Sean Berdy, Vanessa Marano
Switched at Birth creator and executive producer Lizzy Weiss calls Bay and Emmett the modern day Romeo and Juliet.
When the ABC Family series left off, switched-at-birth teens Bay (Vanessa Marano) and Daphne (Katie LeClerc) were in conflict after Emmett (Sean Berdy) chose to be with Bay over his best friend. But the new relationship has a lot more to overcome than feuding friends. Emmett as well as Daphne are both hearing impaired.
Check out Katie Leclerc as one of TVGuide.com's Breakout Stars of the Year
When the show returns on Tuesday (8/7c), the romance will be further tested and although Weiss says the two adore each other, there's substantial conflict ahead.
Keep reading for more of our chat with Weiss on the Bay-Daphne-Emmett triangle, Angelo's return to town and if the lawsuit will ever get settled. Plus: Will viewers hear Emmett speak again?
An Emmett and Daphne pairing seemed likely, so why choose Emmett and Bay to get together?
Lizzy Weiss: I intended it all along. There was a moment at the end of the pilot where Bay and Emmett exchange a look before Daphne drives off on the back of Emmett's motorcycle and that was a hint that this could be. What I love about it is that Emmett is someone Bay never would've met unless the switch happened. In Episode 9 we had a fantasy teaser of how life would've been and there was something very romantic about it that perhaps Bay and Emmett would've ended up together in the end had she not been switched. There was some sort of metaphysical destiny for them, perhaps.
Exclusive: Meredith Baxter to guest-star on Switched at Birth
Now that they're together, will they be able to overcome the language barrier?
Weiss: Not just a language barrier, but a whole culture-experiential barrier which is what we explore in the premiere and in the next 12 episodes. I really feel like Bay and Emmett are a Romeo and Juliet from very different worlds. There are so few things left in the world, especially in this generation, that can really keep them apart. Race, religion, class, these are all things that kids today have kind of moved beyond. But a deaf-hearing romance in genuinely something that you can't just say, "Oh well, we don't have prejudice, we're beyond it." We really get into the language barrier in the premiere with how you handle it if someone starts a fight with your deaf boyfriend. It's a totally different situation than if you're both hearing and they have to learn how his view of the world as a deaf guy is different than a hearing guy. That's a huge part of this midseason.
Can Daphne and Emmett go back to being best friends?
Weiss: They were such pure best friends in the first 10 in an innocent way and then the kiss happened and it's certainly changed things. Daphne is very determined, but she's not a backstabbing malicious person. She has to figure out how much she's going to fight and she also has other battles. Angelo (Gilles Marini) is back and that's emotionally huge for her. We have a lot more Regina (Constance Marie) and Bay stories and Daphne has to deal with that. It's like getting a sibling at the age of 16. And we do a big father-daughter story with a lot of basketball for John (D.W. Moffett) and Daphne.
Watch full episodes of Switched at Birth in our Online Video Guide
Who else does Daphne have to lean on in the absence of Emmett?
Weiss: She's always have Toby (Lucas Grabeel) ... and then there's Wilke (Austin Butler), the unlikely friend. And she has another friend, a new character we introduce, named Simone (Maiara Walsh) who Daphne comes to rely on. So she has a lot of people she tries to replace Emmet with, whether or not that works, but she does have people in her life.
And will Bay and Daphne ever be able to get close?
Weiss: It's the constant push and pull ... almost like real sisters. They're both very aware that there's no one else who would understand what they're going through, but they're constantly in competition. In Episode 4 they spend it together in pursuit of the same goal and we have fun with that, but they are in a way each other's touchstones. Even when they have their own stories and lives they can come back to ask each other things.
Regina's ex and Bay's biological father Angelo is back. How will that shift the dynamic for everyone?
Weiss: Angelo is that one guy for Regina that she pretended she was over, but having him around, it's very hard to resist. She has a lot of guilt about him leaving and anger at him leaving her and Daphne and so that has to be worked through. Bay and Daphne have dynamically different opinions of him yet it's important to each other what the girls think of him. Angelo has a lot of work ahead of him for Daphne to forgive him. She had no one else to think of as a dad until a few months ago and he held a very iconic place in her life and she has to work through what he is to her now.
VIDEO: Switched at Birth's Vanessa Marano calls Bay and Emmett kindred spirits
Will the lawsuit against the hospital get settled?
Weiss: It's going to come to a close eventually, but not in these 12.
What's the one thing you think fans will be most excited about upon the show's return?
Weiss: The fans seem to love Bay and Emmett and there's a lot of Bay and Emmett. That relationship is one that we really delve into. They have so much in common and they adore each other, but there's a lot of conflict ahead.
Will we hear him speak again?
Weiss: It's not impossible.