Changes are ahead for Switched at Birth's Bay, who this season will deal with new schoolmates, a new art class, a new attitude and an unexpected ally.
Marching to the beat of her own drum since Season 1, Bay Kennish (Vanessa Marano) finally found her place after getting to know her birth parents Regina (Constance Marie) and Angelo (Gilles Marini), building a solid friendship with Daphne (Katie LeClerc) and leaving her privileged private school for Carlton School for the Deaf, which she fought to keep open. But when the third season premieres (Monday at 8/7c, ABC Family), Bay will feel somewhat lost again as she recovers from believing she was cheated on (a lie Blair Redford's Ty told her so she'd get over him while deployed in Afghanistan) and starts her senior year alongside some of Kansas City's toughest inner city kids.
"This season, [she starts out] depressed for being what she perceives as being cheated on for the third time," Marano tells TVGuide.com. "I think she handles it with more strength and poise than any other girl would because I don't even know how she bounces completely back. And heading into Carlton, it's a little weird for her because it's now 50 percent hearing, but in a way she does feel more loyal to the deaf kids because those are the kids who finally ended up accepting her. She's a privileged girl growing up in one of the nicest neighborhoods in Kansas City. and all of a sudden she's at a school that isn't completely filled with privileged children. There are definitely some rougher kids who haven't had an easy time growing up and there are a lot of fights at school. So, it's really different for Bay."
As we've seen before, Bay will turn to art as a way to escape both literally and figuratively. As part of her course load, Bay is able to enroll in a local college art class. However, she soon learns the harsh reality that her talent won't get her everywhere and she's also forced to work with people outside of her comfort zone. The latter comes when she's partnered up with "Tank," the consummate frat boy played by Glee'sMax Adler.
"It's a character and personality type that Bay isn't usually drawn to," Marano says. "She usually hangs out with the artist type and so it's a really weird, comedic friendship that ends up turning into something strong and interesting and unexpected for the viewer to watch. They bring a different side out of each other."
Watch their first meeting:
Then there's Bay's quirky art teacher played by Sandra Bernhard." Bay just wants her so badly to be a mentor for her, and it's a lot harder than she expected," Marano says. "Bay is a talented artist. but it's interesting to put her in a place where someone is trying to push her and not let her rely on the fact that she's naturally very talented."
With new people in Bay's life, will she continue to shy away from past love Emmett (Sean Berdy), who's been essentially by her side waiting to be forgiven for also cheating on her? Fans of the couple will be happy to hear Bay might finally have a change of heart.
"For so many seasons now, it's been Emmett trying to get forgiveness from her and trying to get back together and Bay being resistant," Marano shares. "You have to give the girl applause for realizing she's worth so much more than someone who cheated on her! But she's coming from a different place this season. She's realizing more that Emmett isn't going to be waiting for her for the rest of her life, and if she does want to get back together, she might need to make a move now because he's going to get tired of waiting.
"It's really what Bay is willing to compromise this season," she continues. "He's made his feelings known and that she's his first choice. She's been leaning on that and expecting it to always be that way, and when that might be taken away from her this season, it erupts some pent up emotion that she hasn't been facing."
Switched at Birth Season 3 premieres on Monday at 8/7c on ABC Family. Watch a clip between Bay and Emmett: