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Switched at Birth: The hardest decision of all

Some people regret past decisions, while others fantasize about a future that may never be as Angelo’s life hangs in the balance in “The Image Disappears.”

Switched at Birth has had a few moments over these past three seasons that have made me cry. Admittedly, I can sometimes cry at the drop of a hat and have been known to shed a tear over a happy moment just as much as a sad one. I never thought they would air an episode that would rip my heart in two and proceed to stomp on it for a good half hour before leaving me a sobbing mess by the time the end credits rolled.

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How could they kill off Angelo?

This is supposed to be a light, ABC Family show. The drama is supposed to take us to the edge, but never actually go over it. Well, this time we went straight over the edge and into a freefall.

Even though it was incredibly hard to watch, I am hereby voting this episode my new favorite of the entire series. The writing, the acting, everything in it was perfect. The show took us through the journey of what it’s like for a family to deal with a death and they basically did it in real time. I don’t know about anyone else, but I went through each of the stages of grief right along with the characters on the screen.

At first, I didn’t want to believe that anything bad would happen. I figured they’d hear some scary news about Angelo and then he’d wake up and be fine. Even after the words “brain-dead” were used, I didn’t want to believe it. I was completely on board with Bay, Regina and even John’s attempts to get second opinions and wait for Angelo to miraculously open his eyes.

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The varying responses everyone had to the news were extremely real, as well. It’s understandable that some people would accept the news and want to abide by Angelo’s wishes. It’s also understandable that others would want to hold onto him as long as they could and ignore what he wanted in the hopes of a recovery.

But even when everyone accepted what was going to happen, I hadn’t quite caught up and I thought how amazingly calm they all were as they discussed things like funeral homes and organ donation. Perhaps the worst moment of all came in the end when Angelo was wheeled away to the operating room. The family didn’t even get the chance to sit by his bed during his final moments.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for organ donation and I’m happy they made that decision, but I won’t deny that I cried even harder knowing that his heart would stop beating with no one there to hold his hand. The logical side of me knew he was already gone by then, but it still hurt.

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To find out that it all could have been caused by an aneurism and that anger may have been a factor was almost too much and I don’t know that I blame Daphne at all for losing her temper at her mother. I’m not saying Regina is to blame, but I also can’t swear that I might not have said the same thing in Daphne’s shoes. The problem is that one day Daphne’s going to realize it wasn’t her mother’s fault and she’s going to feel awful about what she said. I’m just not positive exactly how long it will take for her to come to that realization.

Most heartbreaking moments:

Angelo opening his eyes when he felt Bay’s hand.

Bay imagining being in the delivery room with Angelo.

Angelo talking about becoming a father in French.

Bay opening her eyes to find Emmett there.

Nearly losing it myself when Daphne read the doctor’s lips and found out Angelo was brain-dead.

Daphne imagining her wedding day with Angelo there. That’s when my tears got out of control.

Angelo signing “I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.” Actually, that’s when my tears really got out of control.

Bay not being able to remember the last conversation she had with Angelo.

Emmett pointing out that love meant doing what the other person wants, even if it wasn’t what you wanted.

Bay calling her grandmother.

Angelo’s mother saying goodbye to her son over the phone.

Regina imagining her and Angelo making up when Daphne was a baby.

What did you think of this episode of Switched at Birth? Were you expecting Angelo’s condition to deteriorate that fast?

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