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1 hour ago, tennisgurl said:

I will say, that was very much an improvement on the last few episodes when dealing with the racial tensions stuff, especially everything with the cultural appropriation stuff, which was horribly handled, in my opinion. I liked seeing the experiences of the different black students (although if they never show up again, I will be over here rolling my eyes) and I think it was well handled. We got to see lots of issues and different peoples reactions to them, and we also got some nice moments from our regulars, even if they were in the background this week, like Travis standing with Chris for the baseball boycott. I still don't like Angry Yelling Guy (does he have a name? Have they ever said it?) though, and I hope we don't see him again after this. Yeah they gave him a few more humanizing scenes, and he has reason to be angry, but for three episodes, all we have seen is him yelling at people who either meant no harm or did nothing wrong. Screaming at Iris about how she has no idea how to be black, in front of everyone, just because she's from a wealthy family, is really asshole behavior, even if he did apologize.

Cosign this. I found myself rolling my eyes quite a bit at the beginning of the episode as I felt some of it was VERY heavy handed, but by the end I was smiling and almost in tears (and I don't cry for tv / movies).

Disclaimer: I am a black viewer and while I may not be American, I'm close enough to see all what has been happening there. And I'm in full support of the Black Live Matter Movement as I do think it's important to fight for our rights. That being said, I also believe that sometimes black people jump to racism too quickly. I'm not saying it doesn't exist, becasue that would be naïve and silly of me, but I don't think EVERYTHING is racist. So I didn't take offence to Mingo's costume becasue I don't think he was emulating black culture, just simply dressed as a black person. If he went to a presidential themed party dressed as Barack Obama, would he still be seen as racist? I don't think so. Which is why I didn't like the few previous episodes. I thought the drama was contrived from a weak plot. But now that they've explored Iris' character some more, I actually understand why she overreacted (in my opinion) to it. I understand why Sharee wanted to just lay low but now no longer felt like she could. I even liked them giving us a little bit more from Chris, who, like the reviewer said, is new, but they did it so well that I found myself feeling for him and his POV also. 

Unlike others here, I don't wish this episode had happened earlier becasue the past two season I've been bored with the same tired stories and characters and their love triangles. I really enjoy when they do these "very special episodes" and even though I get annoyed at how thick they lay it on sometimes, I understand that they have to do that in their 40-min window to really drive home their point and I'm ok with it if we get an episode like this that has me smiling and feeling good at the end. Two thumbs up to the writers and directors. 

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I find it hard to believe that the guy who kept calling Daphne "Katy Perry" and accused her of being a fake Latino is suddenly cool with her being part of their protest and giving her opinion.

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22 hours ago, possibilities said:

She was perfectly safe in her car and he wasn't being threatening. he was asking why they won't meet with the students, and practically crying. You have to read body language. He was a student, saying he wanted to ask her a question. It's not like he was cursing at her or making threats. He was pleading with her.

Also, Marillo is the same person who forcefully tried to yank the megaphone out of Sharee's hands, and then threatened Sharee with expulsion for allegedly shoving her when it was Marillo who was the aggressor.

Because you can't be harmed while in a car? And seeing a young man getting more and more upset at your reasonable actions and verbal requests makes you feel safe? He could have a weapon. He could beat on her car, break out a window and still harm her. You couldn't see if she could throw her car in reverse and slip out another exit. People have been shot for less than a verbal argument. I mean this on both people. Either Marillo or Keeshawn/whatever the guy's name is could have a gun. 

Sharee immediately admitted that she was in the wrong and apologized for putting her hands on the professor. Wasn't it the other guy/Dean/whatever of Students who brought up expulsion? And that the school would over look this incident if Sharee kept out of trouble and kept her grades up?

Edited by stlbf
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This was a decent episode but felt like a standalone rather than part of this show. The main characters were only tangentially involved, and mainly because they were being shoehorned in.  The timelines make no sense, either - Chris was being recruited a few weeks ago, magically started school immediately to battle for #1 pitcher last episode, and is now suddenly being scouted with the chance to immediately go pro.  If he's that good, why did he even need a college stint at all?  It seems like the producers have many stories they would like to explore about college life, and maybe they can do that on their next show.  With what's left of this one, I would like them to wrap up the many dangling threads.  How did Bay and Travis move beyond last week's argument to be perfectly fine now?

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2 hours ago, crocodile said:

This was a decent episode but felt like a standalone rather than part of this show. The main characters were only tangentially involved, and mainly because they were being shoehorned in.  The timelines make no sense, either - Chris was being recruited a few weeks ago, magically started school immediately to battle for #1 pitcher last episode, and is now suddenly being scouted with the chance to immediately go pro.  If he's that good, why did he even need a college stint at all?  It seems like the producers have many stories they would like to explore about college life, and maybe they can do that on their next show.  With what's left of this one, I would like them to wrap up the many dangling threads.  How did Bay and Travis move beyond last week's argument to be perfectly fine now?

It's pretty clear watching the baseball storyline since John became a coach that the writers have no idea about college baseball and are just writing this story based on things they've heard about football or basketball.

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How does every person who meets daphne automatically pick up sign language within 2 minutes ? And not just some signs . Like the whole damn language 

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27 minutes ago, Jaclyn88 said:

How does every person who meets daphne automatically pick up sign language within 2 minutes ? And not just some signs . Like the whole damn language 

Did I miss something? The only people I remember signing to Daphne in this episode were Iris and Sharee.

Sharee went to Carlton and Iris's aunt and uncle are deaf.

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Well, Mingo and Sharee both picked up the language. Sharee spent one year at a mixed Carlton and stayed friends with Daphne. Mingo dated Daphne. I do think that it is a tad silly for both of them to still be fairly fluent in ASL after Daphne and Travis being gone for 10 months. Sharee really wasn't shown to be friends with other deaf students. Same with Mingo.

Even if Sharee and Iris stayed in touch on campus outside of Daphne, they probably wouldn't use ASL to communicate. 

Why not have Iris challenge Daphne to have other students of minority status (latino and deaf students being two to name) support the cause? Maybe that can help draw Bay back to school for art, business and even health classes.

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On 3/1/2017 at 10:29 PM, timimouse said:

Cosign this. I found myself rolling my eyes quite a bit at the beginning of the episode as I felt some of it was VERY heavy handed, but by the end I was smiling and almost in tears (and I don't cry for tv / movies).

Disclaimer: I am a black viewer and while I may not be American, I'm close enough to see all what has been happening there. And I'm in full support of the Black Live Matter Movement as I do think it's important to fight for our rights. That being said, I also believe that sometimes black people jump to racism too quickly. I'm not saying it doesn't exist, becasue that would be naïve and silly of me, but I don't think EVERYTHING is racist. So I didn't take offence to Mingo's costume becasue I don't think he was emulating black culture, just simply dressed as a black person. If he went to a presidential themed party dressed as Barack Obama, would he still be seen as racist? I don't think so. Which is why I didn't like the few previous episodes. I thought the drama was contrived from a weak plot. But now that they've explored Iris' character some more, I actually understand why she overreacted (in my opinion) to it. I understand why Sharee wanted to just lay low but now no longer felt like she could. I even liked them giving us a little bit more from Chris, who, like the reviewer said, is new, but they did it so well that I found myself feeling for him and his POV also. 

Unlike others here, I don't wish this episode had happened earlier becasue the past two season I've been bored with the same tired stories and characters and their love triangles. I really enjoy when they do these "very special episodes" and even though I get annoyed at how thick they lay it on sometimes, I understand that they have to do that in their 40-min window to really drive home their point and I'm ok with it if we get an episode like this that has me smiling and feeling good at the end. Two thumbs up to the writers and directors. 

I'm white but I think you bring up some good points. I think it's experiences that are going to influence someone's reaction. My ex boyfriend is black and people constantly said crap to us all the time. Sadly, racism is well and alive. 

Edited by Court

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Really well done episode that tackled an issue without feeling like a "very special episode." As an Alaskan, I also have to give the writing staff props for knowing that Hillside is the expensive, fancy part of Anchorage...but c'mon, guys--"the mainland"? No one in Alaska calls the Lower Forty-Eight the "mainland."

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I thought this episode was done very well. I even enjoyed seeing the stars in the background while allowing Iris and Sharee to take center stage. Have to admit that I teared up a bit when Travis joined Chris and at the end when Iris received the call from the President.

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On 3/2/2017 at 8:01 PM, stlbf said:

Well, Mingo and Sharee both picked up the language. Sharee spent one year at a mixed Carlton and stayed friends with Daphne. Mingo dated Daphne. I do think that it is a tad silly for both of them to still be fairly fluent in ASL after Daphne and Travis being gone for 10 months. Sharee really wasn't shown to be friends with other deaf students. Same with Mingo.

Even if Sharee and Iris stayed in touch on campus outside of Daphne, they probably wouldn't use ASL to communicate. 

Mingo also paid for private ASL lessons with Daphne's interpreter. 

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8 hours ago, General Days said:

Mingo also paid for private ASL lessons with Daphne's interpreter. 

And I highly doubt that he kept them up after Daphne left the country and him. And he had gotten back together with his ex a few months ago, right?  Language is like a muscle, if you don't use it, it goes away. 

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13 hours ago, stlbf said:

And I highly doubt that he kept them up after Daphne left the country and him. And he had gotten back together with his ex a few months ago, right?  Language is like a muscle, if you don't use it, it goes away. 

Not arguing with you stlbf, just saying Mingo didn't just date a deaf girl. He put forth some effort. So, while it seems like he shouldn't be so proficient at ASL, he is someone we could concede put in some extra work. Were there to be an episode (please God, don't let there be) in which we saw Mingo put in extra online hours, learning ASL, it would not shock me. My point: he cares, so it's not inconceivable that he continued his studies. 

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I'm not arguing, but it isn't like Mingo decided to learn ASL on a whim to better himself. He was attracted to Daphne. She left, not much reason for him to keep up. It wasn't like he had other friends who were deaf. If Daphne had been from Japan and didn't speak perfect english, I'm sure he would've had japanese lessons. It isn't a bad trait, it shows that he does care. And when he cares about someone, he will go the extra mile.

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11 hours ago, General Days said:

Not arguing with you stlbf, just saying Mingo didn't just date a deaf girl. He put forth some effort. So, while it seems like he shouldn't be so proficient at ASL, he is someone we could concede put in some extra work. Were there to be an episode (please God, don't let there be) in which we saw Mingo put in extra online hours, learning ASL, it would not shock me. My point: he cares, so it's not inconceivable that he continued his studies. 

 

8 hours ago, stlbf said:

I'm not arguing, but it isn't like Mingo decided to learn ASL on a whim to better himself. He was attracted to Daphne. She left, not much reason for him to keep up. It wasn't like he had other friends who were deaf. If Daphne had been from Japan and didn't speak perfect english, I'm sure he would've had japanese lessons. It isn't a bad trait, it shows that he does care. And when he cares about someone, he will go the extra mile.

In Mingo's case there are a bunch of deaf students around UMKC beyond Daphne. I know they never get mentioned anymore but they had the whole deaf program satellite thing with Galludette that Melody was running, and Daphne and the other deaf kids were in Mingo's dorm (which is how they met in the first place). He probably still knows and talks to the other deaf kids in the dorm on a regular basis and his knowing ASL might be a reason that he was chosen to be RA at the dorm.

Also, maybe he just realized that he liked learning the language and kept it up since he'd already put in the hardest part of the work. Being able to say that you're bilingual on a job application doesn't hurt either.

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Perhaps. But we don't know. We've never really seen Mingo outside of Daphne and the SaB regulars. The whole deaf school college aspect has been pretty much dropped the past season or so. Much to my dismay. I'm not caring for this shortened final season. Because it is shortened. They seem to be trying to throw so much in what is just a half season.

Toby and Lily could easily have a visit for one or two episodes and then just have them go back to the UK. We haven't even really touched Emmett, his issues, and the whole Emmett/Bay/Travis mess. Add in Daphne's college life, Bay's independence from her former life plans, Travis back on a team, the BSU/race relations stuff with new students, and everything with the 3 parents, plus friends, this is alot for 10 episodes.

Ten episodes should be winding things down. For everyone.  I like Iris, but I'd rather be watching Emmett tackle his mental issues with his family. Maybe look into the state of the US's mental health care woes. Or see the Kennishes discuss their family/marital issues. Bay dealing with Emmett and with Travis' jealousies. Emmett and Travis dealing with their tattered relationship. Toby and Lily dealing with a special needs baby and with lack of communication with each other. Plus, Lily's overprotectiveness and Toby's addiction. Why not bring Regina back in for that? She knows this life for Toby. She has led a similar one. 

Edited by stlbf
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On 3/1/2017 at 7:18 PM, Eri said:

 

As a black viewer, am I too jaded to think that the call Iris had was of punishing the entire Black Student Union for their role in the events of this episode?  Ugh the times we live in now. I'd have been happier if the President had Dean "I have a school to run" fired...err I mean "forced to resign."

Actually I thought that it was her dad calling to threaten monetary support withdrawal if she doesn't stop harming herself and doesn't abandon the cause.

 

Ok so an honest question, didn't grow up in America, so VERY murky on the history. But didn't almost every white person who is of some kind of level of magnitude to have a building named after them, come from money back in the days, and hence would be a slave owner?

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50 minutes ago, vavera4ka said:

Ok so an honest question, didn't grow up in America, so VERY murky on the history. But didn't almost every white person who is of some kind of level of magnitude to have a building named after them, come from money back in the days, and hence would be a slave owner?

Not with universities, especially those west of the Mississippi River. Those buildings are typically named after famous donors. 

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I'm halfway through this final season and this ep wasted a lot of precious time that should have gone to the main characters. It is too late in the day for me to care for minor characters like Iris and her friends. If they wanted to tackle racism, let it be about Hispanics so we can focus on Regina and her daughters.

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