Last Monday, Switched at Birth ended on a major cliffhanger when Regina (Constance Marie) found John (D.W. Moffet) lying unconscious on the kitchen floor after having a heart attack. This week's episode, "Ecce Mono," takes place inside John's mind. He dreams about what would have happened if Regina revealed the truth about the switch when the girls were three years old.
BuddyTV spoke with Katie Leclerc, who plays Daphne, recently about this week's dream episode.
Leclerc was excited about the opportunity to explore the "what if" of her character's situation. She compared it to one of her favorite shows, "Personally, I'm a big fan of the TV show, Fringe, so I kept referring to it as our Fringe episode where it's this alternate reality and everything is different but the characters are still -- their essence is the same. There's a through-line between the regular Daphne and the fantasy Daphne."
Would Daphne and Bay have been better off if Regina came forward when she first found out about the switch? That's something that you can decide after watching the episode, but their lives would have been substantially different.
For one, the alternate-Daphne had a cochlear implant put in shortly after she went deaf and doesn't have an accent. For Leclerc that was a key difference in her performance between the two versions.
She explained, "It was really strange as an actor to know this character as Daphne and speak with an accent," she said. "The accent just sort of comes now and the first scene when we were filming Vanessa [Marano] turned to me and said something's wrong."
The lack of accent wasn't the only change, Leclerc described the alternate-Daphne, "How incredibly materialistic and just shallow and empty this other version is and really how mean-spirited and kinda rude she is at the same time."
The cochlear implant wasn't the only major change between the two versions, Daphne's relationship with Regina was altered as well. Leclerc said, "I think that if Regina had been a part of the alternate version of Daphne's life, I think that things would not necessarily have been the same and I think it's just an interesting concept to know that one small change -- or big change -- can make such an incredible difference for years and years and years to come."
In the end, it was just a dream within John's mind. Would his heart attack and vision change his relationship with his family? "When you have a life threatening moment, I think his first reaction is it's no big deal. But, I think he cares enough about his family that he will be willing to make some changes. Not only for his health obviously because he had a heart attack, but also in his relationships with people."
She continued, "Regina and John do get a little bit closer as the season continues. I think that he feels that he may owe her something since she was there for him. And, maybe he hasn't been there for her 100% of the time. I think it's lovely to see the two of them sort of becoming a family as well."
While the alternative characters weren't real like they were on Fringe, the episode provides an interesting perspective about the cost and benefits of the delayed reveal of the switch. Ultimately, were the characters better off finding out as teenagers?
Switched at Birth airs Mondays at 8 pm ET on ABC Family.
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(Image courtesy of ABC Family.)