Lucas Grabeel Previews SWITCHED AT BIRTH’s Summer Finale
The latest season of SWITCHED AT BIRTH has rolled along this summer as one of the best shows on television – smart drama, funny moments, and a glimpse inside the lives of two very different families as they continue to figure out where exactly they belong. The story of Bay and Daphne, and how their switch impacted their families continues to be one of the best written and acted shows on the air. This season comes to a conclusion tonight in “Departure of Summer,” that finds John and Kathryn contemplating whether to tell Toby their true feelings, while Daphne, Bay, and Angelo all have some decisions to make.
I spent some time chatting with Lucas Grabell about where Toby is when the season ends, what kind of cliffhanger we can expect, and why the “Fort Knox of information” (aka the writers) makes it difficult to find out what’s coming next!
I have to tell you – this season has been unrivaled. Every week, I can’t wait to see what’s coming up, and everyone I talk to seems to be having the same reaction!
Thank you, I feel the same way. I think it’s been a really great run of episodes.
Talk a bit about coming to the end of the season – what will we see in the finale?
For my character, Toby is planning this wedding. Going through all of the planning. Trials and tribulations of dealing with parents, dealing with her, the truth of her father coming out. The whole music thing – me kind of forgetting about that, and also trying to decide if I’m going to college or not, or stay working at the carwash forever. There’s all of these things that are going to come to a head in the finale, and we also have to deal with our parents’ problem with the marriage in general. How young we are, how inexperienced, and all of those things. There are a lot of conversations that have to happen before the wedding can or can’t take place.
What I love about the show is that you do get to spend time understanding Toby’s point of view, but you also get to feel what John and Kathryn are thinking about it. Everybody has a say, and everything’s valid – I think that’s why everybody relates to it.
I love its realism. The show could have dealt with my situation as “oh we’re getting married and that’s just normal” and then there’s nothing else said. Or it could have been handled like “oh that’s absolutely crazy, I can’t believe you’re getting married.” The truth is that it does happen. People do get married out of high school. They jump out of adolescence right into adulthood. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. Like you said, we get the different points of view. Every point of view is represented in the show, which is a great thing.
What can you tease about what we’ll see for other characters heading into the finale?
Bay is heartbroken and totally in turmoil trying to decide what to do with Ty getting re-deployed. She’s trying to figure out if she’s going to do what she did the first time, and kind of rebound and get her mind off of him completely, and go into the arms of someone else, or try to stick it out and stay with him, even though he’s going to be in such a dangerous situation. Daphne is trying to deal with the ramifications of she and Nikki breaking into Coto’s office and getting caught. John steps in and says I’m going to take care of it, and Daphne has to decide if she’s going to let that happen or if she needs to take responsibility for it herself. Angelo is up in arms with taking care of this new baby, and has to kind of make a decision about that as well.
One of the great things about SWITCHED AT BIRTH is that each episode doesn’t end up tied neatly in a bow. The relationships, the clashes, the arguments, they carry over, they feel real. What kind of cliffhanger are we left with at the end of [tonight’s] episode?
You know, I feel like this finale is not as “cliffhangery” as the past fianles. There is still an unknowing tone to what the future holds. It definitely, poses a question, rather than “dun dun dun….and end scene.” It’s more broad!
What have you talked about with writers for next season?
They are the Fort Knox of information, so I can’t get anything out of them. It’s a joke on set that we don’t get told anything, but the actors are really serious. We’re like, tell us!! But they’re all “oh you, you’re not going to know anything!” and we are always saying “come on, just a little something!” We get the script the week before, and that’s when we find out what happens.
It has to be exciting not only to be on the show, but as a fan of the show, finding out what’s happening for your characters, because you’re not that far ahead of where we are, as viewers.
Yeah, definitely. It is exciting! And for me as well, not shooting every scene, and I’m not always there from the time that we read the scripts to when it airs, I forget about some other things that happened in the episode, and I get to experience it first-hand like the audience when I watch it on Monday nights, so it’s pretty cool.
I’ve talked with a lot of the cast about how the show is an important show – how the deaf community and hearing community interact. What have been your fan interactions lately?
I get a lot of positive feedback from fans, but one of the coolest experiences I’ve had is with deaf fans. I was actually walking down the street, and saw this couple. They came up to me, started signing to me, saying they were such big fans of SWITCHED AT BIRTH, and because of the show, me learning enough sign language, I could carry on a conversation with them. Take pictures and talk to them for a little bit, get their names when they were finger-spelling it. It was a really beautiful moment because I never would have been able to talk to these people if it weren’t for the show. It was something so cool that I could connect with another group of fans because of the show, and learning sign language. It was just a really wonderful moment.
SWITCHED AT BIRTH airs Mondays on ABC Family with the all new finale episode airing at 8/7c tonight. For more information on the series, head to the show’s site at ABCFamily.com.